Reducing Aquaculture Die-offs in Real-time
In 2017, Atlantic Sapphire lost 250 tonnes of salmon in a mass die-off due to hydrogen sulfide poisoning from accumulated organic matter, an all-too-common problem in aquaculture with significant economic losses.
Growing salmon in land-based tanks in which water is continuously circulated (Recirculating Aquaculture Systems, RAS) means low waste discharge and high-levels of water re-use, but also sporadic toxic microorganism outbreaks that cause costly mass fish stock die-offs.
FluoRAS, Horizon 2020 COLUMBUS and EMFF ECO-AQUA are putting in place aquaculture trials of a fluorometer sensor system that can monitor organic matter online, and potentially reduce the risk of these die-offs. The FluoRAS system can potentially categorize and quantify different types of organic matter which accumulate in closed systems. The initial trials, using Chelsea Technologies Group BACTI-Wader Pro, will aim towards a real-time alert system, that gives enough warning time for operators to respond and avoid a potential toxic bacteria outbreak.
"If successful, the system can also save significant costs on energy consumption. Currently Recirculating Aquaculture Systems use energy-intensive UV treatment of the water and real-time organic matter monitoring systems, such as the CTG BACTI-Wader Pro, will give more control over the dosages required for UV treatments," reports CTG's Sam Kirby.