Inauguration of the new aquaculture center with recirculating water. (Photo: Reidun Lilleholt, Nofima)
Nofima launches a recirculation water centre for aquaculture
Monday, December 06, 2010, 05:00 (GMT + 9)
An advanced research centre for recirculation of water in aquaculture was recently launched at Sunndalsøra.
“The focus here at the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (Nofima) centre is on research and sustainability for the future,” said Fisheries and Coastal Affairs Minister Lisbeth Berg-Hansen.
The centre’s main goal is to add to greater knowledge about fish nutrition, physiology, health and welfare in the key farmed species in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). Environmental control will boost Nofima’s tools in other areas too, such as classical nutrition.
This is currently the only research facility for recirculation on a commercial scale and unique in the European Union (EU).
It is best suited for testing of gear, methods and operational routines together with the industry.
The centre can employ freshwater and seawater and possesses both RAS and flow-through tanks. It now has four completely separate recirculating systems, each containing side and centre outlets in the tanks, particle collectors at tank level, ozone treatment, micro sieves, moving bed biofilters/bioreactors each with three chambers, counter-current CO2 degassers, pump sump and oxygen contactors.
|The Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen, opened the research centre by pumping fish into the tanks. Nofima will now carry out research on the optimal environmental conditions for fish in recirculating water. Right now it’s salmon parr swimming in the tanks at Sunndalsøra. (Photo: Reidun Lilleholt, Nofima)
“The fact that Nofima is now starting to use an advanced and modern research centre in recirculation gives the industry yet another tool in their work to develop sustainable and future-looking solutions for aquaculture in the future,” stated Nofima CEO Øyvind Fylling-Jensen.
In Nofima’s plant, 99 per cent of the water is recycled, which allows for remarkably good control of the water environment and a sensible use of water resources. Also, because the plant is closed, the fish will be better protected against infection.
|Nofima Centre for Recirculation in Aquaculture. (Design: AquaOptima, Nofima)
Fish farmed with RAS technology show greater strength when transferred to sea cages plus more predictable survival and growth rates. Nofima will test this hypothesis systematically and find the direct causes of these results.
Nofima is also analysing how nutrients in the water can be recycled and reused for soil improvement and other purposes.
“There is a lot we have experienced that functions better using RAS technology instead of flow-through technology, but know little about the reasons,” said Klemet Steen from Lerøy Seafood Group who has operational responsibility for RAS plants.
“There is a need to clarify certain threshold values. For instance, we know little about how much waste feed the biofilters can endure,” he added.
The centre was developed to be flexible so as to easily replace technology as it advances and to enable research on future RAS-related feats.
By Natalia Real