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Concept: Aquaculture


Success of the shrimp aquaculture industry requires technological advances that increase production and environmental sustainability. Indoor, superintensive, aquaculture systems are being developed that permit year-round production of farmed shrimp at high densities. These systems are intended to overcome problems of disease susceptibility and of water quality issues from waste products, by operating as essentially closed systems that promote beneficial microbial communities (biofloc). The resulting biofloc can assimilate and detoxify wastes, may provide nutrition for the farmed organisms resulting in improved growth, and may aid in reducing disease initiated from external sources. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomic techniques were used to assess shrimp health during a full growout cycle from the nursery phase through harvest in a minimal-exchange, superintensive, biofloc system. Aberrant shrimp metabolomes were detected from a spike in total ammonia nitrogen in the nursery, from a reduced feeding period that was a consequence of surface scum build-up in the raceway, and from the stocking transition from the nursery to the growout raceway. The biochemical changes in the shrimp that were induced by the stressors were essential for survival and included nitrogen detoxification and energy conservation mechanisms. Inosine and trehalose may be general biomarkers of stress in Litopenaeus vannamei. This study demonstrates one aspect of the practicality of using NMR-based metabolomics to enhance the aquaculture industry by providing physiological insight into common environmental stresses that may limit growth or better explain reduced survival and production.

Concepts: Metabolism, Whiteleg shrimp, Aquaculture, Shrimp farm, Penaeidae, Commercial crustaceans, Edible crustaceans


BACKGROUND: The risks of fish-borne zoonotic trematodes (FZT) to human health constitute an important problem in Vietnam. The infection of humans with these trematodes, such as small liver trematodes (Clonorchis sinensis and Opisthorchis viverrini), intestinal trematodes (Heterophyidae) and others is often thought to be linked to fish culture in areas where the habit of eating raw fish is common. Juvenile fish produced in nurseries are often heavily infected with FZT and since fishes are sold to aquaculture facilities for growth, control of FZT in these fishes should be given priority. Controlling the first intermediate host (i.e., freshwater gastropods), would be an attractive approach, if feasible. The black carp, Mylopharyngodon piceus, is a well-known predator of freshwater snails and is already used successfully for biological control of snails in various parts of the world including Vietnam. Here we report the first trials using it for biological control of intermediate host snails in nursery ponds stocked with 1-week old fry (10–12 mm in length) of Indian carp, Labeo rohita. METHODS: Semi-field and field experiments were set up to test the effect of black carp on snail populations. In the semi-field experiment a known quantity of snails was initially introduced into a pond which was subsequently stocked with black carp. In the field trial in nursery ponds, density of snails was estimated prior to a nursing cycle and at the end of the cycle (after 9 weeks). RESULTS: The results showed that black carp affect the density of snail populations in both semi-field and field conditions. The standing crop of snails in nursery ponds, however, was too high for 2 specimens to greatly reduce snail density within the relatively short nursing cycle. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the black carp can be used in nursery ponds in Northern Vietnam for snail control. Juvenile black carp weighing 100 - 200g should be used because this size primarily prey on intermediate hosts of FZT and other studies have shown that it does not prey on fish fry of other species. It may be necessary to use a high stocking density of black carp or to reduce snail density in the nursery ponds using other measures (e.g. mud removal) prior to stocking fry in order for the black carp to keep the density of intermediate host snails at a very low level.

Concepts: Digenea, Carp, Cyprinidae, Aquaculture, Snail, Gastropoda, Red River Delta, Black carp


Diet implementation with insect meal arouses increased attention in aquaculture considering the advantages of this new protein source. The effect of Hermetia illucens meal (HI) inclusion in diets on rainbow trout physical-chemical and sensory properties was evaluated. Three diets were prepared: HI0, HI25, HI50, with 0, 25 and 50% of HI replacing fish meal, respectively. Fillet sensory profiles were described by descriptive analysis (DA) and Temporal Dominance of Sensation (TDS) methods. Cooking Loss, WB-Shear Force, proximate analysis, fatty acid composition were also determined.

