Mohammad Hossein Khanjani, Moslem Sharifinia, Maurício Gustavo Coelho Emerenciano

Biofloc Technology (BFT) in Aquaculture: What Goes Right, What Goes Wrong? A Scientific-Based Snapshot

  • Aquatic Science

Aquaculture is a crucial industry that can help meet the increasing demand for aquatic protein products and provide employment opportunities in coastal areas and beyond. If incorrectly manage, traditional aquaculture methods can have negative impacts on the environment and natural resources, including water pollution and overuse of wild fish stocks as aquafeed ingredients. Biofloc technology (BFT) may offer a promising solution to some of these challenges by promoting a cleaner and sustainable production system. BFT converts waste into bioflocs, which serve as a natural food source for fish and shrimp within the culture system, reducing the need for external inputs, such as feed and chemicals. Moreover, BFT has the potential to improve yields and economic performance while promoting efficient resource utilization, such as water and energy. Despite its numerous advantages, BFT presents several challenges, such as high energy demand, high initial/running costs, waste (effluent, suspended solids, and sludge) management, opportunistic pathogens (vibrio) spread, and a lack of understanding of operational/aquatic/microbial dynamics. However, with further training, research, and innovation, these challenges can be overcome, and BFT can become a more widely understood and adopted technique, acting as an effective method for sustainable aquaculture. In summary, BFT offers a cleaner production option that promotes circularity practices while enhancing performance and economic benefits. This technique has the potential to address several challenges faced by the aquaculture industry while ensuring its continued growth and protecting the environment. A more broad BFT adoption can contribute to meeting the increasing demand for aquaculture products while reducing the industry’s negative impact on the environment and natural resources. In this context, this review provides an overview of the advantages and challenges of BFT and highlights key technical, biological, and economic aspects to optimize its application, promote further adoption, and overcome the current challenges.

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