Global seafood consumption has been increasing and demand is expected to continue growing in the future. In order to deliver safe, secure and delicious fish to its customers, the Nissui Group has been focusing on its aquaculture business both in and outside Japan. Outside of Japan, the Group is engaged in the aquaculture of salmon and trout, while in Japan the Group operates the aquaculture businesses of yellowtail, greater amberjack, tuna, coho salmon and mackerel, among others.
Furthermore, the Oita Marine Biological Technology Center of the Central Research Laboratory is conducting research and development specializing in aquaculture that translates into the sustainability of marine resources.
The Center contributes to the Nissui Group’s aquaculture business by conducting research on problems that threaten the stable growth of fish.
The Nissui Group has built a system to manage the health of fish in Japan named N-AHMS (NISSUI Aquaculture health management system). Under N-AHMS, standardization of inspection quality is pursued through the establishment of an in-house certification scheme for grade-A inspectors in charge of checking the health of fish, their instructors, etc. aimed at improving the accuracy and reliability of health checkups of fish.
|FY2020 (persons)||FY2021 (persons)|
|Instructors (Note 1)||12||11|
|Grade-A inspectors (Note 2)||21||25|
As of the end of March each year
Scope: Nissui Group’s all consolidated subsidiaries in Japan (aquaculture companies)
(Note 1) Instructors: Capable of training apprentice inspectors into grade-A inspectors.
(Note 2) Grade-A inspectors: Capable of arriving at the correct outcome by conducting health checkups of fish reared in fishing grounds.
The Nissui Group has entered into a contract with veterinarians, under which they provide treatment based on the results of health checkups performed by inspectors, manage the use of fisheries medicine and give guidance on epidemic prevention and health management.
The Nissui Group aims to reduce the escape of fish to zero with the understanding that fish escaping from farming sites has the risk of affecting the ecosystem. For this purpose, the Nissui Group will engage in the following initiatives.
|Number of escape incidents||Number of fish||Number of escape incidents||Number of fish|
Scope: All consolidated companies of the Nissui Group in Japan (aquaculture companies olny)
Ordinary feeding methods in aquaculture may cause deterioration in water quality at farming sites and their surrounding areas due to leftover feed. To address this, the Nissui Group is promoting the development of aquaculture technologies that alleviate the impact on the marine environment and minimize the effect on marine ecosystems, such as formula feed “EP feed,” which is highly digestible and not easily dissipated into the sea during feeding, and automatic feeding control system “Aqualingual®” which provides the appropriate amount of feed according to the appetite of the fish.
Aqualingual® Feeding System in Otsuchi-cho, Iwate Prefecture
|Vannamei (white) shrimp||Japan (Kagoshima prefecture)||「Research (i.e., feasibility study) is conducted on on-land farming based on the “closed biofloc method.” This reduces the amount of water used to the bare minimum required for raising shrimp and uses aggregates of microorganisms (i.e., bioflocs) in the rearing tank for water treatment.|
|Chub mackerel||Japan (Tottori prefecture)||The Nissui Group and Hitachi Zosen Corporation are engaged in the joint development of land-based recirculating aquaculture technology for chub mackerel. The environment is optimally controlled in terms of water temperature and water quality with the use of underground seawater and a recirculating water treatment system. As it does not use seawater sourced from the open sea, it reduces the risks of parasites such as anisakis.|
|Atlantic salmon||Denmark||In April 2020, Nippon Suisan (Europe) B.V., together with Marubeni Corporation, acquired a capital stake in Danish Salmon A/S, a company engaged in the business of farming salmon using recirculating aquaculture systems (“RAS”) in Denmark. It plans to complete expansion work in 2022 to increase its production scale from the current harvest volume of 1,000 tons to 2,700 tons.|
One of the diseases that pose a problem in the ocean farming of yellowtail, etc. is skin parasites, namely, capsalids, which parasitize the surface of the body of fish. Jointly with a veterinary pharmaceutical company, the Oita Marine Biological Technology Center has developed and put to practical use a method of removing skin parasites (capsalids) by bathing fish in a low-concentration hydrogen peroxide solution (1/3 of the concentration in normal use) in consideration of the safety of fish as well as the environment.
The spread of sea lice is a major challenge for the vast majority of businesses in the salmon farming industry worldwide. In Chile, where Nissui Group company Salmones Antártica S.A. (“SA”) runs an aquaculture business, a nationwide monitoring and control program is implemented by the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service (Sernapesca) to prevent the spread of sea lice infections through farming sites.
SA participates in the government’s control program and takes countermeasures against sea lice. In addition, SA is working on the following strategies to further improve the countermeasures against sea lice going forward:
In Nissui Group’s aquaculture operations, 100% of the total harvest volume (t) of all fish species is killed by brain-spiking in a short time which minimizes stress on fish. Furthermore, with respect to 96% of the total harvest volume (t), stunning (Note) is successfully executed in advance, or the execution of stunning is promoted by looking into improvements in the work procedures. In salmon farming, stunning is executed before killing the fish with respect to 100% of the total harvest volume (t).
(Note) Stunning: Desensitizing the fish by rendering it unconscious before killing it to prevent it from getting stressed.
In collaboration with NEC, which possesses cutting-edge artificial intelligence and Internet of Things technology, Nissui Group has developed an automated farmed fish measuring solution. Simply by uploading images of the farmed fish as they swim about their tank, the technology is able to calculate the fish’s size and lengths and report that information. In aquaculture, there is a need for such solutions to constantly manage the growth status of the fish. This solution alleviates the risk of stress or disease that comes from people physically handling fish. It also reduces labor and inconvenience, and improves measurement accuracy, thereby boosting productivity. The Nissui Group will continue to deliver safe, secure and delicious farmed fish by expanding the scope of AI and IoT utilization.
Image Showing AI Detection of Yellowtail
When using antimicrobials, an appropriate medicinal product is administered under the supervision of a veterinarian/specialist after the diagnosis of the fish disease.
As a member of the Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship (SeaBOS; an initiative aiming at sustainable fishery business), the Nissui Group is working on reducing the use of antimicrobials in aquaculture.
|Fish species||Region/Country||Antimicrobials (g)/Harvest volume (t)|
Scope: Farming of coho salmon and trout by Nissui Group’s consolidated subsidiaries in and outside Japan (accounting for 68% of harvest from all aquaculture operations in terms of weight (2021))