Aquaponic Gardening

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CAN AQUAPONICS SAVE THE DAY?

The US Aquaculture (fish farming etc) industry is dying or stagnating according to the World Aquaculture Society with little hope of rescue. The US only produces 10% of its seafood and that number is declining. But Aquaponics might already be saving the day. Take a read.

Can Aquaponics Help Restore the US Aquaculture Industry?
Aquaculture Magazine Aug/Sept 2017 Pg. 72 & 73
http://bit.ly/2fPw5fn

Background information from the World Aquaculture Society, "The Stagnation of US Aquaculture: http://bit.ly/2nodnus

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Replies to This Discussion

It can be revived, there were a lot interested, and then didnt do anything, a lot of others are in process. For us its first a inhome system and then a larger IBC one in a hoop house. Jake

In a word - No
In my opinion protein production is not a viable commercial option for aquaponics.
None of the fish species which do well in the aquaponics environment can be produced at a price point competitive with imported products. The costs of equipment, labor, feed stock, packaging, transportation (to list but a few) are simply to high the be competitive. Add in local, state, and federal regulations and your out of the game before you start.

I personally believe that aquaponics can and will make a major contribution to our food supply with vegetables but not from animals. I'm not saying you shouldn't sell your fish, you should. But clearly the small aquaponics producers (< 3000sq ft each)cannot produce enough animal protein to ever make a dent in the US import market.

We can agree to disagree.

I believe there are many niches for single operators to fill. It will be interesting to revisit this in six  months, and a year or so.

We could but I don't any disagreement, I agree 100% with you.

I think that there are a great number of niche places to fill that can be filled by local growers, they can take advantage of many local opportunities  unknown to out of the area sources. Finding them, and meeting the demand is the core problem.

Greetings. No single produce can or does on any scale. it is an additive function of many.  Fish, IMHO yes most certainly. Most aquaponic systems were designed around plants with the concept of what is the minimum number of fish I need to produce the maximum amount of plants. The converse can also be true with just a bit of R&D. IMHO of course. 

Lonnie Harding said:

In a word - No
In my opinion protein production is not a viable commercial option for aquaponics.
None of the fish species which do well in the aquaponics environment can be produced at a price point competitive with imported products. The costs of equipment, labor, feed stock, packaging, transportation (to list but a few) are simply to high the be competitive. Add in local, state, and federal regulations and your out of the game before you start.

I personally believe that aquaponics can and will make a major contribution to our food supply with vegetables but not from animals. I'm not saying you shouldn't sell your fish, you should. But clearly the small aquaponics producers (< 3000sq ft each)cannot produce enough animal protein to ever make a dent in the US import market.

Thank you.

Lonnie Harding said:

We could but I don't any disagreement, I agree 100% with you.

Its doable, but, I think growth will be through small operations filling niches.

We have seen enough total failures of mega operations, I saw one too up close in Central America in the 60s which it turned out was a land grab with no intention of a long term aquaponics  venture. I am told of similar operations in the Philippines to force out small landholders.

I am somewhat soured on huge great and wonderful operations. In Israel I have seen a number of good operations but from what I see only the feed companies are making profits. Its very similar to broiler operations here in the US following WW2, vets coming back wanted chicken farms and the industry metastized to mega operations with again only the feed companies showing profits.

So I favor a slow growing well running local operation and growing slow, and only with a profit.

There is a reason for large operations, economies of scale. They must be able to compete. There is also the need for product. For example, the United States currently only produces 10% of the seafood it eats. At about 15/lb per person that is about 4.9 or so billion pounds, well lets say 5 billion pounds of seafood annually.  So we only produce around 500 million pounds that. (I have heard a larger number but I can't find it at the moment). So for us to just increase that by 5% of the total would require an additional 250 million pounds of product. Far from impossible. We did that number back in the 1980's. But today is a different day. Millions of dollars are now being devoted to reviving our industry. The question is only what role will Ap play? Can AP help with this? It will require larger facilities however to get the economies of scale necessary to to be competitive. Fortunately the AP  industry is already making inroads in fish production. Here is one example: https://www.wpr.org/wisconsin-fish-farming-sees-growth-after-decade...


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