At UC Davis, we’re committed to developing the burgeoning field of aquaponic food production in California. Aquaponics is the merger of aquaculture and hydroponics, in which the nitrogen within aquaculture effluent is utilized as a fertilizer source to grow fruits and vegetables.
Our program works to demonstrate, research, and implement aquaponic agriculture as a cost-effective method of aquaculture effluent treatment and sustainable hydroponic food production. Our recirculating aquaculture systems are located at the Center for Aquatic Biology & Aquaculture (CABA) on the UC Davis campus. Our 3,000 sq ft research greenhouse, is home to a diversity of decoupled aquaponic growing systems and technologies allowing for a broad range of commercial research applications. Our program works to demonstrate, research, and implement aquaponic agriculture as a cost-effective method of aquaculture effluent treatment and sustainable hydroponic food production.
In addition to our production and research greenhouse on the UC Davis campus, we provide science support to commercial fish and aquaponic farmers throughout California to implement best practices with issues from pest management to aquaponic food safety. Of particular interest is the repurposing of aquaculture waste streams into nutrient and revenue streams for California farmers, and broader applications within Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA). Of particular interest is the repurposing of aquaculture waste streams into revenue streams. Other areas of research include aquaponic production of livestock feed, micro and macro algae cultivation, water and energy conservation, applications for marine aquaculture, and the use of California agricultural byproducts to create innovative and sustainable products. Here is a link to our recent aquaponic publication evaluating the difference between vertical and horizontal plant production associated with LED usage. at UC Davis our approach to controlled environmental agriculture utilizes aquaculture effluent from our recirculating aquaculture systems for hydroponic plant production. This is also called decoupled aquaponics. Click on the link to learn about the difference between decoupled aquaponics and single-loop aquaponics.
Are you a commercial aquaponics farmer in California or the US? We’d love to hear from you!
We believe creating educational opportunities in aquaponic agriculture is critical to the long-term growth of California’s aquaculture industry. Our COSMOS program, Future Foods: Sustainable Aquaculture & Aquaponic Food Production, gives high school students from across CA the opportunity to be mentored by renowned faculty, researchers, and scientists in state-of-the-art facilities while exploring advanced STEM topics within aquaponic agriculture. In 2022 our project “Responding to Growing Trends: Increasing Capacity for California Aquaponic Agriculture Through Targeted Education”, funded by a Western Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education grant will provide and in-depth aquaponic curriculum to 20 agricultural professionals and educators to proliferate literacy in aquaponics and recirculating aquaculture systems.