Developing "world’s first vertical aquaculture farm”

Singapore-based entrepreneur John Diener is committed to developing a series of urban aquaculture facilities that are able to produce shrimp, whitefish and seaweeds in high tech five-story farming systems.

The last decade of Diener’s career has seen him involved in a number of aquaculture-related ventures, as well as agritech startups, and the concept of a completely novel farming system came to him in 2016 when he was researching how machine learning could benefit aquaculture during a part-time MSc in aquaculture at St Andrews University.

“I have a lot of experience in data science and I wanted to find out what would happen if you reassessed the whole concept of aquaculture,” he explains. Diener’s research led him to believe that vertical farms using cutting-edge technologies had the capacity to produce – for their footprint – an impressive amount of seafood, making them suitable for urban settings.  

Three pillars
Diener describes the development of the system as resting on three pillars – biological, mechanical and digital. The biological side relates to investigating the most productive integrated-multitrophic (IMTA) system, with vannamei shrimp as the primary species.

“The business plan has been developed around shrimp – they’re a unique product in terms of their flavour profile, much like salmon are, which makes it very hard to produce substitutes. And they can also be raised at high densities,” Diener notes. 

Read more at The Fish Site (Rob Fletcher)

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