lifestyle

Fisheries lab succeeds in producing 'man-made' tuna fry

33 Comments
By Kentaro Watanabe

At a time when a global conservation group is warning of the possible extinction of bluefin tuna, Japanese university laboratory researchers have succeeded in artificially hatching eggs of a similar species of the big fish and developing them into fry in joint research with an Australian aquaculture company.

In a feat said to be the first of its kind in the world, members of the Fisheries Laboratory, Kinki University, in the town of Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture, and Australia's Clean Seas Tuna Ltd succeeded in July in their attempt to breed southern bluefin tuna fry -- a development that could open the way for the cultivation of tuna, a high-grade fish meat in Japan.

Southern bluefin tuna live in waters in the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean and many are consumed in Japan as sushi and sashimi.

The World Wide Fund for Nature announced in April that the breeding population of bluefin tuna -- another variety of the fish that Japanese relish -- in the Mediterranean and East Atlantic will disappear in three years if overfishing continues in those areas.

The Japanese researchers and Clean Seas Tuna, a company headquartered in Port Lincoln that operates commercial fish breeding facilities in Australia, concluded an academic agreement in September last year to start joint research.

They induced southern bluefish tuna to spawn eggs during the period from late February to April in Clean Seas facilities in south central Australia. Following the artificial incubation, the Kinki University team worked with those facilities to help cultivate the eggs to grow into about 40 small fish weighing 250 grams each.

Many researchers have great expectations of this development, hoping that if it enables complete cultivation of tuna it will help declining tuna stocks recover and expand the nation's fish breeding industry.

Kinki University succeeded in complete breeding of bluefin tuna in 2002 and has the technology for improving their survival rate by changing feed in accordance with their growth. The researchers applied their know-how in raising bluefin tuna to the latest project.

Osamu Murata, director of the Fisheries Laboratory, said both sides ''hurled their good points in techniques involving artificial incubation and breeding at each other to bring forth good results.''

''The accumulation of the know-how on bluefin tuna led to the latest success,'' said Tokio Wada, chief of the research management department at the Fisheries Research Agency, an incorporated administrative agency in Yokohama. ''It's an achievement indispensable for the protection of bluefin tuna.''

Kinki University is ready to offer its state-of-the-art expertise gained in the cultivation of bluefin tuna to others worldwide engaged in aquaculture research as it is pursues cooperation with foreign research bodies. The joint research conducted in Australia was part of its global cooperation campaign.

Tomoyoshi Yoshinaga, an associate professor at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, called the latest success ''a big step'' in research into the cultivation of tuna.

He said the complete cultivation of tuna is a developing industry and hopes it will grow smoothly.

© Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

33 Comments
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Hopefully it's not too late

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too bad they're not also reducing the fleets for the next 3 years so there is some recovery. Do the fish have no other value than as food? Or is the death of nature okay now that we can incubate it?

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So now we get battery farming of fish as well as cows, pigs and chickens.

Sometimes it seems that every technological advance takes us back one step morally.

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Many advocate not eating farmed fish for carcinogens found in their bodies, including the chemical given farmed salmon to give them their orange color. Fish was once considered the best "meat" and now all are considered contaminated to some degree with mercury.

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not a fish person anyways, just to think about mercury, yucky yucky.

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cleo: indeed.

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cleo at 09:17 AM JST - 24th November

So now we get battery farming of fish as well as cows, pigs and chickens. Sometimes it seems that every technological advance takes us back one step morally.

With almost 7 billion people to feed, we have to farm something don't we?

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Farms no matter what are helpful to the human species.

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With almost 7 billion people to feed, we have to farm something don't we?

Beans, grains and veggies. Takes up less land, feeds more people and avoids treating animals like things.

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Cleo:

I highly doubt that an ocean fish farm would take up more land than veggies. And veggies aren't animals? Veggies also have to be bred, raised, nurtured, taken care of until they are full grown, and then killed for us to be eaten... no different than fish. If a Vegetable's life is threatened, just as any other living, breathing organism, it does whatever is in its capacity in order to survive. The only thing is, it can't do much, so it is actually more helpless than a mammal with brains.

Like I said, whether it be mammals, fish, or vegetation, we have to farm something don't we?

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Fish farms might not use land but they pollute and spoil vast tracts of the ocean, and not just the bit occupied by the fish farm itself. Fish farming is very environmentally-unfriendly, unless it's done ethically in which case it's economically unviable. And it takes about 2.4 pounds of fish taken from the sea and processed into fish food to produce one pound of farmed fish; so fish farming actually adds to the strain on marine wildlife. You're not going to feed the world's billions on environmentally-friendly farmed fish.

http://www.organicconsumers.org/irrad/salmonfarms.cfm

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Cleo: Interesting article. I suppose there is no quick answer to the question: How do we provide food and energy to 7 billion people on earth without depleting or damaging our natural environment?

Fish farming may not be the answer, but aren't most of the beans, grains, and veggies you mentioned full of either pesticides or are genetically modified or enhanced... unless of course you go organic, but then, can the organic farming community feed 7 billion people?

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I suppose there is no quick answer to the question: How do we provide food and energy to 7 billion people on earth without depleting or damaging our natural environment?

There may be no quick answer, but understanding of the fact that by using the same resources you can feed more people with beans, grains and veggies than you can with meat and fish is at least a start.

Then again, with a little less energy the more prolific of those 7 billion might take a little longer to turn us into 8 billion, which can only be a good thing. I'm not suggesting killing anyone off; just persuade people not to produce quite so many bambinos which they then insist on feeding with profligately-produced animal flesh.

