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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF SUSTAINABLE LAND-BASED AQUACULTURE SYSTEMS

Location: Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research

2006 Annual Report


1.What major problem or issue is being resolved and how are you resolving it (summarize project aims and objectives)? How serious is the problem? Why does it matter?
U.S. consumers demand a cost-competitive, safe, reliable animal protein supply protected from the vagaries of changing world events and environmental calamity. This food must also be appealing, nutritious, and raised with minimal environmental impacts. Controlled intensive aquaculture systems are intrinsically secure agriculture systems. Aquatic animals are produced in a semi-closed environment with a protected water supply. Inputs to the system can be controlled, so quality assurance is comparatively easier to achieve than in some other animal confinement systems. Controlled intensive aquaculture systems are poised to expand to a large role in the aquacultural production of the US domestic edible seafood supply.

This project, which is aligned with NP #106 Aquaculture, uses a multi-disciplinary approach to develop and evaluate solutions for major challenges that delay this expansion. The objectives of this plan are:.
1)To develop and evaluate solutions that improve efficiencies of scale and reduce water quality constraints for sustainable production in controlled intensive aquaculture systems. .
2) To develop and evaluate sustainable waste management technologies that result in environmentally compatible controlled intensive aquaculture systems.

The capacity to produce a nutritious seafood product in an aquaculture system that is secure, reliable and economically and environmentally sustainable is the outcome expected from this work. Improvement in resource and capital efficiencies for controlled intensive aquaculture systems will result in superior production systems, improved management practices and expanded market and investment opportunities for domestic aquaculture production. This research program will result in more sustainable and globally competitive aquaculture systems for U.S. farmers. This work is relevant to consumers demanding cost competitive, high quality fish that have been raised in environmentally friendly production systems, fish farm operations producing a variety of freshwater and marine species in tank-based systems, and scientists and consultants that design and evaluate sustainable land-based finfish production systems.


2.List by year the currently approved milestones (indicators of research progress)
FY 2005 I.a. Overcome obstacles associated with large-scale culture tanks and determine the effect of noise in controlled intensive aquaculture systems i) Begin studies testing CO2 avoidance behavior for promoting fish transfer ii) Determine the effect of noise in controlled intensive aquaculture systems iii) Begin evaluating influence of culture tank noise on rainbow trout I.b. Develop unit processes to improve production system water quality i) Begin experiments to determine bacteria inactivation achieved during advanced oxidation process produced by ozonating immediately before UV irradiation. ii) Conduct descriptive study of rainbow trout health in high feed/low flow conditions iii) Set up and evaluate CO2 stripping in marine controlled intensive aquaculture systems iv) Collect growth and survival data on trout for NCCCWA I.c. Mitigate pathogens originating in the water supply i) Finish molecular characterization of CLO II.a. Treat solids and nutrients in aquaculture effluents i) Begin research on solids capture and dewatering in geotextile tubes II.b. Mitigate impact of feed on effluent quality i) Conduct trials using commercially available grain-based diets

FY 2006 I.a. Overcome obstacles associated with large-scale culture tanks and determine the effect of noise in controlled intensive aquaculture systems i) Begin solids flushing and water velocity profile studies in a 150 m3 culture tank ii) Complete studies of CO2 avoidance for promoting fish transfer iii) Begin studies testing low O2 avoidance behavior for promoting fish transfer iv) Complete studies evaluating influence of culture tank noise on rainbow trout I.b. Develop unit processes to improve production system water quality i) Complete small side-stream experiments to determine bacteria inactivation achieved during advanced oxidation process produced by ozonating immediately before UV irradiation ii) Build six replicated recirculating systems for fish health and systems research iii) Begin studying hypotheses re RBT health in high feed/low flow conditions iv) Complete empirical studies of CO2 stripping in seawater systems v) Collect growth and survival data on trout for NCCCWA I.c. Mitigate pathogens originating in the water supply i) Develop CLO assay ii) Investigate CLO infection reservoirs II.a. Treat solids and nutrients in aquaculture effluents i) Complete research on solids capture and dewatering in geotextile tubes ii) Begin research on geotextile tubes as membrane biological treatment systems II.b. Mitigate impact of feed on effluent quality ii) Conduct trials using commercially available grain-based diets

FY 2007 I.a. Overcome obstacles associated with large-scale culture tanks and determine the effect of noise in controlled intensive aquaculture systems i) Complete solids flushing and water velocity profile studies in 150 m3 culture tank ii) Compete studies testing low O2 avoidance behavior for promoting fish transfer iii) Transfer technology on effects and control of culture tank noise. I.b. Develop unit processes to improve production system water quality i) Determine ozone process control requirements for achieving full-flow bacteria inactivation using full-flow advanced oxidation process ii) Conduct studies of RBT health in high feed/low flow conditions iii) Complete modeling of CO2 stripping in marine controlled intensive aquaculture systems iv) Install O2 absorber/CO2 scrubber in existing partial reuse system v) Collect growth and survival data on trout for NCCCWA I.c. Mitigate pathogens originating in the water supply i) Characterize bacteria in fish GI tract II.a. Treat solids and nutrients in aquaculture effluents i) Continue research on geo-tubes as membrane biological treatment systems ii) Begin research to identify unit process improvement that will achieve advanced nutrient removal in MBR systems II.b. Mitigate impact of feed on effluent quality i) Conduct trials using USDA ARS (Dr. Rick Barrows) formulated grain-based diets

