Securing Stock safety in RAS (Recirculating Aquaculture System)


Recirculation Aquaculture System (RAS) is a relatively new and advanced technology for the cultivation of fish and other marine species.  It has many advantages over a traditional land-based system such as low usage of land and water and improved control over the stock, but at the same time, these super-intensive systems require detailed planning, adjustment to site trained personal to manage it, control the water quality, and secure the stock.

The High Startup costs and expectation for quick recuperation of the investment encourage the growers to push the productivity of the system to its maximum capacity early after the start of the operation.

This situation in which the system is stocked to its maximum capacity can lead to costly mistakes both mechanical and as a result of human error, that will happen more likely at advanced stage of the grow-out cycle, when the fish are relatively big, and the filters are working in high capacity.

There are a few actions that can be done both at the design stage and the operation stage that will significantly reduce the RAS susceptibility to failure and the loss of stock.

Modulation:

Divide the RAS system into smaller sections. It will increase the start-up cost by a little, but in the long run, it will improve the biosecurity of the stock, and in case of a failure significantly reduce loss of stock.

Monitoring Systems:

Do not save on monitoring systems. Today’s modern monitoring systems are considered to be “Active monitoring systems” meaning that the system will not only alarm the operator of the irregularity but also take actions to correct it and protect the stock. These A.I.-based Monitoring systems that are integrated into the more advanced Recirculation Aquaculture Systems are the next stage of stock protection and production optimization, as the A.I. System constantly analyzes the cultivation results with respect to the protocols and with time will suggest ways to improve it.

Design the system with two and sometimes 3 levels of protection:

Recirculation Aquaculture System (RAS) can be a very safe solution for the cultivation of fish if it is designed with the protection of the stock as in mind.

The main systems must have two or three levels of protection.

  • Electricity – Greed, Generator, and the generator supply must be divided between the modules in a way that if one generator fails the other can still provide 75% of the electricity requirement of the complete cultivation system.
  • Oxygen – Oxygen generator can be the main supply of oxygen to the system but secondary. It should be divided into more than one machine in a way that if one fails the system will still be supplied 75% of the required oxygen. A secondary oxygen supply from an oxygen bank is recommended. Another alternative is a mobile aeration system that can be used directly at the failure point.
  • Monitoring – double checking the water quality is very important. False indications in the systems that govern the operation can put the stock at risk. Using a monitoring system with several indicators of the water quality will improve the chances of early detection of irregularity in the water parameters and false sensor.

Follow systems operation book to the letter.

The Recirculation Aquaculture System (RAS) is constructed of biological processes, physical and chemical processes, and general engineering that combined enable the production of very a very high biomass per cubic meter of water. These systems are codependent and neglecting one can put more pressure n the other until the system collapses. Most of the operation is carried out automatically but the inspection and maintenance of the systems must be carried out on time.

Trained staff:

The Recirculation Aquaculture system requires significantly less staff for the day-to-day operation than offshore farms, but management and staff must have a good understanding of the systems modules and water quality.

Failure always happens at night or when the less train worker is at the site. Make sure the weaker worker you have can maintain the system until the technicians arrive.

 

In conclusion, the Recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) will take a more and more significant part in aquaculture technology. The combination of engineering, Monitoring, and qualified staff is the formula to ensure the success of the operation and the safety of the stock.

Tags: RAS, Recirculation Aquaculture System, Aquaculture, AI Monitoring System

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