Recipient of the award for 2018
Raz Ben-Asher, recipient of the award, 2018.
In recent years there has been a steady increase in demand for food out from the sea. This is due to population growth and due to the fact that fish protein is a quality protein and is healthier than that of terrestrial animals (Cattle and poultry).
Due to the decline in the quantity of marine fish, a water-farming industry has developed: For years the industry has focused on exploiting the sea as its primary habitat. However, due to environmental damage and Inability to control pollution and morbidity factors that reduce the fishing crop, intensive marine agriculture has moved to land.
Artificial fish farming systems work at high fish density thanks to a high rate of water circulation through treatment systems that remove unwanted substances, including ammonia - metabolite that the fish emit, poisoning them at low concentrations.
Today's ammonia treatment systems are based on Bio-Filter biological treatment, which has quite a few procedural flaws.
The innovative idea in Raz's work, in comparison to the existing technologies, is in the form of ammonia being removed by an electrochemical (rather than a biological) process, which distinguishes the ammonia from this process by indirect oxidation into nitrogenous nitrogen that evaporates into the atmosphere.
This is an innovative approach to the treatment of industrialized fish farming systems, which is a breakthrough in the development of intensive systems for growing fish in the world.
Indeed, the results of Raz's work have so far been published in two articles in a leading scientific journal, and two patents have been registered in several key countries, including the United States and European Union countries.
Prof. Avraham Danziger
Head of the Shnabel Prize committee