World Aquaculture 2023

May 29 - June 1, 2023

Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia


Fitzsimmons, K.* and Kohn, Y.

University of Arizona, Department of Environmental Science     
Tucson, Arizona


production has occurred in the driest and hottest portions of each country. Saline aquifers occur in these regions from either the slow accumulation of water leaching salts from the rare rain events or large-scale irrigation, or from geothermal activity dissolving underground salt deposits.  The differences in ionic balances derived from these processes have a critical impact on water and feed management for inland saline aquaculture.  In Arizona, most of the inland saline aquaculture efforts have been with shrimp and barramundi (Lates calcarifer) culture.  However, farming of tilapia in saline water has been the most successful commercially.  In 2005 three shrimp commercial-scale farms were operating in southwestern Arizona.  PL’s were imported from Florida or Latin America and reared in three separate locations. One farm was able to use groundwater without any feed adjustments or water treatment.  Another farm used a special formula mineral premix to deal with an unbalanced ionic ratio in the water. The third farm used potash additions as a water treatment method to balance ionic concentrations.  In all cases, the goal was to balance ions to more closely resemble dilute seawater.  By 2023, one farm ceased operation, one was converted first to a successful tilapia farm for 15 years and in the last couple of years was converted to a very successful barramundi farm.  The third farm has struggled with a mix of partners, marketing plans and intermittent production and in 2023 was not operating.   The barramundi farm, and a cluster of smaller tilapia farms, appears to be the future path for inland culture in Arizona.  In Alabama, one shrimp farm has been operating for many years with inland saline waters.  Similarly in Texas, one shrimp farm has been in fairly continuous production.

In Israel, inland saline aquaculture has followed a similar pattern of expansion, some contraction, and some diversification.  Use of saline aquifers for extensive culture of euryhaline species including tilapia, carp, flathead mullet (Mugil cephalus) and to a lesser extent; European seabass, red drum barramundi, white leg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) and gilthead sea bream (Sparus aurata) have operated for many years. Most of these operations use extensive methods such as earthen or cement ponds with paddle wheels for aeration but some have been using intensive methods (RAS) with variable degrees of success. The largest RAS facility in Israel can produce around 1000 tons of barramundi per year. Total production of fish for human consumption in Israel is at about 20,000 tons per year which represents about 10% of the fish consumption in the country. Focus on species of lesser economic value (such as carp and tilapia) has caused a steady deterioration in the success of these operations which are currently on their brink of closure. Small-scale production of euryhaline and marine ornamental fishes has expanded in recent years using intensive recirculating aquaculture systems. A few RAS hatcheries produce fingerlings for local production and export. Current research is focused on intensification and development of more cost-effective diets, acclimation of high value marine species to saline water, aquaculture wastewater treatment, trials to utilize in-pond raceways and split pond designs, larger scale in-door RAS, and high salinity broodstock and hatchery for ocean spawners are planned or underway.