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Environmentally sustainable land-based marine aquaculture
Tal, Y.; Schreier, H.J.; Sowers, K.R.; Stubblefield, J.D.; Place, A.R.; Zohar, Y. (2009). Environmentally sustainable land-based marine aquaculture. Aquaculture 286(1-2): 28-35. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aquaculture.2008.08.043
In: Aquaculture. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0044-8486, more
Peer reviewed article

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Keywords
    Anaerobic conditions; Denitrification; Intensive culture; Marine aquaculture; Methane; Recirculating systems; Recycling; Sludge; Sulfides; Waste treatment; Sparus aurata Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Tal, Y.
  • Schreier, H.J.
  • Sowers, K.R.
  • Stubblefield, J.D.
  • Place, A.R.
  • Zohar, Y.

Abstract
    Reduced fishery harvests and increased consumer demand for seafood have precipitated an increase in intensive fish farming, predominantly in coastal and open ocean net-pens. However, as currently practiced, aquaculture is widely viewed as detrimental to the environment and typical operations are vulnerable to environmental influences, including pollution and endemic diseases. Here we report the development of a land-based, marine recirculating aquaculture system that is fully contained, with virtually no environmental impact as a result of highly efficient biological waste treatment and water recycling. Over 99% of the water volume was recycled daily by integrating aerobic nitrification to eliminate toxic ammonia and, for the first time, simultaneous, anaerobic denitrification and anaerobic ammonium oxidation, to convert ammonia and nitrate to nitrogen gas. Hydrogen sulfide generated by the separated endogenous organic solids was used as an electron source for nitrate reduction via autotrophic denitrification and the remaining organic solids were converted to methane and carbon dioxide. System viability was validated by growing gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) from 61 g to 412 g for a total of 1.7 tons in a record 131 days with 99% fish survival. Ammonia nitrite and nitrate did not exceed an average daily concentration of 0.8 mg/l, 0.2 mg/l and 150 mg/l, respectively. Food conversion values were 16% lower than recorded levels for net-pen aquaculture and saltwater usage of less than 16 l/every kg of fish produced. The system is site-independent, biosecure, devoid of environmental contaminants and is not restricted to a single species.

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