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ThatOneGuy?
04-30-2014, 08:25 PM
Okay... I know this topic is kinda weird and maybe I'm just weird BUT I just want some insight from fellow fishermens around me.

Okay first off, I'm a finance admin kind of guy and for me to be interested in Aqua Culture is completely the polar opposite of math which is black and white but lately a good college friend of mine really wants to push for an aquaculture business in raising Tilapia, Catfish, and Trout. :old:

Second off, I know my U.S. laws and customs pretty well and I KNOW for a fact that the US puts huge environmental sanctions on aquaculture in the US and my buddy's dream may be more of a fantasy than a reality but somehow I got a stupid gut feeling that in the next 30 years, wild stocks of fish will eventually disappear from the kitchen table in replace for farm raised fish. (Evidence shows all the HUGE numbers of stock trout growing in every 48 states...)
:fish_jumps:
Third of all, how many people buy "processed" fish at the Grocery Store? I know that whenever I go shopping, the seafood isles got a whole lot of "farm" raised fish than wild fish... The "wild" sections are normally frozen and whenever I notice consumers shop, I see them pick the "unfrozen" farm fish from the seafood isles a majority of the time.

Now say if in the next 30 or so years "wild" stocks like Tuna, salmon, halibut, and big Apex fishes that we all love as steaks or sashimi plummets to a point of no return...(Like the Atlantic Tuna...) would aquaculture revolutionize the seafood industry and save wild stocks?

As I understand, farming any livestocks including fishes require a feed ratio. Fish and Game have a 1:1 ratio for their trout meaning that one pound of fish feed will raise one pound of trout. A lot of deep south catfish ponds have a 2:1 feed ratio which involves very little fish meal but yet a lot of fish meal is needed to feed apex predator fishes that we Americans love to eat such as salmon which requires a 3:1 feed ratio! That means three pounds of mackerels will raise one pound of salmon; Atlantic or Chinook! That ridiculous because three pounds of mackerels is what three people could have for supper rather than one pound of salmon feeding one and half person!

My buddy also told me that the Japanese had gone insane and are now "farm" raising or at least attempting to farm raise Bluefin Tuna and the feed ration is F(&^^% insane!!! It takes 10lbs of fish to raise 1lbs of Tuna! 10:1 feed ratio! Yet, my buddy tells me that he foresees huge profits in the AquaCulture business and wants me to help him find a loop hole in the financial world so he could jump in with the growing aquaculture businesses based in El Salvador and Chile...

What do you guys think about Aqua Culture and truck fish at the table?:chowtime:

salmonid
04-30-2014, 08:38 PM
Good topic!

There is lots of waste in current aquaculture for sure. The genetically engineered salmon "frankenfish" overcomes some of that since it requires less food than other farmed salmon but still there is pushback from some folks for whatever reason they have.

I don't know much about aquaculture, but there are a few research groups at UCD working on those projects. Let me know if your buddy wants to contact them directly.

As far as the captive blue fin tuna "farming" in Japan, the problem is they capture juvenile fish from the wild and then raise them in net pens to fatten up. Not very sustainable for the wild population, I think!

Best & interested what others think as well,

ThatOneGuy?
04-30-2014, 09:21 PM
Yeah! but the problem is my buddy is with the UCD Fishery Biology program. His grad program thinks he's a radical and they shun him:smiley_crazy: and I hate to admit but I think it's taboo to f*& with mother nature.... Didn't Michael Crichton write Jurassic Park for a reason? We humans no matter what we do can't control nature and somehow like Crichton pointed out; Nature finds a way to balance itself even after all the destruction we cause.

My buddy's ultimate goal is to get Aqua Culture BIG kind of like how the US subsidize the whole red meat industry.... He tells me this every time we go out for a carp session that, "you just wait and see, it may not come now, it may not come a year later, but somewhere in the next ten years, you'll regret doubting me about Aqua Culture."

I would help him where I can but raising fishes to feed the human population at the expense of nature for profit sounds like a "necessary" evil...

ApexPredator
04-30-2014, 09:45 PM
It seems like you are trying to address a bunch of different issues with this post so I am a little mixed on how to answer. What is your buddy trying to do that is making his peers think he is “radical”? Aquaculture is nothing new and there are many people that are doing it. If I was going to start an aquaculture fish business, I would use tilapia as they seem to be the best fit for the job.

Is your friend trying to open this business in another country? If so why? I would assume lower startup capital and labor cost if he is going to try and sell his stock in America. I personally will not buy farmed fish/shrimp from other countries (which means I don’t eat shrimp much anymore) and think it would be more appealing to consumers if it was an American farm.

