I have been to a hundred academic / industrial conferences in my life. I've chaired a dozen of these national and international gatherings. The Aquaculture America 2018 Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, where I am today, is the probably the best organized meeting I've ever experienced. It's also large, for on the first morning, it was announced by the moderator that there were 1900 registered participants. On further check, that might have been an exaggeration, although, for sure, there must be at least 1500 conventioneers.
366 pounds/year...yes, a pound/day. #2 is Iceland with Japan at #9. The world average in 2013 was 41 pounds. USA? Did not make the list, although another source had us at 16 pounds/person/year. Both Maldives and the U.S. have a life expectancy around 79, but life must be particularly stressful for this Republic in the Indian Ocean, for leaders are considering moving all 350,000 citizens to Australia because of global climate induced sea level rise.
dropped from 16.6 pounds/person in 2004. Americans eat twice as much cheese and about as much seafood annually as apples, watermelon and turkey. We like meat (pounds/person annually), dairy products, vegetables and bread:
- beef 52
- chicken 59
- dairy products 600
- vegetables 480
- fruits 250
- flour/cereal 175
As mentioned earlier, aquaculture already accounts for half the consumed seafood, and open ocean cultivation is only beginning. It has been calculated that farming only 0.015% of our ocean space could produce as much seafood as all the current world's wild marine fisheries.
Global wild catches have remained unchanged for the past 20 years. According to the United Nations.
- 49.5 China
- 9.4 Peru
- 6.3 India
- 5.6 Indonesia
- 5.4 USA
- 5.0 Chile
- 4.8 Japan
- China 64.8
- India 10.4
- Indonesia 6.7
- Peru 6.5
- United States 5.9
- Chile 5.5
- Japan 5.3
- Thailand 4.2
- Vietnam 4.1
- Russia 3.7
few bits of info about tilapia:
- Tilapia was prominent in the diet of the early Egyptians, and there are species growing there that can be two feet long.
- Remember the parable of Jesus starting with 5 loaves of bread and two fish to feed 5,000 people? I won't editorialize on how this really happened, but did you know that the fish were tilapia? The debate is whether it was the Jordan Saint Peter's fish (Oreochromis aureus) or Galilee Saint Peter fish (Sarotherodon galilaeus), which today are known as tilapia, the Miracle Fish.
- There are nearly 100 tilapia species.
- In 1990 only 423 million pounds were harvested in the world. In 2017, the production grew to 14.1 billion pounds, representing 11.6% of finfish aquacultured. China and Egypt are the two largest producers.
- Tilapia is at trophic level 2, compared to 2.8 for pangasius, 4.7 for catfish and 4.5 for salmon:
- I mention pangasius because, while it is #6 today in seafood produced, with shrimp #1, salmon #2, tuna #3 and tilapia #4, in 2032, one prediction has the following:
- #1 shrimp
- #2 tilapia
- #3 pangasius
- #4 kelp
- #5 cobia
- #6 salmon
- 90% of pangasius come from Vietnam. There are controversies:
- the Mekong Delta is badly polluted, and the product is dangerous--this has been shown to be largely untrue
- this fish is many times substituted for more expensive fish in markets and restaurants--probably true, for the flesh is not much different from cod, haddock and a range of white-flesh fish, and is sometimes also called basa, tra and swai
- There are 22 species of pangasius, and they are related to catfish.
- Finally, yes, there is a red tilapia, usually genetically engineered for this color:
The conference itself most focused on the nitty gritty science and very specific applications of marine seafood products, from ornamentals to fin fish, from infections to feeds, and details of little interest to me. The session I participated in on Offshore Aquaculture was directed by Benny Tetsuzan Ron, a member of Blue Hawaii International.
I opened the program with a powerpoint on the Pacific International Ocean Station largely produced by Leighton Chong, with input by Benny and me. My sense is that the subject matter flew right over the head of the people sitting there, who mostly couldn't comprehend our lofty goals. They were into the fine detail of the R&D and reality of running an operating company. I would imagine that most of the audience wondered why we were on the program.
Neil Anthony Sims (behind Benny) of Kampachi Farms, who articulated on What's Wrong with Offshore Aquaculture Permitting? ...And How to Make it Right. He also leads Ocean Stewards, a trade organization for offshore aquaculture, not to be confused with another organization of about the same name, which is into ocean conservation and education.
Langly Gace presented The Complete Open Ocean Farming Platform. You would think that would be close to what the Pacific International Ocean Station might be, but, no, this is InnoSea Systems, a rather prominent company in aquaculture, and this is their current platform:
Like others here, they deal with today and profits. If the 1900 or so here do not do their job over the next decade, there can be no Blue Revolution.
After the session, Tetsuzan Benny Ron and I had dinner at Hexx, a decent restaurant in the Paris Hotel. We agreed that we might not have been today appreciated, but someone has to alert them to the future, and perhaps we planted a seed or two. Benny is an uncommon man, and I'm glossing over his background, maybe on purpose, but he is a former special forces commando, with a PhD in Genetics, holding responsible positions in his home country of Israel, but decided to become an internationalist, moving to the University of Hawaii, then on to become a consultant headquartered in Texas, traveling widely around the world. See that Tetsuzan? He has lived in Japan and has a Zen alliance. His son is with the Boston Finance Group, while his daughter has a PhD specializing in the brain. He remains linked with Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. We discussed strategy for Phase 2 to attract the appropriate billionaire into the Blue Revolution.
I had an excellent combination of baked artichoke/spinach/cheese and Caesar salad, with a glass of Pinot Grigio: