Aquaponics is a hallmark of circular food production model. Like agriculture or hydroponic, plant nutrient fertilization is often carried out in aquaponics using artificial fertilizers. Fertilizers have an environmental footprint and weaken aquaponics’ circular, sustainable hallmark. If the aquaponics is to live up to its truly circular image, the dependency on supplemental plant fertilizers (with inorganic ones) needs to be gradually decreased.
Presently the European Commission vows on promoting a future that would embrace a ‘circular bioeconomy framework’. This framework demands a paradigm shift in thinking, changing focus from increasing productivity (presently) to increased resource use efficiency (future). Waste is not a waste, but resource in a circular framework. Future bioeconomy emphasizes the development of bio-based solutions in food systems.
Members of the Laboratory of Nutrition recently contributed to this field, compiling the inventory for circular nutrients management and achieving bioeconomy in future aquaponics. Based of the so-called TilaFeed-Model, feed for future aquaponics may be more precisely formulated with the principle that nutrients are not only a resource for fish, but excreted nutrients from fish (feed) also fertilize the microbes and plants. The inventory is expected to serve as a valuable tool to improve ‘nutrient planning’ in aquaponic systems; combining knowledge of in-vivo (fish) nutrient partitioning, in-vivo to in-situ nutrient flow (feed to fish to microbes to plants in an aquaponic system). The inventory is freely available at: https://data.mendeley.com/datasets/rztdvh4psy/1.
Detailed information can be found in the original article: Roy, K., Kajgrová, L., Mráz, J., 2022. TILAFeed: A bio-based inventory for circular nutrients management and achieving bioeconomy in future aquaponics. New Biotechnology 70: 9-18. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nbt.2022.04.002
Written by: Koushik Roy, MSc., Ph.D.