DTU Aqua conducts research that covers a wide range of biological and technological aspects of aquaculture.
The research areas include biofiltration and recirculation, nutrition and growth as well as physiology and behaviour. In addition, the research aims to improve existing rearing methods and systems and to develop new methods and systems in order to reduce the environmental impacts of aquaculture and to optimise operations.
Research into Aquaculture has two main themes:
- Nutrition, growth and welfare
We perform research in the nutrition, physiology, growth and feed utilisation of fish in aquaculture and the development of fish feed. Our research involves elements such as fish welfare, organic aquaculture and quality aspects. The research also includes protein utilisation, enzymes in fish feed, fatty acids, the use of plant raw materials, respiration physiology, larval rearing, stress physiology and rearing of new species.
- Rearing systems and environmental effects
We do research in the development of rearing systems and methods that ensure efficient production with minimum environmental impact. Our research focuses in particular on recirculation facilities, biofilter technology, water treatment components and environmental efficiency in onshore facilities. The research initiatives involving offshore aquaculture facilities will be intensified in the coming years.
DTU Aqua conducts aquaculture research activities both at the North Sea Science Park in Hirtshals, northern Jutland, where we have our own international standard research facilities, and in collaboration with partners in the aquaculture industry at their facilities.
Why do we do research into Aquaculture?
Aquaculture is experiencing rapid growth worldwide, and fish from aquaculture currently account for some 50 per cent of the world’s human consumption of fish.
This trend is expected to continue because most wild fish stocks cannot be exploited any further. Aquaculture is therefore the only sustainable way of meeting a growing demand for fish from a growing population.
Denmark already has a significant aquaculture production, but also considerable untapped potential. To take part in this development, the Danish government has set up ambitious goals for the Danish aquaculture industry.
With its good natural conditions for fish farming and targeted research in aquaculture, Denmark can streamline and expand its aquaculture production. This is why DTU Aqua does research in how environmental impacts can be reduced and resource utilization optimized even though aquaculture production is increasing.
We carry out research in how the emission of nitrogen, phosphorous, organic substances and adjuvants from aquaculture facilities can be reduced.
A particular challenge will be to find alternatives to fish protein and oil. Protein and oil from wild fish traditionally constitute a large proportion of the feed for aquaculture, but they are limited resources. Researchers therefore strive to find other suitable protein and oil sources, e.g. from plants.
What is the research used for?
DTU Aqua’s research findings are used both by the authorities and for management purposes as well as by the aquaculture industry and in the large number of secondary industries, e.g. raw material suppliers, feed manufacturers and suppliers of equipment, components and facilities.
Both the aquaculture industry and the secondary industries are suppliers to the global market, and the research conducted into aquaculture thus supports Danish exports.
The research activities are a central element in DTU Aqua’s consulting services to the authorities, primarily the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, but also to environmental authorities, municipalities etc.
View projects within the research area "Aquaculture - Nutrition, growth and welfare" in the project database DTU Orbit.
View projects within the research area "Aquaculture - Rearing systems and environmental effects" in the project database DTU Orbit.
Head of section Per Bovbjerg Pedersen, tel. +45 33 88 32 56,