PBS: Aquaponic farming saves water, but can it feed the country?

PBS Aquaponics

Aquaponics, a system of farming that uses no soil, also uses far less water than traditional agriculture. But while the technique is gaining attention, it remains a very niche way to grow produce due to economic limitations. Special correspondent Cat Wise reports from Half Moon Bay, California.

-PBS

What is Aquaponics?

Interest is growing for aquaponics—the combination of aquaculture (farming aquatic species) and hydroponics (soil-less plant culture). This interest comes from a diverse group including backyard hobbyists, non-profits, and commercial ventures. And it’s easy to understand the allure. Aquaponics produces sustainable, locally grown fresh produce, using recirculated water, and combines knowledge from various disciplines including animal husbandry, plant ecology, pest management, and engineering, to name a few. There are also a variety of opportunities for aquaponics as a teaching tool for students, entrepreneurs, and veterans. Particularly in California, aquaponics represents a drought-smart method of food production, where water use can be as little as 10 percent of conventionally-irrigated terrestrial crops.


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Sturgeon Aquaculture Tour

Sterling Caviar recently hosted a tour of their sturgeon farm and caviar processing facility in Elverta, California for an audience of state legislative and agency officials, accompanied by post-graduate Fellows from the California Sea Grant Program. Organized by the Office of the State Aquaculture Coordinator and the California Aquaculture Association, participants learned about this local success story and the long-term commitment required of farm-raising caviar, which takes an average of 10 years to yield its crop.

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Aquarium of the Pacific educates public on aquaculture with NOAA’s Science on a Sphere®

NOAA SOS - Aquaculture

The Aquarium of the Pacific’s exhibit, a partnership with NOAA’s Science on a Sphere, highlights the importance and opportunity for the United States to expand an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible aquaculture industry. Visit the Aquarium of the Pacific and NOAA Fisheries for more information.

Aquaculture farmers help Green Abalone restoration

Photo: Mindy Schauer, Staff Photographer OC Register

Photo: Mindy Schauer, Staff Photographer OC Register

The Orange County Register highlights the work of Nancy Caruso, founder of Get Inspired Inc. With the goal of restoring populations of Green Abalone in Southern California; Nancy is collaborating with aquariums, classrooms, and aquaculture farmers. The long term project proposes to collect abalone brood stock, captive spawn, grow larvae to adult size, and then out-plant along the coast of Southern California.

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Monterey Bay Abalone Farm Shows What Sustainable Aquaculture Can Be Like

As world demand for seafood continues to grow, so does demand for green aquaculture practices

Farmed Abalone

Courtesy of Earth Island Journal

At the end of Fisherman’s Wharf #2 in Monterey, California there is a small building which houses the Monterey Abalone Company. In the morning chill, a smell of fresh fish and salt hangs in the mist. This the same wharf John Steinbeck walked while looking for a boat to take him and Ed “Doc” Ricketts to the Sea of Cortez in 1940. The small office inside is lined with counters that are cluttered with papers, shells, and instruments. In the deck there is a hatch that opens into a gaping hole.

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Via: Earth Island Journal