Tilapia UK…OK, but AST out as RAS prevails - Institute of Aquaculture

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Tilapia UK…OK, but AST out as RAS prevails - Institute of Aquaculture

Transporting of hilsa from primary market to wholesalemarket by a boatHilsa trading at retail marketmarkets (US$ 0.37 per kg) followed by retail(US$ 0.22 per kg) and primary markets (US$0.14 per kg). Similarly, the highest averagemarketing profit was found in secondarymarkets (US$ 0.30 per kg) compared withretail (US$ 0.18 per kg) and primary markets(US$ 0.09 per kg).Marketing ConstraintsIn general, facilities at fish markets areminimal, with poor hygiene and sanitation.There are currently no standard practices forhandling, washing, sorting, grading, cleaningand icing of fish. At the primary market level,the main constraints for fishermen are a lackof bargaining power and market information.The marketing infrastructure, includingcold storage, ice and transport facilities aregenerally inadequate, unhygienic and indisrepair. Political disturbances (i.e. strikes,road blocks, etc.) also affect fish transportationas well as marketing. Comparatively,wholesale markets have better facilities,but in general conditions in primary andretail markets are far from satisfactory withregards to stalls, parking, spacing, sanitation,drainage and management.Further DevelopmentA number of issues are important for thedevelopment and sustainability of hilsamarketing including:• Infrastructure: improvements of fishlanding, modern wholesale and retailmarkets, road and transport systems,handling, and preservation facilities areessential to supply quality products.• Supply of ice: insufficient supply of icein markets is one of the most seriousproblems for hilsa preservation. Iceis fundamental for good quality fishstorage and preservation. Having icereadily available on the premises wouldfacilitate the enhancement of appropriatefish handling. It is therefore necessaryto establish a sufficient number of icefactories for marketing of quality hilsa.• Credit facilities: fishermen, traders andintermediaries do not have easy access tobank and non-government organization(NGO) credits due to too much officialpaperwork and collateral arrangements.Therefore, assisting traders to obtaincheaper adequate bank credit for marketoperating costs should be considered.• Hygiene and quality: there seems to be verylimited knowledge amongst fishermen,traders and intermediaries with regardto sanitary standards and fish quality. Itis also imperative that the fish marketsare kept clean. Proper management withregard to day-to-day maintenance of thepremises from a sanitary point of view hasto be ensured. Improvements to hygienicconditions of fish landing centres andmarkets are essential for producing goodquality products. Thus, training of fishmarket operators in areas of preservation,handling, icing and curing should beprovided.• Government policy: a positive policy atgovernment level should be consideredfor sustainable hilsa marketing systems.AcknowledgementsThe study was funded through the UK Department forInternational Development (DFID) as part of their Aquacultureand Fish Genetics Research Programme (AFGRP). The authorwishes to thank Professor James F. Muir of the Instituteof Aquaculture, University of Stirling, UK for his excellentresearch support. The author is also thankful to Professor MA Wahab, President of Bangladesh Fisheries Research Forum(BFRF) for his guidance and encouragement.ReferencesDOF. 2005. National Fisheries Fortnight – 2005. Departmentof Fisheries (DOF), Government of the People’s Republic ofBangladesh, Dhaka.Fisheries Sector Review. 2003. The Future for Fisheries:Economic Performance. Commissioned with the Associationof the World Bank, DANIDA, USAID, FAO and DFID with thecooperation of the Bangladesh Ministry of Fisheries andLivestock, and the Department of Fisheries, Dhaka.Jacinto, E.R. 2004. A Research Framework on Value ChainAnalysis in Small-scale Fisheries. Tambuyog DevelopmentCenter, Philippines.Kanji, N. and S. Barrientos. 2002. Trade Liberalization,Poverty and Livelihoods: Understanding the Linkages. IDSWorking Paper No. 159, Institute of Development Studies(IDS), Brighton, UK.Kaplinsky, R. and M. Morris. 2000. A Handbook for ValueChain Research. International Development ResearchCenter (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada.Kleih, U., K. Alam, R. Dastidar, U. Datta, N. Oudwater and A.Ward. 2003. Livelihoods in Coastal Fishing Communitiesand the Marine Fish Marketing Systems of Bangladesh.NRI Report No. 2712, Natural Resources Institute (NRI),Greenwich University, London.Porter, M.E. 1980. Value Chain Analysis. Oxford Press Ltd,London.Trondsen, T., K.G. Mapp and J.A. Young. 2004. The StrategicRole of the Value Chain in Fish Marketing. Paper Presentedin EAFE, Rome, Italy.Tilapia UK…OK, but AST outas RAS prevailsKathleen Grady, Dave Little, Jimmy Young, Andrew Watterson and Francis Murray give an update on the tilapiaproject: ‘Warm Water Fish Production as a Niche Production and Market Diversification Strategy for UK Farmers’.The project is developing asustainable system for theculture of tilapia in the UK whileinvestigating the health impactsand potential markets for this warmwater species. Now in the thirdand final year of the project andwith the bulk of research entering20the final phases, public, academicand stakeholder disseminationis a top priority. This year we willalso engage farmers who areinterested in adopting small scaletilapia production as an incomesupplementing diversificationstrategy.ResearchTechnical results so far have shown that thenovel Activated Suspension Technology (AST)system will not be a viable option for farmers, asoriginally envisaged. Conventional recirculationsystems (RAS) are a more financially realisticoption with higher tilapia growth rates and thecapacity to operate at higher stocking densitieswithout negative impacts on growth or fishwelfare. Therefore, the final tilapia trials are