ThatOneGuy?
04-30-2014, 10:20 PM
My buddy wants to farm BLUEFIN Tuna! The APEX predator of the entire Pacific Ocean. The U.S have strict environmental laws about any open ocean fish pens on it's coast so my buddy wants to join some weird Japanese Company in raising the Tuna near the equator for the maximum growth in these fishes. Yes, the Japanese will pay TOP dollars for tuna! In 2013, Kiyoshi Kimura paid 1.76 MILLION dollars for a 489lbs Bluefin tuna at Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. There is major money to be made in the Tuna industry and my buddy constantly tells me that imagine the wealth one can accrued if they successfully "farm" raise Bluefins! The UCD Fishery Biology according to my buddy, shuns any kind of mass open ocean farming and prefers their students to stick to the traditional small freshwater fishes with small amount of feed ratios.

The latin American countries have if little or no environmental regulations involving Aqua Culture so it releases the companies from any liability or law suits because of the revenue it generates for these countries. The only problem is he needs financial fundings to buy some sort of existing facility down in Latin America for further research and that's where I come in because I can jump some loop holes for him to get those "fundings" needed... So the real question is, "will consumers eat farmed tuna in the U.S.?" It still stumps me on whether or not one can fathom raising such an apex predator in ocean pens? Successfully?

ApexPredator
05-01-2014, 07:58 AM
I wouldn’t consider tuna an apex predator but that’s not really on topic. It is true that there is major money to be made in the industry; however, have you or your friend done any estimates on market value of farm raised Bluefin? I wouldn’t expect the Japanese market to look favorably on farmed tuna. I think this is the first question you should look into because Bluefin have a lot of downsides for an aquaculture business; large, open water, endothermic, slow growing. I think it would be interesting if you looked into making a farm on land and kept the water around their average operating temperature and see if they required less food because they did not need to regulate their body temperature as much compared to a large cold ocean.

JoeReal
05-01-2014, 10:06 AM
One of the issues that I have read is that if you farm predatory fish and feed them fish meal, it will have a direct impact on the remaining wild stock of fish because we need to feed the farmed fish with the same meal. When we harvest the "meal" from the same ocean at much greater quantity now that we are farming the fish, then there would be less available "meal" for the wild stock.

Unless we find good substitute for the "meal" then we might as well raise the meal in the oceans, starting with raising algae, other phytoplanktons to zooplanktons, to krills. If we move further up with the small bait fishes up to small sardines or other typical bluefin prey, then the less efficient it becomes. If we can find algae that has the perfect protein, carbs, and fats, then processed them as fish meal substitute, pelletized to resemble the silhouette of typical prey, that would be very efficient as there is no need to lose a lot of energy as we move up the food chain. There is not enough space on land to grow food for a substitute fish meal as we will be grabbing land that would have been used for other human food. The earth has 70% surface area that is water, and it receives 70% of the sunlight energy driving the food web, so we might as well raise the fish meal in water.

salmonid
05-01-2014, 12:43 PM
I don't think they can get blue fin in to reproduce in captivity.

If I were looking for making bank (like your buddy is) I would start a sturgeon aquaculture farm right here in Sacramento California.

Do you know how much $ that caviar goes for?

Shop :: Imperial Caviar :: Sterling Imperial Caviar - Our Products (http://www.sterlingcaviar.com/shop/imperial-caviar/sterling-imperial-caviar.html)

JoeReal
05-01-2014, 01:09 PM
I don't think they can get blue fin in to reproduce in captivity.

If I were looking for making bank (like your buddy is) I would start a sturgeon aquaculture farm right here in Sacramento California.

Do you know how much $ that caviar goes for?

Shop :: Imperial Caviar :: Sterling Imperial Caviar - Our Products (http://www.sterlingcaviar.com/shop/imperial-caviar/sterling-imperial-caviar.html)


Only if you can find a way to induce the caviar production much sooner. Scientists have now worked to coax the sturgeon to give out the caviar without operating on them nor killing them.

No-Kill Caviar Aims To Keep The Treat And Save The Sturgeon : The Salt : NPR (http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/03/07/287309630/no-kill-caviar-aims-to-keep-the-treat-and-save-the-sturgeon)

JoeReal
05-01-2014, 01:17 PM
This local Sacramento area guy, Michael Passmore, have been fish farming, white sturgeons included:

What we do - Passmore Ranch (http://passmoreranch.com/about/what-we-do/)

ThatOneGuy?
05-01-2014, 07:24 PM
I don't think they can get blue fin in to reproduce in captivity.

