Aquaponic Food Production: Are the Possibilities Endless?


October 6, 2016 :: Nick Savidov
Moderated by Klaus Jericho

Aquaponics is a syntergistic growing technique in which both fish and plants are grown together in the same system. The word aquaponics comes from the combination of aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil in nutrient rich water). The speaker will argue that aquaponics solves many of the problems and environmental issues associated with aquaculture and hydroponics while retaining the benefits of both.

Today's modern aquaculture systems are great at growing lots of fish in a small area, but produce lots of fish waste that must be dealt with. Hydroponics offers many benefits including the fact that it is more efficient than soil farming in both density, growth rate and can be done almost anywhere. But hydroponic systems use man-made chemicals as feed and must dump the nutrient solution periodically when salts or pathogens build up which is a waste management and pollution issue.

The microorganisms in an aquaponic system turn the "waste" in aquaculture into a valuable input for hydroponics. This more natural input results in food that is healthier and much better tasting. The filtered water from the plants is then returned to the fish thereby closing the loop. This conserves water and avoids waste management issues and pollution. A myriad of beneficial microorganisms also create an environment that hinders the harmful organisms that are such a problem in hydroponics and aquaculture.

Speaker:     Nick Savidov

Dr. Nick Savidov is a Senior Research Scientist with Lethbridge College and is an internationally recognized expert in aquaponics. His improvements of aquaponics design include aerobic bio-digestion to recover nutrients and water, full automation, and more efficient oxygenating system. His system design produces no waste, solid or liquid, and it has been adopted for commercial use in Canada.

Savidov was born and raised in Russia, where he received his Ph.D. degrees in Plant Physiology and Biochemistry at the Russian State Agricultural University in Moscow in 1991. He conducted his postdoctoral studies in Plant Biochemistry Lab at Ben-Gurion University in Israel before moving to Canada in 1997, where he continued his research in Plant Molecular Biology Lab at University of Alberta until 2001.

Savidov assumed the position of leader of Research Greenhouse Crops Program at Crop Diversification Centre South with Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development in 2001, where he worked on a variety of projects related to greenhouse production including aquaponics and biochar. Savidov has received many research grants in his scientific career and his work has gained national and international recognition. He has spoken at many conferences around the world and he is a member of several national and international committees.

Moderator: Klaus Jericho

Date: Thursday, October 6, 2016
Time: Noon - 1:30 pm
Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S Cost: $12.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (includes coffee/tea)
Visit the SACPA website: http://www.sacpa.ca


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