This week’s news stories from Growfish

For week commencing October 3, 2005
October 5, 2005

GMA pushes tilapia as Filipino staple

Marichu Villanueva


In Calamba City in Laguna, President Arroyo yesterday vowed to expand the propagation of the tasty tilapia (St. Peter's fish) to replace the more expensive galunggong (scad) during the ceremonial release at Laguna Lake of 10,000 tilapia fingerlings.


The dispersal of the fingerlings marked the 34th anniversary of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA).


The President said she wanted to focus the LLDA celebration on the government's program to enhance the livelihood and welfare of fisherfolk, as well as her administration's program to put food on the tables of poor Filipino families.


The President said in Filipino that she intends to "introduce tilapia as the food of the masses because galunggong is (taken) from the sea, in fact, some of the galunggong is imported."


"Now, we can grow tilapia in the lakes, we can grow them in our fishponds" much more cheaply, she said, "because we can control the supply and increase our supply through culture. It is proper that we make tilapia our daily food."


The President went on to say tilapia became a favorite food of hers when she was still vice president and social welfare secretary.


"You can ask the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) about it... up to now, whenever I make visits, they serve me tilapia," she said. "As far as I am concerned, tilapia tastes better than galunggong."


The President cited that tilapia breeding would increase the income of fisherfolk who live and work along the shores of the Laguna Lake, "so we must promote the propagation of tilapia to ensure that we keep (the prices of) food cheaper."


The LLDA reported that, during the first semester of the year, over 48,000 tilapia breeders are making their living in the area of Laguna Lake.


The President also noted the improvement in the lake's pollution level - its waters are now more blue than brown - even as she warned against the industrial degradation of the lake that could be caused by untreated industrial waste from factories located in the surrounding areas.


Pollution would harm the fish and threaten the livelihood of fisher folk, she said.


The President issued P10.7 million in checks to local government units in Malabon, Taguig and other areas surrounding Laguna Lake for environmental projects to conserve the lake.


She also said she hoped Laguna Lake would not suffer the fate of Pasig River - where fish and aquatic plants on which the fish fed, such as water lilies, swamp cabbage and the nilad flower, died as a result of heavy industrial pollution from the factories on its banks.


Source: Philippine Headline News

Related URL:



Sparks says 204,000 pounds of Vietnamese fish must be destroyed

Phillip Rawls


More than 204,000 pounds of Vietnamese fish in Alabama warehouses will have to be destroyed because testing found mislabeling and widespread use of an illegal antibiotic, the state agriculture chief said Tuesday.


Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks said he is continuing the stop sale order he issued Aug. 12 on Vietnamese fish and seafood shipped to Alabama.


At a news conference surrounded by boxes used to ship frozen fish from Vietnam, Sparks said that out of 21 samples of Vietnamese basa catfish and striped panagasius that were tested, 19 contained the antibiotic fluoroquinolones, which the Food and Drug Administration banned from use in food-producing animals in 1997.


In addition, three samples contained malachite green, a synthetic dye that is sometimes administered illegally as a fungicide in fish farming, Sparks said.


And some boxes labeled as "wild caught" sole from Vietnam were actually basa catfish, which is usually farm raised, Sparks said.


Sparks, a Democrat who is running for re-election next year, said American fish farmers can't use fluoroquinolones and can't mislabel their products, so imported fish ought to have to operate under the same rules. If they don't, he said he will try to prevent their sale in Alabama.


The department's stop sale order, which was extended Tuesday, affects 204,480 pounds of imported fish in Alabama warehouses. The warehouses can destroy it voluntarily or the state Department of Agriculture and Industries will do it, Sparks said.


At one-half pound per person, that would be enough fish to feed a meal to one out of every 11 people in Alabama.


The boxes of Vietnamese fish displayed by Sparks came from five importers, whose products primarily go to restaurants. At one of the companies, Beaver Street Fisheries in Jacksonville, Fla., Carlos Sanchez said he had not received official notification of the Alabama tests and could not comment on any specifics.


Sanchez, division director of sales, purchasing, and quality assurance, said the stop sale order in Alabama, and similar orders in Mississippi and Louisiana in recent months, show the need for federal standards.


