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SUSTAINAQ - Sustainable Aquaculture Production through the Use of Recirculation Systems


The objective of this proposal is to identify factors limiting sustainable production of seafood in Europe, with particular focus on the use of Recirculation Aquaculture Systems (RAS).

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Fish farming is increasing in importance as provider of food for human consumption. However, availability of feed resources, access to water of desired quality and acceptable waste management may challenge future growth of European aquaculture industry.

It is therefore necessary to identify production techniques to meet these challenges by being sustainable and guarantee the production of safe and high quality products. Recirculation Aquaculture Systems (RAS) may be such a technique that can be applicable to more countries within the EU than where it is presently used. Recirculation systems already exist in western countries and proved economically feasible, permit control of the production process including effluents and escapees.
Although improvements are still needed related to maximal growth rate of the fish, possible off-flavour problems and specific diseases, RAS has great advantages compared to traditional farming from an environmental point of view. Knowledge about, and experience from, use of different RAS throughout Europe would give valuable information about the pros and cons for these systems and how they work under different environmental conditions.
Eastern European countries are facing problems of water use conflicts, wastes and maintaining breeder stocks of endangered fish species. The biggest potential for improved farming practice through the introduction of RAS is perhaps in Eastern Europe.
However, implementation of technology in any part of Europe needs to be based on detailed knowledge of viability of RAS in conjunction with the prevailing environmental conditions.
For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> Web site.

Saether, Bjorn-Steinar
Norwegian Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, Fiskeriforskning
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