Recirculated Aquaculture Systems, or RAS, is only one of the many ways in which you can grow fish. In our opinion, it is the primary way fish will be grown in the future for several cogent reasons.
- RAS gives you control. It may cost you more, initially, but control over production is everything and you will end up producing fish at a lower cost.
- RAS uses less water. A lot less water.
- RAS uses less space. A lot less space.
- RAS is more environmentally friendly (and consumer friendly – see below)
- RAS allows scalability more flexibly.
- RAS is predictable, and safer once mastered.
- RAS protects you against the elements of nature
On the downside,
- RAS is more expensive to set up.
- RAS is more technically challenging.
- RAS (and all fish farming for that matter) requires scale to be economically viable.
Once you produce fish from RAS systems those fish are consumer friendly premium quality protein. They are
- 100% anti-biotic free
- 100% steroid free
- 100% hormone free
- 100% disease free
- 100% medication free
- Zero mercury
The list goes on. Tilapia are also nett fish protein positive – tilapia are vegetarian and so they produce more fish mass than they consume (which is not necessarily the case with other farmed species such as salmon). In an ever increasingly consumer conscious world, this is important.
All of this puts you in the position to set your price because you have a unique ultra high quality product that you can sell at a premium price. Do not be fooled into thinking you’re competing with some mystery Chinese imported product that no-one is able to tell you where it was produced, when it was farmed, if it was farmed, how it was farmed, what it was fed (!) how it was processed and so forth. This is not your competition by any means.
Contrary to what you will read on the Internet (the irony is not lost on us) a farmed fish can only be farmed when it is healthy and happy. Fish, when subjected to the slightest stress, stop growing. As a result, farmed fish have to have optimum and ideal conditions under which they flourish. This is entirely opposite to battery chickens for example.