Friday, 31 August 2012

Ocean Health Index signals new way of thinking about the sea

The Ocean Health Index, published online by Nature, signals a new way of thinking about our relationship with the ocean.
The Index is the first comprehensive, annual assessment of the benefits that a healthy ocean provides through 10 goals, which emphasise the human-ocean relationship. The overall global score is 60 out of 100, indicating that this relationship is out of balance and unsustainable.  
The Ocean Health Index is a collaborative project engaging over 65 scientists and ocean experts.  Consequently, no single entity owns it; the Index is an independent brand. 
More information...

The Earth flag is not an official flag, since ...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Thursday, 30 August 2012

Interview: Helena Vieira, CEO Bioalvo

Today we are pleased to have a new interview from one of the participants at the BioMarine Business Convention.  Helena Vieira is the CEO of Bioalvo, a biotech company for natural products.  Here she tells us about the company and its forthcoming role at BioMarine.

What is BIOALVO?
Bioalvo, the Biotech for Natural Products, is a Portuguese start-up company with a privileged access to the biggest continental platform in Europe – Portugal’s.

Bioalvo develops fully integrated biotech solutions to maximize natural products market applications in areas as diverse as cosmetics, household products, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals or even industrial.

Bioalvo holds unique and proprietary microorganisms natural extracts collections form the unique Portuguese deep Ocean (PharmaBUG, LUSOMAREXTRACT) and Land (LUSOEXTRACT) ecosystems and couples these assets with its unique and patented discovery technology GPS D2, its extensive assay development and HTS robotics capacity as well as production and full development capacities in house, providing its partners with a one-stop-shop solution for their innovation in natural product development. By using Bioalvo’s organization as a fully integrated or modular partner in the different stages of a novel ingredient development our partners are bringing a natural product solution closer and quicker to market. In the last year Bioalvo has identified and is developing novel and innovative ingredients such as a new marine botox-like ingredients with topical action for pharmaceutical and cosmetical applications, novel marine natural anti-UV protectors for cosmetic and textile applications and novel marine neuroprotective and anti-inflammatories compounds with tremendous potential for several other applications. Mostly, at Bioalvo we thrive to find sustainable and natural solutions in the Portuguese ocean and ecosystems to solve current society problems, making everyone’s life healthier, better and more natural. In 2011 the company was awarded the highest national prize for biodiversity and sustainability (BES BIODIVERSIDADE 2011) and was ranked at the TOP 6 best companies in Europe’s Most Innovative Biotech SME Award 2011.

You have a unique business model, could you elaborate on your development strategy?
“It’s not the strongest or the fittest that survive but the most adaptable”(Charles Darwin). In a world were society is evermore demanding and conscious and where the biotech innovation model is under strain on multiple fronts this conclusion by Charles Darwin couldn’t be more appropriate to what BIOALVO has done. Portugal has always been connected to the sea by geographical and historical reasons, but is not yet a major player in the biotech arena. In recent years the ocean has been in the spotlight as a key source of untapped bioactives, derived both from marine macro and microorganisms. However, a sustainable and profitable screening and production of innovative bioactives is essential for the success in incorporating these ingredients into a marketed product and ensuring a sales stream. BIOALVO has become a strong player in this market, offering to its pharmaceutical, cosmetics, household or nutraceutical partners an unprecedented access to one of the world’s richest sources of bioactives: The Portuguese continental shelf and the Mid-Atlantic Rift off Portugal’s Azores islands.

We see a lot of interest and growing activity in the sector of marine microorganisms.
Do you think there is room for new comers?

This is a sector where there is still so much to be developed and discovered, and therefore there is room (and actually the need!) for many players. New markets cannot develop without dynamics, competition and coopetition or if only a couple of players are acting on it. So the more new players will work on marine bacteria, the more this sector is likely to to take off and deliver real useful innovative solutions!

What kind of partnerships are you looking for at BioMarine London 2012?

