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PostPosted: Feb 14th, '18, 06:44 
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Location: Reykjavik, Iceland
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Location: Reykjavik, Iceland
I want to ask you all openly- and please forgive me for being a bit (read:very) jaded, but how did you get into the business of aquaponics and do you feel that the work is promising and growing or stagnant? Basically, what is your opinion on the business side as a whole?

Let me give some context. I am a bit exhausted with aquaponics, but not by choice. I spent 2015-2017 studying my MS in environment and Natural Resources, and did a pretty cool thesis on the viability of aquaponics in Iceland (where I was studying). While I was studying, I noticed a lot of different behaviors and attitudes towards AP, with a lot of people throwing in the towel and going hydro instead. Typically, the costs are a bit much to maintain over the premiums and there is not enough sustainability in a commercial market. Mind you, that is a very synthesized version of everything, but the point is mainly that people are not opposed to AP produce, but wouldn't go out of their way for it. (Sorry, I am trying not to run into generalizations here or give too broad of strokes). Furthermore, a lot of the people I met who want to start commercial AP systems are very idealistic and don't really have feasible business models.

However, I have a lot of hope in the industry and would love to work in it. I found through my gauntlet of applications that the pay I am offered is a bit lower than I would want, and going on consultation is a bit difficult because people want more than they can afford so to speak. I guess it just seems silly to have done so much with it and can't get anywhere. I want to know others' professional experience so that I can temper my expectations or at least get a lead into something I could do different in my search.

Cheers


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PostPosted: Feb 14th, '18, 18:58 
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I think the majority of people here are backyard farmers, and their APs are an efficient way to produce food for themselves. Most don't have a business approach to their production, the goal is to feed themselves and sell or give away any surplus. On a truly commercial scale hydroponics and aquaculture as separate operations will generally be more cost effective than a combined system.

Most fish farmed in developed countries are farmed in sea cages or flow through systems, not RAS, because its more cost effective. RAS systems, because they are more expensive, are only used to produce high-value species, which are generally marine fish, and therefore not compatible with growing veg in AP systems.

Hydroponics can be done more cheaply and easily than aquponics, so the added cost will have to be covered by added revenue from fish. In Iceland, fish like tilapia would have a hard time competing on the market with the likes of salmon and cod.

Perhaps look at salmon hatchery and juvenile production, which happens in freshwater, and using the effluent for hydroponic growing in a separate facility.


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