Shrimp situation in Thailand good, said to be getting better

By Sean Murphy, SeafoodSource online editor

Published on 22 December, 2014

Shrimp farm

Just last week, our contributor Jason Holland wrote an interesting piece about a Rabobank report on the worldwide shrimp farming industry and how it was poised to rebound after the body blow it suffered from early mortality syndrome, or EMS, starting in 2011.

Now, Reuters is reporting the Thai shrimp farming industry is producing numbers that seem to back that sentiment. According to the report, the industry expects 2014 to be the year of the turning point, with Thai shrimp farmers predicting they would produce between 250,000 and 300,000 metric tons of shrimp in 2015.

Many in the shrimp farming industry worldwide breathed a sigh of relief in the summer of 2013, when scientists discovered a strain of bacteria was responsible for the disease. Thai farmers are employing a number of new techniques for controlling the disease, Reuters reports, including selective breeding, keeping water cleaner and other biosecurity measures.


First edition of the International Summer School on Coastal Processes: “Building up knowledge on Coastal Processes: Principles and Techniques”

. 11Dear Colleagues,

it is our pleasure to announce the

First edition of the International Summer School on Coastal Processes:

“Building up knowledge on Coastal Processes: Principles and Techniques”

Dates: 6-10 July 2015

Location: Faro (Portugal)


The Coast Tools Summer School concentrates on the principles and the techniques to understand and explore the dynamism of complex coastal systems.

Within this first edition, the topics, the lecturers and the fieldwork are organized around a central theme: Tidal inlet dynamics.

The course will comprise in-depth lectures combined with training in fieldwork and modeling techniques.

During the summer school the participants will work with: Real Time Kinematic-Differential Global Positioning System (RTK-DGPS), total station, single beam echo sounder, acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP), acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV), pressure transducers and bottom sediment samplers. The course also includes the use of state of the art software to create digital elevation models, processing scripts, process-based modelling (waves, currents and sediments), among others.


César Andrade (Universidade de Lisboa), Óscar Ferreira (Universidade do Algarve), André Pacheco (Universidade do Algarve), Xavier Bertin (Université de La Rochelle), Ana Matias (Universidade do Algarve), Dano Roelvink (UNESCO-IHE Institute for WaterEducation), TheocharisPlomaritis (Universidade do Algarve), Susana Costas (Universidade do Algarve)

The course is open toadvanced and young postgraduate students in marine science, environmental sciences, coastal geology and physical geography.

Participation is competitive and will be limited to a maximum of 15. If needed, selection will be based on the analysis of CVs.

The registration fee (450€) includes accommodation at the 1878 Hostel located at Faro city centre, breakfast, lunch, dinner, field trips and teaching material.



On behalf of the organizers

Susana Costas

André Pacheco

Oscar Ferreira
Edifício 7, FCT, CIMA
Universidade do Algarve
Campus de Gambelas
8005 – 139 Faro

tel. +351 – 289 – 800029
fax. +351 – 289 – 800069


Course Announcements Copenhagen



Since 1993 the IOC has conducted training courses in identification/taxonomy and enumeration of harmful microalgae. The course have mostly been aimed at relatively experienced participants who, for example, have either previously attended an introductory IOC training course on taxonomy of harmful algae, or participants who obtained similar experience through alternative activities. The purpose has been to improve the skills of the participants in taxonomy for research purposes and for practical monitoring of harmful algal blooms.

As from 2006 the IOC training will be offered within a new framework which gives accreditation of identification and enumeration skills. This type of courses have been offered for other species groups since 1993 by the Natural History Museum , London, and we have been inspired by this to redesign the IOC courses. We know by experience that many of the more than 500 trainees we have had over the years have wished the courses to give accreditation. In some countries, e.g. New Zealand, the IOC courses have become reference for laboratories to be approved for carrying out regulatory monitoring for harmful microalgae.

The aim is to improve the standards in harmful algae monitoring in IOC Member States by awarding certificates of competence in identification and enumeration to scientists and technicians.

The training framework offer

A) Training course including an examination which gives accreditation.

B) Examination which gives accreditation.
Qualification by examination and the awarding body of the accreditation is the competent IOC partner institution. The pass mark is high (90%) but analyses based on data that is less accurate are of little value.

IOC Training Course and Identification Qualification in Harmful Marine Microalgae 2015 – with optional workshops on enumration and/or culture techniques:
During the past nineteen years, the IOC Science and Communication Centre on Harmful Algae, University of Copenhagen, Denmark organized more than 60 training courses in taxonomy and biology of harmful microalgae. A significant number of courses on identification have also been organized in cooperation between IOC and University of Tokyo.
The present training course is a further development of these courses, and it includes now an examination at the end of the course with an IOC Certificate of Proficiency in Identification of Harmful Algae issued to participants who pass the examination.
The course includes 90 hours of teaching and is divided into two parts, each consisting of 45 hours of teaching. The first part of the course is an internet teaching programme, while the second part is a practical workshop in species identification. The course is organised by the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