If I were looking for making bank (like your buddy is) I would start a sturgeon aquaculture farm right here in Sacramento California.

Do you know how much $ that caviar goes for?

Shop :: Imperial Caviar :: Sterling Imperial Caviar - Our Products (http://www.sterlingcaviar.com/shop/imperial-caviar/sterling-imperial-caviar.html)

Yes that is true. So far the success in getting them to reproduce in captivity is very minimal with hatchlings barely surviving longer than six months because of the need to move in the open ocean. At least that's what my buddy told me because he spent a year in studying abroad in Tokyo University. Overall, I'm kind of pessimistic about the whole raising Bluefins Tuna in captivity for food but the evidence is so compelling that the Japanese are willing to pay big money for Bluefins regardless of whether they're "fatten" in a pen, wild, or etc. As long as it's Bluefin, the Japanese will pay TOP dollars for them and now in Tsukiji there are even labels describing the methods of captured and if it's "pen" raised.

I've told him countless times that Sturgeon is the way to go especially with the caviar selling the way it is legally or illegally on the market. The demand is way high but yet he insist on going an alternate route because he insists that it's the "radicals" who got this country moving, not the guys who play it safe waiting for something to happen. After today, I decided oh the heck with it! I hate having to be the stepping stone for somebody's else dream but maybe it's worth the shot so I began the lobbying process already... Maybe one day we can implement "truck" tuna into the ocean just like we with rainbow trout right?!:1fishshark5rv:

redneckpunk
05-01-2014, 07:36 PM
I don't think they can get blue fin in to reproduce in captivity.

If I were looking for making bank (like your buddy is) I would start a sturgeon aquaculture farm right here in Sacramento California.

Do you know how much $ that caviar goes for?

Shop :: Imperial Caviar :: Sterling Imperial Caviar - Our Products (http://www.sterlingcaviar.com/shop/imperial-caviar/sterling-imperial-caviar.html)

There's actually already one here in Sac. I wont give the location because they have had issues in the past with break-ins and people stealing not only the cavier but also the fish.

~RNP

salmonid
05-01-2014, 07:55 PM
I know, RNP. We work with that company I posted the link to. I was out there last year helping with a study. All of their fish came from sturgeon originally caught on the Sac river back in the day.

They have a very professional operation and are great folks!

My point was that at the prices they get for the caviar, there could well be room for more area sturgeon farms.

Best,


There's actually already one here in Sac. I wont give the location because they have had issues in the past with break-ins and people stealing not only the cavier but also the fish.

~RNP

redneckpunk
05-01-2014, 08:20 PM
I know, RNP. We work with that company I posted the link to. I was out there last year helping with a study. All of their fish came from sturgeon originally caught on the Sac river back in the day.

They have a very professional operation and are great folks!

My point was that at the prices they get for the caviar, there could well be room for more area sturgeon farms.

Best,

The link didnt show up in my feed otherwise I wouldnt have posted. :embarassed: I was out there a couple months ago, cool facility. First time I had to go out there I had no clue what the place was or that it was even there.

There is another in the Merced area as well
Central Valley Aqua Farm :: About Us (http://centralvalleyaquafarm.com/index.php/about/)

A little off topic but Ive been trying to research a facility my family visited in the late 70's when I was 8-10 years old that was an actual hatchery for sturgeon. I remember the long cement races with gravel bottoms and watching the fish burrow in with their tails to lay the eggs. I cannot remember the location though. I know we were on a trip to Dunsmuir and for some reason Im thinking it was in Red Bluff area but cant find anything. I will be down in Bay Area this weekend and if I remember I will ask my mom where it was.

~RNP

salmonid
05-01-2014, 09:15 PM
Nah, it's all good discussion, redneck! I didn't know about the place in Merced. Our department at UCD has ties with lots of the sturgeon aquaculture farms from California to Idaho, probably other places as well? I'm not in that line of research to know a whole lot about it though. Although an enterprising young person could make a serious go of it here, I think!

This guy mentioned below started it all back in the 70's or 80's, but I'm not familiar enough with the history to know where you saw that early hatchery.


In 1977, Serge Doroshov, a Soviet scientist and sturgeon expert, defected from the Soviet Union, migrating to the Sacramento area to work in the Animal Science department at University of California, Davis. Sharing his aquaculture experience in Russia—where caviar-making methods were long shrouded in Iron Curtain secrecy—Mr. Doroshov sponsored studies on sturgeon biology that allowed the local caviar industry to be developed within a relatively short time. So brief, in fact, that The Fishery owner Ken Beer, a former grad student of Mr. Doroshov, said "We've now got a 10-year head start on everybody."

