Kansas City’s Nile Valley Aquaponics (NVA), the brainchild of urban and aquaponic farmer Dre Taylor, is a community greenhouse project that currently grows around 100,000 lbs of food per year, including tilapia.

The fish are fed naturally through a patented system that converts black soldier fly larvae to fish feed.

NVA is fundraising to create new facilities on the property to double food production and to create a model that can be imported to other areas.

“We provide access to healthy food, and foster community and economic development in an area known as a food desert,” says Taylor. “We’re teaching people to grow their own food, to eat something that’s local and to provide jobs in the community. With the new facility, we’re trying to build a franchiseable model that can be duplicated in other cities.”

Tony McGrail, project architect with design and engineering firm HOK, says he reached out to Taylor after reading about NVA and being impressed by Taylor’s story and his work.

“I thought, ‘wow, this guy is really putting the world on his shoulders in a rough, disadvantaged part of town, and is seemingly succeeding,” says McGrail.

HOK provided NVA with conceptual schematics and mock-ups for new facilities to be used in fundraising efforts. The design includes two greenhouses, one with fruit trees and a fishing pond, and the other for the waste-processing component. Rainwater will be collected in cisterns for various uses and electricity will be generated through a solar array and a wind turbine. A shipping container currently located on the site will be repurposed into a pop-up market to sell NVA’s produce.

Once fundraising is complete and the project is ready to move forward, HOK will develop full construction and engineering documents for the project and will serve in an advisory capacity during construction.

Taylor hopes that fundraising will be completed soon and the new facilities will be in operation by spring of 2019.
Norwegian company CageEye says its namesake acoustic listening device enables salmon farmers to make precise decisions in determining salmon feeding optimization and reduce feed waste as a result.

The system’s latest version is adapted to bigger rearing units. CageEye has real-time and history control panel that provides a good overview of fish behavior in real time and fishing density in the chosen feeding area. As it records a history of past feeds, the farmer can track the history of the fish’s response to previous feedings.

“In terms of analyzing fish feeding activity in a long-term perspective, there is really no competitor to echo sound data for understanding how the fish respond. Analysis of camera recording may of course be used, but this would be extremely tedious and the data will not be as good,” Ole Folkedal, researcher at the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen, told Aquaculture North America (ANA).

Since CageEye collects data of the depth the fish reside, it can also be used in sea lice prevention, says Folkedal. “The fish show strong preferences for light and temperature and change depth accordingly. When using submerged lamps for postponing sexual maturation, the depth position of lamps can be used to attract the fish deeper, and, thus, also avoid the parasites.”
An “escape-proof” net cage system will be installed in Grieg’s project in Newfoundland, Canada, the salmon farmer said.   
The net cage system, called Aqualine Midgard, has been touted by its developer as the “industry’s first escape-proof fish farming system.” Norwegian net cage system supplier Aqualine won the 2015 NHO Trøndelag Innovation Award for the product.
According to The Research Council of Norway, equipment failure or operational error are behind three out of four farmed salmon escapes, and two out of three escapes are due to holes in sea cage nets.

Aqualine CCO Stig Domaas Førre said the Midgard System has addressed common problems that make most net-cage systems susceptible to strong currents and winds. Midgard System nets are sewn by hand and are custom-made to suit the farm. Also included is a system of 10 coordinated winches along the surface of the cage, in order to make it easier for farmers to raise the cage when harvesting.

Førre says the system is escape-free when operated under the proper parameters. Obviously, escapes can happen if a system isn’t used or maintained properly, or in accidents, for instance, a boat crashing into the cage.

“Our product is extremely well-tested and documented. For all of these tests, we have not seen any sign of chaffing and there has not been any accidents with the system,” says Førre. “But a plane can fall down. It’s safe to fly and there are many regulations when you operate as an airliner that you have to be within. There are so many safety checks. But still, once in a while, a plane falls down.”
Kentucky State University is running a workshop on indoor marine shrimp farming on September 14 and 15 at the university's Harold R. Benson Research and Demonstration Farm at 1525 Mills Lane, Frankfort, Kentucky.

The interactive workshop will cover a wide range of topics, from the basics of indoor marine shrimp farming to the latest in technological innovations, research, regulations, post-larvae supply to marketing. It will feature a series of presentations and round table discussions with experts in the field and policymakers who help shape the future of shrimp farming in the US and globally.

Registration deadline is August 24 at

Registration fee is $25 per person.

For out-of-town participants, a limited number of hotel rooms are reserved at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Frankfort at the special rate of US$103 per night for September 13-14. Use code “Shrimp Workshop” when booking.

Contact Dr Andrew Ray for additional details or any questions at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
How a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) works will be just one of the things students in North Carolina can learn through a mobile aquaculture lab being built in the state.

Project proponents North Carolina Sea Grant (NCSG) and Carteret Community College (CCC) expect the lab to promote aquaculture education, training and employment opportunities in the state.

The lab, which was scheduled for completion by the end of June, is part of a larger project called Building the Marine Aquaculture Career Pipeline. As part of the project, NCSG has taken part in several events where they brought touch tanks and animals to schools. But CCC Aquaculture Department Chair David Cerino says this new lab will be on another level.

“It’s a flatbed trailer on which we are going to put a touch tank that can transport animals and quickly set it up so those animals can go into smaller trays for interaction. There will be a RAS system that will have fish in it, with all the components of a RAS system so we can explain what each part does and highlight that aspect of aquaculture.”

The mobile lab will also display different types of gear and information on different aquaculture techniques as well as monitors for visual presentations. The modular lab can have new elements added, as necessary.

