Philippines may become net fish importer by 2004
The Philippines is likely to become a net fish importer as early as 2004 unless the country's total catch increases substantially, an official said Monday.
The domestic fisheries catch in the archipelago of more than 7,000 islands rose 1.8 per cent in 2000 from the previous year to 2.9 million tonnes.
But this was only enough to meet 73 per cent of the dietary requirements of the average Filipino, fisheries bureau chief Cesar Drilon said.
He said the minimum dietary requirement was at least 37 kilograms (81.4 pounds) of fish per year, but the annual catch ...(Full Text)
OI Helping Development Biotech Priorities
By Jan TenBruggencate
The Honolulu Advertiser
Story Posted On: 04-20-2001
The Oceanic Institute at Makapu'u is helping the nation develop priorities in the use of biotechnology in aquaculture.
"To be competitive in the future, the United States has to use the tools of biotechnology," said institute director Thomas Farewell.
But that does not mean scientists will be sticking strange genes into the 'ahi in your poke or the breaded mahimahi on your plate — at least not yet.
Farewell said the major challenge for aquaculture science is to use biotechnology to better understand marine species' diseases, the genetic diversity of remaining wild stocks, what makes some of them fat and tasty, and the like.
"In the next wave of exploration, we need to find things not by trial and error, but with the use of modern tools. These are the major steps that need to occur in the aquaculture/seafood area," Farewell said.
The federal Agriculture Research Service called on the Oceanic Institute last month to lead the development of a set of national priorities in the use of biotech in aquaculture. A paper on the subject, the result of a conference in early March in West Virginia, should be available in about six weeks, he said.
One major topic of conversation was the concern of the public about dangers in the use of biotechnology or, more specifically, of genetic engineering. The issues are serious, and are being addressed by the aquacultural scientific community, Farewell said.
"The scientific community as a whole takes the societal issues very seriously. They were a major component of the discussions in the March workshop," he said.
The issue of improving the health of the aquaculture industry is critical for the nation and the industry, Farewell said.
"Seafood is the second largest trade deficit the nation has" after oil, he said. Some of the seafood being imported is caught in the open sea and may be resulting in declines in target species. Some is from aquaculture development done in ways that may not be sustainable.
"It is very important that we have an industry that responds to the need, that has the best technology in the work and also protects the environment," Farewell said. "We're trying to convince the rest of the world to be concerned about environmental sustainability."
He said aquaculture is a growing figure among food commodities.
"It's the new commodity, after beef, pork, poultry and plants. The others are more mature, but aquaculture is emerging," he said.
Many investors leaped into aquaculture during the past three decades and suffered disappointing results, largely because the kind of technological expertise that supports the other commodities did not exist for the production of finned food.
Today, businesses are beginning to realize the technology is catching up. The Oceanic Institute, for instance, developed a disease-free saltwater Pacific white shrimp that can be grown in aquaculture ponds at high densities. Another strain that has been developed is resistant to a shrimp disease that has devastated aquaculture farms elsewhere.
They are genetically like their marine relatives, but researchers used traditional selective breeding techniques to select ones that don't carry disease, and have resistance to specific diseases.
They are grown commercially on the Mana plain of West Kaua'i and in ponds on the Big Island, Moloka'i and O'ahu.
The kind of research that developed the Oceanic Institute's Pacific white shrimp is the kind of research needed in other parts of the agricultural industry as well, he said.
"The future of the U.S. aquaculture industry is dependent on this nation's ability to apply biotechnology to food production efforts in aquaculture," Farewell said.
Copyright 2001 The Honolulu Advertiser
Prawns Threatened by Virus
Story Posted On: 04-25-2001
More than seven tonnes of imported Indonesian green prawns are being held under quarantine in Brisbane and Cairns after testing positive to the devastating marine disease known as white spot virus.
Australian Prawn Farmers Association spokesman Martin Breen said the virus could devastate the nation's $52 million prawn-farming industry and could spread to wild stocks through processing and domestic waste or use of diseased prawns as bait.
Mr Breen said the virus, which could kill prawns within 24 hours, could also wipe out other crustaceans such as crabs. NSW Fisheries Minister Eddie Obeid announced on April 12 that the virus had been found in prawns caught in Sydney Harbour.
Copyright 2001 The Australian
Aussie seafood exports to Hong Kong double in 3 years
Increase in aquaculture cited as main reason for jump in exports
May 14 - WorldCatch News Network - Seafood exports from South Australia have practically doubled since 1997-98. The latest figures to be released show that in terms of value, seafood exports have risen to A$438 million this financial year, from A$236 million in 1997-98.
Since last July, more than A$100 million worth have been exported to Hong Kong alone.
Rob Kerin, deputy premier, visited Hong Kong last weekend, where he spoke of the enormity of the Asian seafood market: "This massive jump is largely due to the increase in aquaculture, particularly farmed seafood developments, which is tapping in to the demand for fresh, high-quality seafood."
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