Future Developments

The aquaculture farm of the future will take many forms. The difference with today's farms will be in the level of intensity of water use, in the degree of control over the culture environment exerted by the operator, and in the predictability of growth and overall production rates. The application of engineering will become more and more important as the aquaculture industry continues to grow and diversify. Developments will be in new culture systems, materials, equipment, and water quality monitoring, treatment, and control. The efficient use of natural resources, especially water, will be a primary constraint on new aquaculture operations. To make more efficient use of water, higher fish biomass will be maintained per unit of water volume and per unit of water use by the implementation of water treatment and recirculation systems. The safe rearing of these large biomasses will require continuous monitoring of water quality, and the use of alarms and backup systems. In most cases these will be all computer controlled.

Improvements in water treatment are also needed to make possible reductions in water use and the commercial viability of culture systems based on water reuse. New, more efficient and reliable filtration systems for the removal of particulate and dissolved organics and of ammonia will be developed.

Systems for inventorying and handling fish are needed. Obtaining accurate estimates of number and size offish in a culture system are practically impossible today as they are based on sampling or on the use of growth functions and initial stocking values. Equipment and techniques that can be used to count animals and estimate their size with a minimum of disruption and stress to the fish will have to be developed.

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