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A review on culture, production and use of spirulina as food for humans and feeds for domestic animals










Habib, M.A.B.; Parvin, M.; Huntington, T.C.; Hasan, M.R. A review on culture, production and use of spirulina as food for humans and feeds for domestic animals and fish. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular. No. 1034. Rome, FAO. 2008. 33p.


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    Spirulina: a livehood and a business venture 2011
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    Spirulina is a micro-algae and as such has been growing naturally in our environment for millions of years, it is a tough plant able to withstand harsh growing conditions, in fact the micro-algae cell never really dies it goes dormant when weather conditions are not favourable, and as soon as these change and the environment is once again suitable for growth, spirulina begins growing and reproducing again. Naturally growing spirulina can be found in high alkaline lakes and in general it is said that where flamingos are, spirulina is sure to be found. The Mexicans where the first to discover its wonderful health properties and in the 16th Century the Aztecs around Lake Texcoco were known to feature it on their dinner tables. In the 1940’s a French phycologist discovered spirulina to be growing in Africa; Lake Chad and the lakes of the Rift Valley in Eastern Africa were the main areas where spirulina thrived. The Kenembus tribe of Chad harvest the algae from the lake and dry it in the su n in a cake shape form, which is locally called “dihe”. This is sold to the markets and has become a staple diet for some of the communities living around Lake Chad. In a study on the correlation between poverty and malnutrition 10 countries were taken as examples. Of those 10 countries 9 were found to have a direct link between poverty and malnutrition – Chad was the only country that was poor but had no malnutrition. Modern day technology allows us to grow spirulina in man-made machines called Photo Bio-Reactors (PBR) – these machines are ideal to grow the algae in conditions where the natural habitat would otherwise not permit the cell to normally grow. Although briefly mentioned in this study PBRs are not ideal to grow and harvest spirulina in the ESA-IO region for primarily two reasons. Firstly the initial start-up costs are too high – and although most PBRs promise high yields in micro-algae production in reality only some are able to achieve those promises. Secondly most of the region is favourable to spirulina growth without the use of expensive machines and it can be cultured and harvested fairly easily in man-made basins and ponds. Spirulina is a highly nutritious natural substance, which has in recent years gained, once again, interest in both developing and developed countries. It is very in high protein content; yields 20 times more protein per acre than soybeans, 40 times more than corn, and over 200 times more than beef make it an ideal food supplement for ever yone. More awareness needs to be raised so that people understand what spirulina can do, its high protein, vitamin, mineral and micro-nutrient properties are good for both the ill (HIV/AIDS), malnourished children and infants and for the health conscious. In some cases spirulina has been incorrectly marketed as a medicine giving people, particularly the ill, false hope – in fact spirulina is a food supplement whose main benefit is the boosting of the immune system.
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    A strategic reassessment of fish farming potential in Africa 1998
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    The present study is an update of an earlier assessment of warm-water fish farming potential in Africa, by Kapetsky (1994). The objective of this study was to assess locations and areal expanses that have potential for warm-water and temperate-water fish farming in continental Africa. The study was based on previous estimates for Africa by the above author, and on estimates of potential for warm-water and temperate-water fish farming in Latin America by Kapetsky and Nath (1997). However, a nu mber of refinements have been made. The most important refinement was that new data allowed a sevenfold increase in resolution over that used in the previous Africa study, and a twofold increase over that of Latin America (i.e. to 3 arc minutes, equivalent to 5 km x 5 km grids at the equator), making the present results more usable in order to assess fish farming potential at the national level. A geographical information system (GIS) was used to evaluate each grid cell on the basis of severa l land-quality factors important for fish-farm development and operation regardless of the fish species used. Protected areas, large inland water bodies and major cities were identified as constraint areas, and were excluded from any fish farming development altogether. Small-scale fish farming potential was assessed on the basis of four factors: water requirement from ponds due to evaporation and seepage, soil and terrain suitability for pond construction based on a variety of soil attributes a nd slopes, availability of livestock wastes and agricultural by-products as feed inputs based on manure and crop potential, and farm-gate sales as a function of population density. For commercial farming, an urban market potential criterion was added based on population size of urban centres and travel time proximity. Both small-scale and commercial models were developed by weighting the above factors using a multi-criteria decision-making procedure. A bioenergetics model was incorporated int o the GIS to predict, for the first time, fish yields across Africa. A gridded water temperature data set was used as input to a bioenergetics model to predict number of crops per year for the following three species: Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) and Common carp (Cyprinus carpio). Similar analytical approaches to those by Kapetsky and Nath (1997) were followed in the yield estimation. However, different specifications were used for small-scale and co mmercial farming scenarios in order to reflect the types of culture practices found in Africa. Moreover, the fish growth simulation model, documented in Kapetsky and Nath (1997), was refined to enable consideration of feed quality and high fish biomass in ponds. The small-scale and commercial models derived from the land-quality evaluation were combined with the yield potential of each grid cell for each of the three fish species to show the coincidence of each land-quality suitability class with a range of yield potentials. Finally, the land quality-fish yield potential combinations were put together to show where the fish farming potential coincided for the three fish species. The results are generally positive. Estimates of the quality of land show that about 23% of continental Africa scored very suitable for both small-scale and commercial fish farming. For the three fish species, 50-76% of Africa's land has the highest yield range potential, and the spatial distribution of th is yield is quite similar among the species and farming systems. However, the spatial distribution of carp culture potential was greater than for Nile tilapia and African catfish. Combining the two farming system models with the favourable yields of the three fish species suggest that over 15% of the continent has land areas with high suitability for pond aquaculture.
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    A third assessment of global marine fisheries discards 2019
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    This third update of FAO’s global discard estimate adopted the ‘fishery-by-fishery’ approach employed in the second discards assessment published in 2005. The update included publicly available discard data in the last 20 years to establish a baseline of a time series of global marine fisheries discards. This is essential for monitoring the status and trends of discard management, which is the first step of the ecosystem approach to fisheries management cycle. In addition, the study developed a new fisheries data table incorporating landings data from the FAO Global Capture Production dataset (FishStat J) from 2010 to 2014, which allocated the landings to over 2 000 fisheries worldwide. The current study estimated that the annual discards from global marine capture fisheries between 2010 and 2014 was 9.1 million tonnes (95% CI: 6.7 – 16.1 million tonnes). About 46 percent (4.2 million tonnes) of total annual discards were from bottom trawls that included otter trawls, shrimp trawls, pair bottom trawls, twin otter trawls and beam trawls. The study included a synthesis of estimates of bycatch and discards of endangered, threatened and protected (ETP) species. Substantial advances have been made in quantifying fisheries interactions with such species so as to make informed decisions on their protection. However, many challenges remain, especially for small-scale fisheries. The development of standardized data collection techniques, risk-based sampling and sharing of data across agencies and regions will help to identify management priorities and allow implementation and enforcement of mitigation measures. A review of previous research showed that discard practices were often related to a wide range of factors, so it is difficult to assess the effectiveness of fishery management actions on the amount and practice of discards. Many regulations are inconsistently enforced, and their implementation is often less strict than intended. Piecemeal approaches in many bycatch and discards management measures can result in unintended cross-taxa conflicts, where regulations designed to reduce bycatch and/or discards of one species or species group may increase bycatch and/or discards of another. Examination of approaches to accounting for and mitigating against pre-catch, post-capture and ghost fishing mortalities demonstrates that an understanding of the relative importance of factors affecting indirect fishing mortality is necessary for estimating total fishing-induced mortality and for designing and implementing mitigation measures.

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