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Aquaculture Environment Interactions

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AEI 15:133-144 (2023)  -  DOI:

Modeling of waste outputs in the aquatic environment from a commercial cage farm under neotropical climate conditions

Guilherme Wolff Bueno1,*, Francisco E. M. Bernal2, Rodrigo Roubach3, James Owen Skipper-Horton4, Fernanda Garcia Sampaio5, Naor S. Fialho1, Dominique P. Bureau4

1Aquaculture Center CAUNESP, São Paulo State University (UNESP), Campus Jaboticabal, 14884-900 Jaboticabal, Brazil
2Faculty of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine, University of Brasilia (UnB), Darcy Ribeiro Campus - ICC Sul, Asa Norte, 70910-900 Brasília, DF, Brazil
3Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO/UN), Rome 00153, Italy
4Department of Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada
5Embrapa Environment, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), Rod. SP 340, Km 127,5, CEP: 13.918-110, Jaguariúna, SP, Brazil
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The present study used a bioenergetics modeling approach to estimate the solid and dissolved waste outputs of a Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus net-cage farm. Historical production data for 30 cages were obtained from a commercial farm in the Chavantes Reservoir, São Paulo State, Brazil. In addition, an experiment was carried out in 4 net-cages at the farm to validate this dataset and collect fish samples. A total of 32400 tilapias with an initial weight averaging 35 ± 2.73 g were equally distributed in the experimental net cages. After 210 d, the fish showed a final individual weight of ~789 ± 5.12 g. Fish growth performance was monitored, and body composition was analyzed each month. Digestibility trials of commercial diets used for juvenile stages JVI and JVII and market weight were performed. Relationships of body weight with body content data of water, protein, fat, ash, gross energy, phosphorus, and nitrogen were evaluated by regression analysis. The total digestible energy requirement and estimated residues of the fish were assessed using the factorial bioenergetics model, adapted to the growing conditions of a neotropical reservoir. The model estimated ~320 kg of total solid waste released per tonne of tilapia, including ~10 kg of solid nitrogen and ~5 kg of solid phosphorus. Approximately 3 and 47 kg of dissolved phosphorus and nitrogen, respectively, were estimated per tonne of tilapia. The bioenergetics model is a valuable and equitable method for assessing and monitoring waste outputs. It can improve the nutritional and environmental efficiency of aquaculture activities, helping producers to reduce feed costs while strengthening the environmental sustainability of aquaculture.

KEY WORDS: Aquaculture · Bioenergetics · Carrying capacity · Circular economy · Fish farm waste · Tilapia

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Cite this article as: Bueno GW, Bernal FEM, Roubach R, Skipper Skipper-Horton JO, Sampaio FG, Fialho NS, Bureau DP (2023) Modeling of waste outputs in the aquatic environment from a commercial cage farm under neotropical climate conditions. Aquacult Environ Interact 15:133-144.

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