Our labs and RAS

Founded in 2003 with support from the European Union, Welsh Government and Swansea University, the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research, CSAR, is a centre of excellence.

Equipped with modern, fully programmable recirculating aquaculture systems, CSAR carries out applied research on a diverse range of aquatic organisms, from temperate to tropical and marine to freshwater environments.

Our online brochure provides a detailed description of each RAS.

Collaborate with us

For more information on how to collaborate and access the facilities at CSAR please get in touch.

Further details on our facilities can be found on our facilities cost calculator. 

Physiology Lab

CSAR has a range of closed respirometry chambers for testing baseline metabolic rate and access to constant temperature rooms.

We have a range of swim tunnels for testing swimming ability and aerobic scope. These setups can be used to test marine or freshwater species between 0.5-150g in body weight.

Genetics related labs

We have several high-tech labs including: CRISPR lab for gene editing work, a comprehensive genetics laboratory, a physiology lab, a dry lab with essential equipment (e.g. microscopes, flow hood, centrifuges, etc.)


Our £3.5 million state-of-the-art suite of 16 RAS was specifically designed to raise and/or optimally maintain a range of aquatic species from temperate to tropical and marine to freshwater environments.

Industry grade RAS systems

The two largest CSAR laboratories both have industry-grade RAS systems, each 60m3 in volume, with water circulation rates up to 100m3/h.


Quarantine facility

  • 5 x 1.4m diameter rearing tanks, (1.5 m3 operating volume)
  • Self contained RAS, fully isolated from all other systems

Dedicated fish laboratories

Freshwater Lab
Salmon lab

Self-contained RAS (with optional flow-through) with:  

  • 6 x 180L rearing tanks
  • 4 x juvenile rearing and behaviour troughs
  • 8 tray salmonid egg incubator
  • Behavioural experiment arena
Tropical Lab Killifish Lab Aquatic animal model Lab

Algal Biotechnology at CSAR

CSAR has the largest microalgae production facility among British Universities and offers research and technological development expertise to businesses wishing to engage in this technology area. Our areas of expertise encompass:

  • Microalgae strain library
  • Water quality control technologies
  • Modelling to optimise process design and operation
  • Harvesting, concentration and separation technologies
  • Production of lab scale quantities of algal biomass
  • Physical and chemical characterisation of products
  • Screening for bioactive properties
  • Materials testing
  • Development and evaluation of feed additives
  • Macroalgal (seaweed) hatchery

Algal biotechnology is a new and growing business sector with applications in such diverse areas as second generation biofuels, carbon dioxide capture, waste water remediation and natural products manufacture (eg, omega-3 oils, pigments, antioxidants).

Algae facilities

Algae Lab
Algae Lab

Controlled environment lab with:

  • Sterile cultures 20ml  → 2L → 20L Carboys
  • 20 x 100L batch culture capacity,
  • Culture of marine and freshwater species
  • Harvesting, concentration and separation technologies
  • Macroalgal (seaweed) hatchery
Dry Laboratory

Dry Laboratory

CSAR has a dedicated dry laboratory equipped with specialist equipment for use in areas of microscopy, histology, water chemistry, analytical techniques and cell culture.