Coastal Currents: Aquaculture Opportunities
Mike Dronkers / Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 @ 10:48 a.m.
A plan is emerging to build an on-shore seafood ranch on the Samoa peninsula that aims to create jobs, take the pressure off our native fisheries, remove greenhouse gas from the air, and grow some vegetables. This is a real thing, and it's moving forward with Headwaters Fund money.
Erika Guevara envisions an industrial park at one of four sites on the Samoa Peninsula with ponds or pools of fish, abalone, or other high-profit seafood. The waste from the aquafuana would be used to enrich an on-site hydroponic farm, and algae could be harvested as well.
According to Guevara, the project was recently awarded a Headwaters Fund grant of $70,000 to establish a pilot aquaponics facility and explore the development pathway toward an aquaculture business park featuring freshwater and seawater aquaculture, as well as master permits to facilitate business development.
[Graphic from Guevara's powerpoint presention]
She says that aquaculture opportunities are diverse, but a focus will be integrated multi-trophic aquaculture. This is essentially food-web culture, wherein waste streams from fish culture are diverted as inputs for other products such as algae and vegetables. The student pre-feasibility study focused on saltwater culture of abalone integrated with macroalgae which feed on the abalone waste, and freshwater culture of fish integrated with veggies (aquaponics) as well as microalgae production for nutraceuticals/pharmaceuticals. Other opportunities include sturgeon, native restoration, shellfish hatchery, sea urchins and sea cucumbers, ornamental fish for aquariums, etc.