Designing organic aquaculture systems: can we integrate microbial products and by-products?

Published on: 07/26/2011
Author/s : STEPHEN R. CRAIG and EWEN McLEAN (Courtesy of Alltech Inc.)

Western consumers have, due to enhanced education and increased access to scientific and media services, become more sophisticated in their purchasing decisions. In an age of bioterrorist threats, outbreaks of unusual zoonoses (e.g., transmissible bovine spongiform encephalitis, severe acute respiratory syndrome), increasing health concerns related to chemical contaminants (Hites et al., 2004) and...

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July 26, 2011
I was asked by the Soil Association UK to write organic standards for aquaculture in 1989. I have since written a book entitled ecological aquaculture.
The feeding regimes for intensive conventional aquaculture systems pretty much mirrors the feeding regimes for organic aquaculture production. Given that little changed when the intensive aquaculture industry took over the organic production few changes were ever made. Much rhetoric has since invaded the organic production and standards systems but in truth little has changed in the types of feed used, certainly not enough to change the quality of the product as far as salmonids are concerned.

Without changing the quality of the feed it is highly speculative that the product too will change as there is little evidence that without a new feeding regime the fish are unlikely to take on any new attributes, in fact there is no way that they can. It is the consumer that has lost out not the fish farmer, who has larger profits and higher prices from his organic certification.
Quality changes can however be achieved by including & integrating microbial products, shame no one has yet stepped up to the mark. It wont be long before our carnivorous fish species will be eating a vegetarian diet in order to save wild fish stocks, its just a matter of time.
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