October 14, 2015| Freshwater Institute

The annual Aquaculture Innovation Workshop (AIW) is dedicated to the discussion and presentation of the latest developments in aquaculture technology. The workshop aims to further the vision of sustainable aquaculture and foster innovation in the field. Over two days, a multitude of speakers present their insights, experimental findings, and general commentary on the industry. If you would like to find out more on past AIW conferences, please feel free to browse through the information below:

  • AIW 1: January 17-18, 2011; Shepherdstown, WV, USA
  • AIW 2: September 26-27, 2011; Campbell River, BC, Canada
  • AIW 3: May 15-16, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA
  • AIW 4: November 5-6, 2012; Comox, BC, Canada
  • AIW 5: September 4-6, 2013; Shepherdstown, WV, USA
  • AIW 6: October 27-28, 2014: Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • AIW 7: October 13-15, 2015; Shepherdstown, WV, USA
  • AIW 8: August 19-21, 2016; Roanoke, VA, USA
  • AIW 9: November 29-30, 2017; Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • AIW 10: December 4-6, 2018; Miami, FL, USA


October 14, 2015| Freshwater Institute

The annual Aquaculture Innovation Workshop (AIW) is dedicated to the presentation of the latest developments in sustainable aquaculture. AIW participants come to discuss sustainable aquaculture seafood production and work to elevate an industry they feel passionately helps improve public health, protects the ocean and natural resources, and is economically viable. Leading representatives from all parts of the aquaculture seafood value chain attend the AIW, including investors, feed suppliers, producers, processors, retailers, chefs, and consumers.

Important message about the 2020 AIW

On behalf of the Aquaculture Innovation Workshop organizing committee, we regret to share with you that the AIW scheduled for April 30-May 1 in New York City is being postponed. Given the current global health concerns around coronavirus (COVID19) and new restrictions being implemented in the US and abroad related to gatherings and recommendations related to social distancing, we feel we must take this step to assure the public’s health and safety.

We anticipate re-scheduling the AIW for later this year. However, due to the uncertainty ahead of us with COVID19, we feel it would be premature to move forward with additional planning at this time.  As soon as we have details for the new dates we will be in contact with you.

Please consider the following as you adjust your plans:

  1. Registration – If you plan to attend the AIW at the later date and would like to keep your registration there is nothing that you need to do. If you would like a refund for your registration please contact our event coordinator, Kata Sharrer at ksharrer@conservationfund.org. Registrations are being refunded in full.
  2. Lodging – If you have made your hotel reservations please contact the hotel and cancel as appropriate. We expect to arrange for a similar room block for the AIW at a later date.
  3. Air travel – Refund policies around COVID19 vary and we encourage you to reach out to your airline to discuss your options.

We want to thank you for your understanding as we re-schedule the AIW for a later date. If you have additional questions, please reach out to us directly in the meantime.


-Five Takeaways from the 2018 Aquaculture Innovation Workshop (blog)
-Click here to view downloadable content (presentations, etc.) from past workshops. 

October 14, 2015| Freshwater Institute

This four-day course on water recirculating aquaculture systems started in 1995 at Cornell University in cooperation with Freshwater Institute staff. The course was held at Cornell University until 1999, after which it was held at the Freshwater Institute as a combined Cornell University/Freshwater Institute course. Course participants were initially university extension associates, however current participants include representatives from commercial fish farms, government fish hatcheries, tribal fish hatcheries, government regulators, universities, research organizations, legislative offices, and fish and wildlife organizations. The combined course continued through 2006, after which the course was taught independently by both institutions until Cornell University stopped offering a classroom course. Current course content covers the fundamentals of water recirculating systems for fish culture including mass balances to maintain water quality, unit process design, and system operation. Course topics include the following:

  • RAS Overview
  • RAS Water Quality
  • Mass Balances
  • Pumping and Piping
  • Circular Tank Design
  • Solids Control & Management
  • Oxygenation
  • Carbon Dioxide control
  • Biofiltration
  • Ozone & UV Processes
  • Fish Health & Biosecurity
  • Monitoring RAS Water Quality
  • RAS Management & Operations
  • RAS Design Examples

Course materials provided to participants include a binder of all presentations and a copy of the book Recirculating Aquaculture 4th edition. The course includes a tour of a RAS facility for hands-on explanation of the engineering and operation. Custom variations of the four-day course (e.g., two-day versions) are available upon request. Custom courses have been provided for a variety of organizations including Marine Harvest Canada, Marine Harvest Norway, Cooke Aquaculture, USFWS, Bonneville Power Administration, California Fish & Wildlife, and Alltech Brazil.

2021 RAS Course

The 2021 RAS Course is tentatively scheduled for Fall 2021. Check back here in Spring 2021 for details on dates and location.



  • Brian J. Vinci, Ph.D., P.E., Freshwater Institute
  • Christopher M. Good, D.V.M., Ph.D., Freshwater Institute
  • Edward D. Aneshansley, MPS, PE, McMillen Jacobs Associates

2021 Registration

Course registration will include lunch, snacks and coffee each day; lodging will not be included. Registration details and a link to register will be provided once the course dates and location are confirmed. 

If you would like to be placed on a list of people to be notified when the 2021 RAS Course is scheduled and registration goes online, please contact Kata Sharrer (ksharrer@conservationfund.org | 1-304-870-2209).

