Full house at recirculating aquaculture workshop

The international workshop on fish farming in recirculating aquaculture systems organized by the Nordic RAS Network in collaboration with Aquacircle and BioMar gathered fish farmers, researchers, civil servants, and media from 26 countries and six continents.

The conference offered a varied program with presentations on all the latest advances within technology and feed for recirculating aquaculture systems and gave a comprehensive insight into the rapid expansion of the recirculating technology within aquaculture.

Attentive audience at the RAS workshop in Aalborg, Denmark, in October 2013

Several presentations focused on the special requirements to fish feed posed by recirculating aquaculture systems.

BioMar's Executive Vice President Niels Alsted addressed in his key note speech the special challenges that are set by the volatile raw material markets and the changing raw material availabilities, as regards to the formulation of recirculating feed. In order to optimize both fish growth performance and biofilter performance it is advantageous to make as few changes as possible in the diet over time. But developments in the volatile raw material markets impose a still more flexible use of raw materials with more frequent changes in the formulation of diets. This calls for an intensive research in the effect of using different raw materials not just on a nutritional level of the feed but also regards to the impact it has on biofilter performance and water parameters.

Kim Schøn Ekman from BioMar R&D presented some of the research behind BioMar's ORBIT feed concept for fish farming in recirculating aquaculture systems. BioMar has since 2010 sold this specialized feed line for recirculating systems focusing on achieving the perfect balance between fish and biofilter performance and unleashing additional capacity from the biofilter.

In connection with the workshop BioMar organized together with several suppliers of equipment for recirculating aquaculture systems visits to some of the Danish recirculating farms producing salmon and trout. Visitors also had the chance to see the BioMar R&D Centre in Hirtshals Denmark, where the ORBIT concept was developed. The trial facility at the R&D Centre has been operating with a fully recirculated system for almost two decades and the experiences have proven to be extremely valuable in the development of a high performance feed concept for recirculating aquaculture systems.

The workshop was an excellent opportunity for networking between major stakeholders within recirculating aquaculture and everybody agreed that the big interest for the workshop illustrates the tremendous momentum that aquaculture in recirculating systems is gaining at the moment.

Recirculating aquaculture workshop participants visiting the BioMar R&D Centre in Hirtshals, Denmark.