Date of Award
© 2021 Franco R. Pilone
Professional Science Master's (PSM) In Ocean Food Systems
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) is an emerging technology that is capturing the attention of many in aquaculture due to its ability to produce high-quality seafood using sustainable models. This study explored the waste management of RAS, specifically further treatment technologies, and the potential value-added products from the RAS waste stream that can be reused. Advanced, tertiary, or down-stream treatment technologies available for RAS were investigated through a literature review. Utilizing the constant comparative method and semistructured interviews with stakeholders in RAS, opinions and attitudes were collected about advanced treatment of RAS waste and reuse opportunities presented from value-added products generated from the waste stream. Collected data provided insight on the current state of waste management of RAS and how RAS waste management may develop over time.
This study confirmed that all RAS users intend to expand their waste management methods to incorporate reutilization of waste, whether by assimilating nutrients back into their respective system or by producing value-added products for other markets. RAS waste is a resource, holds economic value, and will be reutilized. Enhanced RAS waste management must be cost effective to the farmer or publicly subsidized if the public demands the result. The motivations behind further reuse of generated waste, typically, stems from the scale of the farm. Large-scale RAS will reutilize their waste in an effort to reduce costs of getting rid of the waste, whereas smaller scale farms will reutilize their waste to reincorporate valuable resources back into the farm. The major recommendation from this study is for RAS farms to work directly with agricultural and energy management groups to develop efficient waste management strategies and utilize useful synergies. With better defined best practices and increased co-management between aquaculture, energy, and agriculture, RAS will continue to increase its contribution to the seafood supply chain.
Pilone, F. 2021. The Waste Management Of Large-Scale Recirculating Aquaculture Systems And Potential Value-Added Products From The Waste Stream. Graduate Program in Ocean Food Systems, School of Marine & Environmental Programs, University of New England, Biddeford, Maine, USA.