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Using wastewater in vegetable production

The Aqauaponics facility in Landvik, Grimstad © Bioforsk
  • Published 26/06/2014
Using nutrient-rich water from fish, the project Aquaponics NOMA, one of the 14 projects in the Nordic Marine Program has developed a method to grow vegetables without land-based emissions and discharge of waste. The method is so simple that it gives hope for production all over the world.

 

Uses wastewater in vegetable production
Using nutrient-rich water from fish, the project Aquaponics NOMA, one of the 14 projects in the Nordic Marine Program has developed a method to grow vegetables without land-based emissions and discharge of waste. The method is so simple that it gives hope for production all over the world.
Regular greenhouses are usually used for growing vegetables, but at Bioforsk Landvik near Grimstad in Norway (county Aust-Agder), vegetables are grown together with fish. In large tanks fish swims and on top of the water Styrofoam plates floats with plants. Fish faeces passes through a drain and is pumped into the system and is used as fertilizer for the plants. This means that the vegetables get continuous nourishment and gets extremely good growing conditions when the system is balanced. 
Within the aquaculture industry, one of the main issues is the wastewater discharge from the fish, but the Aquaponics system utilizes this waste particles and therefore dumps neither waste nor emissions into the nature. Plants requires many different compounds for growth like nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon, potassium and calcium, so the vegetables will act like a big biofilter in the aquaculture system. Trials have shown that some vegetables suites better than other does in the cold-water aquaponics system.   
Groundbreaking
The project started in 2012 with participants from Norway, Denmark and Iceland. The aim has been to combine efforts in the three countries to strengthen their respective national projects and provide an opportunity to learn from each location. – The project initial phase has been all about testing and gathering information, but the results have so far been groundbreaking, says project manager Siv Lene Gangenes Skar from Bioforsk. 
-There is still need more development in the systems and we want to implement industry into the project. Our hope is that the system will be used all over the world in the future, Gangenes Skar continues.
National identity
The project have been focusing around maintaining national identity. This means that different types of fish are used. The Icelandic project partner use Egyptian tilapia in their manufacturing and uses geothermal heat in their facility. In Norway, the project uses local brown trout in the production system. In Denmark, “green farming” is a part of Copenhagen municipality's political goal of becoming CO2 neutral in 2025. - The Danish project has a goal to build a facility on a roof-top, with a café next to it. Here you will be able to enjoy a Danish local fish together with fresh vegetables produced at the same place in the future, Gangenes Skar explains. 
The project have so far received considerable attention and Gangenes Skar have the last year presented the project for the aquaculture industry on several occasions. The facilities are open for tours as well and have so far had great interest. If interested, please contact siv.skar(at)Bioforsk.no 

Regular greenhouses are usually used for growing vegetables, but at Bioforsk Landvik near Grimstad in Norway (county Aust-Agder), vegetables are grown together with fish. In large tanks fish swims and on top of the water styrofoam plates floats with plants. Fish faeces passes through a drain and is pumped into the system and is used as fertiliser for the plants. This means that the vegetables get continuous nourishment and gets extremely good growing conditions when the system is balanced. 

 

Within the aquaculture industry, one of the main issues is the wastewater discharge from the fish, but the Aquaponics system utilises waste particles and therefore dumps neither waste nor emissions into the nature. Plants requires many different compounds for growth like nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon, potassium and calcium, so the vegetables will act like a big biofilter in the aquaculture system. Trials have shown that some vegetables suites better than others do in the cold-water aquaponics system.   

 

Groundbreaking

The project started in 2012 with participants from Norway, Denmark and Iceland. The aim has been to combine efforts in the three countries to strengthen their respective national projects and provide an opportunity to learn from each location.

 

– The project initial phase has been all about testing and gathering information, but the results have so far been groundbreaking, says project manager Siv Lene Gangenes Skar from Bioforsk. 

 

– There is still need more development in the systems and we want to implement industry into the project. Our hope is that the system will be used all over the world in the future, Gangenes Skar continues.

National identity

The project have been focusing around maintaining national identity. This means that different types of fish are used. The Icelandic project partner use Egyptian tilapia in their manufacturing and uses geothermal heat in their facility.

 

In Norway, the project uses local brown trout in the production system. In Denmark, “green farming” is a part of Copenhagen municipality's political goal of becoming CO2 neutral in 2025.

 

– The Danish project has a goal to build a facility on a roof top, with a café next to it. Here you will be able to enjoy a Danish local fish together with fresh vegetables produced at the same place in the future, Gangenes Skar explains. 

 

The project have so far received considerable attention and Gangenes Skar has presented the project for the aquaculture industry on several occasions last year. The facilities are open for tours as well and have so far recieved great interest.

 

If interested, please contact siv.skar(at)bioforsk.no