Driving Sustainability and Innovation in Aquaculture

DSM hosted their 25th year of aquaculture conferences in the Asia Pacific region in November 2019.  This year the theme of the conference was “Driving sustainability and innovation in aquaculture” and more than 200 people attended the meeting in Bangkok from Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. These industry experts came from all parts of the aquaculture sector; from feed producers, farmers and participants from government and academia. Lively discussions on the key drivers of sustainability and innovation for aquaculture in the region took place, with a focus on bridging the gap between challenges and solutions. 

More about speakers’ topics right here or check out the article published in AQUA Culture Asia Pacific edition Jan/Feb 2020.

Achyuth Iyengar, Regional Marketing Director at DSM Nutritional Products APAC, opened the day underlying the pivotal role of aquaculture in feeding our future generations. Iyengar started by reminding the audience of the enormous impact of Asian aquaculture on global production; seven of the top ten global aquaculture producing countries being in Asia. It is projected that globally, seafood consumption is estimated to increase by some 30 million tonnes by 2030 due to the rise in global population. “It is essential that this demand for seafood be met through the sustainable growth of aquaculture which will contribute to zero hunger, poverty alleviation and sustainable utilisation of natural resources” said Iyengar.

Achyuth Iyengar
Dr Louise Buttle

Dr Louise Buttle, Global Technical Manager Aqua DSM, presented “Sustainable aquaculture today, the challenges and future benefits”. Growth of aquaculture to meet increasing demand must be sustainable across the three pillars (social, environment and economy) and be anchored to the UN sustainable development goals. The three must-wins for sustainable development of aquaculture are highlighted as health and welfare, omega 3 fatty acids (and reduced reliance on marine resources), and preservation of water.  Louise also highlighted the importance of sustainability reporting and how it is a licence to operate in the farming of many aquaculture species. Sustainable seafood is also a faster growing sector, with consumers willing to pay more for labelled products. 

Jean-François Mittaine, Fishmeal Expert and former associate Professor of International Trade at Paris University presented “Fishmeal and fish oil insights and projection”. Fishmeal (FM) and fish oil (FO) supply highly digestible proteins and high-quality oils rich in omega-3 to the aqua feed industry. While FM and FO production volumes are stable to decreasing, the aquaculture industry is expanding particularly in China and all over Asia, raising the industry focus on the responsible use of marine raw materials. In the last years, the industry has replaced marine ingredients with the use of substitutes which mostly originate from vegetable proteins, animal by-products and oils but also include emerging raw materials such as insect meal and algae oils.

Jean-François Mittaine
Dr Allen Davis

Dr Allen Davis, professor at the Schools of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Aquatic Science at Auburn University, presented “Fishmeal and fish oil free aquafeed: how to overcome challenges”. The reduction of FM in the aquaculture diets has been obtained by systematically defining nutrient requirement of a given species and making appropriate substitutions of other ingredients and nutrient supplements to balance the diets. The replacement of highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA) coming from FO and FM has also been investigated, and over the years several technologies have been developed to produce HUFA for the feed industry. 

Overall, with the use of an appropriate blend of ingredient and nutritional supplements our industry can move toward more cost-effective feeds, that meet nutritional requirements and ensure the continued expansion of aquaculture. Allen also shared some data on the use of enzymes, and how in warm water fish species, enzymes are very effective in terms of fish production and feed cost.

Dr Thomas Wilson, consultant at DSM Nutritional Products Asia Pacific, presented “Emerging challenges of feed formulation: Phosphorus”. The aquaculture industry strives to increase production volumes of many commercial species but continues to use inadequate feeds which fail to optimize phosphorus utilization. More focus should be put to develop less-polluting feeds to limit the amount of phosphorus waste which impacts water quality, health and survival of farmed animals. The goal of feed formulators should be to make feeds that maximize utilization of endogenous phosphorous in the feed ingredients while avoiding the need to use phosphorous supplements.

Dr Thomas Wilson

The use of enzymes such as phytase improves digestibility of phytate-P and now it is possible to estimate the phosphorus released from ingredients and calculate the equivalent amount of supplementary inorganic P that can be saved. 

Dr Fabio Cervellione

Dr Fabio Cervellione, Director Global Marketing Aqua DSM, presented “Importance of omega-3 EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) & DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in human and animal health”. Among seafood choices, salmon, marine fish and shrimp are meaningful dietary source of EPA and DHA in our diets. Omega-3 are also key nutrients in fish and shrimp, linking positive effects on growth, survival, immunity and reproductivity parameters. The main source for EPA and DHA in aquaculture feeds is FO and FM. However, due to sustainability of fish stocks and limited availability, the current trend to reduce FO and FM inclusion in aquaculture diets has led to a decline of EPA and DHA in aqua feed diets and fillet composition. 

Fabio explained the EPA and DHA requirements, the available omega-3 sources, customer trends and illustrate the advantages of the Veramaris natural marine algal oil.

Dr Shunsuke Koshio, Executive Vice President and Professor at Kagoshima University, presented “The colour of marine shrimp and its role in shrimp culture”. Although carotenoids are widely present in aquatic animals, shrimp cannot biosynthesize carotenoids by themselves and carotenoids must me provided via aquafeeds. Carotenoids have several beneficial effects in shrimp, such as improving growth performances, enhancing maturation, increasing immune responses and improving stress and disease tolerance. The presentation focused on the application of carotenoids in aquafeeds, the factors affecting pigmentation and the utilization of carotenoids and functions in shrimp.

Dr Shunsuke Koshio

DSM is proud to be a partner in sustainable aquaculture and the 25th anniversary of the “Aquaculture Conference Asia Pacific” underlines DSM’s long-term commitment to the industry in Asia Pacific.  DSM’s purpose is to deliver practical, science-based solutions that address the sustainability challenges of the aquaculture industry, partnering with the value chain to enable future sustainable growth.

Thanks to all the participants for the great discussion and a very informative and productive day.

We are looking forward to welcoming you again to the next edition!

DSM team (from left to right)

Sirirat Chatvijitkul, Aquaculture Technical Manager – Indonesia,
Daranee Seguin, Aqua Regional Technical Service Manager,
Rutchanee Chotikachinda, Aqua Research Scientist,
Achyuth Iyengar, Regional Marketing Director APAC,
Liew Chiow Yen, Aqua Regional Marketing Senior Manager,
Teerapun Talee, Aqua Research Assistant,
Nuanpa Ariyapinyo, Regional Marketing Coordinator.

Published on

17 March 2020

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Fabio Cervellione

Director Nutrition & Health Solutions Aquaculture

About the authors

Fabio Cervellione

Director Nutrition & Health Solutions Aquaculture

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