New course to im­prove RAS hus­bandry

Fish Farmer - - United Kingdom News -

A NEW course in wa­ter qual­ity aware­ness has been launched by the NAFC Marine Cen­tre, aimed at aqua­cul­ture staff in­volved in op­er­at­ing re­cir­cu­lat­ing aqua­cul­ture sys­tems (RAS).

The RAS Wa­ter Qual­ity Aware­ness course is the lat­est ad­di­tion to the port­fo­lio of spe­cial­ist aqua­cul­ture train­ing cour­ses run by NAFC, based in Shet­land and part of the Univer­sity of the High­lands and Is­lands.

It pro­vides an in­tro­duc­tion to the fun­da­men­tals of mon­i­tor­ing and main­tain­ing wa­ter qual­ity and fish health in re­cir­cu­lat­ing aqua­cul­ture sys­tems.

Course co-or­di­na­tor Stuart Fitzsim­mons ex­plained that in re­cir­cu­lat­ing aqua­cul­ture sys­tems treated wa­ter is re­cir­cu­lated through the tanks hold­ing fish, rather than the tanks be­ing sup­plied with a con­stant flow of new wa­ter with the old be­ing dis­charged.

‘The ad­van­tage of re­cir­cu­lat­ing sys­tems is that they need much less fresh wa­ter than tra­di­tional flow-through sys­tems, but it is es­sen­tial that the qual­ity of the wa­ter is mon­i­tored and main­tained.

‘That in­cludes fil­ter­ing and treat­ing the wa­ter to re­move waste ma­te­rial and chem­i­cals, and to main­tain the op­ti­mum en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions for fish growth.’

The course is the lat­est to be de­vel­oped by the NAFC Marine Cen­tre in re­sponse to re­quests from the in­dus­try, to pro­vide spe­cial­ist train­ing for their staff. An on­line fish wel­fare course has at­tracted more than 100 stu­dents since it was launched in Jan­uary by NAFC. The course meets the train­ing re­quire­ments of the RSPCA’s Free­dom Foods stan­dard for farmed salmon and trout, and the syl­labus cov­ers a wide range of wel­fare is­sues, in­clud­ing live fish trans­fer, har­vest­ing and pro­duc­tion.

The on­line ver­sion of the course was de­vel­oped in re­sponse to re­quests from well­boat op­er­a­tors, whose staff found it dif­fi­cult to at­tend nor­mal col­lege classes on fixed dates.

NAFC also of­fers an In­tro­duc­tion to Fish Farm Con­tain­ment course on­line, and plans to ex­tend its range of on­line train­ing cour­ses.

Above: NAFC Marine Cen­tre

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