Stavanger, Norway – In certain regions, aquaculture producers face a growing challenge in terms of access to safe, clean water. As a key part of its ongoing commitment to improve the sustainability of the industry, Skretting has extended its scope beyond the supply of sophisticated and sustainable feeds by creating a new global product line – AquaCare – specifically focused on providing practical solutions to improve water quality for fish and shrimp farming systems.
Water is a critical resource facing increasing demand- and climate-based burdens. With the United Nations charting that there has been a six-fold increase in the worldwide demand for water over the last 100 years, responsible water stewardship is now a global priority.
“Before a fish or shrimp needs feed, it needs water. Depending on the initial state of the water, improved water quality will not only enable farmers to achieve better animal welfare, but can also support them to improve results. The Skretting team and the AquaCare range aims to help fish and shrimp farmers everywhere. The safer we can make the industry today, the more we will safeguard its long-term future,” said Tonje Dueland, Global Product Manager at Skretting.
Through this important diversification, Skretting’s AquaCare team will focus on developing long-term partnerships with companies and institutes engaged in the fight for water quality improvement, with an initial focus in countries confronted with a lack of good water quality. The aim of these collaborations is to consolidate the knowledge on water and use it to accelerate progress within the aquaculture sector.
Improving quality, improving efficiency
The first AquaCare product to reach customers is a sustainable solution that tackles water quality issues, and provides a platform for significant efficiency and productivity gains. The simple-to-use probiotic is designed to work preventatively, with the objective to load the water in pond farming systems with beneficial bacteria that prevent the same space from being occupied by potentially harmful bacteria.
Furthermore, the bacteria improve water quality by actively utilising ammonia which is known to be lethal for fish at high concentrations, and consequently reduce the need for water exchange. Organic material, faeces, and small amounts of uneaten feed that would otherwise end up as sludge are consumed by the bacteria, giving faster preparation of ponds for the following cycle.
AquaCare’s launch has been particularly timely for the aquaculture industries of Egypt and Vietnam, which are largely based on the production of tilapia and shrimp, respectively. Egyptian farmers have been battling reduced water quality for a number of years. In Vietnam, meanwhile, an increasing number of Vietnamese shrimp growers are moving from low intensity farming towards “super-intensive” production, which requires optimal water quality to reduce the presence of potentially-harmful pathogens.
Right solution, right time
With some very promising initial results, Skretting’s teams in both Egypt and Vietnam are confident that AquaCare Control will add huge value to their local aquaculture industry. As well as improving biosecurity levels, the reduced water renewal rate and improved pond soil can reduce production costs.
“Our customers are always keen to learn about, and to contribute to, our latest solutions. Aquaculture’s challenges extend beyond feed, and water quality is such an important issue, which is why we are extending our expertise and product portfolio in this area. Skretting customers now have a one-stop-shop for their feed and water solution needs – the two work hand-in-hand and that brings something new and very important to the market,” says Ayman Rostom, General Manager of Skretting Egypt.
A healthy environment is crucial to maximise both farmer’s profitability and animal welfare, and it is expected that AquaCare will have a positive effect on farm performance in the Vietnamese market.
“AquaCare is an excellent new solution for Vietnam as a modern aquaculture producer. Through the water quality support that it will give farmers, we are confident that it will make a significant contribution to the industry’s progress. At the same time, our technical team is on-hand to support farmers nationwide with their water quality monitoring, and we have created a working group that comprises farmers and our technicians who exchange information related to water quality and other issues,” said Marc Le Poul, General Manager of Skretting South Asia.
AquaCare Control is the first in what will become a range of new products launched by Skretting, dedicated to improve water quality for the whole aquaculture industry.