BIOALVO will be participating in 2 think-thanks, on the women debate and will also make a company presentation and will be available for one-2-one meetings so, we are eager to meet potential partners at the convention and explore mutually beneficial new projects. Come and visit us in BIOMARINE BUSINESS CONVENTION 2012 in London and find out our latest developments and contributions to a better world!

Read the full text here.

You can also find out more about the BioMarine Business Convention, October 24-25, 2012 here.
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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Algae as jet oil?

We could soon be flying on jets powered by algae thanks to a new US plant which can convert moist algae into biofuel.
Pacific Algae Oil, which is made up of the Algae International Group and Pacific Oil Products,
uses wastewater from dairies to produce the algae. 
This is not the first time algae has been earmarked for aviation.  In 2009, a Continental Boeing 737-800 went on a 90-minute test flight using algae biofuel.  Read more...  
Continental Airlines Boeing 737-800 N71411 dep...
Continental Airlines Boeing 737-800 N71411 departing LAX. (Photo credit: Wikipedia).  Used for illustration purposes only

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Friday, 24 August 2012

Chance discovery leads to salmon-based skin cream

If you thought salmon was just for eating, think again...
A chance discovery by salmon hatchery farmers has led to a line of skin care products which help skin look younger and relieves eczema.
Salmon hatchery workers reported that their hands became soft after sorting salmon eggs despite the prolonged exposure to cold water. This piqued the interest of scientists at the University of Bergen who found that unique proteases and proteins are released in surrounding water when salmon eggs hatch.
Aqua Bio Technology, Norway has put this discovery to use in its flagship product Aquabeautine XL, a cream which the makers claim perfects the complexion with an improved, refined texture and a healthy glow.
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Oncorhynchus gorbuscha
Oncorhynchus gorbuscha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BioMarine Participants: Ricardo Calado

Ricardo Calado, Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) – University of Aveiro – Portugal

Ricardo Calado was born in 1976 in Cascais, Portugal and since 2005 holds a PhD on Animal Biology (specialisation in Animal biotechnology) by the University of Lisbon. Currently he is a Researcher at the Department of Biology & Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM) of the University of Aveiro; He is the co-lecturer of Sustainable Aquaculture: Environmental, Social and Economical Perspectives, in the PhD program “PhD of the Sea” (Doutoramento do Mar) of the University of Vigo/Porto/Aveiro and the Lecturer of Life Support Systems and Captive Stocking of Marine Organisms in the MSc of Applied Biology of the University of Aveiro; He is the principal Investigator or team member of several national and international research projects on aquaculture and marine biotechnology. He has authored 3 books and 60 papers in ISI journals. His current research interests are the aquaculture of crustaceans, the aquaculture of marine ornamental species (namely shrimp and corals), the traceability of aquaculture products using molecular tools and the sustainable production of marine invertebrates biomass for feed production and biotechnological applications, namely the screening/production of marine bioactive compounds (including those synthesised by obligate microbial symbionts).

For more information on participants at the BioMarine Business Convention click here.

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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Cyanotech reports financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2013

Cyanotech Corporation, which specialises in microalgae-based, high-value nutrition and health products, has announced its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2013, ended June 30, 2012.
English: Spirulina (dietary supplement) tablet...
English: Spirulina (dietary supplement) tablets are made from cyanobacteria genus Arthrospira. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Video: Using algae as fuel

Algae is something of an obsession of mine so I was really pleased to discover this site which covers everything algae.  One of my favourite articles is this video on the development of using algae as fuel and to help absorb C02.  Sounds great but these things come with a hefty price tag...

