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International aquaponics cooperation

The circulatory system plays a key role in food supply and in the management of global challenges. What challenges are commercial applications of aquaponics technology facing?

Aquaponics facility at the ZHAW School of Life Sciences and Facility Management in Wädenswil (© photo: Frank Brüderli)
Aquaponics facility at the ZHAW School of Life Sciences and Facility Management in Wädenswil (© photo: Frank Brüderli)

An international team comprising aquaponics specialists from Slovenia, Iceland, France and Switzerland investigated the barriers to the commercial applications of aquaponics technology within the framework of the COST FA1305 Aquaponics Hub project, which has now been concluded.

In recent years, the field of aquaponics has attracted increasing interest worldwide, and quite a number of start-ups have been founded to commercialise this technology. Barely any of them have been rewarded with resounding success. After the initial hype, it appears that the development of commercial aquaponics has reached a stage of «disillusionment» that has been caused by numerous challenges.

One of the major challenges is the level of complexity. Since aquaponics comprises both aquaculture and horticulture, the legal requirements placed on the construction and operation of an aquaponics system are thus more complicated and the operators need in-depth knowledge from two completely different sectors. In addition, the investment costs are much higher than those of competing companies who are only operating aquaculture or horticulture facilities. Due to intensive research, the understanding of processes in the field of aquaponics is increasing - a development that should have an effect on the operational success of modern farms. Only then will we be able to assess whether aquaponics has a future as an established technology or will remain a «one-hit wonder».

Read the whole article

Challenges of Commercial Aquaponics in Europe: Beyond the Hype

Find out more about the project

FA1305 - The EU Aquaponics Hub - Realising Sustainable Integrated Fish and Vegetable Production for the EU

The main objective of the project is to advance aquaponics science so that the EU becomes a world leader in the field of aquaponics and in the sustainable production of fish and plants.

Aquaponics at the ZHAW in Wädenswil

Circulatory systems