The Annual Haifa Conference on the Mediterranean Sea Research - Day 2

haifa munititleuniv


Oded Goldan

Production manager, Suf Fish/Lev Yam

Oded Goldan

Short Bio

Academic education: M.Sc. in Marine culture – Agriculture faculty, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

2003-present   Owner of "B.T.I" (Bio marine technology) - consult, establish and manage marine culture fish farming

2010-present   Establish and manage (Biology / technical / administration) "Suf-fish" ltd - marine culture fish farm at Ashdod port Israel, which cultivates and sells approx. 1000 tons of marine fish per year

2017-present   manage (Biology / technical) "Lev Yam" ltd - marine culture, off shore fish farm at Michmoret Israel, which cultivates and sells approx. 300 tons of marine fish per year

2008-2010       Establish and manage a land facility for cultivating cat-fish

2007-2010       Establish and manage (Biology / technical / administration) - "Orata" ltd - marine culture fish farm in Vlore bay, Albania, with a cultivating potential of approx. 3000 tons of marine fish per year

2005-2007       Establish and part time manager of "Bio Tecmar" marine fish farm in La-Paz bay, Mexico

2003-2007       Establish and manage (Biology / technical / administration) "Kimadoro" - marine culture fish farm in Limassol bay, Cyprus, which cultivated and sold approx. 500 tons of marine fish per year.

1993-2008     Establish and manage (Biology / technical / administration) "Suf-fish" - marine culture farm in the Gulf of Eilat Israel, which cultivated and sold approx. 1500 tons of marine fish per year

1987-1993   In charge of marine fish Nursery -The Israeli Center for Marine Culture in Eilat, Israel. Working on M.Sc. - "Growth variation in Sea Bream larvae"

1980-1987   Various jobs and studies in the marine field and others. Studies for B.Sc. in the Faculty of Agriculture, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Abstract- Cultivating fish in marine cages- Terms for a feasible project

The human population is increasing rapidly. In recent years, the demand for fish as food for humans is growing much more than the population increase.

It's a fact that fishing from nature will not supply this demand. In fact, today fish cultivated in aquaculture already supply around 50% of the demand while in the near future, this percentage   will probably grow more and more. Fresh water is a limited source around most parts of the globe which leads us to conclude that cultivating fish in marine cages is a necessity, and it should become the dominant part in fish aquaculture.

All that sounds very practical in theory but in reality, things are much more complicated. Around the globe there are enormous numbers of new and relatively old projects of growing fish in marine cages. Some of them like the Norwegian Salmon industry, are showing long economic stability and are considered a big success.

On the other hand, many projects, some of them on a very large scale are far from showing economic stability or failing on other issues, which might lead to many bankruptcy's and bitter disappointment. Probably, in these cases a few basic elements were not considered enough when starting the project and in other places, basic elements might change and cause dramatic failures.

Demand for marine fish exists in most parts of the globe but it doesn't necessarily mean that growing fish in sea cages is feasible everywhere, even when it looks very promising in a curtain place. A real study, taking in as many aspects as possible must be done before and while operating, on any fish cages project.

This can minimize the gap between the promising theoretic economic potential of growing fish in marine cages and the reality. In this talk we try to understand which elements can lead to a more feasible marine cages project.



Josef (Yossy) Melchner

CEO, GiliOcean Technology LTD.

Josef Melchner

Short Bio

Josef has a B.Sc. In Marine Biology from the Ruppin Academic Center in Israel

and an MBA from the Open University of Israel.

With more than 15 years of experience in project management and Business Development in the offshore aquaculture industry Josef has been a passionate advocate, a pioneer and a leader in promoting High Energy Sites operations both locally and internationally.

Abstract- Offshore Aquaculture in Israel – Challenges and Opportunities of Working in High-Energy Sites

The global problem of depleting oceans and overexploited fisheries creating a shortage of fish is no stranger to the country of Israel. In the Mediterranean Sea (bordering Israel) alone, number of overexploited or collapsed fish stocks has been increasing at a rate of approximately 38% in the last 4 decades.

Taking into count the local Marine protein consumption and demand which are growing quickly and the challenging environmental and oceanic conditions that Israel has (lack of sheltered sites, scarce inland space, no available logistic infrastructure and rough seas) meant that creative solutions were needed to be developed in the field of aquaculture.   

Recognizing this need and growing trend for fish several years ago, Josef and his partner decided to act and become frontrunners for offshore innovative sustainable fish

farming and established GiliOcean Technology. The company's main product that was developed in collaboration with the Technion is SUBflex, a Submersible Single Point Mooring NetCage Systems that enables safe and efficient cultivation of marine species, in optimal open ocean natural conditions and with high environmental sustainability. Based on the technology the company has designed and operated 5 commercial farms in Israel with the latest being the world’s largest open ocean single array farming system, 15 kilometers of the country's coast, growing Seabream.

To further increase efficiency, Complimentary advanced technology's (e.g. designated marine vessels, biomass weighting camera & mechanical components) have been developed and incorporated in the farm by GiliOcean with contribution of the EU's H2020 program. Thus, simplifying operations, maximizing efficiency and upscaling the production of premium quality marine fish.

The company now looks to expand its operation in Israel and to other parts of the world, using its unique technology, extensive experience and accumulated "know how" in high energy mariculture sites.


