Adam Butterworth, 2009 Nuffield scholar

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1 Adam Butterworth, 2009 Nuffield scholar

2 Background Aquaculture is a dynamic industry which includes the culture of a wide range of organisms in freshwater and saltwater, from microscopic algae to large fish. Aquaculture operations in Australia face a number of challenges including: o Increasing competition from overseas producers o Risk of disease o Adverse environmental conditions climate change? o Increasing costs Continuous improvement of methods and systems is critical to most aquaculture sectors

3 Background cont d Seaweeds are multi-cellular marine algae Abalone are gastropod molluscs. Abalone meat is considered a delicacy in many Asian countries. In the wild, abalone predominantly consume seaweeds. Most abalone farms in Australia do not use seaweed as a food source at all Most overseas abalone farms rely on seaweed as the sole food source (wild harvest)

4 In Australia and NZ, abalone are predominantly cultured in shallow raceway tanks

5 Most overseas (land based) abalone farms feature deep tanks

6 Aims: 1) Investigate seaweed culture 2) Investigate water re use/recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). 3) Study the fundamentals of integrated aquaculture systems 4) Determine the potential for integrated seaweed and abalone culture in Australia

7 1. Seaweed culture for aquaculture feed Consideration of some key factors Aspect: Factors: Comments: Propagation Method Spores v vegetative Culture system Cost Paddlewheel ponds v tanks Nutrient supply CO2 supply Light intensity Epiphyte control Disease NH3 or NO3... ph monitoring Photo inhibition Pulse nutrient dosing Bio security procedures Species selection High protein feed trials strain Gracilaria in China Harvesting Distribution Mechanical

8 Seaweed propagation and culture techniques vary. Below Palmaria culture in Ireland Spores set to string Aerated culture

9 Land based suspension seaweed culture (Abagold South Africa) Experimental paddle pond Ulva (sea lettuce)

10 Diversity of species Gracilaria red seaweed Kelp brown seaweed

11 Juvenile greenlip abalone fed a mixed diet of seaweed and microalgae (grown at optimal temperature) exceed shell growth of 1.5mm/week

12 2. Water recirculation and re use in aquaculture systems Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) are systems used for the rearing of aquatic organisms where 90% or more of system water is recycled Why recirculate water as opposed to flow through? o Reduce pumping costs o Bio security option (sterilize water) o Temperature control/influence o Effective waste removal Recirculation a feasible option for brood stock, nursery, juvenile and some grow out systems?

13 Water recirculation and re use Considerations for mollusc/urchin culture Aspect: Factors: Comments: Site Environmental Risks harmful microalgae? Filtration system Consider species/waste load Method In series Low cost Recirculation Infrastructure required Water quality Dissolved oxygen Usually first limiting factor CO2 ph NH3 Solid waste De gassing Dissolution of shell Low c.f. Fish culture systems Linked to bacterial levels Disease Organic loads Bacterial stability Bio security Ozone v UV

14 Southern Ocean Mariculture Port Fairy, Vic Cascade system Single slab tank

15 Recirculation system components Drum filter, foam fractionator, bio filter Bio filter

16 RAS The importance of water quality management (Connemarra Abalone, Ireland) Juvenile abalone plate system Close up showing phinduced shell wastage

17 Health of sea urchins in recirculation system (Dunmanus Seafoods, Ireland) Adults Juveniles

18 Applications for RAS in abalone aquaculture: SA Abalone Developments (SAABDEV) produced over 25 tonnes of abalone per annum High summer water temperatures > immune suppression + bacteria = mortality Recirculation (c.f. flow through) allows the option of influencing water temperature Reducing water temperatures by 2C for only 14 days would reduce abalone mortality by 70% (unpublished data).

19 SA Abalone Developments (South Australia) 1000 raceways 16 kilometres end to end

20 3. Fundamentals of Integrated aquaculture: Chickens, fish, lotus (Philippines) Ducks, microalgae, fish (China)

21 Integrated Aquaculture Waste=resource Filter feeders Micro algae Fish Food source waste Seaweed waste Marine grazers waste Food source

22 Nutrients waste or resource? Discharge pond (ex abalone farm) in Mexico Nutrient rich lagoon in South Africa

23 4. Integrating abalone and seaweed culture 2 examples: 1. Recirculation seaweed units form part of water quality treatment system 2. In series abalone seaweed abalone Challenges are dynamic. E.g. the improvement in water quality by seaweed functions(esp. O2 addition, CO2 uptake and to a lesser extent, NH3 uptake) are linked to photosynthesis. What s the ANSWER? Combine methods and systems, including; water recirculation technology, seaweed culture units and flowthrough to suit parameters.

24 RAS Semi recirculating trout farm in South Africa Water recirculated until ammonia builds up Raceway system Drum filter

25 Integrated abalone/seaweed culture In series (photo on left) Abagold South Africa Carlsbad Aquafarm U.S.

26 Disease risk is a major argument against recirculation systems, BUT... bacterial populations in aquaculture systems can be influenced and viruses kept out!!! Media supporting bacteria (oyster hatchery Washington State, U.S.) Seaweeds can alter microbial flora in seawater (Hatfield Marine Centre Oregon, U.S.)

27 Conclusions Ulva sp. grown in high N seawater in low cost (e.g. paddlewheel ponds) can result in the production of a high quality food source for abalone/urchins. Water recirculation/re use in conjunction with other equipment/methods can be used to influence water temperature, reduce pumping costs and achieve biosecurity objectives. Benefits in Australian conditions? Seaweeds in integrated abalone culture can improve water quality parameters and can at least form part of a water treatment system. One more conclusion...

28 We can all contribute to the continuous development of sustainable food production systems and methods.

29 Acknowledgements Cape Town Aquarium

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