As the global population increases, demand is also increasing for food production methods that involve efficient use of resources and do not require large expanses of arable land. Aquaponics is a method that incorporates growing crops under soilless conditions (hydroponics) in addition to raising fish within the same system (aquaculture). Aquaponic systems are designed such that both the fish and plants utilize the nitrogen entering the system from fish food. The water circulation within the systems contributes to its more efficient use compared to traditional crop farming. The need for other resources, such as soil or chemical fertilizers, is also eliminated.
Research in the K.C. Irving Centre
Under the direction of Dr. Martin Tango second year engineering student Lydia Wilks is continuing work that began in 2019 exploring aquaponics as a system to produce quality food. Lydia is growing a variety of vegetables in the system including kale and lettuce. The fish species is freshwater crayfish, which is interesting from a research perspective as it is not commonly used in aquaponics.