Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Leetown, West Virginia » Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341878

Research Project: Developing and Refining Technologies for Sustainable Fish Growth in Closed Containment Systems

Location: Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research

Title: Getting proficient in RAS fundamentals - TCFFI trains aquaculture facility owners, operators and designers

Author
item Summerfelt, Steven - Freshwater Institute
item Vinci, Brian - Freshwater Institute
item Good, Christopher - Freshwater Institute

Submitted to: Global Aquaculture Advocate
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/27/2016
Publication Date: 8/5/2016
Citation: Summerfelt, S.T., Vinci, B., Good, C. 2016. Getting proficient in RAS fundamentals - TCFFI trains aquaculture facility owners, operators and designers. Global Aquaculture Advocate. August 5 2016.

Interpretive Summary: Practical, effective training is critical and often hard to come by for owners, operators, and even designers of large land-based closed-containment facilities that use water recirculating aquaculture systems. In fact, as large salmon farming companies are now investing heavily into increased use of these water recirculating systems to produce salmon and trout across northern Europe and North America, there is arguably a shortage of trained farm operators and managers to run these systems. As well, many of the state, federal and tribal programs in North America are adopting water recirculation technologies to improve their production to enhance or restore fish populations and their staff require training in these new technologies. To better meet these needs, The Conservation Fund's Freshwater Institute has taught 12 four-day courses across North America since 2007, most recently in Campbell River, British Columbia. In addition, the overall interaction between the students and instructors provides the instructors with feedback on what is currently working or not working in water recirculating systems and highlights everyday challenges and potential opportunities in RAS. These conversations have helped identify and prioritize future focus areas for research and development at The Freshwater Institute.

Technical Abstract: Many federal, state, and tribal aquaculture programs are adopting water recirculation technologies as a means to maintaining and/or expanding their level of fish production, while reducing the environmental impact of waste dissemination. Similarly, the North American commercial aquaculture industry is demonstrating increasing interest and adoption of these technologies for raising fish, given the numerous production and environmental benefits of this approach to fish farming. With the increased adoption of water recirculation technologies, there is currently a shortage in trained personnel who can effectively manage and operate these state-of-the-art systems. To meet this need, The Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute has taught 12 four-day courses across North America since 2007, focusing on practical, effective training for managers, operators, and entrepreneurs alike. This article summarizes our training program and the associated benefits that have been realized by this growing sector of the aquaculture industry.