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.
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.
Presented Thursday, February 19, 2015 at California State University, Sacramento
Dr. Dudley Burton, Professor in the department of Environmental Studies and Dr. Brook Murphy, Lecturer in the Environmental Studies and Biological Sciences department at Sacramento State, will address their current aquaponics research happening at the Sustainable Technology Optimization Research Center (STORC) at Sacramento State.
As our population grows, a strong movement toward localized food production in non-traditional agricultural areas has begun to take hold. Professors Dudley Burton and Brook Murphy created the aquaponics program to highlight the significance of urban agriculture in addressing global food supply and environmental sustainability issues. Aquaponics farming is a system of aquaculture in which the waste produced by fish or other aquatic animals supplies nutrients for plants grown hydroponically. It uses 90 percent less water than traditional farming methods.