“I do a lot of work in high schools in North Carolina to educate students about the opportunities in marine aquaculture,” says Jane Harrison, Coastal Economics Specialist with NCSG. “I can go in and give a power point presentation, but if they can’t see what these creatures really look like and get their hands on them, it’s not as effective.”

Another aspect of the project is developing curriculum for teaching about aquaculture. Harrison says that she hopes the mobile lab might inspire some teachers to create permanent aquaculture labs at their schools.
Hatchery International and Virginia Tech will jointly host RAStech 2019, a conference and trade show focused on recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), on May 13 – 14, 2019 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C.

Formerly the International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture (ICRA), RAStech 2019 will feature keynote presentations and concurrent sessions discussing case studies, developments and advances in RAS and its future in the aquaculture industry.

Partnering with Hatchery International, backed by Annex Business Media’s event management expertise, ensures the continued success and growth of this event.

“We are happy to partner with Virginia Tech on this great initiative. The advancements in RAS technologies make this event a significant gathering of great minds and leaders in the aquaculture industry,” says Scott Jamieson, group publisher at Annex Business Media, which owns Hatchery International. “Sustainability is the way forward for aquaculture and RAStech will be a venue for sharing ideas and best practices for RAS applications.”

“RAStech 2019 will continue the ICRA’s vision of providing aquaculture professionals a resource for learning and sharing knowledge about RAS,” says David Kuhn, associate professor in the aquaculture research and extension programs, department of food science and technology at Virginia Tech. “Hatchery International is an ideal partner for us to accomplish this goal.”

For registration information visit

A technology platform that enables farms and hatcheries to track and manage their aquatic populations “with greater speed, accuracy and insight” is available from XpertSea.

The Canadian company says XpertSea’s platform uses artificial intelligence and computer vision to count and size early-stage aquatic organisms such as shrimp larvae and live feed.

The XpertCount is a smart IoT (internet of things) device that connects to a portal where customers can access data and analytics from any device, anywhere.

As of 2017, XpertSea’s customers in 48 countries have counted more than 17 billion organisms and uploaded over 100,000 counting and sizing sessions to the data portal, said the company. It recently found investors in Obvious Ventures, Aqua-Spark, and Real Ventures, which together raised C$10 million in Series A financing.

"This investment will help XpertSea take the guesswork out of aquaculture inventory management, which will drive profits for aquaculture producers and deliver positive environmental returns for our planet,” said Valerie Robitaille, CEO and co-founder of XpertSea.

“Precision aquaculture technology is the key to bringing transparency to transactions and standardizing practices across the industry, which benefits everyone along the aquaculture food chain,” she added.
With the help of over $30,000 in travel grants, 14 students from universities around the world will showcase their research at the 8th International Symposium on Aquatic Animal Health (ISAAH), which will be held September 2-6, 2018, in Charlottetown, PEI.

ISAAH, held every four years, is co-hosted this year by the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC), the PEI BioAlliance, and the American Fisheries Society-Fish Health Section. This will be only the second time that it has been hosted in Canada since the inaugural conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1988.

The travel grants are provided by the Fish Health Section of the American Fisheries Society and Canada Excellence Research Chair in Aquatic Epidemiology located at AVC. The students will present research on topics including emerging diseases in fish and biosecurity implications; the effects of the ornamental aquarium fish trade; injuries and disease in Pacific salmon; and pathogens and parasites affecting various species like wild and farmed fish, crustaceans, manatees, and amphibians.

“This conference is an excellent opportunity for the students to present their research and to network with world leaders in aquatic animal health,” said Dr David Groman, local chair of the conference and Section Head for Aquatic Diagnostic Services at AVC.

Early bird registration for the symposium ends on July 13. For more information, visit

As important as having the specialized skillset, an aquaculture diver should also have the temperament to get the job done, writes Kelly N. Korol.
IFFO, The Marine Ingredients Organisation has appointed Petter Martin Johannessen as director general.
Steve Summerfelt has joined the first commercial-scale Atlantic salmon RAS facility in the US.

“My experience at the Freshwater Institute has been incredible. We have overcome many of the biological, technical, and economic challenges that fish farmers must overcome when using RAS. Many challenges remain for commercial producers using RAS and the Freshwater Institute team and facilities are still well prepared to develop solutions to overcome these challenges,” Summerfelt told Aquaculture North America (ANA).

“The massive expansion of the land-based salmon-trout farming industry is actually quite intimidating because I’m not convinced that all of the players have the technology and experience to do this right. Yet, with this transition, I will be able to help Superior Fresh – the leader in commercial land-based production of Atlantic salmon in the USA – sustainably expand production of both fish and produce,” he continued.

“I look forward to continuing to innovate and optimize RAS and aquaponic production while working for industry. This will also allow me to continue providing the very best technology to Superior Fresh and hopefully leave a legacy of success.”

Aquasend, a subsidiary of Precision Measurement Engineering, introduced at Aquaculture America 2018 its new device for monitoring dissolved oxygen, called clearDOT logger.
With help from a newly launched management software, oyster farmers can now access what’s happening throughout their operation at any time.
Animal feed producer ADM Animal Nutrition has appointed Dr John Bowzer as lead research scientist in aquaculture.

Bowzer is “tasked with strengthening ADM’s commitment to developing ingredients and products that deliver value to the rapidly growing aquaculture industry,” the company said in a statement.

He will also lead ADM’s efforts to expand its research capabilities through development of an aquaculture wet lab, it added.

Bowzer received his doctorate in zoology from Southern Illinois University in 2014. “He brings significant technical expertise in fish and shrimp nutrition and physiology to ADM Animal Nutrition,” said ADM

China is not one to get left behind as a new era in fish farming begins.

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