Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) are designed to control the environmental facets of production by continually filtering, treating, and reusing water and thus increasing operational efficiency while reducing risks from pollution and pathogens. RAS have low direct land and water requirements and enable high stocking densities but do require large energy inputs and thus have high production costs, and waste disposal challenges. RAS technologies are typically beneficial when advantages in fish performance outweigh the increased costs. Grow-out operations in RAS are progressively focused on species with high market value.
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) uses recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) in the research facilities at CARUS. WUR is one the world leaders in this technology, based on more than 30 years’ experience.
RAS combines a series of technologies aimed to keep water quality high and, in combination with good hygiene, are rapidly becoming the first choice for much of the aquaculture sector. At the Aquaculture and Fisheries group (AFI) we believe that successful aquaculture systems integrate technological insights with insights in animal biology, performance and resilience. We study the complex relationships between water quality, ecosystem and host resilience in RAS.
The Environmental Technology (ETE) group stood at the basis of the succesful development of RAS in the Netherlands. RAS require innovative environmental technologies and concepts based on processes from nature, such as denitrification, to recover and reuse essential components and maintain and create a viable environment.
RAS are mostly indoor systems combining a series of technologies that allow for intensive culturing of fish while minimising the use of natural resources, such as water and energy. The Farm Technology group (FTE) studies the potential of systems such as RAS for primary agricultural production processes.