FY 2008 I.b. Develop unit processes to improve production system water quality i) Continue advanced oxidation studies ii) Continue studies of RBT health in high feed/low flow conditions iii) Evaluate O2 absorber/CO2 scrubber in partial reuse system iv) Collect growth and survival data for trout for NCCCWA I.c. Mitigate pathogens originating in the water supply i) Finish characterizing bacteria in fish GI tract and begin testing bacteriophage II.a. Treat solids and nutrients in aquaculture effluents i) Complete research on geo-tubes as membrane biological treatment systems ii) Continue research to identify unit process improvement that will achieve advanced nutrient removal in MBR systems II.b. Mitigate impact of feed on effluent quality ii) Conduct trials using USDA ARS (Dr. Rick Barrows) formulated grain-based diets

FY 2009 I.a. Overcome obstacles associated with large-scale culture tanks and determine the effect of noise in controlled intensive aquaculture systems i) Complete studies on fish transfer systems in deep circular tanks I.b. Develop unit processes to improve production system water quality i) Continue advanced oxidation studies ii) Finish studies of RBT health in high feed/low flow conditions iii) Evaluate O2 absorber/CO2 scrubber in partial-reuse system iv) Collect growth and survival data on trout for NCCCWA I.c. Mitigate pathogens originating in the water supply i) Finish testing phage and transfer technology II.a. Treat solids and nutrients in aquaculture effluents i) Complete research to identify unit process improvement that will achieve advanced nutrient removal in MBR systems II.b. Mitigate impact of feed on effluent quality i) Finish trials using USDA ARS (Dr. Rick Barrows) formulated grain-based diets

FY 2010 I.a. Overcome obstacles associated with large-scale culture tanks and determine the effect of noise in controlled intensive aquaculture systems i) Transfer technology I.b. Develop unit processes to improve production system water quality i) Complete advanced oxidation studies ii) Transfer technology for results rainbow trout health in high feed/low flow conditions iii) Complete studies on O2 absorber/CO2 scrubber in partial-reuse system iv) Collect growth and survival data on trout for NCCWA II.a. Treat solids and nutrients in aquaculture effluents i) Transfer technology II.b. Mitigate impact of feed on effluent quality i) Transfer technology


4a.List the single most significant research accomplishment during FY 2006.
Carbon Dioxide Avoidance Behavior Promotes Fish Transfer

Improvements in fish transfer and grading technologies for large circular tanks must be achieved to better realize their labor-saving potential and provide the technology required to achieve dramatic increases in domestic commercial fish production. Recent research at the Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute shows that rainbow trout can sense and will swim away from elevated concentrations of dissolved carbon dioxide, which is a by-product of fish respiration and is present in all natural waters. A non-invasive technique that takes advantage of the fish's avoidance response was developed to passively encourage fish to congregate in a distinct location, where they could be readily harvested or voluntarily swam into a separate tank. The new process can provide a highly efficient, inexpensive, safe, and humane process for transferring fish from large and deep circular culture tanks. This accomplishment aligns with the Aquaculture Production Systems component of NP 106.


4b.List other significant research accomplishment(s), if any.
Controlling Solids Flushing & Rotational Velocity in Large Dual-Drain Culture Tanks Larger circular culture tanks are being developed to reduce the capital and labor costs per ton of fish produced in marine and freshwater fish farms that use more environmentally compatible water recirculating systems. Replicated studies at the Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute determined that the solids flushing rate and water rotational velocity across large circular tanks could be predicted using engineering parameters. This research will improve the design and management of large-scale fish rearing tanks that are more labor and capital efficient production systems. This accomplishment aligns with the NP 106 Aquaculture Program Components: Aquaculture Production Systems (Production Intensity) and Sustainability and Environmental Compatibility of Aquaculture (Water Use & Reuse).

Carbon Dioxide Stripping Column Performance in Seawater vs. Freshwater Problems with unhealthy accumulations of dissolved carbon dioxide have been encountered in intensive land-based freshwater and marine aquaculture systems. Scientists at the Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute completed studies to determine how to better design forced-ventilated cascade aeration columns to improve dissolved carbon dioxide removal in both freshwater and full-strength seawater applications. This research will lead to improved water treatment process design for land-based controlled intensive aquaculture systems. This accomplishment aligns with the NP 106 Aquaculture Program Components: Aquaculture Production Systems (Production Intensity; Culture of Marine Species in Low-Salinity Water) and Sustainability and Environmental Compatibility of Aquaculture (Water Use & Reuse).