Concepts: Nutrition, Fatty acid, Salmon, Oncorhynchus, Salmonidae, Aquaculture, Rainbow trout, Cutthroat trout


The rapid growth of aquaculture raises questions about the welfare status of mass-produced species. Sagittal otoliths are primary hearing structures in the inner ear of all teleost (bony) fishes and are normally composed of aragonite, though abnormal vaterite replacement is sometimes seen in the wild. We provide the first widespread evaluation of the prevalence of vaterite in otoliths, showing that farmed fish have levels of vaterite replacement over 10 times higher than wild fish, regardless of species. We confirm this observation with extensive sampling of wild and farmed Atlantic salmon in Norway, the world’s largest producer, and verify that vateritic otoliths are common in farmed salmon worldwide. Using a mechanistic model of otolith oscillation in response to sound, we demonstrate that average levels of vaterite replacement result in a 28-50% loss of otolith functionality across most of a salmonid’s known hearing range and throughout its life cycle. The underlying cause(s) of vaterite formation remain unknown, but the prevalence of hearing impairment in farmed fish has important implications for animal welfare, the survival of escapees and their effects on wild populations, and the efficacy of restocking programs based on captive-bred fish.

Concepts: Fish, Auditory system, Salmon, Ear, Inner ear, Audiogram, Aquaculture, Otolith


Interspecific hybridization is a route for transgenes from genetically modified (GM) animals to invade wild populations, yet the ecological effects and potential risks that may emerge from such hybridization are unknown. Through experimental crosses, we demonstrate transmission of a growth hormone transgene via hybridization between a candidate for commercial aquaculture production, GM Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and closely related wild brown trout (Salmo trutta). Transgenic hybrids were viable and grew more rapidly than transgenic salmon and other non-transgenic crosses in hatchery-like conditions. In stream mesocosms designed to more closely emulate natural conditions, transgenic hybrids appeared to express competitive dominance and suppressed the growth of transgenic and non-transgenic (wild-type) salmon by 82 and 54 per cent, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of environmental impacts of hybridization between a GM animal and a closely related species. These results provide empirical evidence of the first steps towards introgression of foreign transgenes into the genomes of new species and contribute to the growing evidence that transgenic animals have complex and context-specific interactions with wild populations. We suggest that interspecific hybridization be explicitly considered when assessing the environmental consequences should transgenic animals escape to nature.

Concepts: Fish, Salmon, Aquaculture, Atlantic salmon, Salmo, Rainbow trout, Trout, Brown trout


We conducted a 84-day nutritional feeding experiment with dried whole cells of DHA-rich marine microalga Schizochytrium sp. (Sc) to determine the optimum level of fish-oil substitution (partial or complete) for maximum growth of Nile tilapia. When we fully replaced fish oil with Schizochytrium (Sc100 diet), we found significantly higher weight gain and protein efficiency ratio (PER), and lower (improved) feed conversion ratio (FCR) and feed intake compared to a control diet containing fish oil (Sc0); and no significant change in SGR and survival rate among all diets. The Sc100 diet had the highest contents of 22:6n3 DHA, led to the highest DHA content in fillets, and consequently led to the highest DHA:EPA ratios in tilapia fillets. Schizochytrium sp. is a high quality candidate for complete substitution of fish oil in juvenile Nile tilapia feeds, providing an innovative means to formulate and optimize the composition of tilapia juvenile feed while simultaneously raising feed efficiency of tilapia aquaculture and to further develop environmentally and socially sustainable aquafeeds. Results show that replacing fish oil with DHA-rich marine Sc improves the deposition of n3 LC PUFA levels in tilapia fillet. These results support further studies to lower Schizochytrium production costs and to combine different marine microalgae to replace fish oil and fishmeal into aquafeeds.

Concepts: Nutrition, Cichlid, Omega-3 fatty acid, Fat, Tilapia, Oreochromis, Oreochromis niloticus, Aquaculture


The disease Heart and Skeletal Muscle Inflammation (HSMI) is causing substantial economic losses to the Norwegian salmon farming industry where the causative agent, piscine orthoreovirus (PRV), is reportedly spreading from farmed to wild Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) with as yet undetermined impacts. To assess if PRV infection is epidemiologically linked between wild and farmed salmon in the eastern Pacific, wild Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus sp.) from regions designated as high or low exposure to salmon farms and farmed Atlantic salmon reared in British Columbia (BC) were tested for PRV. The proportion of PRV infection in wild fish was related to exposure to salmon farms (p = 0.0097). PRV was detected in: 95% of farmed Atlantic salmon, 37-45% of wild salmon from regions highly exposed to salmon farms and 5% of wild salmon from the regions furthest from salmon farms. The proportion of PRV infection was also significantly lower (p = 0.0008) where wild salmon had been challenged by an arduous return migration into high-elevation spawning habitat. Inter-annual PRV infection declined in both wild and farmed salmon from 2012-2013 (p ≤ 0.002). These results suggest that PRV transfer is occurring from farmed Atlantic salmon to wild Pacific salmon, that infection in farmed salmon may be influencing infection rates in wild salmon, and that this may pose a risk of reduced fitness in wild salmon impacting their survival and reproduction.

