Aquaculture International

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 827–842 | Cite as

Recirculation nursery systems for bivalves

  • Pauline KamermansEmail author
  • Ainhoa Blanco
  • Sandra Joaquim
  • Domitília Matias
  • Thorolf Magnesen
  • Jean Louis Nicolas
  • Bruno Petton
  • Rene Robert
European Aquaculture Development since 1993


In order to increase production of bivalves in hatcheries and nurseries, the development of new technology and its integration into commercial bivalve hatcheries is important. Recirculation aquaculture systems (RASs) have several advantages: high densities of the species can be cultured resulting in a cost-effective production system; optimal temperature maximizes production and allows rapid turnover of the product; stable water quality improves growth rate and minimizes stress and potential loss by diseases. Pilot RAS systems were developed for seed rearing of oysters (Crassostrea gigas), scallops (Pecten maximus), mussels (Mytilus edulis) and clams (Ruditapes decussatus). Optimal feed addition and waste matrix were determined. Based on this, system flow rates were designed. Seed growth in the pilot RAS systems was compared at different renewal rates and with growth in flow-through systems (FTS). All four species can be reared in RAS and showed similar growth in RAS and in FTS or in RAS with a higher renewal rate. RAS can keep O2, nitrogen and pH within the desired range. Temperature was generally higher in RAS than in FTS, probably due to heat induced by the pump circulating the water. The supply of sufficient amount of food in combination with a desire to reduce the renewal rate calls for use of concentrated feed in RAS.


Bivalve seed Recirculation aquaculture system Crassostrea gigas Mytilus edulis Pecten maximus Ruditapes decussatus 



The study was supported by the EU Grant No. 245119 REPROSEED. We would like to thank Blandine Diss for providing information on the RAS pilot performed at Satmar.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pauline Kamermans
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ainhoa Blanco
    • 1
  • Sandra Joaquim
    • 2
  • Domitília Matias
    • 2
    • 3
  • Thorolf Magnesen
    • 4
  • Jean Louis Nicolas
    • 5
  • Bruno Petton
    • 5
  • Rene Robert
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.IMARESWageningen URYersekeThe Netherlands
  2. 2.IPMAPortuguese Institute for the Ocean and AtmosphereOlhãoPortugal
  3. 3.CIIMAR – Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental ResearchUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  4. 4.Department of BiologyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway
  5. 5.IfremerLaboratoire de Physiologie des Invertébrés Marins (UMR 6539, LEMAR)PlouzanéFrance
  6. 6.IfremerUnité Littoral, Centre Bretagne - ZI de la Pointe du Diable - CS 10070PlouzanéFrance

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