Thursday, December 08, 2016

Black Soldier Fly Larvae - New Fish Food?

THE Twynam Group says it will build and operate 20 fly factories across Australasia to produce fish food after being granted licences by waste-to-protein recycler AgriProtein Technologies
The fly factories will produce industrial volumes of the insect-based feed MagMeal for use in farming and aquaculture as an alternative to fish-meal. 
AgriProtein managing director David Drew said the use of Magmeal would relieve pressure on dwindling wild fish stocks and contribute to food security across the region.
Mr Drew said flies would be reared on existing organic waste. When operational, the 20 factories combined would be able to recycle 1.8 million tonnes of waste a year.
Fly larvae are a natural source of protein for fish.
 Fly larvae are a natural source of protein for fish.
“Today marks another step in the fight to replace fish-meal in aquaculture and animal feeds – the start of a global roll-out of the only tried and tested, commercially-viable alternative,” Mr Drew said.
Twynam Group chief executive officer Johnny Kahlbetzer said Twynam was always seeking new ways to make a difference in sustainable agriculture and energy production.  
“Working with AgriProtein is helping to resolve two sustainability issues, waste management and depleting fishery resources,” Mr Kahlbetzer said.  
“We’re looking forward to pioneering this new sustainable sector with them.”
The fly factories will produce industrial volumes of the insect-based feed MagMeal.
 The fly factories will produce industrial volumes of the insect-based feed MagMeal.
AgriProtein will announce the agreement at today’s award presentation of the Australian government-backed Blue Economy Challenge 2016. The company won a $450,000 award for its industrially-scalable solution to the depletion of fish stocks in the Indian Ocean.
Mr Drew said the government had launched the Blue Economy Challenge as a project to re-engineer aquaculture.  
“So we’re investing our award in building the scale needed to do that, chiefly in research, market-making and product development,” he said. “Huge thanks to the good people of Australia for this vote of confidence, which will help us fulfil our mission to find a better way to feed the world.”
Fly larvae are a natural source of protein for fish and other animals. MagMeal is described as a high-protein feed made from the dried, milled and de-fatted larvae of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens). Unlike houseflies, black soldier flies avoid human habitations and are not considered a pest.
Using an armada of 8.5 billion flies, a standard AgriProtein factory takes in 250t of organic matter per day and produces nearly 5000 tonnes of MagMeal and 2000t of MagOil per year to replace the use of fish-meal.
Mr Drew said the licencing covered the set-up and operation of fly factories - including the technology required to separate organic from non-organic waste used to feed the flies and their larvae.
Black Soldier Fly larvae have been investigated for this type of option for a number of years, mainly with strong advocates in the USA.
It can offer a real solution for dealing with organic wastes and creating alternative value for the larvae as a food.

Original article on Queensland Country Life

Thursday, December 01, 2016

A New Paradigm for Urban Sanitation - An Urgent Need

Addressing the urban sanitation crisis: Time for a radical shift

Martin Gambrill's picture

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – Jan Willem Rosenboom
The University of Leeds – Barbara Evans
Emory University – Christine Moe & Eduardo Perez
The World Bank – Sophie TrémoletValérie SturmClémentine Stip
WaterAid – Andrés Hueso
Plan International – Darren Saywell

Children in Maputo, Mozambique
Photo credit:
Isabel Blackett/The World Bank

A successful city is economically and culturally vibrant, healthy, safe, clean and attractive to business and tourism, and provides quality of life to its citizens. This vision is appealing but remains hard to realize as developing cities have to cope with changing demographics and climate with limited financial and human resources. The sustainable development goals have given a new impetus for cities to be inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (SDG11), ensure citizens’ health and wellbeing (SDG3) and secure access to sustainable water and sanitation services (SDG6).

World Toilet Day on November 19th is the opportunity to remind ourselves of a few facts and propose a set of guiding principles for a renewed and revitalized urban sanitation agenda.
Many cities struggle to deal with the most basic municipal task of managing human excreta. Some are effectively “drowning” in human waste. Urban population growth continuously outpaces gains in improved sanitation access and, globally, nearly one billion people live in urban slums with poor or no sanitation. Only 26% of urban excreta is deemed to be safely managed. The results? Environmental degradation, endemic disease leading to mortality and morbidity, especially among children, poor school attendance and performance, low productivity, constraints on the delivery of essential urban services such as housing, transport, safe water and drainage, and, ultimately, limits on economic growth and urban development. In short, a silent crisis that impedes the realization of the urban transformation framed in SDG11.

Urban sanitation has a fundamental role to play in achieving the SDG goals identified above. Business as usual will fail to deliver the kind of sanitation that underpins the envisioned urban transformation, by operating at too small a scale and focusing on infrastructure alone rather than on city-wide solutions. What is required is a radical shift in mindsets and practices towards an urban sanitation approach that impacts political priorities, funding, planning, design, management and governance.

Mobile desludging tank being wheeled out of an alley in the
city of Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo credit: Jan Willem Rosenboom

This radical shift will require the engagement of all stakeholders and a political transformation that touches all citizens, rich and poor, informal and formal, to facilitate the roll out of universal urban sanitation services. This is critical not only for reasons of equity, and to respond to the human right to sanitation, but also because the consequences of inadequate sanitation eventually affect everyone, as excreta-related pathogens spread easily across dense urban environments.

To make progress, urban development professionals and stakeholders need to better understand how sanitation impacts the functions and form of the city and how it supports economic development and promotes equity. To achieve sustainable, equitable and safe management of excreta for the whole city, sanitation sector professionals must transform their thinking and practices to deploy both old and new solutions in smarter ways.
We, from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The University of Leeds, Emory University, WaterAid, Plan International and The World Bank, have come together as a group of practitioners to galvanize this agenda by sharing conversations globally and mobilizing contributions from decision-makers and other practitioners across disciplines.

We propose that this renewed urban sanitation agenda should aim to:
  • Embed sanitation within the framework of urban governance and municipal services provision.
  • Establish clear roles and responsibilities, with accountability and transparency.
  • Provide ‘safe management’ of excreta throughout the sanitation chain – for both onsite sanitation and sewers – to ensure separation of fecal contamination from people across the whole city.
  • Focus on outcomes rather than technologies – allowing for diversity of solutions and approaches.
  • Base decisions on secure operational budgets being available (including for operation and maintenance).
  • Facilitate progressive realization, building on what is already in place.
  • Commit resources to training city leaders and technicians of the future to solve complex problems rather than deliver predetermined solutions.
 On this World Toilet Day, we invite you to join us in responding to this shared responsibility.


Submitted on the water blog last week but important enough to be very widely distributed, including in the more fortunate regions where clean water and effective sanitation is the norm.

Most Australians live with good to excellent water quality and decent effective sanitation.   That is not the situation in many regions of the world, where urban sanitation is, well,............. bloody awful! [ in the Australian vernacular].

As urban density rises especially in poorer countries urban sanitation seems to decline.  It does need reversing to allow a rise in dignity and health for the less fortunate.

World Toilet Day 2016 - November 19 was a time for reflection and change.