Pilot netpen aquaculture farm
Key research areas
Husbandry methods, Precision farming, Effects of climate change, Species diversification
In Souda Bay (Chania, Crete), we have been operating a pilot aquaculture net pen cage farm since 2000. Currently the unit consists of 16 rectangular cages 6×6 m and 4 circular cages of 12-m diameter. Part of the energy requirements are covered by photovoltaic cells and a wind turbine, reducing the carbon footprint of the facility. Two service boats, a floating platform and a storage hut support the farm.
The farm rears a variety of fishes, depending on the research projects running at the institute, including European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), gilt head sea bream (Sparus aurata), meagre (Argyrosomus regius), greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili) and red porgy (Pagrus pagrus). The farm implements research projects targeting improvement of the fish performance and development of husbandry practices. Integrated Multitrophic Aquaculture (IMTA) concepts are also being tested along with the cultivation of sponges.
The study of fish behaviour during standard rearing conditions and during stress, using video captures and hydroacoustics, is aimed towards the development of methods and indicators for monitoring and management of farmed populations during the production process.
Improving our facilities to better facilitate the husbandry in the farm and assist the implementation of ongoing and future experiments.