The Food and Drug Administration has issued an import alert about unapproved drug residues in the fish, but has not stopped its sale.


Sparks, who visited Vietnam before issuing the stop sale order, said the antibiotic fluoroquinolones has been used to stop diseases in pond-raised fish.


Joe Basile, a chemist for the state Department of Agriculture and Industries, said the amounts in the samples tested in Alabama ranged from 1 part per billion to 250 parts per billion.


At the upper end, the fish had to be treated with the antibiotic shortly before they were harvested, he said.


The antibiotic can be prescribed by doctors to treat bacterial infections in humans. It is not recommended for use in children or pregnant women because it has caused bone development problems in young animals.


Sparks said it can also cause life-threatening anaphylaxis, as well as other reactions, including vomiting, diarrhea and dermatitis, and it can lead to an increased prevalence of infections due to antibiotic-resistant microorganisms.


The agriculture commissioner said that while his stop sale order remains in effect, any importers of Vietnamese fish can start selling new shipments if they present test results to show the fish don't contain illegal antibiotics and are properly labeled.


"The department will continue sample testing and if results prove contamination or mislabeling, then I will push for a permanent ban on these products," he said.


Source:         Biloxi Sun-Herald

Related URL:



Iran boosting seafood production


Khuzestan exports over 3,800 tons of fish, shrimps


In the first half of the current Iranian year (started March 21, 2005), some 3,802 tons of fish and shrimps were exported from this southern province.


The volume was exported to Kuwait, Pakistan, Spain and China. Export of shrimps showed 10% decrease in comparison with the corresponding period last year. Also in the same period, some 79,921 tons of soybean cakes and 396 tons of barley were imported from Brazil, Germany, Ukraine and the UAE. These cargos were unloaded at Bandar Imam Port. In Bushehr, some 1,598 tons of shrimps have been collected since the beginning of this year's shrimping season (mid-August).



Fish farms production in Gilan up 16%

The fish farming output in this northern province during the Third Development Plan (2005-10) has exceed the projections, said a fishery official here Monday.


"It was expected to reach 67,000 tons," Kazeruni uttered, adding that the number has attained 78,000 tons in the five-year period. Warm-water fish production comprised the major part of the volume with 57,000 tons, he noted.


Source:         Mehr News



On the spot fines for aquaculture

Stan Gorton


New regulations governing the aquaculture industry come into effect this weekend with fish farmers caught doing the wrong thing now liable for on-the-spot fines and even cancellation of licences.


The regulations apply to all aquaculture activities and detail lease and licence holder obligations surrounding stock registers, farming structures, environmental monitoring and reporting, fish escapes and notification of entanglement with protected species.


"These regulations reflect some of what we have learnt over the past years through experience, monitoring programs and some of the most proactive and innovative aquaculture research being done in Australia," Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Rory McEwen said.


PIRSA Aquaculture executive director Ian Nightingale has been visiting fish farms and licence holders in the region and reported the feedback had been positive.


"Most people in the industry have agreed that the requirements in the regulation reflect good business practice," Mr Nightingale said.


Among those calling for tighter regulation in the aquaculture industry has been the Eyre Peninsula Recreational Fishing Committee whose chairman Gary Flack welcomed the new arrangements.


Among the greatest concerns have been kingfish and mulloway escaping, general pollution, as well as better marking and lighting to improve navigation around active and inactive fish farms, he said.


The Seafood Council has also been representing the Spencer Gulf prawn industry in calling for better regulation on the location and marking of pontoons.


SA Marine Finfish Farmers Association executive officer Martin Hernan said fish farming companies now had their own draft code of conduct and were very interested in complying with the regulations.


Source:          Port Lincoln Times

Related URL:



Local NGO to train up organic shrimp farmers 

Asiful Huq 


About 2000 farmers in Mushiganj area near Khulna will be trained to produce organic shrimp without using harmful pesticides. Shushilan, a voluntary organization of Bangladesh, will import the training.


An agreement on this pilot project was signed between Swiss Import Promotion Programme (Sippo) and Shushilan at a city hotel on Wednesday evening.