The effect of exposure to noise on rainbow trout hearing ability and productivity Noise is generated in aquaculture systems that utilize mechanical components. Fish exposed to extreme levels of noise may be stressed, grow more slowly and be more susceptible to disease. The effect of long-term exposure to 115, 130, or 150 dB re 1 µPa RMS on rainbow trout hearing sensitivity, growth, survival, and disease susceptibility was measured. There were no negative effects on any of the parameters at any of the sound levels, which included those commonly encountered in recirculating systems. This research was the result of a collaboration between The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute (Shepherdstown, WV), Marine Acoustics, Inc. (Annapolis, MD) and the University of Maryland Laboratory of Aquatic Bioacoustics (College Park, MD). For affected species, reduction of in-water noise in the culture tank will allow engineers to improve fish well-being and productivity through system design changes. This accomplishment aligns with the NP 106 Aquaculture Program Components: Aquaculture Production Systems (Production Intensity) and Sustainability and Environmental Compatibility of Aquaculture (Water Use & Reuse). Low Dissolved Oxygen Avoidance Behavior Promotes Fish Transfer Improvements in fish transfer and grading technologies for large circular tanks must be achieved to better realize their labor-saving potential and provide the technology required to achieve dramatic increases in domestic commercial fish production. Recent research at the Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute shows that rainbow trout can sense and will swim away from areas of relatively low dissolved oxygen concentrations and into an area containing near saturated dissolved oxygen concentrations, such as the inlet of a fish pump or pipe leading to another tank. However, studies found that complete transfer of rainbow trout to another tank could not be achieved before the remaining fish became weak and lost equilibrium. Thus, creating an avoidance response using low dissolved oxygen concentrations was not as effective or as practical a method to induce voluntary fish transfer as was the use of elevated concentrations of dissolved carbon dioxide. This accomplishment aligns with the Aquaculture Production Systems (Live Aquatic Animal Handling, Transport, and Inventory) component of NP 106.

Biological Filter Improves Dissolved Waste Removal from Intensive Trout Farm Effluent More effective technologies must be developed to remove dissolved waste products from large, but relatively dilute, aquaculture effluents. Scientists at The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute (Shepherdstown, WV) used full-scale fluidized sand biofilters to treat the effluent of an intensive trout production facility. These state-of-the-art filters consistently removed 90% of the total ammonia nitrogen and 60-80% of the carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand that entered the filters. The biofiltration technology required minimal attention, never required backwashing, and can be readily scaled to reduce the pollution discharged within large aquaculture effluents. This accomplishment aligns with the Sustainability and Environmental Compatibility of Aquaculture (Water Use and Reuse; Effluent Management Control; Environmental Sustainability) component of NP 106.

Advanced Oxidation Studies Fish culture systems that recirculate water can require an internal disinfection process to control the accumulation of pathogens and other microbial populations. The objective of the present study was to determine the levels of bacteria disinfection that can be achieved using ozonation alone or using the cumulative effect of ozonation followed by ultraviolet irradiation. Results indicate that when only ozone was applied, the total heterotrophic bacteria counts and total coliform bacteria counts in the water exiting the contact basin could be reduced but not eliminated. However, when ozonation was followed immediately with a modest dose of ultraviolet irradiation, the bacteria counts were reduced to almost zero. Thus, combining ozone with UV irradiation can be used to provide nearly complete bacteria inactivation within a water recirculating system, which would significantly reduce the risk of spreading fish disease. This accomplishment aligns with the NP 106 Aquaculture Program Components: Aquaculture Production Systems (Production Intensity) and Sustainability and Environmental Compatibility of Aquaculture (Water Use & Reuse).


4c.List significant activities that support special target populations.
Freshwater Institute scientists have provided technical support in aquaculture engineering, fish health and biosecurity, and trout and Arctic char culture across the Appalachian region. This work supports economic development in a region where many counties are rated as economically distressed and unemployment rates are greater than 10%. Across the Appalachian states of West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, there are many natural resources that appear to represent potential development opportunities. Current production figures indicate that the Mid-Atlantic Highlands region has not yet participated in the general expansion of the aquaculture industry in the U.S.


4d.Progress report.
This report documents research conducted under an Assistance Type Cooperative agreement between ARS and the Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute. Additional details of research can be found in the report for the parent CRIS 1930-32000-003-01G, Development of Sustainable Land-based Aquaculture Production Systems and prior CRIS 1930-31000-004-00D.

Voluntary fish transfer systems Data collection on the use of carbon dioxide avoidance for promoting fish transfer was completed in 2006, as was data collection on the use of low dissolved oxygen avoidance. Replicated studies showed that more than 99% of the rainbow trout would voluntarily swim away from waters containing elevated concentrations of dissolved carbon dioxide and even swim into a separate culture tank. The carbon dioxide avoidance technique required little labor, was safe for the fish, and can be integrated with a fish pump, brailing operation, or fish transfer channel to provide a relatively inexpensive and highly efficient fish system to transfer fish from large and deep circular culture tanks. Results have been published in the trade press, a scientific conference book of abstracts, and a scientific conference proceedings. Final revisions to a manuscript describing the use of carbon dioxide avoidance for promoting fish transfer research are nearly complete; the manuscript will be submitted to the journal Aquacultural Engineering. The low dissolved oxygen avoidance technique was not as effective and will probably not find commercial application. A manuscript describing the results of the study on low dissolved oxygen avoidance must still be written up for peer-reviewed journal publication.

Carbon dioxide stripping in seawater versus freshwater Studies were completed to determine how air:water loading levels, packing height, and packing type affect dissolved carbon dioxide removal at different salinity levels in clean water. Data from these experiments will now be used to adjust coefficient’s in the Onda mass transfer model to account for the effects of salinity and pH buffering that can occur in seawater systems. Results were presented at two scientific conferences and a manuscript describing the results is being written for submission to the journal Aquacultural Engineering.

Bacteria inactivation with ultraviolet irradiation and ozone Replicated studies on a side-stream flow were completed to determine the combined dosages of ozone and ultraviolet irradiation required to inactivate total heterotrophic and total coliform bacterial populations. Results were presented at three scientific conferences and were published in a conference proceedings. Final revisions to a manuscript describing these results are nearly complete; the manuscript will be submitted to the journal Aquacultural Engineering. Studies on full-scale ozonation followed by ultraviolet irradiation will be conducted in 2006-2007.

