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Symposium Hosts a Future-Focused Aquaculture Session and an Insightful Discussion Dinner

Alltech’s 26th International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium explored boosting profits and working towards the sustainability of the environment in which aquaculture operates

June 9, 2010


Symposium Hosts a Future-Focused Aquaculture Session and an Insightful Discussion Dinner
 
Alltech’s 26th International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium, which took place from May 16 - 19, 2010, at the Lexington Convention Center in Kentucky, USA, explored boosting profits and working towards the sustainability of the environment in which aquaculture operates. As part of this major industry event entitled ‘Bounce Back 2010: A Time for People, Profits and Planet,’ an aquaculture session consisting of several presentations occurred, which hosted expert speakers from around the world.  This was one of several species sessions held at the symposium; the other sessions focused on dairy, beef, pig, poultry, feed quality & regulation, equine and pet.  
 
The aquaculture session presentation topics explored the potential role of aquatic proteins becoming a major source to feed a growing population.  Other topics covered by our speakers included mineral source contamination, such as with heavy metals; aquaculture’s answer of tilapia to chicken; new ingredients for fish like amino acids, flavorings and enzymes; nutritional strategies for unique species such as rock lobster; nutritional breakthroughs with organic Chromium; and recirculation technology.  Twelve speakers presented over two days, each day concluding with a discussion-style question and answer session among the speakers and attendees.
 
As part of the Alltech Symposium experience, discussion dinners also took place.  Fifty guests were in attendance at the aquaculture discussion dinner entitled ‘Aquaculture: Is the future so bright?’.  For two hours, the attendees shared their thoughts on the industry’s future.  The group agreed that the future is, indeed, bright with aquaculture reaching the 50:50 mark in relation to capture in 2010.  Aquaculture business is also growing 9.8% a year and aqua feed currently accounts for seven to eight percent of total animal feed business.  Furthermore, it was noted that significant investment in the aquaculture industry will occur in the foreseeable future.  Despite the abundance of positive points in favor of a bright future, however, our discussion group also pointed out challenges present in the aqua industry that must be overcome in order to achieve this ultimate goal.
 
Some of these challenges raised were sustainability and traceability related, while others were related to marketing.  A number of the issues voiced came paired with helpful solutions.  Beginning with the former type of challenge, one of the first issues raised was the magnification of toxins and concentration in the feed chain.  Furthermore on the issue of sustainability and traceability, we must find the means to feed the hungry, even if with a less expensive product.   In some areas of the world, a bright future will be difficult to reach due to current situations of disease and environmental problems.  The answer lies in the cooperation between the private and governmental sectors.  Regarding the major problems encountered with the destruction of mangroves and in aqua nutrition, multi-trophic systems will be on the rise since they increase the number of seaweeds and bi-valves. 
 
Several challenges in the marketing arena also surfaced during our discussion, as mentioned above.  Our industry needs to increase generic marketing as we have an under-demand problem.  We need more investment in marketing and more promotions to “eat fish.”  Presently, the United States imports 75% of the seafood that Americans eat, and an increase in aquaculture in the country will only happen with niche products and markets.  How do we increase demand? If we could market to encourage Americans to eat more seafood, it could change the situation for the best.  In the United Kingdom, lipids are implicit in cognitive skill.  We must use facts such as this in our marketing to play on the medical benefits and other positive points about seafood. 
 
More information about this year’s Symposium. Alltech’s 27th International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium will be held May 22 - 25, 2011.
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