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IRTAmar®, a Successful RAS History in Aquaculture

IRTAmar®, a Successful RAS History in Aquaculture

MSD
WAS
CARGILL
Cargill Empyreal75
REEF
ISFNF
ISFNF
GLOBAL LEADERS

Visitas: 87

By IRTA

Our story begins at IRTA 25 years ago, allowing us to reach our current proposal, integrated by IRTA and INGESOM, into a Comprehensive Service Platform aimed at promoting aquaculture using RAS technology. We focus on facilitating the conditions to generate knowledge that can be easily transferred from research institutions to the industry.

Our story begins at IRTA 25 years ago when we had to work in complex and changing environmental conditions. The location of this research center, in the heart of Alfacs Bay in the Ebro Delta, meant that using seawater directly from the environment, due to toxic phytoplankton blooms and thermal changes, prevented the performance of controlled experimental tests. Initially, a considerable number of trials failed, and researchers had to make an extraordinary effort to adapt to those conditions.

After a risk analysis, we concluded that we needed to incorporate recirculation technology to ensure results and adapt to the needs of the researchers.

Twenty-five years ago, recirculation was an emerging technology, and very few research facilities, if any, had tested systems. There were hardly a couple of publications per year (2000-2005), and all of them were very experimental, not detailing the system used, which was handcrafted.

We began a process of trial and error, testing alternatives and materials, and after a series of prototypes to validate their functionality with various species, the RAS (Recirculating Aquaculture Systems) were born at IRTA. In 1999, we designed the first version of what would later become our patented IRTAmar® process, now an internationally registered trademark.

After numerous projects and component evaluations, always seeking maximum energy efficiency, test safety, and total flexibility, we have developed the current IRTAmar® Platform.

Smart RAS in Aquaculture

Our current proposal, integrated by IRTA and INGESOM, is not a conventional RAS system service but has been transformed into a Comprehensive Service Platform aimed at promoting aquaculture using RAS technology. We focus on facilitating the conditions to generate knowl-edge that can be easily transferred from research institutions to the industry.

Species, age, size, environmental conditions, and various risk situations are combined to design trials with fish, crustaceans, and bivalves, both marine and freshwater.

Therefore, we have designed a system with a highly efficient and sophisticated level of monitoring and control, supported by a SCADA application, which is presented on an attractive, functional, and interactive web interface. This system addresses multiple and varied cultivation conditions, where research is key, and guarantees the acquisition of primary data for certification and traceability (Figure 1).

Figure 1 - IRTAmar® Comprehensive Service Platform

 

Figure 1 – IRTAmar® Comprehensive Service Platform

In addition to controlling and monitoring the main RAS variables, the system allows for control of feeding, lighting, and the possibility of using cameras to monitor the population’s behavior in realtime, as well as adding multiparametric probes adapted to each user’s needs.

Experimental design is a priority, and safety in research is essential. Therefore, we have incorporated comprehensive training in the use of RAS into our platform. This allows both technicians and researchers to transform their own IRTAmar® systems into advanced systems that adapt and evolve according to their changing needs. Despite these adaptations, they will continue to have our support and expert assistance, as well as the ability to integrate the improvements we develop.

These improvements, once evaluated, can be incorporated to further optimize the systems, as we have been doing for the past 20 years with improvements in nutrition, reproduction, larval culture, and pathology. We are backed by 192 scientific publications in the last 5 years (2019-2023), with 80% in top-tier journals.

Science Turned into Technology

When science turns into technology, it solves some of the challenges we face. For this reason, we have worked to ensure that our users not only access the latest technological innovations in RAS systems but can also implement these improvements safely and efficiently.

The comprehensive training covers both theoretical and practical aspects, ensuring that technicians and researchers deeply understand the operation and maintenance of RAS systems.

Additionally, we provide continuous resources and updates, allowing the IRTAmar® systems to remain at the forefront of aquaculture research and production.

Currently, there are about 40 IRTAmar® units operating in our research center, a complex system based on the use of the most advanced RAS technology. This includes researchers, maintenance and cultivation technicians, designers, web programmers, control and digitization experts, and the construction department.

Our commitment to safety and excellence is reflected in the ability to customize systems according to the specific requirements of each project, without compromising quality or reliability. This way, users can focus on their research and development goals while we provide the necessary technical support and tools for success.

With this collaborative approach, we foster an environment of constant innovation and continuous improvement, ensuring that our RAS systems not only meet current needs but are also prepared for future challenges.

Figure 2: Benefits of IRTAmar®

 

Figure 2: Benefits of IRTAmar®

Advantages Over the Competition

The IRTAmar® system presents several advantages over competitors in the field of aquaculture and RAS, such as:

Customization and Flexibility: IRTAmar® systems can be adapted and customized according to the specific needs of each user, allowing precise adjustments for different species and cultivation conditions.

This customization enables the systems to evolve with the changing needs of projects, ensuring that the system remains relevant and efficient over time.

Expert Technical Support and Assistance: IRTAmar® offers continuous support from IRTA and INGESOM experts, ensuring that users receive technical assistance and consultancy to solve problems and optimize their systems. This support includes the possibility of integrating improvements and updates developed by our team, keeping the
systems always at the forefront.

Comprehensive Training: Complete training in the use and maintenance of RAS systems is provided, covering both theoretical and practical aspects. This ensures that technicians and researchers are wellequipped to operate and improve their facilities.

The training includes updated and continuous resources, allowing users to stay informed about the latest innovations and best practices.

Efficiency and Sustainability: IRTAmar® systems are designed to maximize resource efficiency, especially water, through advanced recirculation and treatment technologies. The focus on sustainability reduces the environmental impact of aquaculture operations and improves long-term economic viability.

Constant Innovation: Collaboration with a renowned research entity and a company specializing in system management and control ensures that users benefit from the latest scientific and technological advances. IRTA and INGESOM are constantly developing new technologies and improvements in aquaculture management, control, and efficiency. IRTAmar® users will have direct access to these innovations through a user-specific annual subscription system.

Advanced Control and Monitoring: The integration of real-time monitoring technologies supported by a dynamic and elegant interactive web interface facilitates informed decision-making and quick response to any changes or problems.

IRTAmar® offers advanced monitoring and control tools that allow precise management of critical environmental parameters, ensuring optimal conditions for the growth and health of aquatic organisms.

In summary, the advantages of the IRTAmar® system lays in its adaptability, expert technical support, comprehensive training, efficiency and sustainability, constant innovation, and advanced control and monitoring tools. These features position it as a superior option compared to other recirculating aquaculture systems available on the market.

Contact with us

Ricard Carbó ricard.carbo@irta.cat +34 650 18 76 73 linkedin.com/in/ricard-carbó-97ab9913
Ricard Carbó ricard.carbo@irta.cat +34 650 18 76 73 linkedin.com/in/ricard-carbó-97ab9913
Óscar Benavent oscar@ingesom.com +34 607 35 90 37 linkedin.com/in/oscarbenaventcampos
Óscar Benavent oscar@ingesom.com +34 607 35 90 37 linkedin.com/in/oscarbenaventcampos
Cristóbal Aguilera cristobal.aguilera@irta.cat +34 659 31 79 58 linkedin.com/in/cristobalaguilera
Cristóbal Aguilera cristobal.aguilera@irta.cat +34 659 31 79 58 linkedin.com/in/cristobalaguilera
MSD
WAS
CARGILL
Cargill Empyreal75
REEF
ISFNF
ISFNF
GLOBAL LEADERS

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