Impaired rainbow trout health in systems that feed at greater than 1.3 kg/d feed per m3/d makeup water flow Rainbow trout health in conditions of low makeup flow rates relative to feeding rates will be studied in replicated recirculating systems. Components to construct six replicated recirculating systems were purchased and installed in this collaborative project between the Freshwater Institute and the USDA ARS NCCCWA. A replicated study to compare growth, feed conversion ratios, and survival between low and high makeup flow rate treatments has begun.

Biological Filter Treatment of Intensive Trout Farm Effluent Data collection will continue into 2007 to determine treatment efficiencies and bed management requirements for full-scale fluidized sand biofilters that are treating the effluent of an intensive trout production facility. Preliminary results were presented at a scientific conferences and were published in its conference proceedings. A manuscript describing the results of the study must still be finished and submitted to the journal Aquacultural Engineering.

Improving Biosolids Capture and Thickening in Geotextile Tube Filters Replicated geotextile bags were dosed at a hydraulic loading rate of 0.06 m3/day per m2 bag area and with 50 mg/L alum and 20 mg/L polymer over a three month period to determine long-term waste capture efficiencies. Data collection using alum as a coagulant was completed in 2006 and trials with first ferric chloride and then lime will be conducted into 2007. The purpose of testing three different chemicals is to determine if coagulant choice impacts nutrient leaching under the conditions tested. If nutrient leaching into the bag permeate could be minimized through coagulant selection, then geotextile bag would provide a convenient and effective method, one that avoids requirement for gravity thickening tanks or lagoons, to dewater waste biosolids and provide them in a form that fish farmers could readily transport, store, or send for disposal. Preliminary results were presented at a scientific conferences and were published in its conference proceedings. A manuscript describing the final results of this study will be written and submitted to the journal Aquacultural Engineering.

The effect of exposure to noise on rainbow trout hearing ability and productivity Data collection was completed that determined that rainbow trout exposed to extreme levels of noise generated in aquaculture systems are not stressed, do not grow more slowly, and are not more susceptible to disease. This research was the result of a collaboration between The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute (Shepherdstown, WV), Marine Acoustics, Inc. (Annapolis, MD) and the University of Maryland Laboratory of Aquatic Bioacoustics (College Park, MD). Results were presented at several scientific conferences and were published in a conference proceedings. Two manuscripts describing the results of this study have been written and will be submitted to peer-reviewed journals.

Question 5. Describe major accomplishments to date and their predicted or actual impact.

Although this report represents only the completion of the first full year of research, new or improved technologies, aquaculture production practices, and engineering design criteria have been produced over the life of this project. This research contributed to increased application of technology to aquatic animal production and the development of economically viable, globally competitive, and environmentally responsible aquaculture production systems. This information has been used to improve the performance of existing fish farms and to design new water recirculating facilities for tilapia, hybrid striped bass, rainbow trout, Arctic char, and Atlantic salmon smolt that are either in the design phase or currently under construction. Improvements in large-scale culture tank design, water disinfection processes, and carbon dioxide control will help fish farmers improve culture tank water quality, increase production capacity, and reduce fish farm production costs. The following new or improved aquaculture production practices, technologies, and engineering design criteria were produced: • Critical parameters for designing water inlet structures were determined, along with the necessary split of water flow through the bottom-center drain, within large (< 200 m3) dual-drain circular culture tanks, which allow some control of the water rotational velocity profile within the tank and provide for rapid solids flushing. Improving hydraulics within large circular tanks will help fish farms better realize their labor-saving potential and provide the technology required for achieving dramatic increases in domestic commercial fish production. These culture tank design details are now being implemented in the design of several fish farms. This design information will improve culture tank water quality and reduce fish farm capital costs by combining the function of high density rearing containment with the ability to separate settleable biosolids into a relatively small bottom center drain flow.

• A synergistic improvement in bacteria inactivation was produced by combining ozonation with ultraviolet irradiation in recirculating systems for salmonid production. Presentations and publications on the design guidelines and performance expectations have helped to educate engineering consultants and fish farmers on the application of ozone and ultraviolet irradiation in water reuse systems. These findings are predicted to produce more biosecure aquatic production systems that sustain healthier and more growth promoting environments.

• Carbon dioxide stripping column performance was characterized as a function of air:water loading levels, packing height, and salinity levels. Aquacultural engineering consultants and fish farmers are using this design information to improve culture tank water quality and increase carrying capacity within both freshwater and marine high-intensity fish production systems.

Wastewater management strategies and technology that producers can select as the most appropriate for their existing aquaculture operation were generated from this research. As a results of this research, industry-wide aquaculture operations that meet or exceed state and proposed EPA effluent standards for aquaculture will become more common. The following new or improved technologies and waste management practices were developed:

• Fluidized sand biofilters were shown to effectively treat dissolved wastes in salmonid farms that produce relatively large but dilute aquaculture effluents.. These state-of-the-art filters consistently removed 90% of the total ammonia nitrogen and 60-80% of the carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (cBOD) that entered the filters, producing mean (± se) outlet concentrations of total ammonia nitrogen and carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand of < 0.2 mg/L and < 2.5 mg/L, respectively. The technology is very compact, simple to manage, never requires backwashing, and can be readily scaled to treat large flows. Large fluidized sand biofilters will likely be installed to remove total ammonia nitrogen and cBOD from large effluents discharged from both private and public salmonid production facilities.