The Great California Caviar Rush - WSJ.com (http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748703655404576292990600552436)


Best,


The link didnt show up in my feed otherwise I wouldnt have posted. :embarassed: I was out there a couple months ago, cool facility. First time I had to go out there I had no clue what the place was or that it was even there.

There is another in the Merced area as well
Central Valley Aqua Farm :: About Us (http://centralvalleyaquafarm.com/index.php/about/)

A little off topic but Ive been trying to research a facility my family visited in the late 70's when I was 8-10 years old that was an actual hatchery for sturgeon. I remember the long cement races with gravel bottoms and watching the fish burrow in with their tails to lay the eggs. I cannot remember the location though. I know we were on a trip to Dunsmuir and for some reason Im thinking it was in Red Bluff area but cant find anything. I will be down in Bay Area this weekend and if I remember I will ask my mom where it was.

~RNP

redneckpunk
05-01-2014, 09:36 PM
Great article! Never realized how big a role the Sac region plays in Caviar

~RNP

dsa2780
05-15-2014, 07:59 AM
Interesting topic. I really think that your friend will have a really really hard time if he ever attempted to kickstart a farm raised pelagic program. Not only with getting the fish to actually not totally die due to lack of a natural environment and the ratio of bait that those fish need to eat like you said to put on one pound, but with all of the legal issues that will go along with this and the opposition that he will get from people who see aquaculture as a threat to natural fisheries. I'm one of those people who would oppose it, simply because like you said, messing with nature especially in regards to fish has created massive problems in the past 20 years. Atlantic "salmon" anyone? Imagine that program of the aquaadvantage salmon, but with pacific pelagic species.

AquAdvantage salmon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AquAdvantage_salmon)


Aquaculture was something that worked a lot better when people didn't try to gain monopolies and profit off of the entire subjugation of a species and as the aqua-advantage company did, even going as far as manipulating genetic structure of a majestic fish like the Atlantic salmon to simply make it more lucrative.

I never buy farm or wild caught fish. If I haven't hooked it and cut the gills, I'm not eating it. There's too much greed and disregard for entire species for me to feel good about after eating an Atlantic salmon fillet.

I think it would be really cool if people actually started eating carp again since the entire eastern half of the country is loaded with silver asian carp. That stuff goes for big money in asian nations and as I've seen it, it's actually pretty good tasting. If American consumers and even the culinary world raised support of eating these things, we'd not only be eating wild caught fish, but we'd be helping to slowly but surely remove them from the waters they invaded.

Same thing with normal carp. Know why they're here? Germans and Czech immigrants loved eating them at Christmas in Europe. As soon as bass and trout started being planted, people all of a sudden lost taste for them and then came the stigma that carp are "trash fish" or as some people think "only fit to be a game fish". I plan on eating my share of smaller ones when they're done spawning in the rivers I fish in the next week or so. They're literally everywhere.

Aquaculture is something that is a double edged sword to me. On one hand, yes we can have access to new fish from places not near us and we never have to go out to wet a line to catch them, and you know, if we really wanted to, we could solve the problem of silver and common carp by getting people more informed and interested on eating them like they've learned to in places like Australia. The rivers that are being infested by these large fish that can offer lots of protein and culinary value, which is the overall purpose of aquaculture, should be our natural fish farms.

Your friend should invest his time in sustainable local fish like sturgeon, or possibly try to find a way into pioneering a carp business. I'd buy carp jerky, carp fillets and even carp fertilizer. Again, it's an all too common fish that since roman times has been a major protein source that everyone loved. And best of all, it's not that farm raised "salmon" or feces eating tilapia.

The day I see farm raised pelagics is the day that I will totally lose faith in the ability for humans to understand cause and effect, even more than I do already.


I'd be down to help out the east and clean their silver carp out and would be down to start supporting the harvest of common carp here in CA to a point to where they aren't as prevalent. Fish over 10lbs would be used as fertilizer due to their potential higher mercury content and fish under that size could be turned into food items. We all know the majority of mercury content studies are obscured as hell anyways...I'm sure carp if eaten once or twice a week wouldn't make you start seeing unicorns or whatnot.


Just my early morning thoughts on aquaculture.


tl;dr Don't farm pelagics and other natural fish, and focus an effort on cleaning up our rivers from these potential sources of protein that are becoming super common.