Recirculating Aquaculture Systems

The past decade has seen rapidly growing investment overseas in developing RAS systems (self-contained land-based fish farming) and land-based hybrid systems that pump salt water to and from the nearby ocean. Even hybrid systems are a significant improvement in that at least the fish spend all their lives onshore, not polluting shallow waterways and rivers. All salmon produced in Tasmania spend part of their lives at sea, even if they started in an RAS hatchery.

There are operational or planned and funded RAS and onshore hybrid schemes in many parts of the world, the latest even in Switzerland. Here are some of them:

  • Saudi Arabia, where the Saudi kingdom plans a $750 million RAS facility to produce 600,000
  • tons of aquaculture including salmon a year by 2030 (2023 report)
  • Grimsby in the UK (2023 report)
  • Germany, with plans for a network of land-based farms producing fish, vegetables, insects,
  • algae and mushrooms, which are then sold directly across Germany (2023 report)
  • USA, where one of their many RAS facilities uses its waste as fertiliser for its associated farm
  • producing more than two million kilograms of salad greens a year (2023 report)
  • China, the first of many with full government backing (2024 report)
  • Sweden, with micro-factories set up close to their markets (2024 report)
  • Shetland Islands, exploring locations for sites in tunnels underground (2024 report)
  • Norway, a hybrid system in full production (2024 report)
  • Iceland (2024 report)
  • Japan, a rapidly expanding operation (2024 report)
  • Scotland (2024 report)
  • Dubai (2023 report)
  • Switzerland $190 million funding reached (2024 report)
  • Russia is investigating RAS to fill shortfalls caused by western sanctions (2024 report)

And Tasmania? Nothing.