Swiss ambassador in

Bangladesh Dr.
Dora Rapold, Deputy Country Director of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Corinne Huser, Project Manager of (Sippo) Adrian Bretscher and Director of Shishilan, Mustafa Naruzzaman were present at the contract signing ceremony.


With the help of the Department of Fisheries in Bangladesh and Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association (BFFEA) the site Mushigonji was primarily selected for shrimp farming as the area is almost from artificial fertiliser and pesticides and maintained its natural organic content of its soil.


Initially 500 farmers will be provided training and the project will cover 5,000 acres of land to produce organic shrimp.


The project is of 23 months duration and will last till 2007. The first certified shrimp is expected to be available at the end of 2006.


It is expected that if the project is implemented about 150 to 200 tons of shrimp will be produced per year.


These organic certified shrimps that have much demand in Swiss and European markets can be exported and a huge amount in foreign currency can be earned which likely to have a positive impact on our trade balance.


Source: Financial Express

Related URL:





Battle with southern fish farms on Asian carp


A North-South fish fight is erupting in Congress over legislation to ban imports of Asian carp, a critter that southern fish farmers depend on to control parasites, but which Great Lakes officials fear will wreak havoc on the lakes' ecosystems.


Fish farmers in states like Arkansas and Mississippi imported the voracious Asian carp fish from China to help them control parasites by eating snails.


Some carp have escaped the farms and made their way north along the Mississippi River and its tributaries, and could soon be knocking on the Great Lakes' doors. An electric barrier south of Chicago, which gives the fish a non-lethal jolt, is designed to prevent them from entering Lake Michigan. Asian carp, which often leap out of the water, can grow to more than 100 pounds.


Three years ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed banning the importation of black carp, a species of Asian carp that southern fish farmers use, but the agency has not yet acted on its proposal.


"The time for talking and reviewing and studying is over," said Rep. Mark Green, a Wisconsin Republican who sponsored legislation to ban importation and interstate transfer of Asian carp. "I don't want us to wait until it's too late."


Sen. Mike DeWine, an Ohio Republican, has sponsored companion legislation.


Shawn Finely, a Fish and Wildlife legislative specialist, said the agency has to take into account the aquaculture industry in finalizing the rule.


"We are taking our time," she said. "We feel we need to look at the environmental and economic impacts."


Hugh Warren, executive director of the Catfish Farmers of America, said there is no other way to control the parasite problems than using black carp.


"We've investigated other kinds of fish, but we haven't found a successful substitute," said Warren, a catfish farmer from Greenwood, Miss. "If there were, we would use it."


Jay Rendall, invasive species program coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said that the Asian carp species are voracious eaters of mollusks, plankton and vegetation.


"If you put them altogether, they're consuming most of the food chain," he said. "If we get them in large numbers, they would reduce the plankton that other fish need."


The Great Lakes region, the world's largest surface freshwater system, is already battling other exotic species, such as zebra mussels.


In August, Fish and Wildlife asked for comments on an alternative rule that would ban only fertile black carp, which would allow fish farmers to import and transport sterile versions.


Mike Freeze, a fish farmer in Keo, Ark., said the industry is adamant that any ban be limited to fertile carp.


"Until we can find a native species to replace it, or until we can get a chemical approved by the federal government, we're reluctant to give up the only way we have to control these parasites," Freeze said.


Green, the Wisconsin congressman, said he was skeptical of such a modified ban.


"There are real issues of enforceability," he said. "How does one check? How do you enforce that?"


Green added that the track record on precautions against containing the fish has not been good.


"I just don't think that buying time to construct bioengineered alternatives is the right answer," he said.


Rep. Marion Berry, D-Ark., who opposes Green's bill, said the issue is best left to Fish and Wildlife.


"I just don't think it should be the business of the U.S. Congress to micromanage issues like this," he said. "This is the equivalent of making the U.S. Congress the National School Board. If this became law, it would create huge problems for the aquaculture industry in Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri and Louisiana."


But Green, who is running for governor of Wisconsin, said the fish will cause huge problems for his region if no action is taken.

"Lake Michigan is part of our way of life in Wisconsin -- from the recreation industry to commercial fishing," he said. "Invasive species represents a very serious threat."


Source: Detroit Free Press

Related URL:


More at