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Weekly Overview: Intensive Raceway Shrimp Production System to Benefit US Aquaculture

Lucy Towers
13 January 2015, at 12:00am

ANALYSIS - In this week's news, Texas A&M University has licensed its patent for a super-intensive raceway system for shrimp production in the US market to the US agriculture company Ralco, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.

According to a world-renowned shrimp expert, Dr Addison Lawrence, who helped develop the technology, the super-intensive raceway system can produce 1,000,000 lbs of shrimp/acre of water during a year.

The general manager for Ralco’s shrimp division, Michael Ziebell, also added that the technology overcomes many of the challenges facing the US shrimp industry. 

"The super-intensive raceway system provides us with great competitive advantage. We will be able to grow shrimp in a confined environment, with a greater ability to control disease and provide a predictable supply of fresh shrimp. There is nothing better than to be able to change the rules in an industry,” said Mr Ziebell.

A new study led by Stanford University, US, offers the clearest picture to date of the impact that China's aquaculture sector has on wild fisheries. The study also presents a more sustainable alternative to the current practice of using wild-caught fish to feed farm-raised fish.

China's huge aquaculture industry places pressure on wild fisheries through its demand for fishmeal and fish oil. How China develops its aquaculture and aquafeeds sector can thus tip the balance of global seafood availability. 

"If the country makes proactive reforms to its aquaculture sector, like using fish-processing wastes instead of wild fish, and generally reducing the amount of fishmeal in aquafeeds, it can greatly improve the sustainability of the industry. If not, the consequences for the entire global seafood supply chain are going to be really serious," said lead author Ling Cao, a postdoctoral scholar at the Center on Food Security and the Environment. 

In other news, Norwegian seafood exports set new records in 2014. Norway exported seafood worth NOK 68.8 billion in 2014, 12 per cent, or NOK 7.3 billion more than in 2013. Of the NOK 68.8 billion, salmon and trout accounted for NOK 46.2 billion.

”Norwegian seafood has never enjoyed a stronger position in the world market. Despite the collapse of the Russian export market due to sanctions this year, the Norwegian seafood industry has shown it can adapt to meet the needs of new markets. The result has been record export figures for salmon, cod and mackerel,” said Terje E. Martinussen, Chief Executive of Norwegian Seafood.