ANALYSIS - In this week's news, the US Food and Drug Administration has partnered with the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN) at the University of Maryland to offer a training module for aquaculture producers to help them comply with FDA regulations for importing seafood to the US.
The course is designed for foreign producers who export their products to the US, and may also be useful for foreign regulators.
JIFSAN houses the online training on its website and provides certificates of completion to those who take it.
The new module is designed to clarify how FDA regulates drugs for aquaculture, and provides information to help identify what drugs may be used and how they should be used to prevent unacceptable residues. The course also includes a section on the judicious use of antimicrobials.
The FDA has also recently announced that it has extended the comment period on AquaBouty's AquAdvantage GM salmon by 60 days.
In the UK, a new facility has opened which aims to boost the country's aquaculture sector. The £500,000 Salmonid Rearing and Trials Centre, supported by the European Fisheries Fund, will provide education and research, and help develop commercial and entrepreneurial skills.
Aquaculture production is also expected to increase in Australia. A new report from IbisWorld states that the industry is expected to grow at an annualised 1.3 per cent over the five years through 2012-13.
In fisheries news, a Rabobank report has suggested that Brazil could be the next seafood power house, rivalling Thailand, Norway and even China.
However, in spite of its intrinsic natural resources and large availability of grains, the Brazilian seafood industry still has to overcome significant barriers to realise its potential, including heavy bureaucracy to obtain licences to start an aquaculture operation, lack of biosafety standards, low yields and a relatively underdeveloped feed industry.
Both Scotland and Canada are investing into more environmentally friendly fishing gear. The Scottish government is working with the fishing industry to develop new and innovative designs of prawn trawls that significantly reduce discards of whitefish such as cod. The new designs have achieved reductions of over 60 per cent of cod caught when compared to a standard trawl, with one of the designs having the ability to reduce the cod by-catch by 87 per cent.
The Canadian government has invested C$50,000 into a three year project which aims to develop environmentally friendly bottom trawls to reduce the impact of fishing on the seabed.
Paul Winger, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources stated: “We need to change with the times and become more sustainable in harvesting our resources. Through our partnership with the Provincial Government, we are making progress in developing innovative technologies that in time will lessen the ecological impact of bottom trawling for the long-term sustainability of the entire seafood industry.”