Aquaculture is the production of fish, either in containment nets or in recirculating systems.
Aquaponics is the combination of fish culture and hydroponic vegetable production.
Aquaponics systems are more economically and environmentally feasible than typical recirculating aquaculture systems. By growing a secondary crop, such as vegetables or herbs, costs associated with construction, operation and maintenance can be distributed across both fish and vegetable production and make both more viable in cost return. Plants/vegetables via the nitrogen cycle help break down ammonia and nitrates and remove them from the culture water. This is mutually beneficial for both plant propagation and fish culture.
In aquaponics the fish effluent and the nutrients left by leftover decomposing fish food can be utilized by plants and other aquatic life as food. Rather than just throwing away these nutrients food can be produced. Creating a closed loop is not only economically more viable but is also more environmentally sustainable.
Even though traditional agriculture of farming the land is on the decline, aquaculture, also known as fish farming, is on the rise and offers new educational and occupational opportunities. And aquaponics is also a growing trend that has a strong sustainable side.
Aquaculture involves the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of water-raised plants and aquatic animals in various water environments; including tanks, ponds, rivers, lakes, and even the ocean. Aquaculture produces food fish, sport fish, bait fish, ornamental fish, crustaceans, mollusks, algae, sea vegetables, and fish eggs. And some operations combine two or more products in the same operation. Watch our video here and you’ll see for yourself how they make ‘surf n turf” under the same roof.
Some aquaculture operations produce seafood from hatchery fish that are grown to market size in ponds, tanks, or raceways. Other operations grow the combination of fish and plant species used in a variety of food, pharmaceutical, nutritional, and biotechnology products.
Freshwater aquaculture produces species that are native to rivers, lakes, and streams. This aquaculture is dominated by catfish but also produces trout, tilapia, and bass. Freshwater aquaculture takes place primarily in ponds and on the land, inside man-made systems such as recirculating aquaculture systems.
Below you’ll find helpful links and lessons about aquaculture and aquaponics.