The Aquaculture & Fisheries Development Centre (AFDC) is a 1200m2 research facility situated in the Cooperage Building, Distillery Fields Complex, UCC and embedded within the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences (BEES). The facility includes recirculating fish and shellfish systems, laboratories (Wet and Dry) and offices. The tank rooms are equipped with marine and freshwater tropical marine system recirculation units, broodstock conditioning units, shellfish on-growing units, filter-feeder broodstock conditioning units, a larval culture system and live food culture facilities. Seawater (Grade A) is delivered to on-site and stored. The AFDC has facilities seawater filtration and UV treatment if required.
The AFDC is authorised to operate under the European Communities Health of Aquaculture Animals and Products Regulations 2008 (Authorisation number: 006 / FHA).
The indoor recirculation units consist of mechanical and biological water filtration, water treatment systems involving UV sterilisation and ozonation, and temperature control conditioning units to enable full control of environmental parameters/variables. Light intensity and photoperiod are available in some areas and may be locally controlled on a number of discrete systems. A range of tank designs and sizes are incorporated which allow fish to be held at each life cycle stage, and also for the production of research specific systems/units to suit almost any form of aquatic research. experimental scale replicated trials to be conducted. The infrastructure at the AFDC also allows for the Algal culture and live feed production areas are available to support the culture of many species through their larval stages. A recirculating shellfish nursery system, broodstock holding/conditioning unit, thermally controlled hatchery and live feed production units are custom designed to provide a series of systems suitable to the needs of a number of shellfish species. The two tank rooms of the AFDC are fully backed-up with a 50KVa Generator fitted with an Automatic transfer Switch (ATS) and Digi-dialler. The dedicated AFDC Laboratory houses water quality analysis equipment, a Beckman Z2 coulter counter (particle size analyser) and drying oven as well as the standard laboratory equipment. On site laboratories provide dedicated research facilities and technical support essential to research at the AFDC.
Additional laboratory facilities available at the AFDC include:
- Molecular genetics laboratory
- Water quality testing
- Wet lab/post mortem room
- Tissue culture laboratory
- Histology and Immunology laboratory