Smart aquaculture biosecurity: the new frontier

6 years have passed since the aquaculture biosafety unit was launched at IRTA la Ràpita. The original concept is still holding strong and, in essence, the way we conceived it has been confirmed as successful and with extraordinary potential. The key to success, as we mentioned in the article A new aquatic biosecurity concep: Simple, wide, multifunctional, powerful and safe.

We started from extensive knowledge in the use of RAS systems applied to research, but the challenge of integrating these systems with challenge tests for bacteria, viruses and parasites was complex. After several years fine-tuning methodologies and models, we were able to design an IRTAmar® system that met all safety requirements, the IRTAMAR® BIOTEC.

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Biosafety IRTA unit

On this basis we have been evolving and adding new capabilities and adaptations. Firstly, by integrating double systems that allowed tests to be carried out in parallel and to evaluate the effect of various biological agents, not only in limited-time tests, but we can also adapt them to complete production cycles, from larvae to slaughter, regardless of the type of water or the species. Making multifunctionality our main challenge.

New functionalities have been added, such as digitization in data collection, and the incorporation of sensors and advanced software for the monitoring and management of trials, as we recently presented at the Conference “Bienvenidos a la R-evolución acuícola”.

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Plano general IRTA la Ràpita

And we have completed the process with the new quarantine unit that, attached to the biosafety unit, increases the efficiency of the processes, reducing the risk and increasing the possibilities of experimental design. This new infrastructure does not position it as one of the most advanced aquaculture research and transfer centers in Europe, so much so that at this moment we are one of the few that can offer the management of maximum biosafety trials in inland and marine fish, molluscs and crustaceans.

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Quarantine unit

Therefore, today we have challenge models tested and adapted to the main pathogens that affect aquaculture, such as:

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Challenge models with pathogenic organisms

We believe that this comprehensive and multifunctional design model can help solve the main health challenges of the moment in aquaculture production, such as antibiotic and biocide trials, parasite and co-infestation management for the development of infective models, use of new functional ingredients and their effect on animal health, validation of veterinary and pharmacological products, vaccines and new registrations.

Do you need anything else? Do you have a need or a project that involves the use of the most advanced technology in aquaculture biosecurity? Would you like to carry out an experimental design that is beyond your capabilities and possibilities? Write us:


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