exploring the factors that impede feed intakeand growth in AST systems and developingfeeding strategies that use ingredientsproduced on-farm by UK farmers.Consumer focus groups were undertakenthroughout 2005 and 2006, in various partsof the UK, exploring attitudes towards health,food and fish. Participants discussed issuessuch as sustainable food production, organicfish, the health benefits associated withfish consumption and their awareness andpurchase habits of tilapia. Following this,product testing was undertaken to assessthe reaction to tilapia within the foodservicesector. Tilapia was well received in Devonwhen it was featured on the menu in arestaurant and a pub, to gauge both chefs’ andcustomers’ reaction to tilapia in their normalworking and dining environment. Interviewswith various fish processor and wholesalesuppliers, fishmongers and restaurant chefswere also undertaken to obtain a broaderspectrum of knowledge and reaction to highquality, locally farmed tilapia in Devon.‘Pan Fried Medallions of Tilapia, Oriental Vegetables &Sherry Vinegar Jus’, Masons Arms, Devon, September 2006During the summer of 2006 SarathKodithuwakku, from the University ofPeradeniya, Sri Lanka visited Stirlingto undertake three months of farmingentrepreneurship research with the projectteam. This further disciplinary perspectiveexplored the entrepreneurial challengesfaced when diversifying from conventionalagriculture; in-depth interviews witha range of agricultural farmers in CentralScotland brought light to the factors thateither encouraged or prevented them andtheir families from adopting diversificationstrategies. Follow-up research is intended toexplore the entrepreneurial characteristicsof UK farmers who adopt small scale tilapiaproduction as a diversification strategy.Through this multidisciplinary approach, animproved understanding is being generatedof the business and market environmentfor small scale producers; this is particularlyrelevant given the current increasing interestand activity in tilapia production within theEU and elsewhere.For further information on our project andteam members please see our project webpage: http://www.aquaculture.stir.ac.uk/Systems/tilapiaProject.htmFurther questions on our research programmeare welcome through the above website orby emailing Francis f.j.murray@stir.ac.uk orKathleen Kathleen.grady@stir.ac.ukDetails on the RELU Programme which isfunding this research and other RELU projectscan be accessed at www.relu.ac.uk.Stirling Aquaculture - UpdateSue Paffrath, ResearcherIn 2006 Stirling Aquaculture collaboratedwith the Caledonian Business School,Glasgow Caledonian University to evaluatethe economic impact of the salmonparasite Gyrodactylus salaris (Gs) shouldit be introduced into Scotland. The aim ofthe study was to estimate the economicconsequences of the introduction of Gsand to identify the costs of prevention,eradication and containment.Gs is a freshwater ecto-parasite that infectsAtlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and a numberof other salmonid species. It is one of manysalmonid-infecting gyrodactylid species,which belong to the monogenea – a largergroup of relatively simple, soft bodiedflatworms that are primarily fish parasites.At less than 1mm in length, Gs infests theskin, fins and gills where its attachmentand grazing activity can lead to host deaththrough salt and water imbalances. Theparasite has been present in Norway for overthirty years and since the 1980s is thoughtto have been responsible for the loss of anestimated 300 tonnes of Atlantic salmonfrom Norwegian rivers.It is generally assumed that the parasitewould be introduced to a single catchmentand would spread throughout the entireriver system. If no action is taken to preventtransfer of Gs to other locations then,eventually, it could become establishedthroughout Scotland. The main outcomeof the study showed that should no actionbe taken to prevent the spread of Gs thecountry would see the loss of 2,000 full timeequivalentjobs, a decrease in net economicvalue of £633m and a reduction of £34.5min annual household income. In additionto salmon angling, the aquaculture sectorcould be seriously affected by Gs. However,the sector would have the incentive andability to invest in more biosecure facilities toprotect themselves. Effectively, the economicconsequences of Gs infestation would beconfined to the loss of salmon angling.Measures that would potentially reducethe probability of Gs entering the UK couldbe taken by the provision of disinfectionstations at ports and by extensive publicityand education highlighting the dangers ofthe parasite. The cost of these measures isput at £6m, which is small in comparison tothe potential economic and social losses.An eradication strategy might be possibledepending on the size and complexity ofthe river system. This strategy would haveimplementation costs, but overall wouldgenerate economic benefits as the riverrecovers its full use.A strategy of containment to preventinfestation elsewhere in Scotland mightbe the most appropriate policy for large,complex river systems. Such a policy mightbe limited to minimal exclusion focusing onthe greatest transmission risks, or it couldextend to the total exclusion of the publicfrom the water.The full Economic Impact Report, the GsContingency Plan and the Chair’s Report canbe found at the link belowhttp://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Fisheries/Fish-Shellfish/18610/13929and the accompanying news release:http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2006/12/07101414BBSRC Short CoursesDesigned to accommodate the knowntime constraints of the key workers towardswhom they are geared, the University ofStirling and University of Glasgow offera series of intensive residential coursesand internet-based follow-up discussion,in the areas of Feed Management andEnvironmental Monitoring.The following courses are available in2007:Feed management, 10-11 MayEnvironmental Monitoring andManagement, 14-16 May21Lectures, discussions and practical exercisesare given by experts from academia andindustry covering issues of relevance acrossthe sector. Feed Management deals withthe biology, technology, impact and futuredirection of this critical area of aquaculture.Environmental Monitoring and Managementconcentrates primarily on the impacts of cageculture, addressing Environmental ImpactAssessments (EIA) and other regulatory datarequirements.For more information please see http://www.atc.stir.ac.uk/coursesAquaculture News 33 / January 2007 21

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