Sunday, November 28, 2010

MSc Module 5: Aquaculture Production Systems

We just completed a module titled “Aquaculture Production Systems”, which dealt with the more practical, engineering aspects of aquaculture technologies.  The first week we were given lectures by John Bostock, who covered a wide variety of topics including project design and planning, hydraulics, biofiltration, solids removal, sterilization, and processing, to name just a few.  Then, Francis Murray lectured extensively on recirculation systems, which is one area that I feel has a great deal of potential in the pursuit of sustainability.  Finally, Janet Brown lectured on the specifics of mollusc culture, and Colin Hepburn finished off the module with a comprehensive view of seaweed farming and seaweed value chains.

The assessment included a short exam, plus an individual production plan for a hypothetical aquaculture facility.  I chose to do my production plan for a small recirculation tilapia facility, as this is of interest to me and I have some experience designing this type of system.  While the project was immensely challenging and time-consuming, it is invaluable experience into a real-world scenario.

This particular module was important and interesting due to its practicality: additionally, as I am keen on the economics and design of aquaculture operations, this was the first time that we covered materials that I am seriously considering for a career path, so it was great to get this type of exposure.  The next module is called “Aquaculture in Practice”, and includes a 4-day study tour of fish farms along western Scotland!  

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