PhD candidate explores aquaponics to increase ag sustainability

As global fisheries and fish stocks continue to be affected by climate change, ecocide, and overfishing, freshwater aquaculture has become one of the fastest-growing practices in global food production.

However, The UWI St Augustine PhD student Rakesh Bhukal explains the resources used and nutrient-rich wastewater generated by aquaculture cannot go unnoticed.

As he pursues his doctorate in food Production at the Faculty of Food and Agriculture, Bhukal’s research focuses on the role aquaponics can play in minimizing the waste generated by local aquaculture farms and optimizing these systems for the country’s tropical climate.

If aquaponics practices are applied to local farms, Bhukal believes the generated nutrient-rich wastewater can instead be diverted to hydroponic systems.

“This can also help to reduce the use of traditional synthetic fertilizers in hydroponic systems,” adds Bhukal. “The plant will use the nutrients in the wastewater for their growth and development.”

If executed properly and proper filtering systems are developed, the FFA student says the filtered water can even be recirculated to the fish tanks and help reduce water use on aquaculture farms.


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