IRTA Aquaculture Centre facilities located at Sant Carles de la Ràpita (Tarragona) have been used by several XRAq research groups. IRTA has made an effort in recent years to get the latest aquaculture technology through original designs. That is why IRTA’s facilities are one of the most modern aquaculture facilities in Spain.
Its total surface is greater than 5 hectares and includes a wide variety of equipment:
Indoor area: This concrete panel building has specific areas for broodstock, egg incubation, larvae, weaning unit and nursery, as well as phytoplankton and zooplankton culture areas. In addition there are specific areas for molluscs and pathology trials. All areas are provided with fresh and marine water, as well as filtered borehole marine water (1micre). Water is UV sterilized, thermoregulated through heat interchangers and air, oxygen and independent heating systems are available for each area.
IRTA indoor facilities have been designed to provide maximum flexibility in terms of culture and stocking conditions of aquatic organisms (room layout and temperature, oxygen and salinity conditions).IRTA has developed a recirculation system that allows to independently preset culture conditions for each module.Each trial is done under automatic control and continuous reading of parameters through a specially designed program. Each module can be used as an open, semi open or close circuit.
Outdoors area: in this area there are experimental tank facilities with open systems. Tanks layout and stocking conditions (water salinity) are designed to provide with maximum flexibility to each trial. The following is a list of material available in the outdoor facilities:
9 fibre tanks of 14 m³/u.
4 concrete raceways of 50 m³/u.
1 greenhouse (672m²/u) covered by bio oriented PVC panels.
1 greenhouse (672m²/u) covered by a shading net.
All tanks in this are operate in an open system regime of fresh water, 50 micres filtered marine water or borehole marine water. Oxygen and air pumps are available for all tanks and their layout is totally flexible.
Marine cages:are located at one mile from Les Cases d’Alcanar fishing port. These facilities are ideal to perform field trials.
Soon, XRAq researchers working at IRTA facilities will be able to check their trials remotely and in real time. This will provide researchers with important quantitative and qualitative data and it will increase control levels enhancing research quality.