Michael Rubino, Director of the Office of Aquaculture at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service.
Michael Rubino, Director of the Office of Aquaculture at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service, discusses obstacles to aquaculture growth, government assistance, and growing a sustainable, responsible aquaculture industry.
“We need to do a better job of getting the word out to the public on how far aquaculture has come, how it can and is being done in ways compatible with environmental stewardship, and how important it is and will be to feeding Americans and others around the world.”
Mussel Man follows Bernard Friedman, a farmer who grows mussels off of the coast of Santa Barbara, and the man who may have the answer to the food shortages that we could be facing over the next few decades.
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.
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.
Combining aquaculture (farming aquatic species) and hydroponics (soil-less plant culture). With an input of fish feed, nitrogen-rich fish wastes are converted by bacteria into nutrients for growing plants that in turn biologically filter the water.
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.
Dr. Sergei Doroshov and colleagues with a white sturgeon (1979).
Bobby Renschler speaks to group touring facility.
White Sturgeon in large tanks.
Workers carefully extract sturgeon eggs to create caviar.
Bobby Renschler describes the traditional Italian caviar tins that have not been surpassed by modern alternatives.