Concepts: Fish, Salmon, Salmonidae, Pacific Ocean, Aquaculture, Atlantic salmon, Salmo, Fish farming


Aquacultures are of great economic importance worldwide but pollute pristine headwater streams, lakes, and estuaries. However, there are no in-depth studies of the consequences of aquacultures on dissolved organic matter (DOM) composition and structure. We performed a detailed molecular level characterization of aquaculture DOM quality and its bacterial degradation using four salmon aquacultures in Chile. Fluorescence measurements, ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the DOM revealed specific and extensive molecular alterations caused by aquacultures. Aquacultures released large quantities of readily bioavailable metabolites (primarily carbohydrates and peptides/proteins, and lipids), causing the organic matter downstream of all the investigated aquacultures to deviate strongly from the highly processed, polydisperse and molecularly heterogeneous DOM found in pristine rivers. However, the upstream individual catchment DOM signatures remained distinguishable at the downstream sites. The benthic algal biovolume decreased and the bacterial biovolume and production increased downstream of the aquacultures, shifting stream ecosystems to a more heterotrophic state and thus impairing the ecosystem health. The bacterial DOM degradation rates explain the attenuation of aquaculture DOM within the subsequent stream reaches. This knowledge may aid the development of improved waste processing facilities and may help to define emission thresholds to protect sensitive stream ecosystems.

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Molecular biology, Nuclear magnetic resonance, River, Stream, In vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Aquaculture, Geomorphology


Salmon lice, Lepeophtheirus salmonis, are naturally occurring parasites of salmon in sea water. Intensive salmon farming provides better conditions for parasite growth and transmission compared with natural conditions, creating problems for both the salmon farming industry and, under certain conditions, wild salmonids. Salmon lice originating from farms negatively impact wild stocks of salmonids, although the extent of the impact is a matter of debate. Estimates from Ireland and Norway indicate an odds ratio of 1.1:1-1.2:1 for sea lice treated Atlantic salmon smolt to survive sea migration compared to untreated smolts. This is considered to have a moderate population regulatory effect. The development of resistance against drugs most commonly used to treat salmon lice is a serious concern for both wild and farmed fish. Several large initiatives have been taken to encourage the development of new strategies, such as vaccines and novel drugs, for the treatment or removal of salmon lice from farmed fish. The newly sequenced salmon louse genome will be an important tool in this work. The use of cleaner fish has emerged as a robust method for controlling salmon lice, and aquaculture production of wrasse is important towards this aim. Salmon lice have large economic consequences for the salmon industry, both as direct costs for the prevention and treatment, but also indirectly through negative public opinion.

Concepts: Parasites, Fish, Salmon, Aquaculture, Fish farming, Sea louse, Salmon louse, Aquaculture of salmon


Infectious salmon anaemia (ISA), caused by ISA virus (ISAV), is a serious disease of farmed Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L. Recently, molecular- and immunofluorescent-based techniques have become powerful diagnostic tools for ISAV detection, but culture-based techniques remain the gold standard. A disadvantage of ISAV culture is that the incubation time required before cytopathic effect (CPE) is observed in cell monolayers. To decrease time until CPE is observed, a low-speed centrifugation technique was applied to existing standard operating procedures for ISAV culture in three fish cell lines. Time until CPE observation was compared in CHSE, SHK and ASK cells, treated or not treated with low-speed centrifugation after inoculation with ISAV. Low-speed centrifugation treatment significantly enhanced observable cell infection. Compared to control cells, the length of time until ISAV CPE observation decreased in centrifuged ASK and CHSE cells. Low-speed centrifugation was also incorporated into a modified clinical shell vial assay. At 48 h post-inoculation with approximately 20 viral particles, ISAV was detected by an immunofluorescence antibody test in treated ASK and SHK1 cells but not in control cells. Finally, this enhanced viral adsorption assay performed in ASK cells demonstrated higher sensitivity than a real-time RT-PCR assay performed on RNA isolated from ISAV-spiked salmon kidney homogenates.

Concepts: DNA, Observation, Salmon, Virology, Aquaculture, Atlantic salmon, Salmo, Viral culture