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New ideas for aquaculture and animal welfare. Fish international 2024: more room for sustainability and transparency.

Do winter temperatures have a negative impact on fish growth and if so, what can farmers do about it? Why is stress the biggest enemy of aquaculture and what do producers have to look out for if they want to have their products certified? Trade visitors can find out the answers to these questions and see latest trends, techniques and products in aquaculture from Sunday to Tuesday, 25 to 27 February 2024, at fish international in Hall 5 of MESSE BREMEN.

Discover innovations
Over 300 exhibitors from Germany and abroad have announced their participation in Germany’s only fish trade fair. Among them is AquaSyster. The Polish company manufactures systems for aquaculture, for example drum filters (microsieves) as well as individually manufactured equipment such as complete plants for the production of feed pellets. In 2024, they will be presenting their latest products in Bremen, including Autofeed, an automatic feeding machine for trout and fish farming. Users can operate it conveniently and precisely via a specially developed app. “Normally, automatic feeders are operated manually, which is very time-consuming and imprecise. With our new automatic feeder, you can use your mobile phone to precisely set the feeding times, the doses and the feeding intervals and percentage feed additions,” says an AquaSyster representative.

It is also possible to operate the feeders individually or in groups from the office. This is possible with the help of software that is installed on the PC and connected to the feeders via Wi-Fi. According to the AquaSyster representative, their product is unique in Europe. “We only introduced our automatic feeder in 2023 and the response has been excellent.”

Smart solutions are also available at the stand of Alltech Coppens from the Netherlands. They are presenting their new cold water fish feed. “The feed is tailored to the changed needs of trout in cold weather and promotes better nutrient utilisation and growth,” says Thimo Schee from Alltech Coppens. The fish feed experts know the seasonal challenges: As water temperatures drop, so does the appetite of the animals. The result: the fish do not thrive. This is where the feed from Alltech Coppens comes in. “It offers improved digestibility, fat and protein utilisation. The animals have more appetite and better growth,” says Schee. Another plus point: the feed tastes good to the fish.

“Young Innovators”: A platform for young companies
With the new joint stand “Young Innovators”, the fish trade fair offers young and innovative companies a promoted platform for marketing their products. For example, Frisch Gefischt from Hamburg will present how they shorten and digitalise the value chain and thus supply sustainable fish and seafood to the catering industry. Ordinary Seafood from Potsdam produces fish based on plant proteins with vegan salmon and tuna alternatives. Flexality from Bremen has developed an algorithm for cold storage processes that is said to save up to 15 per cent in electricity costs and up to 14 per cent in CO² emissions.

Food production, sustainability, transparency
In addition to new techniques and products, there will once again be a forum for current topics on aquaculture, retail and foodservice in 2024. The main themes of the 19th edition of the fish trade fair are food production, sustainability and transparency.” It is increasingly important to address key issues around the three main topics,” says Sabine Wedell, project manager of fish international. “That’s why we want to promote dialogue between stakeholders on this and provide information on best practice examples in aquaculture.”

Reduce stress: the correct keeping of the raw fish product
For example, the Initiative for Animal Welfare Standards in Aquaculture (ITA) is on site. It actively campaigns for better farming conditions and more animal welfare in aquaculture. “Poor or incorrect husbandry stresses the animals and this has a negative impact on product quality,” says Stefan-Andreas Johnigk, project coordinator at the ITA. “Stress is the biggest enemy of aquaculture, because it makes the fillet straw-like and simply reduces the quality.” That is why the ITA experts are offering a best-practice training course at fish international. Using a specially developed virtual training platform, they will show what is important in responsible fish farming and how operators can improve their livestock farming conditions.

The latest certification solutions for the aquaculture sector will be on display at the stand of the non-profit sustainability and certification organisation ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council) and at the stand of the quality assurance and certification system GLOBALG.A.P. They certify sustainable aquaculture in fish farming with the ASC logo or the GGN label. “Our aim is to have even more products from certified production labelled in order to meet consumer demand for more transparency and to raise awareness for more sustainable and responsible aquaculture,” says Remko Oosterveld, Key Account Manager Aquaculture at GLOBALG.A.P.

Those interested in delving deeper into the topic of certificates and everything to do with aquaculture can attend lectures and discussion panels on all three days of the fair. They will be able to talk to scientists and experts from various associations and research institutions.

On to Bremen: two fairs, one ticket
Trade visitors can visit two trade fairs at once with one ticket: GASTRO IVENT will again be held in Halls 6 and 7 of MESSE BREMEN at the same time as fish international. It is the most important networking platform for restaurateurs, communal caterers and hoteliers in the northwest and not only offers a good overview of the industry, it also shows trends and deals with current challenges in many ways. Among other things, food innovations, beverages and convenience products as well as a wide range of technical aids and clever services are presented.

Image: ©M3B GmbH/Oliver Saul
Caption: At fish international, trade visitors find out about current topics as well as innovative ideas and products in the fish industry. From 25 to 27 February 2024, the industry will meet in Bremen at Germany’s only fish trade fair.