Monday, 20 August 2012

2012 Novus WAS Internship Challenge: fancy going to Vietnam?

Novus International, Inc. is pleased to announce the sponsorship of the 2012 Novus World Aquaculture Society (WAS) Internship program. Aquaculture has a bright future, as it represents the fastest growing animal production industry. Novus recognises the need for the industry to attract and educate talented individuals to become future aqua research scientists and nutritionists. This internship program represents an investment by Novus into the future of the aquaculture industry. All eligible candidates are encouraged to apply.
Challenge Topic:
Culture of low cost freshwater fish (carp, tilapia or catfish) is rapidly expanding worldwide and provides a tremendous opportunity to provide high quality animal protein for feeding growing world populations.  As production expands, price pressures have increased on growers demanding improved efficiencies. Suggest an experiment which will test a technology aimed at providing alternatives for feed producers which can help reduce production costs through increased productivity, growth and/or feed conversion efficiencies while controlling or reducing feed cost. Provide a background literature review that focuses on the mode of action behind the experimental hypothesis. 
Proposal to be submitted by November 15, 2012 describing an innovative testable proposal in the area described above.  Proposals should be limited to two to three typewritten pages plus references.  A one page CV of the candidate should be attached to the proposal. Applicant must be enrolled in a University MSc or PhD program at the time of application.
Ho Chi Minh City's Downtown at night
Ho Chi Minh City's Downtown at night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Selection of Novus intern will be announced at Aquaculture 2013, Nashville TN.  A digital photograph of the intern will be needed for the announcement.
Following selection, the 4 week internship will be scheduled June-Aug 2013. The intern will work with The Novus Aquaculture Research team on a current project being carried out at the Novus Aqua Research Center, Vietnam.  Vietnam is the 3rd largest aqua production country in the world. Our Novus Aqua Research Center is integrally connected to the aqua industry and allows the intern to learn about and experience aquaculture in Vietnam through interactions with the Novus research and operations teams.  
The award will include:
·       Travel to and from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
·       Lodging in a University student dormitory in Vietnam during the internship
·       Per diem of $1000 to help defray living costs in Vietnam
Submit proposals by email to Lorraine Magney at Novus.
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BioMarine Participants: Craig Browdy

Craig Browdy, executive manager for aquaculture research for Novus International Inc
Craig Browdy is a past president of the World Aquaculture Society and was a marine scientist for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources for 19 years. He served as assistant director of the Marine Resources Research Institute, leading the aquaculture section including the Institute’s Waddell Mariculture Research and Development Center.
He has a BA and BSc from the University of Maryland and a PhD from Tel Aviv University. His research over the past 25 years has focused on the application of aquaculture technologies to improve availability of seafood resources, specifically focusing on financial and environmental sustainability of marine shrimp culture. The work has applied basic science and innovative technology development to advance production systems, improve health management and enhance product quality.
He has collaborated with scientists and has been a consultant on aquaculture projects in several countries in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Dr. Browdy is now executive manager for aquaculture research for Novus International Inc. leading the company’s development and application of sustainable nutrition and health solutions for the global aquaculture supply chain.
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Friday, 17 August 2012

Worldwatch Report: Aquaculture Tries to Fill World’s Insatiable Appetite for Seafood

Press release:
Total global fish production, including both wild capture fish and aquaculture, reached an all-time high of 154 million tons in 2011, and aquaculture is set to top 60 percent of production by 2020, according to new research conducted for Worldwatch's Vital Signs Online service. Wild capture was 90.4 million tons in 2011, up 2 percent from 2010. Aquaculture, in contrast, has been expanding steadily for the last 25 years and saw a rise of 6.2 percent in 2011, according to report authors Danielle Nierenberg and Katie Spoden.

Fish farms
Fish farms (Photo credit: mattroyal)
Growth in fish farming can be a double-edged sword, however. Despite its potential to affordably feed an ever-growing global population, it can also contribute to problems of habitat destruction, waste disposal, invasions of exotic species and pathogens, and depletion of wild fish stock.
Humans ate 130.8 million tons of fish in 2011. The remaining 23.2 million tons of fish went to non-food uses such as fishmeal, fish oil, culture, bait, and pharmaceuticals. The human consumption figure has increased 14.4 percent over the last five years. And consumption of farmed fish has risen tenfold since 1970, at an annual average of 6.6 percent per year. Asia consumes two thirds of the fish caught or grown for consumption.

