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Centre for Aquaculture Research - ZAF

The stagnating catches in the fishery sector and the rising global demand for aquatic products, lead worldwide to a high increase for aquaculture products. At present, more than 150 fish species, 40 different shellfish and 70 mollusc species as well as numerous algae and aquatic plants are produced in aquaculture. The aquaculture sector is a strongly increasing market worldwide with a yearly growth rate of 10%. The commercial culture of marine organisms is predominately done in coastal nations. This marine aquaculture or mariculture is mostly operated in offshore areas or landbased systems (flow through or recirculating systems). Especially in landbased systems, operators try to create optimal conditions for the cultured organisms.

Scientists worldwide deal with different issues which are necessary to advance the global aquaculture. This includes the technologies to improve welfare conditions for animals and environmentally sound production in closed production systems. Furthermore, nutrient recycling is gaining an increasing importance. That means, by the integration of more production levels, organisms can use the waste material from previous levels for their own growth. More valuable biomass can be produced in this Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA). Modern aquaculture research already focuses on new aquaculture candidates. Further research interests deal with nutrient requirements and nutrient compositions in diets, which allow a nutrient efficient, sustainable and environmentally sound as well as an economically worthwhile production.

The operation of recirculating technology is one possibility to investigate such issues. The centre for aquaculture research (ZAF) was opened 2011 in Bremerhaven. In early march 2011 the ZAF was handed over from the owner, the sea city Bremerhaven, to the operator IMARE GmbH in a ceremonial act. The facility and equipment are state-of-the-art of science and technology in the field of landbased aquaculture.

The aim of the IMARE GmbH is to support the technical development processes, as well as the development of raw materials in applied science.

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