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ACCORDING to an aquaculture specialist speaking before this week’s Australasian Aquaculture Conference in Melbourne, technology that reduces water consumption in recirculation systems by around 98 per cent could have a huge impact on the global aquaculture industry.

Professor Thomas M Losordo, who made a presentation at the Aquaculture Recirculating Technology Short-Course at the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT), said such technology must be part of the future for the rapidly growing aquaculture industry.

The Professor, who works at the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University, said: “We are not immediately going to be moving all aquaculture that’s in the ocean on to the land”.

However, he said the idea of using water and then re-using it for irrigation purposes makes a lot of sense, adding: “We have been able to get to a point in technology where the water that goes out of the system is basically environmentally benign. You can’t just create a recirculating system – you have to create the recirculating system with waste treatment.”

“Treating waste from a tank-based recirculating system is much easier than treating waste coming out of a large pond system or even a net pen system,” said Professor Losordo. “However, if it is not done correctly, all it is doing is concentrating the waste into a single discharge.”

“If you don’t treat that waste or re-use the waste water the recirculation system isn’t green.

“If you do incorporate into your design waste treatment, then you can locate on a stream, a creek or a marsh and have no impact on that environment at all.”

The conference, which is being held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, concludes on 4 May. Over 1000 delegates from around the world are attending the conference, the associated trade show and other events.

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