The fish sector is a source of income and sustenance for millions of people worldwide. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, for every one job in the fish sector, three to four additional jobs are produced in secondary activities, such as fish processing, marketing, maintenance of fishing equipment, and other related industries. And on average each person working in the fish sector is financially responsible for three dependents. In combination, then, jobs in the primary and secondary fish sectors support the livelihoods of 660 million to 820 million people—10–12 percent of global population.

Although Africa is only the fourth largest producer of fish in the world, its water resources are highly sought after by larger, more-competitive fishing trawlers. Extreme overfishing occurs when foreign trawlers buy fishing licenses from African countries for marine water use. In West African waters, foreign trawlers pose a threat because factory ships from the United Kingdom, other countries within the European Union, Russia, and Saudi Arabia can outcompete the technologies used by local fishers. In Senegal, for example, a local fisher can catch a few tons of fish each day in the typical 30-foot pirogue. In contrast, factory ships from industrial countries catch hundreds of tons daily in their 10,000-ton factory ships.

Wild fish stocks are at a dangerously unsustainable level. As of 2009 (the most recent year with data), 57.4 percent of fisheries were estimated to be fully exploited—meaning current catches were at or close to their maximum sustainable yield, with no room for further expansion. Of the remaining fisheries in jeopardy, around 30 percent were deemed overexploited, while a little less than 13 percent were considered to be not fully exploited.

A number of government initiatives give some hope to a future of sustainable fishing. In the United States, the Magnuson-Stevens Act mandated that overfished stocks be restored; as of 2012, two-thirds of U.S. stocks are fished sustainably and only 17 percent are fished at overexploited levels. In New Zealand, 69 percent of stocks are above management targets, but Australia only reports 12 percent of stocks at overexploitation levels due to increased government fishery standards.
To maintain the current level of fish consumption in the world, aquaculture will need to provide an additional 23 million tons of farmed fish by 2020. To produce this additional amount, fish farming will also have to provide the necessary feed to grow the omnivorous and carnivorous fish that people want. Aquaculture is being pressured to provide both food and feed because of the oceans’ overexploited fisheries.

Continually increasing fish production, from both aquaculture and fisheries, raises many environmental concerns. If aquaculture continues to grow without constraints, it could lead to degradation of land and marine habitats, chemical pollution from fertilizers and antibiotics, the negative impacts of invasive species, and a lessened fish resistance to disease due to close proximity and intensive farming practices. To prevent these problems, policymakers, fishers, and consumers need to find alternative sources for fish feed, combat illegal fishing, encourage more-sustainable practices in aquaculture, acknowledge the potential effects of climate change on the oceans, and think critically about what and how much fish to consume.
Further highlights from the report:
  • In 2011, inland aquaculture increased 6.2 percent to reach 44.3 million tons, while marine aquaculture increased 6.6 percent, to 19.3 million tons.
  • Fish production rose 6.4 percent in Asia in 2010 (the latest year with regional data), amounting to 121.3 million tons. In 2010, Europe, a distant second, produced 9.7 percent (16.4 million tons) of the global fish supply.  
  • In 2010, some 54.8 million people were directly engaged full-time or part-time in capture fisheries or aquaculture.

