Skip to main content

Nofima orders 20 mini-RAS to study intensive fish farming

Landing Aquaculture will supply 20 RAS to Nofima for research into intensive salmon farming. Image: Landing Aquaculture BV.
Landing Aquaculture will supply 20 RAS to Nofima for research into intensive salmon farming. Image: Landing Aquaculture BV.

Norwegian aquaculture, fisheries and food research institute Nofima has ordered 20 small-scale fully automated recirculating aquaculture systems from Dutch supplier Landing Aquaculture BV.

The RAS are designed for studying the performance of Atlantic salmon under intensive culture conditions and will be installed at Nofima’s research centre in Sunndalsøra. They are expected to be operational in October.

Each experimental RAS unit is designed to hold up to 60kg/m³ of fish – more than three times the density in a Scottish net pen farm - under very strict water quality standards including a maximal dissolved CO₂ concentration of 10 mg/L.

Water quality

Every unit has a 60-micron drum filter unit, two-stage MBBR (moving bed biofilm reactor), full-flow degassing, low head oxygen cone and a temperature control system. Water quality and flow will be constantly monitored and controlled by oxygen, pH, temperature, water level and water flow sensors.

The fish tanks can be operated as single drain tanks or Cornell dual drain tanks at varying water levels. This flexibility allows for experimentation with salmon in a variety of live stages, said Landing aquaculture in a press release.

The cutting edge of RAS

The contract is one of the biggest supply deals Landing Aquaculture has had. Co-founder and managing director Rob van de Ven said: “This project will show that Landing Aquaculture not only has a strong engineering foundation, but that it has also matured as a company with manufacturing capabilities to handle turnkey projects of this size.”

Innovation director Carlos Espinal, who is also a co-founder, sees the contract as the perfect opportunity to show how RAS technology has matured over the last decade.

“We take pride in working at the cutting edge of RAS,” said the director. “To do this, it is essential to remain both creative and technically correct. This project showcases how design can meet operational demands if your engineering knowledge is robust.”