Aquaculture in Arizona - Research and Extension Kevin Fitzsimmons Environmental Research Lab Soil, Water and Environmental Science University of Arizona Oct. 2, 2000
Introduction • Aquaculture is the fastest growing sector in production agriculture in the US and worldwide. • Aquatic plants and animals are only now being domesticated. • US industry is dwarfed by aquaculture in Asia, Europe and Latin America. • Arizona industry is in infancy.
Introduction (cont.) • Aquaculture systems can be extensive (ponds)
Introduction (cont.) • Semi-intensive (raceways and cages)
Introduction (cont.) • Intensive (tanks and multiple raceways)
Introduction (cont.) • Superintensive (recirculating controlled environment systems)
Introduction (cont.) • Arizona has all types of systems even within the small industry.
Introduction (cont.) • Arizona has all types of systems even within the small industry. • Shrimp, trout, tilapia, catfish, koi, grass carp
Introduction (cont.) • Arizona has all types of systems even within the small industry. • Shrimp, trout, tilapia, catfish, koi, grass carp • Fee fishing
Introduction (cont.) • Arizona has all types of systems even within the small industry. • Shrimp, trout, tilapia, catfish, koi, grass carp • Fee fishing • Aquaculture in the classroom
Research Projects • Effluent management • Integration of aquaculture and agriculture • Human pathogens in production systems • Tilapia production
Research - Effluent management • Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO’s) • Aquaculture operations producing 50,000 + lbs per year, with discharge to waters of the U.S. are considered CAFO’s (CWA, Section 318) • CAFO regulations are developed by the states and reviewed by the EPA. • EPA is considering new aquaculture industry specific regulations
Research Projects - Integration of aquaculture and agriculture • Virtually all of Arizona’s crops are irrigated, using millions of cubic meters of water • Much of this water could be used for aquaculture first • Increase organic and nutrient content of water
Research Projects - Integration of aquaculture and agriculture • Experimental work at MAC and Safford • Irrigate cotton crops with water from catfish ponds and well water • Measure differences in water quality, nitrogen requirements & cotton yield • Determine economic impact
Research Projects - Integration of aquaculture and agriculture • First use of water for extensive pond culture. • Pond filled with well water. • Catfish stocked at 7,000 kg/ha • Second use to irrigate and fertilize cotton. • Replicated plots irrigated with well water and pond water.
Research Projects - Integration of aquaculture and agriculture • Water pH reduced from 8.3 to 8.0 • Added 19.7 kg/ha N to 45 kg/ha used in standard fertilization schedule.
Research Projects - Integration of aquaculture and agriculture • Contributed 2.6 kg/ha P to crop.
Research Projects - Integration of aquaculture and agriculture • RESULTS • No significant difference in cotton yield. • Split cost of water results in savings to farmers ($120/ha).
Research Projects - Human pathogens in production systems • Most aquaculture systems encourage nitrifying and heterotrophic bacteria to improve water quality • Farmers want to maximize the benefits of these types of bacteria in ponds • Could human pathogens be present in pond environment?
Research Projects - Human pathogens in production systems • Seven fish culture systems were monitored for bacterial populations • Four recirculating systems with biofilters • Three ponds with plastic, concrete or earthen walls and bottom
Research Projects - Human pathogens in production systems • Each system was sampled for influent to filter or pond and effluent from filter or pond • Water quality parameters (pH, DO, ammonia, nitrates, turbidity, alkalinity.)
Discussion • Total coliforms and fecal coliforms are normally indicators of mammalian waste • Outdoor ponds all had dogs on site for bird control, dogs and people were often in ponds • Indoor systems had no known source
Discussion • Total coliforms and fecal coliforms were present in all systems • In all but one case they were high enough to indicate possible contamination • Look for source of contamination
Discussion • Non detects of Salmonella may imply other source • Could be that other heterotrophic bacteria are interfering with tests providing false positives
Discussion • If systems are in fact harboring human pathogens, care must be taken • Remove sources • Reduce pathogen levels in system • Provide protective measures for workers and processors
Discussion • No numerical limits on bacteria in systems by regulators (may change) • Proper handling techniques required (wearing gloves, rinsing with chlorinated or ozonated water)
Discussion • Additional research should determine if these indicator bacteria are really the pathogens • Are fish pathogens present • Existing best management practices will reduce chances of infection
Research Projects -Tilapia aquaculture • Several species which readily hybridize • Fast growing, herbivores-omnivores • Native to Middle East and Africa • Established and farmed in tropical regions • Farmed in most temperate regions
Research Projects -Tilapia aquaculture • Introduced to Arizona in 1960’s for weed control in irrigation canals • Farms in desert parts of state • Research has included nutrition, genetics, water quality effects on growth, and market development
Research Projects -Tilapia aquaculture • Edited two International Proceedings on Tilapia in Aquaculture
Extension Projects • Economic impacts • Fee fishing • Arizona aquaculture web site • Arid Lands Aquaculture Newsletter • Aquaculture in the classroom
Extension Projects - Economic impact • Distributed survey to all fish producers • Determined inputs (salaries, feeds, fingerlings, water, etc) • Determined production (sales) • Proportions in and out of county & state • Used IMPLAN and other models
Extension Projects - Economic impact • Expenditures & sales for Az. aquaculture • % of annual ownership and operating costs
Extension Projects - Economic impact • Multipliers for additional $ of sales • Keynsian M=1/(1-(b-X1-X2) • 1.099 for local (county) economy • 1.111 for state economy • Tiebout’s M=1/(1-p1*p2) • 1.3537 for local (county) economy • 1.6340 for state economy
Extension Projects - Economic impact • Multipliers for job creation
Extension Projects - Economic impact • ARIZONA Aquaculture Production Thousand Pounds/Thousand Dollars (farm gate)
Extension Projects - Fee fishing • Visit and interview farms / pay lakes-ponds • Provide extension bulletins • Marketing promotions • Provide web sites
Extension Projects - Arizona Aquaculture Website • Develop and maintain Website • Develop content appropriate to clientele
Extension Projects • Teach summer short course • Provide lab tours, on-site visits • Develop web site and CD-ROM • Provide fish for classrooms • Host Career Development Events
Arizona Aquaculture • Growing industry • More efficient use of limited resources • Skill levels of practitioners increasing • Markets for locally produced fish are improving