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Fish farming is a great idea, and as for the amount of fish taken to raise fish, it looks like the linked article was written by a biased party. It would be nice t0 see some objective statistics though. Nothing morally wrong with eating meat either.

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sharky1:

Just google 'fish farm controversy' and you'll get all sorts of info.

Cleo:

Although I see your point, unfortunately, I love fish and the cheaper and more plentiful they get, I'm afraid the more I'll eat!

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I love fish, too. That's why I hate to see them being ill treated.

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It must be kind of strange when you can eat your own research.

There is no quick answer like Mrs. Cleo says, but the "questions" are multiplying really fast. Despite low birth rates in some countries, those few consume much more resources than the poorer countries whose resources they reap. This kind of breakthrough is important because the oceans are warming quickly and the effects are beginning to show: giant jellyfish impeding fishing and poisoning fish when trapped together in fishing nets... and the like, plus overfishing.

What I am against is Soylent Green kind of foods. I read on the news last week about researchers being able to grow tiny slabs of meat already, and the chief researcher saying human meat would also be interesting to grow as food. Way to go, mankind. I prefer not to eat you, thank you very much.

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As a compromising solution between eating 100% vegies or big fish like tuna, sword fish...is eating fish almost at the bottom of the pyramid like sardines. Thats right ,feed sardines with grains and vegetables then straight to dining tables!

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Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats them all.

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If they could only do the same thing, but with BABY WHALES.

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but not for food for christ sakes! to replenish stocks they hunted for "research".

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Fish are animals. Animals are part of the food chain just like "beans, grains, and veggies". You can't "mistreat" food. It's either eaten now, or later. You grow it and eat it. I'm tired of people assigning human attributes to animals.

The fertilizer run-off from vegetable farms is just as harmful to the environment as any fish farm, but vegetarians don't like to talk about THAT aspect of "feeding the world".

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The answer for feeding the world is to have less people or more land, take you pick as to which one is more possible). As for the tuna, good that they're working to keep the species going, but it doesn't solve the basic problem of too many people eating this specific fish. You can grow as many fish as you want, until people stop seeing it as a (relatively) cheap and popular product that prosperous people buy and eat, nothing will change.

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The fertilizer run-off from vegetable farms is just as harmful to the environment as any fish farm, but vegetarians don't like to talk about THAT aspect of "feeding the world". where's your data? sources? I have read a lot on this subject generally, and I put it to you that this assertions is a wild one and without a shred of substance.

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Human demand for fish is growing steadily and will continue to grow. With fisheries decreasing worldwide aquaculture is becoming an important socio-economic alternative and a source of proteins and healthy oils. In reality, the future of fish production lies with aquaculture. Aquaculture practices are quickly developing but they raise many concerns too.

The sustainable development of aquaculture is a major issue, and to make it sustainable, we need to see the whole picture. There are numerous options available to make it durable and environmentally safe through better management practices and appropriate siting, but others as facilities with close water systems, offshore farms or low density aquaculture are possible. Many troubles can fade away by improving the management of fish farms and aquaculture practices and by following the existing and improve codes of conduct.

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You can't "mistreat" food.

That's a very cold, scary idea to have rolling around inside your head.

Remind me to keep you well away from my dogs, birds and fish.

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The fertilizer run-off from vegetable farms is just as harmful to the environment as any fish farm

Simply

Not

True

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"Fisheries lab succeeds in producing 'man-made' tuna fry"

Great! Then better change the legal limit to 'all you can catch' because we're saved!!

Sarcasm ended, although that's how a lot of Japanese will react to the news, I'm sure.

Yelnats: "Farms no matter what are helpful to the human species."

WRONG. Ever hear of 'factory farms'? Ever hear of the illnesses that result from them? Mad-cow, swine-flu, and bird-flu are just a few examples off the top of my head of how 'farming' is not at all helpful to humanity when done the way it is being done. Obliterating the natural fish stocks and justifying it by saying we can create more later will only lead to more of the same, and Cleo is bang on in stating/posting the facts that she has with regards to how harmful fish farming can be.

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Simply Not True

Very true, Cleo. Lake Erie is a prime example of phosphorus (used as a fertilizer) destroying fish stocks. The problem began in the 50s, and there are still massive dead zones today - and the prime source of phosphorus is runoff from farms (grains, vegetables, and fruit).

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True that the "fertilizer run-off from vegetable farms is just as harmful to the environment as any fish farm"? No, not by any stretch of the imagination.

If arable farming produced as much pollution as fish farming, the planet would be in an even worse state than it is.

I think you'll find that the problems with Lake Erie began way before the 50s (like, way back in the 19th century) and that growing urbanisation (with untreated human waste, phosphate detergents and industrial activity) played at least as great a role in killing the lake as agricultural fertilisers did - though it's also true that they were used to excess.

I think you'll also find that it's livestock farming, not arable farming, that causes more severe pollution of the environment. Nowhere for all that manure (and methane) to go.

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I remember when I was young, I visited China with my parents. I have noticed that they collect wasted from farm animal.... and put them into a big concrete thing and use the methane generated there for cooking fire.....

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wow i guess it okay to continue raping the sea now. when i read the title "man made tuna fry" i thought they had made a fish cake using artifical fish or something.

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Ever hear of 'factory farms'? Ever hear of the illnesses that result from them? Mad-cow, swine-flu, and bird-flu are just a few examples off the top of my head of how 'farming' is not at all helpful to humanity when done the way it is being done.

The spanish flu(also h1n1) originated from an animal as well and long before factory farms existed. HIV came from monkey's that weren't grown in factory farms. More to the point, other than Mad-cow, none of the others are necessarily a result of farming practices.

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