Awards

Aquacultural Engineering Society Meritorious Service Award Brian Vinci receives the AES Meritorious Service Award during the AES Annual Meeting, which was held at Aquaculture America 2006 in February. The award recognizes an AES member’s unswerving loyalty, dedication, and meritorious service to the society over a long period of time; and for exceptional commitment to the programs, ideals, objectives and long-term goals of AES.

Aquacultural Engineering Society Honorable Mention Paper Awards. The Freshwater Institute received two Honorable Mention Paper Awards given by the Aquacultural Engineering Society that both resulted from USDA ARS funding provided to the Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute:

Summerfelt, S.T., Davidson, J., Waldrop, T., Tsukuda, S., Bebak-Williams, J. (2004). A Partial-Reuse System for Coldwater Aquaculture. Aquacultural Engineering 31, 157-181.

Watten, B. J., Boyd, C. E., Schwartz, M. F., Summerfelt, S. T., Brazil, B. L. (2004). Feasibility of measuring dissolved carbon dioxide based on headspace partial pressures. Aquacultural Engineering, 30, 83-101.


5.Describe the major accomplishments to date and their predicted or actual impact.
New or improved technologies, aquaculture production practices, and engineering design criteria have been produced over the life of this project. This research contributed to increased application of technology to aquatic animal production and the development of economically viable, globally competitive, and environmentally responsible aquaculture production systems. This research has been used to improve the production efficiency of warm (e.g., tilapia), cool (e.g., walleye, yellow perch, and hybrid striped bass), and cold water (e.g., rainbow trout, Arctic char, and Atlantic salmon smolt) aquatic species that are cultured within large-scale recirculating aquaculture systems. Improvements in large-scale culture tank design and in carbon dioxide control will help fish farmers improve culture tank water quality, increase production capacity, and reduce fish farm production costs. A novel fish transfer method was developed. Reduced labor requirements, improved worker safety, and food quality and increased animal well-being result from this research. The following new or improved aquaculture production practices, technologies, and engineering design criteria were produced: - Critical parameters for designing water inlet structures were determined, along with the necessary split of water flow through the bottom-center drain, within large dual-drain circular culture tanks, which allow some control of the water rotational velocity profile within the tank and provide for rapid solids flushing. Improving hydraulics within large circular tanks up to 1,000 m3 in volume will help fish farms better realize their labor-saving potential and provide the technology required for achieving dramatic increases in domestic commercial fish production. These culture tank design details are being implemented at fish farms across North America to improve culture tank water quality and reduce fish farm capital costs by combining the function of high density rearing containment with the ability to separate settleable biosolids into a relatively small bottom center drain flow. - A new fish transfer technology was developed that uses a fish's natural response to swim away from waters containing elevated concentrations of dissolved carbon dioxide and even swim into a separate culture tank. Producing dissolved carbon dioxide concentrations of more than 60 mg/L throughout most of a well mixed circular culture tank induced fish to congregate in a distinct location where a low dissolved carbon dioxide containing water flow entered the culture tank. The carbon dioxide avoidance technique required little labor, was safe for the fish, and can be integrated with a fish pump, brailing operation, or fish transfer channel to provide a relatively inexpensive and highly efficient system to transfer fish to and from large and deep circular culture tanks. This commercial-scale fish transfer technology will help intensive fish farms reduce labor requirements and simplify the use of larger and more cost effective culture tanks. - A synergistic improvement in bacteria inactivation was produced by combining ozonation with ultraviolet irradiation in recirculating systems for salmonid production. Presentations and publications on the design guidelines and performance expectations have helped to educate engineering consultants and fish farmers on the application of ozone and ultraviolet irradiation in water reuse systems. These findings will produce more biosecure aquatic production systems that sustain healthier and more growth promoting environments. - Carbon dioxide stripping column performance was characterized as a function of air:water loading levels, packing height, and salinity levels. Aquacultural engineering consultants and fish farmers are using this design information to improve culture tank water quality and increase carrying capacity within both freshwater and marine high-intensity fish production systems. - Research identifying practical methods for reducing noise transfer into fish culture tanks were identified. For affected species, reduction of in-water noise in the culture tank will allow engineers to improve fish well-being and productivity through system design changes. Wastewater management strategies and technology that producers can select as the most appropriate for their existing aquaculture operation were generated from this research. As a result of this research, industry-wide aquaculture operations that meet or exceed state and proposed EPA effluent standards for aquaculture will become more common. The following new or improved technologies and waste management practices were developed: - A geotextile bag filter using coagulation and flocculation aids (i.e., alum and polymer) was evaluated for removing and thickening suspended solids and phosphorus from the microscreen backwash discharged from intensive recirculating aquaculture systems. Geotextile bag filter design and management recommendations are being developed to improve waste capture, dewatering, and disposal at both private and public intensive aquaculture facilities. - Fluidized sand biofilters were shown to effectively treat dissolved wastes in salmonid farms that produce relatively large but dilute aquaculture effluents. These state-of-the-art filters consistently removed 90% of the total ammonia nitrogen and 60-80% of the carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (cBOD) that entered the filters, producing mean outlet concentrations of total ammonia nitrogen and carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand of < 0.2 mg/L and < 2.5 mg/L, respectively. The technology was very compact, simple to manage, never required backwashing, and can be readily scaled to treat large flows. Fluidized sand biofilters could be broadly applied to remove total ammonia nitrogen and cBOD from large effluents discharged from both private and public salmonid production facilities.

