Sea Pact awards grants for seafood sustainability
The University of North Texas (UNT) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Chile’s Aquaculture Improvement Project are the latest organizations to receive Sea Pact grants for work in seafood sustainability.
UNT’s research project uses probiotics as an alternative to antibiotics for improving the growth and survival in marine finfish aquaculture. WWF Chile’s aquaculture project helps transition Chile’s farmed salmon industry toward Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification as part of the Global Salmon Initiative.
Logan Kock, chairman of the Sea Pact Advisory Council, said the projects represent Sea Pact’s interests moving forward. “They truly define who we are and where we are going,” he said. “The probiotic project represents our strong belief in innovation, while the WWF project demonstrates our deep interest in furthering responsible aquaculture practices of a species critical to us all.”
UNT’s Marine Conservation and Aquatic Physiology Laboratory is comparing the effectiveness of probiotics to antibiotics, with the aim of increasing growth rates and reducing mortality in marine fish. Current trials are for yellowtail amberjack and red drum, but the findings will be applicable to other finfish species essential to aquaculture.
“Our project to use a probiotic approach to marine aquaculture will hopefully in the long term provide a sustainable alternative to antibiotics, in order to protect human and animal health while providing a safe and economical global fish supply,” said Dr. Ione von Herbing, Ph.D.
WWF-Chile’s farmed salmon AIP2ASC project is developing pre-assessments, gap analyses and work plans to transition salmon production toward ASC certification. The tools developed through the process will also be available to other farms interested in transitioning toward ASC.