Aquaculture can be defined as breeding, cultivation and processing of fish, shellfish, algae and other aquatic organisms. Aquaculture has tremendous potential to enhance the efficient usage of water resources to increase production, to meet the increasing demand for seafood, and to help prevent depletion of wild stocks while providing employment opportunities and an increase in export revenue. For this reason, the development of aquaculture in our country has been taken as a priority and selective breeding and genetics have become most effective tool providing a solid increase in aquatic production.
R&D is carried out by Department of Aquaculture on the following subjects.
- Application of molecular techniques and practices,
- Development of domestic breeding lines,
- Biotechnological applications,
- Marine spatial planning and carrying capacity validations,
- Fish nutrition and alternative feed sources,
- Live feed development,
- Production research of local micro and macro algae species,
- Infrastructural and technical development in aquaculture,
- Introduction of new fish species to aquaculture and their cultural characteristics,
- And breeding programmes for special treats.
Turbot, trout and sturgeon are being continuously produced at our compound and, live fish at all ages are provided upon request to the local producers in order to help create their own breeding stocks. Also, to rebuild depleted wild fish stocks every year a portion of our production is used to restock natural waters. In addition, while experimental production studies are being carried out on mullet, flounder, gurnard, brown meagre and mussel in order to bring local species into aquaculture, commercial fish species such as sea bass, gilthead sea bream and sharp snout seabream that cultivated in the Aegean and Mediterranean are being adopted for housing in the Black Sea conditions.
Within the region and beyond, Department of Aquaculture drawing on accumulated experiences and knowledge from both private and public sectors to help maintain sustainable growth of aquaculture industry using knowledge-sharing, knowledge-construction, and knowledge-creation concepts by Aquaculture Demonstration Centre (ADC) training programs and training extension projects of our Ministry.
In addition to these, technical support is provided by Department of Aquaculture to the producers and provincial directorates of Agriculture and Forestry for establishing facilities on sea, land and lakes, determination of production capacity and carrying capacity validations on lakes and dams.
Department of Aquaculture maintains a large aquaculture research space spread over three on site primary buildings and three out of site private finfish culture facilities including setup and construction of experimental systems on following units;
Marine Fish Production Unit
Marine fish production unit was established as a flow-through system on seven hundred square meters constructional area fed with seawater taken from 3 depths (18m, 40m and 55m) and primarily used for turbot production but also being used to house potential marine culture candidates for experimental and production purposes occasionally.
Inside this unit there are three isolated production sections for larvae (hatchery), juvenile (grow-out) and broodstock (housing) among with feed storage zones and laboratories.
The research and production in marine fish production unit is supported with a single or combined usage of Mechanical systems for water intake, filtration, sterilization & disinfection, heating & cooling, ventilation and cold preservation
Black Sea Trout Hatchery (RAS 1)
This unit has ten cubic meter water usage capacity and can operate with both fresh water and sea water. The rate of water exchange in the system is set to ten percent a day. Water filtration system can be adjusted according to the method and/or material being studied to meet the needs such as 1 µ in egg incubation, 50 µ in pre-feeding and 10 µ in growing the fry. Physical filtration is done using automatic filters, bag filters and cartridge filters while biological filtration is done using bio-ball beds and UV lights. The system is constantly monitored with an automatic oxygen control system and dissolved oxygen levels in water is kept between 7-9 mg per litre continuously. In addition, the system has a chiller and the water temperature can be kept constant at the desired level.
This unit is being used for more than a decade and a myriad number of studies in egg incubation, pre-feeding, rearing and more have been carried out so far in the Black Sea trout.
Black Sea Trout Broodstock Unit (RAS 2)
Black Sea Trout Broodstock Unit is a recirculating aquaculture system sponsored by FAO-GFCM. It has 46.5 cubic meter water capacity and consisting of six breeding tanks with each containing seven cubic meter water volume. Filtration in this system is done with a compact combination of mechanical filter, protein separator, biological filter, UV light and ozone unit. The system can be operated with both fresh water and sea water. In the system oxygen, temperature, pH and ozone levels are monitored in real-time. With the integrated chiller, the temperature of the water can be reduced to the desired temperature. This unit is only operating since July 2019, and is currently used for Black Sea trout broodstock specimens.
