Survey of Aquaponics in Europe

; ; ; ; ; ; (). Survey of Aquaponics in Europe. Water, 8 doi:10.3390/w8100468. Peer reviewed.

International aquaponic production has increased over the past decade, but less is known about research activities and production facilities operating in Europe. We conducted an online survey to get a better idea about research and production in Europe, focusing on five areas of aquaponics (i.e., demographics, facilities used, fish and crops produced, funding sources, and personal or company priorities for further development). The 68 respondents were distributed among 21 European countries, 43% were working at a university, and 19% were commercial producers. Only 11.8% of those surveyed had sold fish or plants in the past 12 months. Most respondents were male (66.2%) and had a post-graduate degree (91.7%). Facilities were generally new (74.5% constructed after 2010) and self-designed. Production figures were modest, with less than 10 respondents producing more than 1000 kg of fish or plants per year (mostly tilapia or catfish and herbs or lettuce). Systems were often funded by government grants (35.3%). The great majority of respondents (80.4%) stated that aquaponics was not their main source of income. Most respondents prioritized using aquaponics for educational purposes, while few (25%) used it to produce their own food or improve their health. Questions related to personal knowledge about aquaponics underlined the need for more training about fish diseases and plant pests.