Seaweed is widely considered to be a health food. Bacon, on the other
hand ... well, bacon isn't. There may yet be hope for pork belly lovers
around the world, however. Scientists at Oregon State University (OSU)
have patented a lab-bred strain of dulce seaweed, that they claim has "a
strong bacon flavor" when fried.
For many people, jellyfish are just an unwelcome addition to a day at the beach. But the gelatinous creatures can seriously affect commercial fishing ventures and even cause the shutdown of power stations when they form into giant "blooms" in the ocean. Researchers at Deakin University in Australia, might be on the way to a solution.
Home aquaponics kits, which combine fish and plants in a symbiotic relationship, are becoming more and more popular. One of them, the Fishy Farm
, is a fairly large setup. The Home Aquaponics Kit
, on the other hand, is pretty small, while the ECO-Cycle
is designed to sit on top of an existing aquarium. The latest arrival on the scene, the Aqualibrium Garden, manages to carve out yet another niche for itself.
When it comes to commercial aquaculture, a lot of people have some legitimate concerns – fish farms can introduce antibiotics, anti-algal chemicals and concentrated fish waste into the ocean; escaped fish can upset the local ecological balance; and wild fish still need to be caught in large numbers, as a food source for some species of farmed fish. While there have been recent efforts
to address the first two concerns
, the fish-in-the-fish-food problem is now being taken on in two different research projects. These are aimed at replacing the fish content in fish feed with more sustainable ingredients.
The folks at the non-profit ECOLIFE Foundation are dedicated to providing, as they put it, “ecologically sustainable water, food, and shelter to communities through education applied programs.” Part of this mandate involves the promotion of community aquaponics
projects – systems that symbiotically combine aquaculture and hydroponics. Now, the group is bringing scaled-down aquaponics to classrooms and homes, in the form of its ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Kit for aquariums.
Many of us have completely lost sight of where the food we eat comes from. As long as the product is sitting on the shelf when we visit the supermarket, we pay little attention to the process that led to it being there. The Home Aquaponics Kit is designed to counter this ignorance by educating children in the process involved in growing and cultivating food using a self-cleaning fish tank and a self-maintaining herb garden.
It may look nothing more than an oddly shaped greenhouse, but the "Globe (hedron)" is a concept for a rooftop aquaponics dome that Urban Farmers hopes will help address global food security.
There are a number of reasons that many people are opposed to fish farming. Among other things, they claim that the caged fish release too much concentrated waste into the surrounding waters, too many antibiotics and anti-algal chemicals are used, the ecological balance is upset when non-native fish escape from their pens, and strain is put on populations of local fish that are captured for use in feed for carnivorous farmed fish. Unfortunately, wild-fish-capturing methods such as drift net fishing and bottom trawling have big problems of their own. A new system that involves raising fish in mesh spheres that float in the open ocean, however, is claimed to sidestep many of the drawbacks of traditional marine aquaculture. The Velella Research Project is pioneering the technology.
Marine net-pen fish farms aren’t popular with environmentalists for a number of reasons, one of the main ones being the amount of fish feces and uneaten food that they release into the surrounding ocean. In the UK, help for that problem may be coming in the form of the sea cucumber. Despite its name, the sea cucumber is an animal, that resembles a big slug and is about the same size as ... well, as a cucumber, or sometimes larger. Given that sea cukes subsist on organic matter that they scavenge from the sea floor, scientists at Newcastle University have proposed that they be introduced to fish farms where they could process waste. After eating all that fish poop, some of the cucumbers could then be served up as gourmet cuisine for humans.
Oh, choices, choices... do you grow vegetables, raise worms or raise fish? Well, the just-released Fishy Farm is designed to do all three in one hit. The small-scale aquaponic set-up is based around an ecosystem in which fish-waste-infused water fertilizes the veggies and feeds the worms, which in turn filter the water before it returns to the fish. All that users need to do is feed the fish, top up the water, and gobble up the bounty... except for the worms.