The Northeastern U.S. has the ideal location and unique opportunity to be a leader in cold water marine finfish aquaculture. However, problems and regulations on environmental issues, mandatory stocking of 100% native North American salmon, and disease have impacted economic viability of the U.S. salmon industry. In response to these problems, the USDA ARS developed the National Cold Water Marine Aquaculture Center (NCWMAC) in Franklin, Maine. The NCWMAC is adjacent to the University of Maine Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research on the shore of Taunton Bay and shares essential infrastructure to maximize efficiency. Facilities are used to conduct research on Atlantic salmon and other cold water marine finfish species. The initial research focus for the Franklin location is to develop a comprehensive Atlantic salmon breeding program from native North American fish stocks leading to the development and release of genetically improved salmon to commercial producers. The Franklin location has unique ground water resources to supply freshwater, brackish water, salt water or filtered seawater to fish culture tanks. Research facilities include office space, primary and secondary hygiene rooms, and research tank bays for culturing 200+ Atlantic salmon families with incubation, parr, smolt, on-grow, and broodstock tanks. Tank sizes are 0.14 m3 for parr, 9 m3 for smolts, and 36, 46 and 90 m3 for subadults and broodfish. Culture tanks are equipped with recirculating systems utilizing biological (fluidized sand) filtration, carbon dioxide stripping, supplemental oxygenation and ozonation, and ultraviolet sterilization. Water from the research facility discharges into a wastewater treatment building and passes through micro-screen drum filtration, an inclined traveling belt screen to exclude all eggs or fish from the discharge, and UV irradiation to disinfect the water. The facility was completed in June 2007, and all water used in the facility has been from groundwater sources. Mean facility discharge has been approximately 0.50 m3 /min (130 gpm). The facility was designed for stocking densities of 20–47 kg/m3 and a maximum biomass of 26,000 kg. The maximum system density obtained from June 2007 through January 2008 has approached 40 kg/m3 , maximum facility biomass was 11,021 kg, water exchange rates have typically been 2–3% of the recirculating system flow rate, and tank temperatures have ranged from a high of 15.4 8C in July to a low of 6.6 8C in January 2008 without supplemental heating or cooling.
Source Article: Science Direct: Creative Commons