The effects of RAS technology on fish health

The aquaculture sector in the Netherlands is relatively young and characterized as high tech. Due to climatic conditions, fish farming in the Netherlands is almost exclusively in 'closed' systems. The culture water can be reused many times through purification and the excreta of the fish on the fishfarm are broken down.

This recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) technology is the basis of all common forms of fish farming in the Netherlands. The Dutch Ministry would like more information about the use of RAS systems and their impact on animal health. Intention is to stimulate the further growth of the aquaculture sector in a sustainable way. Problems such as animal welfare, animal health and drug use, such as occur in intensive farming, should be avoided.

Important questions are: In what way is a beneficial microflora possible in a RAS system? What are the effects of the RAS design and management on the composition of the microflora? What are the effects of changing the feed composition on the system, the microflora and the health of the fish? This project gives more insight into this. The English report with all results appears in 2012.