RAC (R package for AquaCulture)

The R software package RAC (R package for AquaCulture), which focuses on 4 species, finfish and shellfish, highly important in terms of production in the Mediterranean Sea. These mathematical models account for growth and metabolism of the individual, based on input data characterizing the forcing functions—water temperature, and food quality and quantity. For finfish, seabass and seabream, food availability is represented by the feed provided by the farmer, while shellfish models require a characterization of quantity and quality of the suspended organic matter. The package provides a demo dataset of forcings for each species, as well as a typical set of husbandry parameters for Mediterranean conditions, in order to allow the user to run a default simulation.

Developed by Baldan D., Palazzo D., Porporato E.M.D. and Brigolin D. Bluefarm S.r.l., Venezia Marghera and Department of Environmental Sciences, Informatics and Statistics, Ca’Foscari



Suggested users: Aquaculture producers, regulators

Format: Computer code

Cost: Free to use

Data requirements: inputs are species specific. Finfish are forced by the time series of water temperature (˚C), feed availability (g d-1), and feed composition (relative %), this latter one characterized in terms of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates, and not dependent on time. Mussels are forced by daily time series of water temperature (˚C), chlorophyll-a concentration (μg l -1), Particulate Organic Carbon concentration (POC, mg C l -1), Particulate Organic Matter concentration (POM, mg C l -1), Total Suspended Matter concentration (TSM, mg C l -1) and the POC characterization in terms of C/P and N/P molar ratios (-). The Clam model is forced by the water temperature (˚C) and the chlorophyll-a concentration (μg l -1)

Time requirements: It will take a few minutes to run if the data is available

Required resources: Standard computer R package

Prior knowledge: Some understanding of marine aquaculture systems and installation of R package to download script examples.  There is a guidance document to help use the tool. 

Scientific papers and relevant literature

Baldan, D., Porporato, E. M. D., Pastres, R., & Brigolin, D. (2018). An R package for simulating growth and organic wastage in aquaculture farms in response to environmental conditions and husbandry practices. PloS one13(5), e0195732.