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March 27, 2018 at 1:48 pm #1009
Dr Bahadur Goonesh Kumar, Dr Geeta Somaroo and Nadeem Nazurally
Backyard Marine Aquaponic for production of seaweed and salt water fish for consumption
With rapid urbanisation and development in the tourism sector, our sea have been exploited to the maximum creating a decrease in the production of fish (Garcia et al., 1994) thereby leading to a need for fishermen to look for an alternate means of revenue. Mauritius is an island with an almost unexploited supply of marine seaweeds with a high diversity of marine macroalgae, with 127 species (Schwartz, 2005; Narrain, 2011). Algae are good sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for the neutraceutical market since they can be relatively easily cultivated under different conditions (Narrain, 2011). Gracilaria Salicornia has actually been investigated by the Mauritius Research Council. Gracilaria Salicornia contains protein which helps in fighting premature aging of the skin by restructuring collagen and generating elasticity, skin suppleness which in turn reduces and softens wrinkles. Seaweed cultivation and fish production can provide this alternate means of livelihood for the fishermen. Moreover Mauritius is a tropical island which will help boost in the growth of seaweeds since seaweeds are known to adapt to thermal temperatures.
Similar to Fresh Water Aquaponic, a system composing of two water tanks will be set up. One tank will hold the sea water fish and the other tank will hold the seaweed. The water will circulate between the two tanks with the use of a water pump. The water parameters will have to be monitored regularly and adequate lights set up will have to be used. Artificial marine water will be created so as to avoid collecting sea water. Currently, the seaweed farm consists of 2 PVC Rafts of size 36 metre square each to which net bags are attached. The raft is made by assembling 6m high pressure PVC pipes and is placed in the sea. This seaweed farm will be replicated in tanks. The advantage of growing seaweeds in tanks will limit the destruction of the rafts due to cyclonic conditions, as well as, due to vandalism.
• Potential to developed SMEs in the field of marine aquaponic
• The seaweed produced can be sold to hotels as food products; used for the manufacture of soaps, medicines, etc.
• Create employment
• Develop the concept of backyard farming with minimal resources
• The system can be used to grow oystersMarch 30, 2018 at 2:41 pm #1043
Very interested to get involved! I got some students who have been working on the IoT and Monitoring aspects. Would be great to talk to you guys one of these days.