Sturgeon Production Unit
The wild specimens of Russian sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii), Starry sturgeon (Acipenser stellatus), Beluga (Huso huso) and Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baerii) has been used to create initial stocks and a cooperation is formed between our institute and trout production facilities in the region for housing purposes.
Marine Cages Unit
Marine cages unit located in Yomra Porta is consisting of ten units of sixteen (4by4) square meter and two units of thirty-six (6by6) square meter polyethylene cages, walking path with a plastic floating pontoon and a living area. The sea water depth where the cages are installed is 10 m, and the cage network depth is 6 m. Studies for Black Sea trout, sturgeon, sea bass and mullet are being conducted in this facility.
Live Feed Production Unit
Phytoplankton & Zooplankton
Algae, rotifer, daphnia and artemia are being produced in adequate amount to support the critical larval processes of turbot, sturgeon and trout culture. Planktons are purified, conserved and produced under controlled conditions. In this unit we provide the nutritional needs of larval forms of every species being cultured by the department of aquaculture and help ease the process of their adaptation to pelleted feeds. Stock cultures are inoculated to relatively larger volume cultures (up to 30L), which are later inoculated to even larger volume cultures (initial culture of 100-1000L acrylic tanks to 2-8 tons PVC tanks) for final production before harvest and feeding. Throughout the scale-up all measures are taken to keep culture off any sort of contamination and hygiene, attention to detail and maintaining a routine are always the priority for solid production process.
Microalgae, Rotifers, Artemia and Daphnia
Green algae, Nannochloris sp, is massively produced as a live feed at our facilities by the coast. This massive stock is concentrated, either to feed the extensive culture of B. rutindiformis and B. pilicatilis during production season or to stock them in pure form for the next season start-up.
Dried Active Yeast and Red pepper are used for feeding and enrichment process of Rotifer species and Artemia salina sp. These live feeds are used to feed turbot, black sea trout and sturgeon larvae or to help promote adaptation to aquaculture conditions of other candidate species. Also, Artemia metanauplii are produced for feeding Turbot larvae later on, as well as Black sea trout or other species.
Site Selection and Area Determination Works for Aquaculture
Department of Aquaculture is also actively taking responsibility in the Black Sea region to ensure aquaculture activities at sea or on land takes place in a safe, sustainable and an efficient way. A potential mari-culture site is marked through meticulous studies that are carried out and detailed information are being collected for evaluation and analysis. The factors that are important to declare a potential zone for mari-culture were being examined can be summarized under 4 main headings (ecological, biological, socio-economic and legal) and the main parameters are: temperature range, salinity, sea ground, surface areas and depth of water, floor type, height and distance from coastline, shelter, access, services, local infrastructures and hazards. Identifying and monitoring of potential zones, our work on the subjects of seasonal water sampling, assessment of legislation and literature, working across stakeholders, etc. is a never-ending continuous duty of this department.
Studies on Turbot Species
- Effects of Using Antioxidant on DNA damage in Turbot (Psetta maxima) Cryopreservation (2021- ), TAGEM
- The Use of Molecular Genetics and Biotechnological Methods in Creating Trout Breeding Lines (2019-2024), TAGEM
- Determination of the Success of Usage Cryopreserved Sperm (Artificial Insamination) in Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Aquaculture (2017-2021), TAGEM
- Research of Using Opportunities of Some Phytobiotic Diet Ingredients on Feeding of Black Sea Trout (Salmo labrax Pallas, 1811) (2017-2021), TAGEM
- Determining Potential Mariculture Areas in Turkish Seas (2018-2021), TAGEM
- Development of Aquaculture Techniques on Sturgeon (2019-2024) , TAGEM
- Meeting of Small Size Rainbow Trout with Black Sea (Researcher) (2017-2020), Private Sector Project.
- The Effects of Waterwon Water Structuring Equipment on Aquaculture (2019-2020), Private Sector Cooperation Project.