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Thursday, 16 August 2012

Plans for $100m biomarine research project

Plans are afoot a $100 million redevelopment of Somerset Station, Massachusetts, USA into a premiere biomarine research and waterfront revitalisation project.
According to a report in the Herald, the centrepiece of the project is the creation of a privately funded, for-profit Ocean Research and Innovation Center at Mount Hope Bay that would provide pre-permitted fresh and saltwater bioscience laboratory facilities for researchers and entrepreneurs.  Read more...
English: Map of Mount Hope Bay and surrounding...
English: Map of Mount Hope Bay and surrounding areas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Aker BioMarine reports high quarterly sales

Aker BioMarine announced that it has achieved its highest quarterly sales of Superba™ krill to date: 74 metric tons, of which a significant proportion was sold to customers in the Asia/Pacific region. Aker BioMarine is experiencing strong demand growth for both its dietary supplement Superba krill and the feed ingredient Qrill™, and is upwardly adjusting the company’s 2012 sales guidance. 
The company revealed that it has signed a distribution agreement for Qrill™Aqua with European supplier of animal food ingredients, BioMar, in May.  Read more...
The pleopods (swimming legs, or "swimmere...
The pleopods (swimming legs, or "swimmerets") of a krill (here a member of Euphausia superba, the Antarctic krill). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Offshore windfarm consultation, Scotland

An application for the 450MW Neart na Gaoithe Offshore Wind Farm has been submitted to Marine Scotland.  The project is approximately 15.5km east of Fife Ness and will comprise between 64 and 125 wind turbines.  More information...
Gunfleet Sands Offshore Wind Farm, 4 km from G...
Gunfleet Sands Offshore Wind Farm, UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Monday, 13 August 2012

Eat seaweed to stay slim

Seaweed bread helps slimming says research.  Scientists from Sheffield Hallam University, UK found that men who ate seaweed bread for breakfast consumed 179 fewer calories a day.  The seaweed replicates the taste of salt but contains much less sodium.  A low-sodium diet also reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.  Read more...

TomCorser Seaweed 2
TomCorser Seaweed 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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Friday, 10 August 2012

BioMarine Participants: Olivier Bourtourault

Olivier Bourtourault is the Founder of Aleor, a French SME developing seaweeds culture and processing in Brittany, France. Engineer specialised in Biology, he has studied in France and Japan before creating Aleor in 2007, which developed patented processes for seaweeds off-shore culture and processing. It offers leading quality products and services for the cosmetics and food companies, and also is a partner with energetics and waste management companies.
If you're good at French, check out the Aleor website here.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Video: Franciso Gomes, Novus

Novus International is one of the main sponsors of the BioMarine Business Convention 2012, to be held in London this October.  In this video, Francisco Gomes, Global Aquaculture Manager, describes the company's solutions for aquaculture agriculture.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Knock on effects of US drought on aquatic life

Anyone with an eye on the news is bound to have heard that parts of the US are experiencing the worst drought since 1956.  But what impact could this severe dry have on the seas and the life within them?  Jennifer Mueller explores this very idea here.
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English: Drought
English: Drought (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friday, 3 August 2012

BioMarine Resources Blog reaches a milestone

Today we are thrilled to announce that the BioMarine Resources blog has reached 1000 views.

Thank you to all you readers out there who keep coming back for the latest BioMarine news.  Why not tell us what you think by commenting on posts.  We'd love to hear from you


Webinar: Algae Biofuel and Wastewater Treatment

Algae Biofuel and Wastewater Treatment - Interactive Web Conference
BlueTech Research is pleased to announce the details of the next interactive web-conference in the BlueTech® Webinar Series entitled: Algae Biofuel & Wastewater Treatment. The Event will be held on August 9th, 11:00 - 12:30 PM EDT; 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM BST.

The webinar will focus on the recent developments in the algal biofuel industry concerning wastewater treatment.

Growth monitor in algae for biofuel raceway
Growth monitor in algae for biofuel raceway (Photo credit: agrilifetoday)

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Wednesday, 1 August 2012

BioMarine News: Eurofins presentation

Dr. Michael Kühnel, graduated in molecular biology, is Sales Manager at Eurofins GfA Lab Service GmbH, Germany, today's worldwide leading dioxin laboratory.
He is responsible for the GMP services of the analytical laboratory and specially focused on aquaculture customers.
Before joining Eurofins in 2010 he has hold several sales positions in companies focusing on molecular biology, pathology and analytical services for medical device and pharmaceutical companies.

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