Aquaculture Research Facilities


Specilist aquaculture research facilities at the NAFC Marine Centre include:

Marine Hatchery content

Marine Hatchery

The marine hatchery provides facilities for the cultivation of cold-water marine fish, invertebrates and other organisms using pumped seawater on a (mainly) flow-through basis.

The facility is flexible and can be configured with a variety of sizes and types of tank for the maintenance of broodstock and the incubation and rearing of eggs, larvae and juveniles, supported by the production of live prey (algae and zooplankton). Species that have been maintained in the hatchery include cod, haddock, halibut, lumpsuckers, wolffish, wrasse, lobsters, sea urchins, mussels and macroalgae (seaweed).

The marine hatchery has an Establishment Licence from the UK Home Office.

Picture of interior of hatchery building


Seawater Supply

Stable 'oceanic' quality seawater is pumped into the hatchery at a rate of up to 40 m3 per hour with filtration to 10 microns (Amiad Spin Kiln and Hydrotech drum filter) and UV disinfection (Wedeco).

Additional filtration to 1 micron and temperature control are available.



A wide range of sizes and type of tank are available, including:


21 m3 tanks (6)

(4 m diameter, 2 m deep).

Individual photoperiod control is available (Suntracker and SunMatch units).

Picture of tanks


3.5m3 tanks (15)

Some photoperiod control is available.

Picture of tanks


Other Tank Sizes

Other tank sizes available include:

  • 3 m3 tanks (10)
  • 500 litre tanks (12)
  • 200 litre tanks (6)
  • 15 litre trial tanks (24)
  • 7.5 litre trial tanks (48)
  • 16 m3 egg incubation tank
  • 450 litre egg incubators (9)
  • 80 litre larval incubators (15)
  • commercial-scale larval incubators (5)
  • commercial-scale mussel spat tanks (6)

Picture of tanks

Picture of tanks

Picture of tanks


Algae Production

Algae master cultures are held in a temperature-controlled suite that includes chilled illuminated incubators and a laminar flow cabinet.

Mass algal culture facilities, including batch-culture and continuous algae production systems (SeaCAPS), are also available in a temperature controlled room.

Picture of algal cultures

Sea Site content

Sea Site

A fully-licensed sea site is availlable, suitable for the cultivation and ongrowing of a variety of species (including fish and seaweed).


Picture of aquaculture sea site

Other Facilities content

Other Facilities

Other facilities available in the marine hatchery and on the NAFC campus include:

  • office space
  • staff welfare facilities
  • laboratory space, including:
    • research-grade microscopes
    • incubators
    • autoclaves (including large 450 l Prioclave)
    • refrigerated centrifuge
    • spectrophotometers
  • histological laboratory
  • environmental science laboratory
  • classrooms
  • meeting rooms
  • video conference facilities
  • library
  • computers and high-speed internet access
Further Information content

Further Information

For further information about NAFC's aquaculture research facilities please contact: or 01595 772000.