Cornell Partnership
The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute has partnered with Cornell University’s eCornell to allow participants of Freshwater Institute’s RAS Course to complete Cornell University’s Designing Recirculating Aquaculture Systems online assessment certificate for a reduced cost. Participants who successfully complete the Freshwater Institute’s RAS Course will be eligible to enroll in the online Cornell University Designing Recirculating Aquaculture Systems assessment certificate, which allows participants to take a final exam and gain access to the digital version of the Recirculating Aquaculture 4th edition textbook. Upon successfully passing the final exam, eCornell will issue a Cornell University certificate of completion to the participant. Freshwater Institute’s RAS Course participants can enroll in the assessment evaluation for $75 (a 50% discount on the standard Cornell assessment certificate program of $150).


If you are interested in the Freshwater Institute RAS Course but are unable to attend, enrolling in the full Cornell University Designing Recirculating Aquaculture Systems online course is recommended – CLICK HERE for more information and to enroll. A discount on the course is available by emailing cps_support@ecornell.com.

December 31, 2014| Freshwater Institute









December 31, 2014| Freshwater Institute

For over 30 years, Freshwater Institute scientists and engineers have published their work to share results with as wide an audience as possible. We are passionate about communicating what we find to those who can use the information. As such, we are committed to Open Access (OA) science and where possible we have provided a link to access publications at no cost, generally under Creative Commons (CC BY) license. Just click on the publication’s title in the list below to access a publication. If you would like to discuss our research in depth please contact any Freshwater Institute staff member listed as an author or co-author; we would be pleased to hear from you. 














December 31, 2014| Freshwater Institute

Physical Address:

1098 Turner Road
Shepherdstown, WV 25443-4228
Phone:  (304) 876-2815
Fax:  (304) 870-2208
E-mail: freshwater.info@conservationfund.org

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday

Get Directions

Special Directions For Motor Freight and Parcel Deliveries

Historic Shepherdstown is turn-restricted for trucks and tractor trailers. From Hagerstown, MD: 

  • South on Rt. 65 (Sharpsburg Pike, I-70, exit 29) to Sharpsburg
  • Right at stop sign onto Rt. 34. Cross Potomac River bridge to Shepherdstown.
  • Straight through four-way stop sign on Rt. 480.
  • Go one mile and turn right at traffic light onto new bypass.
  • Proceed straight through traffic light at Rt. 45, one quarter mile to right onto Billmyer Mill Road.
  • Go one mile and turn right on Turner Road.
  • Go one mile to The Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute.
  • Turn right onto gravel driveway immediately after sign. Continue on driveway past barn to main research building entrance to the right.  Other than USPS all deliveries are directed to the reception office lobby.

We have adequate turn-around space for a tractor trailer, a loading dock and a tractor-mounted fork lift for unloading pallets. If you have a large or unusual load requiring special considerations please contact us in advance to assure appropriate assistance is available on your arrival.
December 31, 2014| Freshwater Institute
For nearly three decades, the Freshwater Institute has specialized in the research and design of aquaculture systems technology, as well as solutions to the water quality constraints and impacts presented by our farms and communities. Through our numerous publications, both in science and industry, we share our progress and research findings in order to support our complimentary goals of environmental sustainability, human health and economic vitality.




December 31, 2014| Freshwater Institute
By the Numbers:
Aquaculture provides over 50% of global seafood production.

The U.S. imports over 90% of edible seafood each year.

The U.S. is the largest market for Atlantic salmon worldwide yet we import 98% of Atlantic salmon.

The Freshwater Institute, a program of The Conservation Fund, focuses on the sustainability of the domestic seafood supply by providing solutions to enable the growth of environmentally-responsible aquaculture. Presently, demand for seafood can no longer be met by wild catch fisheries, leaving the increased demand to be supplied by aquaculture. Conventional aquaculture production of seafood cannot be significantly expanded without causing negative impacts on the environment. The Institute’s core competencies in aquaculture research, engineering and consulting, aquatic veterinary medicine, aquaculture husbandry and production, industry outreach, and water chemistry analysis are mobilized to address the current sustainability issues in the aquaculture industry.

Watch this video to find out more about the Freshwater Institute and how we are working towards a sustainable, local way to farm healthy fish that’s good for people, our economy and the environment.

December 31, 2014| Freshwater Institute

We started a podcast in 2020 as a new way to engage stakeholders and extend our work on land-based recirculating aquaculture systems. The podcast is produced in partnership with Annex Business Media, the publisher of aquaculture industry publications Hatchery International, Aquaculture North America, and RAStech. Freshwater Institute director Dr. Brian Vinci co-hosts the podcast with Mari-Len DeGuzman, editor of Hatchery International and RAStech publications. Together they tackle the important issues in land-based recirculating aquaculture systems with prominent industry leaders. Click below to listen the most recent episodes.

RAS TALK: 2021 Outlook

-January 14, 2021. Click here to listen.



-October 20, 2020. Click here to listen.


RAS TALK: Let's get technical

-September 2, 2020. Click here to listen.



-June 12, 2020. Click here to listen.


RAS Talk: Women in RAS

-April 28, 2020. Click here to listen.


RAS Talk: Covid-19 and the ‘new normal’

-March 30, 2020. Click here to listen.


RAS Talk: Keys to mitigating off-flavour in RAS-raised fish

-March 25, 2020. Click here to listen.


Investor Profile: Raising capital for your RAS project

-February 26, 2020. Click here to listen.


December 31, 2014| Freshwater Institute

There are no events currently scheduled. Please check back in the future.

For information about the Aquaculture Innovation Workshop, click here.