aquaculture system in Kenya

New technology to improve fish farming in lake region

The Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) has launched a new method to transform fish farming in the region. Dubbed Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS), the new technology aims at greater efficiency and yields.

According to the State parastatal, this innovation enables water recycling within closed environments, optimising usage and space to reduce environmental impacts and promote sustainable aquaculture.

“RAS is a modern technology that recycles water within a closed system, allowing for efficient use of water and space while providing better control over the fish environment. This technique minimises environmental impacts and enhances aquaculture”, stated LBDA.

The new system was showcased during the Homa Bay International Investment Conference, where it was presented to Tourism Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua and Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs Cabinet Secretary Salim Mvurya.

The authority said that adopting this technology would help meet the region’s fish breeding needs. Additionally, it would support the Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA) to enhance agricultural production.

Wycliff Ochiaga, the Managing Director of LBDA, reaffirmed the authority’s commitment to advancing growth and innovation in aquaculture. “We are dedicated to innovation, growth, and collaboration. Instead of the traditional method of growing fish outdoors in open ponds and raceways, this system rears fish at high densities in greenhouses, tanks, or raceways in controlled environments”, he stated.

The system filters and cleans water for recycling through culture tanks. Fresh water is occasionally added to the tanks to compensate for evaporation and to flush out waste materials.

Fish raised using RAS require a continuous supply of clean water, optimal temperature, and sufficient oxygen levels.

A biofilter system is essential to purify the water and remove or detoxify harmful products and uneaten food. Nutrient-rich diets are needed daily for rapid growth and better survival rates.

Various RAS models have existed since the mid-1950s, but their potential for commercial fish farming has only been realized recently.

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