Dr. Eran Hadas

Maof Hanegev Ltd


Eran Hadas

Short Bio

Dr. Eran Hadas graduated B.Sc and M.Sc degrees in animal science (Hebrew University) and Ph.D. in marine biology (Tel Aviv University). Over 20 years of experience in different aspects of aquaculture; including fish nutrition, fish feed production and management of R&D projects related to aquaculture (both in Israel and overseas). In the past 3 years managing the shrimp RAS project for Maof Hanegev. Further, managing the research fund and research project of the Israeli Fish Farmers Association.

Abstract- Shrimp (L. vannamei) culture in Recirculated Aquaculture systems (RAS) as a viable alternative to supply global shrimp demand

Eran Hadas, Asaf Elkayam, Yoav Dagan and David Hazut

Global shrimp production is about 4 million tons (2018) and the market value is estimated to be more than 40 billion USD per year (2018). More than 75% of the cultured shrimps are from a single species - the Pacific white leg shrimp (L. vannamei).

Presently, the entire shrimp production industry is based on extensive, outdoor ponds located within the Tropics. To a great extent, these production systems rely on exploitation of natural resources, such as the use of vast land areas, and the use of high quantities of water that are freely discharged into the environment. Whilst this type of natural resource usage results in relatively low production costs, the intensive use of land, the lack of biosecurity and the inability to control the effect of climate on culture ponds is not environmentally sustainable, results in unstable production, and in end products that sometimes cannot meet food health standards, such as cases of antibiotic residues in shrimps that exceed the norm.

An industrialized RAS is a viable alternative to the traditional shrimp culture industry, as it optimizes the use of all resources and enables bio-secured, year-round optimal culture conditions.

One of the main challenges in constructing a commercial RAS system for shrimp is the need to achieve a relatively high yield from production units; more than 10 times than is harvested in the traditional production system. Maof Hanegev has developed technology for high density production of shrimp in RAS.

Shrimp mortality in RAS can be significant in high density systems and research of the causes of mortality is a key element in the ability to commercialize shrimp RAS. Shrimp health in the newly developed system has been studied profoundly and several causes of mortality has been identified.

Presently, it has been shown that most shrimp mortality in the fully bio-secured system of Maof Hanegev is due to aggressive behavior and not due to infectious diseases. These findings demonstrate the advantage of RAS compared to outdoor systems, where infectious diseases are one of the main threats to the industry. Methods to decrease the aggressive behavior of shrimps cultured in high densities is one of the research targets of Maof Hanegev.


Dr. Yossi Tal

CTO, Seakura Israel

Poleg Industrial area, Netanya

Yossi Tal

Short Bio

Marine biologist, graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and formerly Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland. Currently CTO of Seakura Israel. My expertise is in the research and development of land-based marine aquaculture systems for the sustainable and clean production of seaweed and other marine foods.

Abstract- Seaweed production in Israel: from R & D to Scale

Seakura offers a unique and novel technology for growing and cultivating clean and nutritious seaweed in land- based systems with no environmental impact and high quality product. The global seaweed market is currently a $8 billion industry, consumed mainly in the Far East. The demand for seaweed is increasing dramatically in the Western countries. New and ecological trends in the food market and search for healthy food making the seaweed to a desirable product. Seakura provides the ultimate solution of clean and nutritious seaweed for the emerging Western market as well as to the Far East market. 

Niva Tadmor-Shalev

PhD candidate, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management

University of Haifa, Israel


Short Bio

Niva Tadmor-Shalev’s domain of expertise includes circular economics and techno-economic analysis of marine seaweed aquaculture, which encompasses the whole value chain from cultivation through harvesting to processing, with respect to the ecosystem services valuation and external cost and price modeling. Previously, as expert on the development of innovative and advanced management tools, she consulted and served as an adviser for more than 15 years to many technology firms. She was also the founder of OLGANOL LTD, a startup company that developed a cutting edge methodology to transform marine macroalgae biomass into Biofuel compounds. Currently, she is a PhD student at the department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management at the University of Haifa, where she received the Dean’s Cum Laude Graduation honor.  She also holds an MA in Industrial Management from Bar-Ilan University.

Abstract- Cost benefit analysis of protein production from the seaweed Gracilaria (rhodophyta), and modeling its future price – Israel as a case study

There is a growing interest in the production of protein from seaweeds cultivated both in land-based and offshore farms. Seaweed protein is considered a novel, high quality and sustainable protein source and can provide the nutrition needs for the growing population while becoming an alternative to current terrestrial protein sources (both animal and crops).  In the next three decades the demand for protein in Israel is expected to increase by more than 70%.  Agricultural land and fresh water are in shortage in Israel and local protein production from terrestrial animal and crops to meet the future protein demands may not suffice on the long-run. To explore the economic viability of producing protein in Israel from seaweeds at commercial scale, different economic assessment methods were used with respect to the seaweed farmer and society perspectives.

This study aims to estimate the costs and benefits associated with protein production and food provisioning from seaweed feedstock cultivated in the Israeli Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Mediterranean Sea and processed in a specially designed biorefinery plant. The study also analyzed the economic potential of seaweed to meet the future protein demand of the Israeli adult population (ages 20+), based on future price simulation. The capitalized costs and benefits which encompassed the protein production value chain (cultivation, harvesting and processing) were summed and included also ecosystem services valuation and external costs. A sensitivity analysis was performed, estimating NPV performance as a function of changes in biomass yield (ton FW/km-2/y-1), varying volumes (ton/y-1) of isolated protein production based on protein content variation (g/100g DW) in the biomass; and varying market prices (€/kg) of isolated protein.