KRB’s Seth Berry profiled in MaineBiz

Posted on Aug 12, 2015 in News | 0 comments

Seth Berry, KRB’s Vice President for Business Development, was profiled in the latest MaineBiz.  Questions focused on his transition from leadership in the public sector to the private sector, and his impressions of the laboratory and its clients. As former House Majority Leader in the Maine Legislature, Berry calls Kennebec River Biosciences “the kind of business that we want to grow more of here in...

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Dr. Giray presents baitfish risk assessment at Fisherman’s Forum

Posted on Mar 24, 2015 in News | 0 comments

Dr. Cem Giray, COO and Laboratory Director of Kennebec River Biosciences, presented an overview of risks to Maine’s fishery associated with imported baitfish at the 2015 Maine Fisherman’s Forum. The study was prompted in part by the increase in the number of species used as bait over the last few decades.  Among the more than 30 species commonly used as baitfish in Maine’s lobster and crab fisheries today, many are imported from distant locations including the continents of Asia, Australia, South America, and Europe. Risk assessment of each baitfish source is important because without careful monitoring, movement of aquatic life can damage ecosystems, economies and livelihoods. Viral agents can cause diseases in finfish (e.g., viral hemorrhagic septicemia) as well as crustaceans (e.g., white spot syndrome in shrimp), as can bacteria or parasites.  These diseases can directly affect wild fisheries, and aquaculture operations, or both.  Invasive species can also compete with native species:  for instance, Caulerpa taxifolia is native to the Indian Ocean, but was accidentally introduced into the Mediterranean Sea.  An invasive algae, it has grown in dense monocultures, excluding other marine life and negatively affecting the livelihood of local fishermen.  Biofouling, in which aquatic species such as tunicates can clog nets & fishing gear, can be made worse when invasive species are introduced into environments where their natural predators or other controls do not exist. The purpose of the study was to provide data on risk levels of alternative bait species sourced from different regions, allowing fishermen to make informed decisions while at the same time making as many baitfish species available for use as possible. KRB’s study analyzed nearly 50 bait sources, and found that at present, a majority pose a low risk to Maine’s environment and to other aquatic species.  In cases where use of the particular bait source carries moderate risk, mitigation is possible.  The collection season, for instance, can influence whether a pathogen is absent or dormant.  Bait can be screened for targeted pathogens, using internationally accepted OIE standards.  Processing such as freezing or salting bait may also help in some cases by destroying potential pathogens or parasites.  A handful of the nearly 50 species screened by KRB were identified as posing an elevated risk. As of June 2015, approved bait for lobster and crabs in Maine will include Atlantic cod and herring, croaker, halibut, kinky, lingcod, mackerel, mullet, orange roughy, menhaden, pollock, redfish, river herring, rockfish, sablefish, skate, shad, sole, tuna, and any species caught in Maine coastal waters or the NEFMC groundfish complex. For specific, up-to-date regulatory information, readers should consult the lobster and crab baitfish page of the Maine Department of Marine Resources. “’Maine is a relatively pristine environment still,” said Dr. Giray, “but it is changing.”  Ongoing...

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KRB attends Seafood Expo North America

Posted on Mar 24, 2015 in News | 0 comments

The 2015 Seafood Expo North America (SENA) convention in Boston attracted about 1500 exhibitors—including a number of successful and current clients of Kennebec River Biosciences– and perhaps 20,000 attendees over three days,  who came equally for the informative technical presentations and the associated trade show.   This year’s themes favored ‘sustainability’ and ‘certification’ along with seafood product excellence. Attendees viewed the latest seafood producing and processing technology in action along scores of corridors in the vast  exhibition space,  while they compared, sampled, bought, sold, contracted, kibitzed,  haggled and otherwise discussed the many economic, political, regulatory  and scientific aspects of the global seafood products sector.  The human diversity factors abounded….suits, flannel shirts, company logo shirts, black leather jackets, mermaid and Southern Belle costumes, Senegalese folk dress, chefs’ hats, grizzled beards, bald heads, tight lips, wide smiles were all in abundance…along with disembodied voices emanating from motorized life-size polar bears that were out and about on the convention floor.   Most attendees were between 40 and 50 years old; men outnumbered women about 3-1.  For seafood species themselves, the salmon-related exhibits seemed to dominate overall, followed by those about shrimp, tuna, tilapia, crab, and molluscs like oysters and mussels.  But there were also many booths displaying octopus, eel, barramundi, bass and a variety of  other types of wild-caught and increasingly cultured aquatic animals.  Most displays were highly professional and informative in nature.  Some of the large corporate displays were over 30 feet high and 750 square feet in size,  with brilliantly-colored high-tech computer presentations, impressive demonstrations, attractive counters, huge industrial stoves ad display cases,  plush seats, special carpeting and even private conference rooms.  Others were tiny, with two round plastic tables, a few metal chairs, and some pamphlets. The SENA is a truly international venue,  since many seafood companies are, or are becoming, multinational in makeup.  Although Asian-based  exhibiting companies were highly .visible and probably in the majority for booth numbers if not attendees, my distinct impression was that North American enterprises (and increasingly Central/South American producers) are more than holding their own in terms of both quantity and quality of seafood production.  Exhibits covered every aspect of modern seafood production:  net technology, radar, feed extrusion, communications systems, containers of all types, safety equipment, ice-making technology, de-boning machines, fast-freezing processes, fillet cutting, refrigerated transport systems (land/sea/air), and many more.  There were also a substantial number of investment, risk-assessment, insurance, cash flow  and certification services  companies present, as well as many regional, national and multi-national  seafood trade associations and a few government regulatory agencies.   Many of the  individual booth display themes stressed the quality and availability of product (and its presentation) over quantity of product.   While most of the exhibit personnel in the aquaculture...

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KRB hires Dr. Peter Merrill, DVM

Posted on Mar 17, 2015 in News | 0 comments

Kennebec River Biosciences is pleased to announce that Dr. Peter Merrill has joined their veterinary staff as Director of Professional Services and Regulatory Affairs.  Dr. Merrill comes to KRB from USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in Washington DC, where he served Director of Animal Imports. KRB (formerly Micro Technologies, Inc.),  located in Richmond,  Maine,  is a full-service laboratory with nearly 20 years’ experience and expertise in aquatic animal  pathogen detection and disease management.  The company serves clients in aquaculture, research, and fisheries management worldwide, and both develops and performs sophisticated bacterial, viral, parasitic and molecular assays used with aquatic animals of many types.  KRB also provides import/export inspections and regulatory assistance, and employs two veterinarians who are able to produce custom vaccines tailored to the needs of a finfish facility or population. Dr. Merrill comes to KRB with 40 years’ experience as a marine biologist, originally specializing  in finfish nutrition and physiology, and later in marine mammal physiology and disease.  He received his veterinary degree from the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in 1996.  Since then, Dr. Merrill has worked in the field of aquatic animal disease and health management in many capacities, and was closely involved in implementing management strategies for infectious salmon anemia, a disease that threatened Maine’s many coastal fish farms between 2001 and 2007.  Most recently, Dr. Merrill served as an aquaculture subject matter expert, and subsequently as Director of Animal Imports,  for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). At KRB, Dr. Merrill will focus on developing biosecurity protocols and specialized vaccines as part of a comprehensive aquatic animal management approach for the company’s many and diverse...

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