ANALYSIS - Last week, TheFishSite.com was in Bangkok, Thailand for VIV Asia and Aquatic Asia. The show saw companies from all over the world come together to promote their latest aquaculture products and vaccines. A strong seminar programme also covered topics such as disease prevention, aquaculture equipment and aquaculture standards for shrimp farming, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.
One the first day of the show, Peter Blyth, Director of AQ1-Systems, promoted a feeder which uses a hydrophone to effectively hear when shrimp are feeding.
The feeder allows time and money to be saved as it notifies the farmer when it is best to feed and, when feeding should be stopped due to deteriorating conditions, such as temperature and oxygen changes.
The technology also saves on the amount of feed used and also helps standardise the size of shrimp, speed up the growth rate, and improve water quality.
Sustainable alternative shrimp farming methods were discussed at the show by Dr Nyan Taw, Blue Archipelago Berhad Farm, Malaysia. Mr Taw demonstrated how biofloc technology can be used successfully in shrimp aquaculture as it improves growth and saves money, acting as a sustainable option for low cost production.
Biofloc can be used to provide protein in the shrimps diet and research has also found that it may enhance immune activity.
One of the biggest topics of discussion at the show was the affect that diseases are having on fish farming, notably shrimp farming, in the country.
Dr Chalor Limsuwan, Kasetsart University, gave a presentation on best practice to prevent two of the most destructive shrimp diseases in Thailand, White Spot and Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS).
In order to prevent white spot, Dr Chalor suggests that all farmers should nurse post-larvae at 32oc continuously for seven consecutive days.
He also stated that stocking in Southern Thailand should also be done during the monsoon season and in the central parts of Thailand, stocking during the winter should also be avoided.
Brood stock should also undergo Nested PCR and a strict biosecurity practices should be implemented.
With EMS, moralities can occur in the first seven to 30 days post-stocking. Early signs of the disease include soft shell and white muscle.
In terms of preventing EMS, pH, alkalinity, mineral levels and phytoplankton blooms should all be controlled.
The pH level should be kept between 7.8 and 8.3 and alkalinity should be between 120-150 mg/l.
Sodium hydroxide can be slowly added to the water if pH very low and acidic, and magnesium can be added to maintain phytoplankton.
In order to expand Thailand's fish export market, the importance of aquaculture standards and certification was discussed.
Global G.A.P presented it's aquaculture standard which covers the entire production chain, the only standard to do so. Following guidelines of the FAO, farmers have several options for certification including being certified as an individual producer, or, as a producer group.
Thailand's Department of Fisheries is also offering shrimp farmers a certification programme - GAP TAS, which promotes good practice shrimp farming.
The standard can be used to improve farm management practice and be used to fulfill the certification process.
In order to be certified with the green Q logo, the standard sets out 10 items which must be addressed.