Aquaponics: Grow fish and vegetables together

, posted in Technology

Prweb- Sharon Kleyne, host of the Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water radio show, recently carried out an interview with Mark Hasey, the owner of the Farming Fish. The Farming Fish is an unusual sort of business, it is an aquaponic vegetable - and fish - production operation in Oregon.

Mr Hasey explained, during the interview, that he began his career managing lakes, stream and ponds. It was during his time doing this type of work that he started to experiment with vegetative filtration or bio-remediation. This is the use of plants as filters to clean up the water. This led, in time, to the use of plants that could later provide a harvest.

Mr. Hasey eventually contacted Dr. James Rakocy, at the University of Virgin Islands, who was experimenting with "aquaponic" systems combining aquaculture and hydroponics.

The farming Fish, Hasey says, is one of the few aquaponic systems in existence that is operating commercially. The greenhouse is 30 feet wide and 265 feet long. As well as producing tilapia fish, it also provides a harvest of organic lettuce every six weeks.

According to Mr. Hasey, in a typical Aquaponic system, the fish are raised in rearing tanks, whose water will eventually become toxic to the fish due to accumulation of excrement and food waste. Effluent bearing fish water is pumped from the fish rearing tanks to the hydroponic beds where the lettuce roots extract the effluent as nutrition, thus cleansing the water. The clean water is then returned to the fish tanks.

Hasey said the crops were marketed at local farmers' markets currently, but he also said he was getting inquiries from traders about purchasing his produce.

He said he grow numerous other varieties of vegetables and will do so, driven by customer demand.



Published on: 04/19/2012

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