The Importance of Lighting in Aquaculture
It is well known that fish and other aquatic animals are sensitive to light in their environment. Each fish species, and each developmental stage within a species, has evolved a unique response to light. Light intensity, spectrum and photoperiod have all been found to have significant effect on fish physiology and behavior. Because of this, lighting can be a powerful tool for aquaculturalists.
How Fish Perceive Light in the Environment
The eyes are the major light receptor organs for fish. Light in the environment stimulates photoreceptors in the retina of the fish's eye, which changes chemical signals into electrical ones that are interpreted by the fish's brain.
However, as in many other vertebrate species, the pineal gland is also an important photoreceptor. The pineal gland is an ultrasensitive light sensor closely connected to the brain. The light stimuli it receives cues biochemical, physiological and behavioral activities of the fish on a daily and seasonal basis.
Why LED lighting is important in aquaculture
Photoperiod manipulation via artificial lighting systems has been used in the aquaculture industry to enhance production for over 40 years. However, photoperiod is only one component of environmental lighting. The other two components, intensity and wavelength, have not yet been fully utilized because of the limitations of traditional artificial lighting sources in aquaculture.
However, in the past five years, LED technology in lighting has progressed so that custom designed lighting for aquaculture species is now possible. With LED lighting a farm manager can select specific wavelength, intensity and photoperiod in a single light source.
Where to find solutions to your lighting needs
ONCE® provides species-specific lighting for marine and freshwater operations. ONCE® AquaShift® lighting systems are suitable for overhead or submersed application and will stand up to the harsh environments of aquaculture facilities and Mother Nature. The science behind the lighting ensures that the light input has the desired effect on the animal while the LED lighting systems provides substantial energy savings in comparison to traditional incandescent and compact flourescent (CFL) lighting systems.