A May 11th, 2014 CBS 60 Minutes news feature raised the issue of disease and viruses found in salmon farms and the likelihood of infecting wild salmon populations. An innovative solution to this problem that combats the root causes of disease may rest with a group of nano-materials scientists in Columbus, Ohio. http://www.metamateria.com/
"Whether your working with salmon farms, shrimp, or catfish farms, the health of the animals comes down to water quality and what the fish are ingesting from the water," states Dr. J. Richard Schorr, a 30-year veteran of advance materials science and environmental applications and CEO of MetaMateria Technologies, an environmental nanotechnology materials firm. "We've developed an interesting solution that integrates the micro surfaces of a proprietary porous nano-material with bacterial agents that have proven themselves an effective carnivore of both fish feces and urine." (See the nano material solution, here: http://www.metamateria.com/aquaculture)
The solution is what MetaMateria calls a "Bio-Lair," a haven for bacteria colonies that not only hosts the therapeutic carnivorous bacteria, but also catalyzes their multiplication when deployed within fish farms or hatcheries. "Much like a coral reef hosts marine life and actually expands, when the bacteria are integrated into our Bio-Lair, they start to multiply and disperse themselves into the environment, cleaning the water as they go," continued Schorr. "We've seen this work in much more congested catfish ponds and shrimp farms which is why we are confident it could make an impact on the open-ocean salmon farms."
MetaMateria BIO-Lair media are unique porous ceramics with exceptionally high surface area that support bacteria colonies for microbial and pro-biotic water treatment. The unique integration of bacteria and media produces a result that is 5 times greater than the bacteria alone. (To gain understanding of how this works, click here: http://www.metamateria.com/public/MetaMateria%20-%20Bio-Lair%20Bacteria%20Multiplier.pdf)
"Contaminated water weakens fish and makes them susceptible to disease," continued Schorr, "If you can neutralize contaminants, especially ammonia, nitrites and organics due to excess food and waste products, you've significantly impacted the environment. The marine life is healthier and the aquaculture operation experiences other benefits too."
Some of those benefits include cleaner water, faster growing fish, healthier fish, reduced feed costs, elimination of the need to discharge water, and the marketing benefits of farms that can boast pristine waters.
The material scientists and nanotechnology experts at MetaMateria have the ability to design media to address specific contamination issues. "During the CBS 60 Minutes special you heard an Oxygen alarm go off. When there is too much ammonia (urine) in a pen, the Oxygen is depleted," states Schorr. "Our expertise is developing the material solutions to address ammonia, nitrites, or other water constituents too -- like phosphorus and harmful metal ions."
While the idea of "filtering" or "cleaning" the water is simple, until now, the economics have made it somewhat prohibitive. "When used with the right bacteria, the large surface area and unique multiplication properties of bio-lair media can deliver a 5X impact that makes this solution surprisingly affordable," concluded Schorr.
The presence of the ISA or EMS virus or other diseases incubating in fish farms and hatcheries is hard to confirm or measure. The source of the contaminants however, is a problem that can be easily identified, measured, and with the appropriate application of advanced materials and bio science, can be neutralized in an economically viable way.
For over 10 years MetaMateria Technologies has worked with companies to develop new products and bring advanced water purification solutions to the market that deliver multiple nutrient and contaminant removal solutions for the Aquaculture, Water, and Waste Treatment.
SOURCE: MetaMateria Technologies