New developments in recirculating aquaculture systems in Europe: A perspective on environmental sustainability

Type Article
Date 2010-11
Language English
Author(s) Martins C. I. M.1, 2, Eding E. H.2, Verdegem M. C. J.2, Heinsbroek L. T. N.2, Schneider O.3, Blancheton Jean-Paul4, Roque D'Orbcastel Emmanuelle4, Verreth J. A. J.2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ Algarve, CCMAR, P-8005139 Faro, Portugal.
2 : Wageningen Univ, Aquaculture & Fisheries Grp, NL-6700 AH Wageningen, Netherlands.
3 : IMARES, NL-4401 NT Yerseke, Netherlands.
4 : IFREMER, Stn Aquaculture Expt, Lab Rech Piscicole Mediterranee, F-34250 Palavas Les Flots, France.
Source Aquacultural Engineering (0144-8609) (Elsevier Sci Ltd), 2010-11 , Vol. 43 , N. 3 , P. 83-93
DOI 10.1016/j.aquaeng.2010.09.002
WOS© Times Cited 418
Keyword(s) Intensive systems, Ecological impact, Waste, Water re-use, Denitrification
Abstract The dual objective of sustainable aquaculture, i.e., to produce food while sustaining natural resources is achieved only when production systems with a minimum ecological impact are used. Recirculating aquaculture systems (RASs) provide opportunities to reduce water usage and to improve waste management and nutrient recycling. RAS makes intensive fish production compatible with environmental sustainability. This review aims to summarize the most recent developments within RAS that have contributed to the environmental sustainability of the European aquaculture sector. The review first shows the ongoing expansion of RAS production by species and country in Europe. Life cycle analysis showed that feed, fish production and waste and energy are the principal components explaining the ecological impact of RAS. Ongoing developments in RAS show two trends focusing on: (1) technical improvements within the recirculation loop and (2) recycling of nutrients through integrated farming. Both trends contributed to improvements in the environmental sustainability of RAS. Developments within the recirculation loop that are reviewed are the introduction of denitrification reactors, sludge thickening technologies and the use of ozone. New approached towards integrated systems include the incorporation of wetlands and algal controlled systems in RAS. Finally, the review identifies the key research priorities that will contribute to the future reduction of the ecological impact of RAS. Possible future breakthroughs in the fields of waste production and removal might further enhance the sustainabilty of fish production in RAS. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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Martins C. I. M., Eding E. H., Verdegem M. C. J., Heinsbroek L. T. N., Schneider O., Blancheton Jean-Paul, Roque D'Orbcastel Emmanuelle, Verreth J. A. J. (2010). New developments in recirculating aquaculture systems in Europe: A perspective on environmental sustainability. Aquacultural Engineering, 43(3), 83-93. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :