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Annals of Operations Research

Yitzhak Simon - Fisheries and Aquaculture DepartmentExtension Service, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural DevelopmentBet Dagan Israel

Noam Mozes  - National Center for MaricultureIsrael Oceanographic and Limnological Research LtdEilatIsrael

The recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) is an intensive production line that uses recycled water, and that should operate continuously, year-round, at full capacity. The RAS depends on enhanced water quality and minimized fish stressors, and its profitability relies on maximizing economic productivity per unit volume of rearing space. However, RAS operation requires coordinated management of many unit processes and/or operations. The aim of this study was to optimize operating parameters, including the number of fingerlings in the system, their arrival frequency, and fish weight on entry into the system and into the various stages of sorting along the production line. It was also necessary to minimize the start-up period, i.e. the period between establishment and achievement of full design capacity. A simulation model was developed to further the operating company’s interests, combining discrete-event and continuous-time stochastic simulations, meta-model and optimal-resource configurations—all to maximize annual profits, subject to operational and environmental constraints. Simulation outputs were monthly sales, fish stocking density (kilograms of biomass per cubic meter) and utilization of each culture tank at any given time, and effects of standing stock biomass and feed load on the biofilters. The simulation results were validated and implemented in an aquaculture farm.

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Simulation of the shift from marine netcages to inland recirculating aquaculture systems
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Yitzhak Simon - Fisheries and Aquaculture DepartmentExtension Service, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural DevelopmentBet Dagan Israel

Noam Mozes  - National Center for MaricultureIsrael Oceanographic and Limnological Research LtdEilatIsrael

Simulation of the shift from marine netcages to inland recirculating aquaculture systems

The recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) is an intensive production line that uses recycled water, and that should operate continuously, year-round, at full capacity. The RAS depends on enhanced water quality and minimized fish stressors, and its profitability relies on maximizing economic productivity per unit volume of rearing space. However, RAS operation requires coordinated management of many unit processes and/or operations. The aim of this study was to optimize operating parameters, including the number of fingerlings in the system, their arrival frequency, and fish weight on entry into the system and into the various stages of sorting along the production line. It was also necessary to minimize the start-up period, i.e. the period between establishment and achievement of full design capacity. A simulation model was developed to further the operating company’s interests, combining discrete-event and continuous-time stochastic simulations, meta-model and optimal-resource configurations—all to maximize annual profits, subject to operational and environmental constraints. Simulation outputs were monthly sales, fish stocking density (kilograms of biomass per cubic meter) and utilization of each culture tank at any given time, and effects of standing stock biomass and feed load on the biofilters. The simulation results were validated and implemented in an aquaculture farm.

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