Water treatment technology for microbial stabilization in landbased aquaculture systems (MicStaTech) (39277)

Project Details


MicStaTech is a transnational research project (COFASP) between Norwegian, German and Danish research groups. The paradigm of this project is that a stable, elevated microbial abundance in the water phase of land based aquaculture systems can be beneficial for fish health and economically profitable.

A common challenge in land based systems, and shown across species, is the loss of fish due to unfavourable conditions and disease outbreaks that may be linked to opportunistic bacteria. A popular approach to prevent this is to attempt to reduce the load of bacteria in the systems by the use of UV, ozone or chemical disinfection. This is however not possible or sufficient in the majority of systems, because disinfection has a non‐lasting effect on the numbers and a destabilising effect on the composition of bacteria. In most systems, the water exchange rates and organic loading applied for biological reasons allow for microbial regrowth in the rearing tanks. Hence, alternative approaches to reduce the chances of disease outbreaks are needed. This project pursues the concept of establishing and maintaining stable microbial systems.

Water treatment technology for promoting K-selection, which is a selective pressure disfavouring the r-selected opportunists, has shown very promising results for several marine species in small scale experiments, but the up-scaling and optimization for flow through systems (FTS) and recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) remains. The paradigm favouring a stable and elevated bacterial abundance is foreseen to reduce fish mortality and also reduce water treatment costs. This project will investigate fish health and microbial carrying capacity in experiments performed at three locations – NTNU, DTU Aqua and University of Applied Sciences, Saarlandes, Germany.

This project is coordinated by Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway and is funded by EU, COFASP, ERA-NET.

Research area: Aquaculture
Effective start/end date01/03/201531/12/2017