Awards

Aquacultural Engineering Society Meritorious Service Award Brian Vinci receives the AES Meritorious Service Award during the AES Annual Meeting, which was held at Aquaculture America 2006 in February. The award recognizes an AES member's unswerving loyalty, dedication, and meritorious service to the society over a long period of time; and for exceptional commitment to the programs, ideals, objectives and long-term goals of AES.

Aquacultural Engineering Society Honorable Mention Paper Awards. The Freshwater Institute received two Honorable Mention Paper Awards given by the Aquacultural Engineering Society that both resulted from USDA ARS funding provided to the Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute:

Summerfelt, S.T., Davidson, J., Waldrop, T., Tsukuda, S., Bebak-Williams, J. (2004). A Partial-Reuse System for Coldwater Aquaculture. Aquacultural Engineering 31, 157-181.

Watten, B. J., Boyd, C. E., Schwartz, M. F., Summerfelt, S. T., Brazil, B. L. (2004). Feasibility of measuring dissolved carbon dioxide based on headspace partial pressures. Aquacultural Engineering, 30, 83-101.


6.What science and/or technologies have been transferred and to whom? When is the science and/or technology likely to become available to the end-user (industry, farmer, other scientists)? What are the constraints, if known, to the adoption and durability of the technology products?
Scientists at the Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute (Shepherdstown, WV) are transferring information directly to fish farmers through personal contact technical assistance, group tours and visits to the research facility, publication and presentations at industry meetings and focused workshops. Specific information on biosecurity, biofiltration, disinfection, tank design, product quality, fish health, effluent waste treatment, water resource characterization, dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide management have been provided to industry stakeholders and academic colleagues. This research has been used to improve the production efficiency of warm (e.g., tilapia), cool (e.g., walleye, yellow perch, and hybrid striped bass), and cold water (e.g., rainbow trout, Arctic char, and Atlantic salmon smolt) aquatic species that are cultured within large-scale recirculating aquaculture systems. Innovative research on recirculating system design and management and fish harvest technologies has provided the aquaculture industry with new or improved practices to increase the efficiency of fish production in an environment of limiting water resources and tight pollution discharge requirements. In addition, improved waste management processes and guidelines were provided to industry that link production system management and design with improved waste management processes and practices. Also, integrated aquatic animal health management research resulted in technology transfer regarding the interrelationship between physical system design, the aquatic environment, and occurrence of disease in intensively cultured fish.


7.List your most important publications in the popular press and presentations to organizations and articles written about your work. (NOTE: List your peer reviewed publications below).
Clingerman, J., Bebak-Williams, J., Summerfelt, S.T. 2006. Trout’s carbon dioxide avoidance behavior used to improve transfer, harvest process. Global Aquaculture Advocate, 9(3), 44-45.

Davidson, J., Frankel, A., Ellison, W., Summerfelt, S., Ford, F., Mason, B., Coffinberger, D., Popper, A.N., Bebak-Williams, J. 2006. Minimizing Noise in Fiberglass Aquaculture Tanks: Noise Reduction Potential of Various Tank Retrofits. Aquaculture America 2006, February 13-16, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Davidson, J., Frankel, A., Ellison, W., Summerfelt, S., Ford, F., Popper, A.N., Mazik, P., Bebak-Williams, J. 2006. Mimimizing noise in fiberglass aquaculture tanks: Noise reduction potential of various retrofits. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture, July 21-23, Roanoke, VA, pp. 458-464. (Poster)

Davidson, J., Helwig, N., Summerfelt, S.T. 2006. Fluidized sand biofilters used to remove ammonia, biochemical oxygen demand, and suspended solids from an aquaculture effluent. In: 6th International Recirculating Aquaculture Conference, July 20-23, Roanoke, VA, pp. 167-176.

Davidson, J., Wysocki, E., Smith, M., Popper, A.N., Frankel, A., Ellison, W., Welch, T., Ford, F., Bebak-Williams, J. 2006. The Effect of Aquaculture Noise on the Growth, Survival, and Disease Resistance of Rainbow Trout. Aquaculture America 2006, February 13-16, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ebeling, J. M., Timmons, M.B., Welch, C.F., Rishel, K.L. 2005. Design and Operation of a Zero-exchange Mixed-cell Raceway. 2nd International Sustainable Marine Fish Culture Conference and Workshop, October 19-21, HBOI, Fort Pierce, FL.

Ebeling, J. M., Welch, C.F., Rishel, K.L., Timmons, M.B. 2005. Stoichiometry of Photoautotrophic, Autotrophic, and Heterotrophic Bacterial Removal of Ammonia-nitrogen and Impact of the C/N Ratio on Water Quality in Zero-exchange Shrimp Production Systems. 2nd International Sustainable Marine Fish Culture Conference and Workshop, October 19-21, HBOI, Fort Pierce, FL.

Ebeling, J. M. 2006. K.I.S.S. Keep it Simple for the Students. Special Education Session at Aquaculture America. Aquaculture America 2006, February 13-16, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ebeling, J. M., Timmons, M.B., Bisogni, J.J. 2006. Review of Autotrophic and Heterotrophic Bacterial Control of Ammonia-nitrogen in Zero-exchange Production Systems: Stoichiometry and Experimental Verification. Aquaculture America 2006, February 13-16, Las Vegas, NV.

