An Analysis of the Commercialization Potential for Marine Aquaponics (Aquaculture and Hydroponics) Technologies to Aid in Sustainable Food Production for Island Nations

Student: Janaee Wallace, 2015-2016

Sponsor: Green Bridge Growers, South Bend, IN

Water security and food supply are current and pressing global issues. As the amount of available fresh water extracted from major aquifers for irrigation farming now exceeds recharge rates. Further, at the peak of this water shortage issue a significant percentage of the world continues to suffer from malnutrition and starvation. Given these problems, there is strong impetus to find solutions that address food security, sustainable resource practices, and encourage overall ecosystem health. This creates a novel opportunity to explore the use of saltwater, which is abundant, in food production. Marine aquaponics, an innovative agricultural approach, aims to develop a sustainable, closed loop system with marine fishes and traditional plants. Currently, the market is saturated with freshwater aquaponics, which is also at risk with the decline of freshwater globally. Mariponics would provide an immediate application for hyper-salt-tolerant food plants, whilst making use of pre-established aquaculture and produce production practices. Allowing for greater sustainable food production across the world in spite of freshwater availability and space limitations.