The future of research for efficient aquaculture production
The Alltech Coppens Aqua Centre (ACAC) addresses challenges related to farmed catfish, the feeding of rainbow trout, efficient operations in RAS, raceway, pond and cage fish production and the environmental sustainability of raw materials and practices used in the global aquaculture industry.
The newly expanded research centre will now enable Alltech Coppens to broaden the spectrum of their research and work more efficiently. Robin Biermann, manager ACAC, discusses the advantages of the new expansion to the ACAC and the importance of these developments for farmers, now and in the future.
This new research system allows us to concentrate on multiple species, like African catfish and trout. This will ensure that our feeds are tailored to meet the needs of different aquaculture species and, therefore, promote optimal nutrient retention, water quality and health.
Lowering the FIFO factor is another key research topic. We expand our research on “alternative” raw materials to investigate their performance within a feed and their palatability. Through this expansion, Alltech Coppens has increased its research capacity to determine the digestibility and potential growth performance of a wide range of feed ingredients.
This research program ensures that our feeds support the success of our customers now and in the future.''
''I always had an interest in fish, and that interest led me to the chair of ecophysiology at the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, where I was especially fascinated by the courses in marine ecology and aquaculture. I decided to go deeper into the fishy part of research and finished my studies with a bachelor of science by investigating the maternity of a broodstock of Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus) to the offspring with molecular genetic methods within a restocking program in northern Germany.''
Still interested in aquaculture, Robin moved to Rostock to study for a master’s degree in aquaculture. Aside from the studies, he also worked in the university’s semi-commercial scaled research systems, which contained African catfish (Clarias gariepinus), and water quality laboratory. He completed an internship, as well as his master thesis, at the Alltech Coppens Aqua Centre, where he investigated new methods to test the attractability and palatability of raw materials for tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and African catfish.
After successfully finishing his thesis, he gained practical on-farm experience at a tilapia farm in Kenya, where he got insights into cage farming and aquaculture in a country that had just started to grow in the aquaculture sector. Back in Europe, he took over the management of the ACAC.
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