Europe fast-tracks amberjack, white trevally


Chris Dove, contributing editor, reporting from Malaga, Spain

Published on
July 17, 2012

Marking a first for European aquaculture, gilthead bream and sea bass breeder Canaries Marine Farms (Canexmar), in collaboration with Canary Islands researchers, have succeeded in the semi-industrial production of rapid breeding Japanese amberjack (seriola in Spanish) and white trevally (striped jack/jurel dentón).

Exploiting Canexmar’s expertise, scientists from the Aquaculture Research Group comprising the Canarian Institute of Marine Sciences and the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria targeted Japanese amberjack and white trevally in recent years as candidate species for sector diversification.

Now in the final phase of transferring both species to offshore cages, first year results in fattening tanks confirm Japanese amberjack reached 2 kilograms during 14 months of cultivation using commercial feed only. This determines the fattening potential of both species in industrial conditions and marks the first exploration of market commercialization opportunities.

Within the framework of the project titled “Improvement of larval rearing techniques of (Seriola rivoliana): Determination of essential fatty acid requirements in larval stage and sequence optimization of food” — funded by Canary Islands Scientific-Technological Research Projects 2011 — the teams have made significant progress in both species’ larval husbandry based on nutritional aspects which determine larval survival.

The results will be presented at AQUA 2012 “Global Aquaculture — Securing Our Future” in Prague from 1 to 5 September.

Spain’s fisheries ministry MAGRAMA allows Japanese amberjack to be caught in its marine reserves using gillnets and hook gear feathers as bait between 16 September and 30 November. Commercial feed for white trevally is a departure from MAGRAMA’s established method of exclusively feeding them on benthic invertebrates (spineless sea/river bottom dwellers).   

In related news, the Organization of Fish Farm Producers voiced concern that the value-added tax (VAT) increase from 8 to 10 percent on some foods will further burden trout farmers given “soaring” feed costs, which account for 50 percent of production costs. Announced last week with immediate effect, the VAT increase represents a 25 percent tax hike for consumers.

Meanwhile, the Association of Marine Aquaculture Producers regards the VAT rise as a brake on consumption, “already damaged by the current economic and financial crisis.” Both organizations had petitioned for a 4 percent super-tax on aquaculture products.

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