Aquaponics NOMA

2011 - 2014 Closed

The main objective of AQUAPONIC NOMA was to establish a network for cooperation between businesses, researchers and consumers in the Nordic region, in order to provide new innovations supporting a more competitive and sustainable aquaculture and food sector.

The main objective of AQUAPONIC NOMA is to establish the concept of Aquaponics in Nordic region through close cooperation between businesses and knowhow centers in Nordic countries. The focus is to increase scientific and practical knowledge base when applying ECO-SYSTEM approaches in aquaculture and horticulture combined, investigate suitable fish and crop species for Nordic aquaponics in terms of growth, quality, effluents, temperature and nutrient balances. Further, optimize management practices and technologies in Aquaponics, e.g. treatment of wastewater and solid wastes to protect the environment from pollution and pathogens. Develop new designs for commercially viable aquaponic production models for Nordic region and investigate consumer market potentials including possibilities for Eco-labeling, and secure efficient dissemination and knowledge transfer necessary for a viable scientific and practical Nordic cluster formation in aquaponics.

The project has achieved to establish the concept of Aquaponics in Nordic region, and through a targeting professional network, our region is starting to be known for our expertise of aquaponics in Europe within this field. During the project, our concepts have been discussed with pioneers in field (Dr. Rakocy (Virgin Island, US), Dr. Schultz (CA), Dr. Savidov (CA), Dr. Nichols (NZ), Dr. Lennard (AU) and Mr. Price (UK). Nordic countries are in the Management Committee of EU COST Action FA 1305 – Aquaponics HUB and EU LEO04027125 - EUROPEAN AQUAPONICS. Investigation of suitable fish and crop species for Nordic aquaponics is ongoing, and interesting results is becoming to show. There are available new designs for ECO-SYSTEM fitted to Nordic region, and business designs and code of practice will soon be available from project group.


All partners in this project have contributed with expertise, knowhow and knowledge about markets, productions, designs, economy analysis, and professional network with more. Project meetings have been at all Nordic participants’ facilities, and important discussions carried out. Important information have crossed between partners, and suitable information implemented in the companies.

Concrete results and conclusions

All of the participant countries have now aquaponics facilities up and running, ready for further innovations, used as showcases and developing of concept. On the way here, there are achieved a lot “hands-on” experience and regulation awareness. Either businesses have gone for the concept or they have decided not to go further. We can see an increasing demand for nationally knowledge of aquaponics. Through articles, media (radio, TV, newspapers), visitors at aquaponics facilities, we have also a demand from other researchers, consumers and businesses to make a platform to share information, make vocational training courses and teach the concept to interested people. Schools and several knowhow-centers have expressed wishes for this concept into their enterprises and Bioforsk wants establishing national aquaponics research center (Grimstad), were knowhow and knowledge achieves in same place.


Project participants recommend continuing further work within aquaponics and sustainable production methods within blue-green sector. This project was a great beginning to understand importance of common knowledge, collaboration between companies/consumers/researchers and those innovation products needs new research. New things takes time to understand and implementing. Companies’ needs knowledge for complement new system modules as sales product, consumers want knowledge/courses to have aquaponics systems home or start small enterprises to make local food rural or urban and job-opportunities to younger or un-employed people. Aquacultural and horticultural production sites need manuals to understand how to combine the two production methods for common goals – resources management (water, nutrients, energy, …) and achieves less discharge during the production to secure as little impact as possible of environment.

Project owner

Ingvar Hage
Bioforsk – Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, NO

Project leader

Siv Lene Gangenes Skar
Bioforsk – Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, NO

Project members

Helge Liltved
Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), NO
Jan Morten Homme
Feedback Aquaculture ANS, NO
Asbjørn Drengstig
AqVisor AS, NO
Rannveig Bjørnsdottir
Matis, IS
Stefanía Katrín Karlsdóttir
Matorka, IS
Paul Rye Kledal
Institute of Global Food and Farming (IGFF), DK
Helge Paulsen
DTU-Aqua Institut for Akvatiske Ressourcer, DK
Nick Savidov
Government of Alberta, Agriculture and Rural Development, Bio-Industrial Opportunities Branch, CA
Lorne MacGregore
Lethbridge College, Applied Research and Innovation, CA
Erling Stubhaug
Bioforsk – Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, NO