An element of automation already exists in many areas of agriculture. Precision agriculture, autosteer and controlled traffic farming are technologies enabled by global positioning systems (GPS). GPS is already the norm on many farms. Applied to traditional farming equipment such as tractors, harvesters, ploughs and sprayers, it has enhanced labour efficiency and helped curb costly waste by enabling large-scale crop farmers to harvest and spray fields with pesticide and herbicide with centimetre accuracy.
Sunderland Marine Mutual Insurance Company Ltd (SMMI) has been insuring aquaculture operations since 1986. To assist the underwriting team and to provide risk management assistance to its Members, the in-house technical service of Aquaculture Risk Management (ARM) was also established at the same time. The core thinking behind this development was to actively risk manage aquaculture operations by conducting site visits, for the benefit of both the Insured and Insurers. A survey of the production facility is crucial in order that we can understand the operation and therefore be in a position to offer pertinent advice.
Experts have always considered the vast oceans as our salvation with respect to food problems and increasing world population, merely because of their immensity. However, open seas (about 90%) are biological deserts. The main active areas (the remaining 10%) are: (1) the estuaries that act as traps for nutrients entering from freshwater flow, (2) upwelling areas where deep, cold water rich in nutrients is brought to the top and (3) waters overlying the continental shelves.
Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF) is an independent non-profit organization that promotes and supports responsible and sustainable aquaculture to alleviate poverty and hunger. We do this by teaching aquaculture techniques to the rural poor in developing countries, thereby improving their livelihoods. By teaching the poor to farm fish, we are training them in all aquaculture techniques, thereby assisting them to manage various risks that may arise (i.e., over-stocking, poor technical pond construction, inadequate equipment, incorrect species utilization, diseases, climate change and other natural impacts, husbandry methods, lack of adequate logistics, market fluctuations, etc.).
Despite its long history, the farming of aquatic foods has only been practiced at scale in recent decades and as a young, albeit now important, food sector there remains much to learn. By comparison with livestock and crops, we have a poor understanding of the biology of aquatic organisms and the kinds of environment that must be provided in order for farmed aquatic animals to thrive. Our knowledge of fish and shellfish nutrition and immunology is growing, but remains inadequate to always ensure animals are sufficiently well-fed to resist disease.
Amatikulu Prawns (Pty) Ltd operated as a commercial shrimp farm between 1989 to 2004 when market forces made producing shrimp unviable and the farm closed. The farm established the technical requirements from the existing scientific literature, consultancy, training courses and visits to other commercial farms. The farm had two sites (10 Ha and 24 Ha), two hatcheries, a HACCP certified processing plant and a feed mill.
Aquaculture is a high risk production sector. The industry’s growth has resulted in a concentration of production in key areas, with large loss events a feature of the sector. Insurance, where offered, tends to be expensive and the risk carried by the farmer is significant. New tools available to the farmer and risk professional enable better risk management and facilitate better management practices, codes of conduct, traceability and standard operational procedures. Being able to identify, monitor, and define risk enables the farmer to better control risks facing his operation and can result in reduced insurance premiums and wider coverage.
Aquaculture activities are increasing during the last decades. There are several challenges on the way but also great opportunities to generate protein for human consumption from aquatic farming activities to keep the needed supply for the world population. Farming production systems are more and more with evident pressure in attaining a sustainable process to generate expected food volumes with responsible practices. This is one of the greatest challenges and risks must be part of the planning and operating procedures. The following article focuses on risk management for aquaculture through GLOBALG.A.P. certification.
Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing primary food producing sectors today. Aquaculture in Asia and the Pacific region is now contributing more than 90% of global aquaculture production – about half of all fish consumed worldwide - and provides a very important source of livelihood for rural communities. Aquaculture, as an enterprise and industry, faces several risks including infectious diseases, food safety concerns, environmental degradation, social, trade and economic issues. Though not a risk per se, another key feature of the sector that makes risk management often difficult is the small scale nature of operators and operations.
Aquaculture activities in tropical South America are based mainly on the inland cultivation of white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) and the production of shellfishes, such as Peruvian scallop (Argopecten purpuratus) in Peru. Latin America aquaculture production has been recently estimated at around 1.8 million tons per year, totaling 3% of world production (FAO, 2012). Given its major part in the economy, aquaculture is also a very important employer with about 250,000 direct jobs. The major risk that aquaculture producers in the region currently face is infectious disease
Aquaculture has been the fastest growing animal protein production sector for the last 20 years. In 2010 world aquaculture production recorded an all-time high of 59.9 million metric tons of fish for human consumption, with an estimated value of US$119 billion (FAO 2012). Aquaculture’s contribution to world food fish production steadily increased from 9% in 1980 to 47% in 2010 and is projected to surpass that of capture fisheries by 2015 (OECD-FAO 2011). Behind the rapid aquaculture expansion is growing seafood demand driven by population growth, rising incomes and changing consumer preferences, and the continued trend of seafood demand growth represents investment opportunities.
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