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Okayama University of Science has introduced the latest science and technology into primary industries. (Photo: Okayama University/www.ous.ac.jp)

Professor gets closer to successfully inland bluefin tuna farms

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Tuesday, May 08, 2012, 23:40 (GMT + 9)

A "fish factory" has been in operation since 2010 at Okayama University of Science in Okayama. The indoor facility, which includes water-circulation machines, constitutes one of various attempts to introduce the latest science and technology into primary industries to make the field more lucrative.

The farm, a one-story building, contains large and small aquarium tanks, including a round tank measuring 8m in diameter, the home of three bluefin tuna each weighing about 8 kilograms.

"I want to establish technologies to enable fish farming with high added value even in villages in mountainous regions where depopulation or graying of the population is progressing. By doing so, I want to create new industries," explained Toshimasa Yamamoto, an associate professor of the university's Faculty of Engineering.

He devised a method consisting of adding small quantities of sodium, potassium and other elements to freshwater to make raising both saltwater fish and freshwater fish possible. This is less costly than transporting seawater to mountainous areas and a simpler way to control water quality, The Yomiuri Shimbun reports.

Fish farming work currently involves eight species of fish. Yamamoto has especially high aspirations for bluefin tuna, although they are difficult to raise because they swim at high speeds and are sensitive to light and sounds.

Reducing costs for circulating and purifying water would make the fish more competitive in the market. Yamamoto has received proposals for joint research from US, Chinese and South Korean companies.

"An age in which agricultural cooperatives will ship bluefin tuna may be coming," he stated.

By Natalia Real
editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com


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