WR RAS-Fish performance


Wageningen UR Livestock Research (WR-WLR) is the Netherlands research institute established to provide the scientific support that is essential for developing the knowledge needed for sustainable and profitable livestock and aquaculture farming. The aquaculture research is integrated in the departments of the institute according expertise levels, and holds in its portfolio a wide range of fresh water and marine species and culture technologies.

WR offers an infrastructure which includes independent units for research on fish performance, all suited for long and short term experiments with new or established species in larval, juvenile or grow-out phase; a swim carousel and swim tunnels, and a number of different independent RAS, with various options on the number and size of the tanks, depending on the proposition of the TNA user. All RAS are temperature controlled and suitable for fresh water and seawater, and equipped with mechanical and bio-filtration units. Filter modules can be exchanged to meet the specific needs of the end-user, such as UVdisinfection, ozone treatment, up-flow filtration, de-nitrification etc. The facilities offer the ability to test in identical and truly independent RAS at system level effects of nutritional, environmental, and management factors, as well as genomics and sensor implementation on system and fish performance.

The swim carousel and swim tunnels are tools to define optimal hydraulic conditions, and exercise and swimming protocols. The carousel has a compartment for resting and a compartment for swimming, where the controlled water speed induces swimming activity of the fish. The carousel is connected to a trickling and drum filter, and can run on both fresh and seawater.

WR RAS-Fish performance

Infrastructure: WR RAS-Fish performance

Location: Wageningen, THE NETHERLANDS

Web site address: www.wur.nl/en/Dossiers/file/Fish-Farming.htm

Contact: Wout Abbink (wout.abbink@wur.nl)


The Recirculation and fish performance offers two sets of research infrastructure:

1. Pilot scale RAS either for cold, warm, fresh or marine studies; up to 3 m³ and 1.5 kg feed per day; to replicate treatments on system level.

2. Swim performance installations. A 3600 L swim carousel with a motor driven propeller reaching speeds up to 1.2 m/s, and four 120 L Blazka type swim-tunnels which can be applied for simulated migrations, exercise training and critical swimming speed tests.

Services currently offered by the infrastructure

The fish performance facilities offer to aquaculture researchers the:

• Ability to test in identical and truly independent RAS at system level (system as experimental unit) effects of nutrition, environment, management, breeding, welfare, sensor implementation.

• A tool for simulated migrations, exercise training and critical swimming speed tests.

Modality of access

Users will be given access to the facilities based on the common procedures of WLR. The necessary local arrangements will be taken by the technical staff, e.g. system set-up, adaptation of biofilms and water quality, adaptation of the required experimental animals etcetera. In case the proposed experiment falls under the code of conduct and regulation for usage of experimental animals, the approval of related experimental commissions has to be granted a priori the experiment can be started. The experiment needs to be supervised by a certified researcher of WLR. Users will have access by directly staying at the facilities and being integrated in the scientific atmosphere at WLR. The TNA guest will be supported by local staff, such as the directly involved technical staff dealing with the direction of the scientist to conduct the experiment. A local responsible scientist will collaborate with the TNA guest to ensure that the regulation of WLR and national animal protection laws are followed. TNA guests will be granted with internet access to the scientific literature and databases of WLR and other e-infrastructure and labs. Experienced research staff will safeguard the success of the experiments by support during the design phase, the generation of a work protocol and the related animal experimental code of conduct, execution of the experiment and data acquisition.

Unit of access

The unit of access is defined as 1 system-week; equalling the occupation of 1 system for 7 days. The duration of the trial is greatly dependent on the proposition of the TNA user; the number of systems to be used (and thus to be prepared in advance), the type of trial, and the type of system used (carousel, swim-tunnel or RAS).


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