If there are more applicants than available seats, priority will be given to applicants who have direct research or management responsibilities with regard to the occurrence of harmful algae.
Mandatory E-learning part: Over 4-5 weeks in the period May-July.
Practical course at University of Copenhagen: 9-19 August 2015. Optional workshops on enumeration/culture techniques from 19-22 August.
IOC Science and Communication Centre on Harmful Algae, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark c/o Danhostel, Hillerød.
Part I – Distant learning: The distant learning programme consists of 8 modules including an introduction to the teaching platform. The distant learning is offered in the IOC OceanTeacher platform. There is a short introductory text to each module, and at the beginning of this text is given a list of suggested reading, which will usually include selected articles or chapters of general text books. All exercises are mandatory. This part of the course includes 45 hours of teaching or a work load of about one working day per week for six weeks.
Part II – Practical course on species identification: The course will focus on identification of harmful algal species, with particular reference to the ‘IOC Taxonomic Reference List on Toxic Plankton Algae’. During the course, the following species will be demonstrated either as cultures (*subject to the availability of cultures at the Scandinavian Culture Collection of Algae and Protozoa) or as preserved material. Focus will be on light microscopy. All participants will be urged to bring material for the Course.See preliminary programme.
Haptophyceae*: Chrysochromulina spp. Prymnesium spp.
Raphidophyceae*: Chattonella antiqua, C. subsalsa, Fibrocapsa japonica, Haramonas dimorpha, Heterosigma akashiwo, Olisthodiscus luteus.
Dinophyceae: Prorocentrum concavum*, P. cordatum, P. emarginatum*, P. gracile, P. lima, P. micans, P. rhathymum.
Dinophysis acuta, D. acuminata, D. caudata, D. fortii, D. miles, D. mitra, D. norvegica, D. rotundata, D. tripos.
Alexandrium affine, A. minutum, A. catenella*, A. ostenfeldii, A. pseudogonyaulax, A. tamarense, A. taylori,
Pyrodinium bahamense var. compressum, Lingulodinium polyedrum, Protoceratium reticulatum, Gonyaulax spinifera, Gambierdiscus toxicus, Coolia monotis, Ostreopsis spp.
Akashiwo sanguinea*, Amphidinium carterii*, A. operculatum*, Gymnodinium catenatum*, G. impudicum*, Karenia mikimotoi*, K. selliformis*, Karlodinium micrum*, Noctiluca scintillans.
Bacillariophyceae: Pseudo-nitzschia australis, P. calliantha*, P. delicatissima, P. fraudulenta, P. multiseries, P. pungens*, P. seriata, Nitzschia navis-varingica*.
Cyanobacteria: Anabaena spp, Anabaenopsis spp, Aphanizomenon sp., Cylindrospermopsis spp., Microcystis spp, Nodularia spumigena, Trichodesmium sp.
All participants will be urged to bring material/samples.
The Course is aimed at participants who have some background and experience in identifying microalgae.
IOC Science and Communication Centre on Harmful Algae, Department of Biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Course lecturers:
Dr. Heléne Annadotter, Dr. Santiago Fraga, Dr. Jacob Larsen, Dr. Nina Lundholm, Professor Øjvind Moestrup
Up to 16.
The Course will be held in the English language.
Qualification by examination will take place on the last day of the training course.
Mandatory theoretical part: Over 3 weeks, to be arranged when applicants have signed up.
Practical course at University of Copenhagen in conjunction with the course in species identification in August.
Optional workshops on ennumration and/or culture techniques:
Further improvement of the skills of the participants in enumeration/culturing of harmful microalgae.
The workshops will consist of:
1. Counting techniques, statistics, comparison and interpretation of data, and data presentation.
2. Practical exercises in isolation techniques and maintenace of cultures.
Deadline for applications: 1 April 2015.
Application form
Course fee detailes and payment instructions


PhD Project in UK: Plastic oceans, can microbes clean our mess?

Are marine microbes capable of degrading synthetic polymers such as plastics? Who and how do they carry out this process?
Plastics have become the major contaminant in the world’s oceans (Law et al 2010). The existence of a “plastic island” twice the size of Texas drifting around the North Pacific gyre has become a public concern. In fact, there is data that shows the existence of giant plastic islands in each one of the five ocean gyres as hundreds of thousands of tonnes of plastic waste have been dumped into the oceans since the start of the plastic era.
Recent studies have focussed on the microbial surface colonisation of these floating plastics indicating a high diverse community that differs enormously from the indigenous free-living marine community (Zettler et al 2013; Oberbeckmann et al 2014). These studies have also raised concerns on the fact that polymers, mainly in the form of microplastics, accumulate persistent organic pollutants and harbour harmful microbial species that can easily enter the food chain. Biodegradation of plastics in aquatic systems has been suggested by pits visualised by scanning electron microscopy. Plastic degradation has been reported for land waste plastics and is mainly carried out by fungi and bacteria (reviewed in Ghosh et al 2013). Unfortunately, very little is known on this process in marine systems.

This PhD Project aims to answer key ecological questions on the biodegradation of plastics in marine systems. The successful student will analyse the microorganisms that carry out such vital bioremediation process, investigate the enzymes involved and the biodegradability of different polymers.
Different well-defined polymers generated in the Department of Chemistry will be subject to in situ colonisation by natural marine microbes. Colonised plastics will be processed in the lab to determine: microbial community evolution, metagenomic analysis (using high-throughput sequencing), metaproteomic analysis of the exoproteome (looking for relevant secreted enzymes; using high-throughput proteomics), biodegradation of the polymers (light scattering and chromatography systems to determine the kinetics of degradation), visualisation of the polymer surface after colonisation (scanning electron microscopy) and, ultimately, isolation and characterisation of microbial degraders.
The student will have the opportunity to develop his own experiments comparing the biodegradability of different polymers in natural aquatic environments and the conditions that may accelerate the process. The identification of microbial degraders and the repertoire of exoenzymes used to hydrolyse polymers will have important biotechnological applications.

Training and skills:
This multidisciplinary PhD project will offer a unique opportunity for the student to learn state-of-the-art techniques in environmental –OMICS (such as high-throughput proteomics and genomics), microbial ecology and biochemistry, and analytical chemistry of plastic polymers. The laboratories of supervisors Dr Christie-Oleza (School of Life Sciences) and Dr Gibson (Department of Chemistry) are excellently equipped to carry out this cutting-edge project.
Applicants: We are looking for enthusiastic applicants with BSc or MSci in Biology, Biochemistry or related fields. Applicants with 1st class degrees and laboratory experience will be valued.

Possible timeline:
Year 1: Synthesis of different polymers and in situ colonisation of marine microbes. Analysis of community evolution, metagenomics and exoproteomics analysis. Search for hydrolytic exoenzymes. Evaluation of polymer degradation under different incubation conditions.
Year 2: Collection of old marine plastic debris with well established microbial communities. Characterisation and evaluation of polymer degradation. Co-incubation of marine debris with newly synthesised polymers to visualise colonisation and evaluate faster biodegradation rates when compared to experiments carried out in year 1.
Year 3: Isolation of potential microbial degraders. Characterise their exoenzymatic repertoire for degrading polymers.

Funding Notes:

Successful applicants will be put forward to apply for:
– Competitive NERC scholarships within the CENTA DTP (Central England NERC Training Alliance Doctoral Training Programme). Students are required to be from the UK or EU
– Competitive International Chancellors scholarships from the University of Warwick.
– Self-funded students will also be considered.

For more information please visit:

Potential applicants are invited to contact and send their complete CV (BSc and MSc grades, awards, publications, etc) to:
Joseph Christie-Oleza (


Christie-Oleza et al (2012) Mol Cel Proteomics, 11: M111.013110.
Ghosh et al (2013) Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, 20: 4339-4355
Law et al (2010) Science, 329: 1185-1188
Oberbeckmann et al (2014) FEMS Microbiol Ecol, doi: 10.1111/1574-6941.12409
Zettler et al (2013) Env Sci Tech, 47: 7137-7146



Nuevo portal nacional de datos de biodiversidad

Estimados/as amigos/as:

Anunciamos aquí el lanzamiento del nuevo portal nacional de datos de biodiversidad de GBIF.ES.

El 28 de noviembre se presentó en el Real Jardín Botánico-CSIC el nuevo Portal nacional de datos de biodiversidad: Este portal da acceso a los datos de 69 instituciones y proyectos españoles, líderes en este campo, y que en total publican más de 10 millones de registros de biodiversidad, además de casi otro millón más de datos sobre biodiversidad española procedentes de bases de datos de otros países.

Este portal se basa en el del “Atlas of Living Australia” (, que es sin duda la plataforma de datos de biodiversidad más avanzada del mundo. Es la primera vez que esta plataforma se adapta y pone en marcha fuera del contexto australiano. El nuevo portal permite un acceso a la información sobre biodiversidad sin precedentes. Así es posible filtrar, acceder y descargar todos los registros de biodiversidad publicados por centros de investigación, universidades, administraciones públicas y ONGs de España. Además, ofrece información detallada de cada conjunto de datos, facilita las búsquedas (taxonómicas, geográficas, temporales, etc.) y favorece el procesamiento de los datos o su enlace y reutilización con bases de datos externas.

GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) es la mayor red de datos de biodiversidad del mundo, involucra a más de 50 países y se organiza a través de nodos nacionales. El nodo español –GBIF.ES – es el resultado de una encomienda del Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO) al CSIC para que gestione y coordine la información sobre biodiversidad generada en nuestro país, y la interconecte con la de otros países a través de GBIF. En la construcción de este portal, además de los centros participantes, ha resultado fundamental el apoyo informático proporcionado por el IFCA (Instituto de Física de Cantabria) en el marco de la iniciativa Lifewatch y las facilidades brindadas por el proyecto ALA y el Secretariado internacional de GBIF.

El siguiente vídeo ilustra las funcionalidades más destacadas del nuevo portal:


Un saludo afectuoso,

Unidad de Coordinación de GBIF España

GBIF.ES, Unidad de Coordinación         Tel. +34 91 4203017 x 273

Real Jardín Botánico – CSIC           
Plaza de Murillo, 2                         
28014 Madrid, Spain                     


Por un Medio Ambiente en Equilibrio

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