Ebeling, J. M., Timmons, M.B., Bisogni, J.J. 2006. A Review of Photoautotrophic, Autotrophic, and Heterotrophic Bacterial Control of Ammonia in Zero-exchange Production Systems. Aquaculture America, February 13-16, Las Vegas, NV.

Ebeling, J. M., Timmons, M.B., Welch, C.F., Rishel, K.L. 2006. Utilization of a Zero-exchange, Mixed-cell Raceway for the Production of Marine Shrimp. Aquaculture America 2006, February 13-16, Las Vegas, NV.

Ebeling, J. M., Welch, C.F., Rishel, K.L. 2006. Performance Evaluation of the Hydrotech Belt Filter System for Aquaculture Waste Management. Aquaculture America 2006, February 13-16, Las Vegas, NV.

Ebeling, J. M., Welch, C.F., Timmons, M.B. 2006. So Which One is it: Photoautotrophic, Autotrophic, or Heterotrophic Bacteria Controlling the Ammonia-nitrogen? Aquaculture America 2006, February 13-16, Las Vegas, NV.

Ebeling, J. M., Wheaton, F.W. 2006. In-situ Development of Performance Characteristic Curves for Biofilters. Aquaculture America 2006, February 13-16, Las Vegas, NV.

Ebeling, J.M., Rishel, K.L., Sibrell, P.L. 2006. The screening and evaluation of alum and polymer combinations as coagulation/ flocculation aids. In: 6th International Recirculating Aquaculture Conference, July 20-23, Roanoke, VA, pp. 177-184.

Ebeling, J.M., Welsh, C.F., Rishel, K.L. 2006. Performance evaluation of the Hydrotech belt filter in intensive recirculating aquaculture systems. In: 6th International Recirculating Aquaculture Conference, July 20-23, Roanoke, VA, pp. 185-194.

Ebeling, J.M., Rishel, K.L. 2006. Performance evaluation of geotextile tubes. In: 6th International Recirculating Aquaculture Conference, July 20-23, Roanoke, VA, pp. 195-204.

Rishel, K. L., Ebeling, J.M. 2006. The Screening and Evaluation of Alum and Polymer Combinations as Coagulation/Flocculation Aids to Treat Intensive Aquaculture Effluents. Aquaculture America 2006, February 13-16, Las Vegas, NV. Rishel, K. L., Ebeling, J.M., Schwartz, M.F. 2006. Performance Evaluation of Geotextile Tubes for Aquaculture Waste Management. Aquaculture America 2006, February 13-16, Las Vegas, NV.

Sharrer, M.J., Summerfelt, S.T., Hankins, J.A. 2005. Membrane Biological Reactor Treatment for Reclaiming a Saline Recirculating System Backwash Flow. pp. 25 In: 2nd International Sustainable Marine Fish Culture Conference, October 19-21, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Fort Pierce, FL.

Sharrer, M., Summerfelt, S.T. 2006. Ozonation and UV irradiation provide synergy for inactivating bacteria in a coldwater recirculating system. In: 6th International Recirculating Aquaculture Conference, July 20-23, Roanoke, VA, pp. 233-243.

Sharrer, M., Hankins, J.A., Ferrier, D., Tal, Y., Summerfelt, S.T. 2006. Membrane biological reactor treatment of a saline backwash flow from a recirculating aquaculture system. In: 6th International Recirculating Aquaculture Conference, July 20-23, Roanoke, VA, pp. 205-214.

Summerfelt, S.T. 2006. Keynote Presentation – Achieving economies of scale in controlled intensive aquaculture systems. In: 6th International Recirculating Aquaculture Conference, July 20-23, Roanoke, VA.

Summerfelt, S.T., Vinci, B.J., Bebak-Williams, J. 2006. Unit process engineering for water quality control and biosecurity in marine water recirculating systems. In: 6th International Recirculating Aquaculture Conference, July 20-23, Roanoke, VA, pp. 101-110.

Summerfelt, S.T., Smith, D., Gearheart, M., Watten, B.J. 2006. Comparing carbon dioxide stripping column performance in freshwater and seawater. In: 6th International Recirculating Aquaculture Conference, July 20-23, Roanoke, VA, pp. 325.

Summerfelt, S.T., Sharrer, M., Marshall, C., Obaldo, O., 2006. Controlling water velocity across large ‘Cornell-type’ dual-drain culture tanks,” In: 6th International Recirculating Aquaculture Conference, July 20-23, Roanoke, VA, pp. 382-393.

Summerfelt, S.T., Smith, D., Gearheart, M., Watten, B.J. 2005. Comparing Carbon Dioxide Stripping Across Forced-ventilated Cascade Columns in Freshwater and Seawater. pp. 26 In: 2nd International Sustainable Marine Fish Culture Conference, October 19-21, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Fort Pierce, FL.

Summerfelt, S. T., Clingerman, J., Bebak-Williams, J. 2005. Carbon Dioxide Avoidance Response by Rainbow Trout Provides Stimulus for Self-fish Transfer Between Tanks. 56th Annual Northwest Fish Culture Conference, December 6-8, Boise, Idaho.

Summerfelt, S. T., Sharrer, M., Gearheart, M., Vinci, B.J., Gillette, K. 2005. Evaluation of Two 8,000 L/min Partial Water Reuse Systems Used for Atlantic Salmon Smolt Production at the White River National Fish Hatchery. 56th Annual Northwest Fish Culture Conference, December 6-8, Boise, Idaho.

