ANALYSIS - In this weeks news, Norway has seen a rise in value in its January fish exports, the Tortugas Ecological Reserve has had no negative affect on US fishermen, the FAO is discussing how to improve aquaculture production through genetics and Alltech has revealed that global animal/fish feed production is growing.
Norway is currently experiencing record seafood exports in value, with the figure for January rising by 15 per cent from last January to NOK 4.8 billion.
The increase in value is thought to be due to an increase in salmon exports, which are being sold at better prices than this time last year. The value of salmon exports increased 43 per cent compared to January 2012.
Exports of Norwegian Fjord Trout also increased in value by NOK 102 million (101 per cent) to a total of NOK 203 million.
Economically, things are also looking positive for US commercial fishers in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. A new report from NOAA has shown that fishers have seen no financial loss due to the setting up of a 'no-take' zone in the Tortugas Ecological Reserve back in 2001, which aimed to protect species that were over-fished.
The report shows that many fish have increased in abundance and size within the reserve and through out the surrounding region.
Also working towards preserving wild fish stocks, the Norwegian Fisheries Directorate has granted six new research permits, led by AquaGen and IMR, for breeding sterile salmon for commercial production. The idea is that by using sterile salmon, there will be no threat to wild fish stocks if the fish escape as they have no way to reproduce.
With genetics being the key to stopping the interference of farmed and wild fish, the global Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has opened consultations to examine how farmed fish can be genetically improved by using traditional breeding techniques as well as modern genetic technologies to increase growth rates, reduce inputs and improve the cost-effectiveness of aquaculture.
The consultation will also examine how to maintain the diversity of aquatic breeds so the world’s population can benefit from selective breeding. In the wild it is about maintaining biodiversity so wild breeds will be able to adapt to changing environmental conditions.
In feed news, a new report from Alltech has shown that the world is producing 959 million tons of feed and has increased its production by at least four per cent in the last year.
Of this amount, aquaculture is the fastest growing species sector by tonnage with growth greater than 55 per cent since 2011.
"As we look to the demands of the future, chiefly the feeding of 9 billion people by 2050, these survey results should stir optimism and resolve within our feed and food industries," said Dr Pearse Lyons, president of Alltech. "Our global feed industry is rising to the challenge, and we're seeing growth across the board. Moreover, we're seeing it in some particularly key areas - BRIC, Africa and aquaculture."