Friday, October 24, 2014
More News and Impressions from Sea Port's GOAL 2014 attendance in Vietnam
During October National Seafood Month Sea Port attended the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s GOAL 2014 conference (Global Outlook on Aquaculture Leadership) held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. While in the country, we ventured to the Mekong Delta to visit several producers of seafood. We returned home with great enthusiasm for seafood, as well as a deep appreciation for all the Vietnamese people who contribute so much to our aquaculture industry.
Listed below are a few highlights and observations from both the GOAL conference and our seafood travels throughout the Vietnamese countryside:
- The EMS disease crisis, while creating a great set-back in the production of shrimp, has now created a positive wave of new aquaculture technologies and practices while also motivating shrimp farmers to adhere more strictly to current best aquaculture practices. Many industry leaders, including the Global Aquaculture Alliance have worked together to find the cause and ways to mitigate this disease. Exciting progress in terms of EMS:
- One exciting announcement was the possible discovery of an EMS resistant strain of white shrimp!
- GAA Announced the development of a Zone Management Standard. This standard will assist small farmers to “cluster” with other farms in close proximity, essentially being its own co-op and will provide veterinary services, best management practices, information sharing, etc. This will be a huge help to farmers.
- Tilapia has been a key player in reducing the risk of EMS – How? Farmers in Vietnam have found that the use of the polyculture farming technique has helped reduce the outbreak of EMS in their farm. Farmers are growing shrimp with Tilapia. (And subsequently are now producing that Tilapia).
- The upward trajectory of worldwide farmed shrimp output has returned and the speculation at the GOAL conference was that we may see a doubling of production in ten years!
- Other conference buzz included the need for all seafood stakeholders to work harmoniously to help reduce and simplify seafood certification schemes; producers expressed frustration of how much time and money is spent on implementing different sustainability requirements from various customers. Producers requested buyers to harmonize their requirements to make their efforts much more efficient.
- Sea Port experienced firsthand how disappointed Vietnamese shrimp farmers were that the US Department of Commerce imposed the highest import duties ever on their production. Just as EMS is being successfully mitigated and credit is finally becoming more available to finance pond stockings, these duties were seen as ill-timed, wholly unnecessary, and running counter to the spirit of last year’s U.S.-Vietnam Comprehensive Partnership agreement
- Sea Port’s overall impression of Vietnam and its people was overwhelmingly positive. All the Vietnamese stakeholders along the seafood supply chain were extremely hard working, highly skilled, and motivated to advance economically. We believe that the production of sustainably produced seafood for international trade creates tremendous opportunity for many Viatnamese people.
Trading seafood with this rapidly developing nation will strengthen ties and help heal old wounds of war. The Vietnamese people are industriously pursuing a seafood future that will not only positively transform their economic state of wellbeing but also greatly serve a world hungering for more healthy and sustainable seafood.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
World Farmed Shrimp Production to Double in Ten Years!
Sea Port heard this prediction from George Chamberlain, the
president of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, while attending the
organization’s GOAL (Global
Outlook on Aquaculture Leadership) conference this month (October National Seafood Month).
World Farmed Shrimp Production to Double in
Mr. Chamberlain proffered this positive prediction while
being fully aware of the major shrimp production shortfalls that diseases have
caused during the last two years (especially EMS).
However, the foundation of his prediction was
that the aquaculture industry will steadily improve
its knowledge of disease
processes and will continually implement new practices that will not only help
prevent and treat diseases, but also more effectively control their
Back in March of 2013 Sea Port Blogged about EMS?…..this
too shall pass and at that time we took a similar upbeat view that EMS and
other disease occurrences were normal growing pains of young industry that is
currently the world’s
fastest growing food production system!
Since Sea Port’s EMS blog over a year and a half ago, shrimp
farmers have demonstrated progress in avoiding and mitigating EMS and other
diseases. They accomplished this by
diligently adhering to established best aquaculture practices and by
implementing newly developed husbandry technologies and practices such as:
- utilizing genetically improve stocks that resist
- Improving breeding techniques to assure disease
- Starting the early identification of diseased
stocks and implementing isolation schemes that address direct and indirect
exposure to healthy stocks
- Developing and utilizing enhanced feeds that
promote disease resistance
- Implementing various water quality improvement
(Sea Port is definitely not betting against George)
Happy October National Seafood Month!
Sincerely, Dave Glaubke
Director of Sustainability Initiatives – Sea Port
Sunday, October 5, 2014
On Thursday September 25th, President Obama expanded the size of America’s largest marine reserve. In doing so, he created the world’s largest marine area that is protected from commercial fishing activities. This area, called the Pacific Remote Islands National Monument, was established in 2009 by President Bush. It is located in the central Pacific and now encompasses over 490,000 square miles (about the size of three Californias).
Sea Port’s questions and thoughts about this historic event:
· Coincidentally, on the same day the International Seafood Sustainability foundation (ISSF) stated that Pacific Bigeye Tuna are overfished. Will Obama’s new marine reserve expansion actually help the Bigeye Tuna stocks in the central Pacific recover to a non-overfished status?
· The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council opposed the expansion of the monument area stating that economic hardships would befall the central Pacific tuna/pelagic fishers. Will this expansion actually increase catches and economic prosperity in the long run for these fishers as highly migratory species perhaps recover in the protected areas and then move outside of the safe havens?
· Will this presidential action encourage other nations to expand or create additional marine protected areas? Please see our past Go Blue! Seafood Sustainability Blog for Sea Port’s views on expanding MPAs.
President Obama’s historic expansion of the Pacific Remote Island’s National Monument may cause a type of “Butterfly Effect” that produces a cascading of positive events that will help propel us all closer to sustainably managing the world’s precious marine resources for the benefit of current and future generations.
Go Blue! and eat more seafood………………Sincerely, David Glaubke – Sea Port’s Directory of Sustainability Initiatives