Propagated Fish in Resource Management

Fish Culture System Design for the Future

Brian Brazil, Brian Vinci, and Steve Summerfelt


Abstract.—Concerns for long-term water supply, public calls for environmental compatibility, potential pathogen contamination from influent and effluent waters, and increasingly restrictive water discharge regulations have led to the application of advanced water treatment technologies at various aquaculture facilities. As a result, novel management strategies and innovative facility designs have been developed for culturing fish in controlled or semicontrolled environments. However, questions surrounding the quality of the product obtained from such facilities suggest that greater attention should be given to end use requirements during the design, engineering, and operation of facilities culturing food fish or facilities culturing fish intended for wild release.

The optimal “wild” fish that is to be produced for recovery or supplementation purposes is profoundly different than the optimal “domesticated” fish that is produced for food or for put-andtake stocking. Facility design considerations will be presented, which include the intended use of the fish and physical/chemical limitations of water sources. The various design and operating parameters that must be considered include differences in culture density, photoperiod, time to harvest/stocking, feed formulation, culture system scale and replications, tank surface properties, hydrodynamics, water quality, and physical/chemical limitations of water sources. However, assorted design parameters and culture conditions can be addressed with similar culture system unit processes. Finally, this paper will provide design examples of innovative fish culture strategies applying state-of-the-art technologies.