Summerfelt, S. T., Bebak-Williams, J., Waldrop, T., Goodrick, B. 2005. Evaluation of a Percussive Stunning System for Slaughter of 0.4-1.4 kg Rainbow Trout. Aquaculture Canada 2005. July 3-6, St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada.

Summerfelt, S.T. 2006. Improving Technologies in Controlled, Intensive Aquaculture Systems. Center of Marine Biotechnology 2005-2006 Seminar Program, March 29, University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Summerfelt, S. R. 2006. Improving Technologies in Controlled, Intensive Aquaculture Systems. CRIS Project Seminar for BARD/MARD Deligation, April 13, ARS National Center of Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture, Leetown, WV.

Summerfelt, S. T., Bebak-Williams, J., Waldrop, T., Goodrick, B. 2005. Evaluation of a Percussive Stunning System for Slaughter of 0.4-1.4 kg Rainbow Trout. Global Aquaculture Advocate 8(6): 26-27.

Summerfelt, S.T., J. Bebak-Williams, T. Waldrop, B. Goodrick. 2006. Evaluation of a Percussive Stunning System for Slaughter of 0.9 kg Rainbow Trout. Aquaculture America 2006, February 13-16, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Summerfelt, S.T., J. Clingerman, J. Bebak-Williams. 2006. Fish Transfer Between Tanks Based on a Carbon Dioxide Avoidance Response. Aquaculture America 2006, February 13-16, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Vinci, B. J. 2006. Getting the Phosphorus out of Traditional Treatment Systems. Maine Aquaculture Association Hatchery Effluent Workshop, April 5, Eddington, ME.

Wolters, W.R., Summerfelt, S.T., Vinci, B.J., Masters, A., Brazil, B.L. 2005. Facilities and Program Development at the USDA, ARS National Coldwater Marine Aquaculture Center in Franklin, ME. pp. 18 In: 2nd International Sustainable Marine Fish Culture Conference. October 19-21, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Fort Pierce, FL.

Wysocki, L.E., Davidson, J., Smith, M.E., Popper, A.N., Frankel, A., Ellison, W., Bebak-Williams, J. 2006. The effect of aquaculture noise on hearing sensitivity, growth, and survival of rainbow trout. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture, July 21-23, Roanoke, VA, pp. 360-362.

Wysocki, L.E., Smith, M.E., Popper, A.N., Davidson, J., Frankel, A., Ellison, W., Ford, F., Bebak-Williams, J. 2006. Effects of Environmental Noise on Hearing Capabilities of Fish. 29th MidWinter Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, February 5-9, Baltimore, MD. (Poster)

Wysocki, L., Smith, M.E., Popper, A.N., Davidson, J., Frankel, A., Ellison, W., Ford, F., Bebak-Williams, J. 2006. The effect of aquaculture noise on hearing sensitivity and ear development of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. Aquaculture America 2006, February 13-16, Las Vegas, Nevada. (Poster).

Scientific publications:

Brazil, B. L., Summerfelt, S. T. 2006. Aerobic Treatment of Gravity Tickening Tank Supernatant. Aquacultural Engineering 34:92-102.

Bullock, G.L., Schill, W.B. 2006. The Effect of Disinfection Strategies on Transmission of Aeromonas salmonicida and Yersinia ruckeri in a Recirculating Aquaculture System. International Journal of Recirculating Aquaculture 7:1-11.

Campbell, P. J., Galligan, D.T., Bebak-Williams, J. 2006. Trout Farm Optimization: Identifying Opportunities at a Sole-proprietor Farm. Journal of Applied Aquaculture 18(2):1-21.

Danley, M. L., Kenney, B.P., Mazik, P.M., Kiser, R., Hankins, J.H. 2005. Effects of Carbon Dioxide Exposure on Intensively Cultured Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss: Physiological Responses & Fillet Attributes. Journal of World Aquaculture Society 36(3):249-261.

Ebeling, J. M., Welsh, C.F., Rishell, K.L. 2006. Performance Evaluation of the Hydrotech Belt Filter Using Coagulation / Flocculation Aids (Alum/Polymers) for the Removal of Suspended Solids and Phosphorus from Intensive Recirculating Microscreen Backwash Effluent. Aquacultural Engineering 35:61-77.

Ebeling, J. M., Timmons, M.B., Joiner, J.A., Labatut, R.A. 2005. Mixed-Cell Raceway: Engineering Design Criteria, Construction, Hydraulic Characterization. Journal of North American Aquaculture 67(3):193-201.

Gearheart, J. M., Masters, A.L., Bebak-Williams, J. 2006. Application of Methods for the Detoxification and Neutralization of Formalin in Fish Hatchery Effluents. North American Journal of Aquaculture 68:256-263.

Noble, A.C., Garner, M.M., Nordhausen, R.W. 2005. Chronic Diarrhea in Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) Cultured in a Semi-closed Recirculation System. Bulletin of the European Association of Fish Pathologists 25:248-255. Rishel, K. L., Ebeling, J.M. 2006. Screening and evaluation of alum and polymer combinations as coagulation/floccuation aids to treat effluents from intensive aquaculture systems. Journal World Aquaculture Society 37(2):191-199.

Summerfelt, S.T. 2006. Design and Management of Conventional Fluidized-Sand Biofilters. Aquacultural Engineering 34:275-302.


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