Last Friday 28th we had the pleasure to have Dr. Patrick Sorgeloos in Bangkok giving a special lecture on “Progress in Microbial Management in Marine Fish & Crustacean Farming”, a THAITiP event.

The event was very well received with full assistance: 80 attendees coming from private sector, Department of Fisheries, non-governmental organizations, research centres and academia. The attendees were from Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Spain.

Dr. Sorgeloos talked about the importance of aquaculture, the success story and the others side of the coin: the economical loss of aquaculture diseases.

Marine fish and crustacean hatcheries are a multi-billion US industry and the key to successful aquaculture is having predictable, cost-effective and high quality fry.

From the different aquaculture challenges and the priorities for future technology innovation, Dr. Sorgeloos focused on three topics:

  • Improved/ more cost-effective seed production
  • Microbial management for more sustainable production
  • More integrated production systems for plant an animal farming

Dr. Sorgeloos passed through concepts such as Quorum Sensing and Quorum Quenching while explaining the different kinds of bacteria present in a pond or a RAS, and the effect of the potentially pathogenic bacteria depending on concentration and other factors.  Also, how important is a bio-filter and keeping a mature bacterial population to give fewer chances to pathogenic and potentially virulent bacteria to grow, as they are opportunistic pathogens.

After some concepts, Dr. Sorgeloos went through some numbers and also examples of recirculating systems, ponds, artemia production and other culturing systems explaining where the challenges were, biosecurity measures, possible ways of contamination, substrate for opportunistic bacteria and success stories too.

Finally, Dr. Sorgeloos gave an update on where research and technology has arrived nowadays and what still needs to be done, always taking in account the driving forces (commercial) and having cost-effective solutions. Starting and ending with a key message: passing from an empirical approach research (trial/error) towardas a knowledge-based bio-industry.