Is aquaculture the new agriculture?

Food and water shortages are two of the biggest threats humans are facing in the near future. With increasing temperatures, warmer oceans, and negative effects from climate change new sustainable solutions are needed. According to the Census, the population is projected to steadily increase in the United States over the next 30 years, having enough food to feed everyone will be next to impossible. Rising temperatures, less rainfall and land issues all have large negative impacts on agriculture that cannot be reversed.

Good news though, there are solutions within reach!

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Aquaculture tank at Linesville

Aquaculture and aquaponics are two rapidly growing sectors that can hopefully address food scarcity issues. Aquaculture systems can be built just about anywhere, even with no close water resources. Just look at the systems that we have at Eden hall! Eden Hall is located basically in the middle of nowhere with no local water sources to use but is successfully farm raising tilapia and now rainbow trout. Dr. Roy Weitzell has worked tirelessly to teach those of us in his SUS 426 aquaculture class how to

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Tilapia at Eden Hall Feild lab

care for the little fingerling rainbow trout that are currently being raised. Soon enough the trout will be large enough to harvest and fill the plates in the Commons Dining Hall for Eden Hall students to dine on.

Along with small aquaculture systems, there are large ones at work to restock our lakes and streams all around the country.  One working hard is the Linesville State Hatchery right here in Pennsylvania.  (Linesville is located 2 hours north of Pittsburgh) This small man ran the operation, ensures steelhead trout, brown trout, walleye, perch, musky, and catfish are stocked in our lakes and streams all around Pennsylvania for fishing and

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Walleye being taken to hatchery

preservation of our waterways ecosystems.  On my recent trip to Linesville to spawn walleye, I learned that over 500,000,000 steelhead and brown trout gametes are spawned to be hatched and restocked yearly, along with 1.2million walleye eggs yearly.

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walleye eggs

Along with aquaculture, aquaponics can easily be built in old warehouses and old factory sites. Just last year Pittsburgh had its very own aquaponics site in the heart of town in shipping containers. Pittsburgh Aquaponics along with Grow Pittsburgh built these little examples to show Pittsburghers how easy it is to grow your own food with very little space.

Learning to grown your own food in urban areas that lack space and green spaces is one solution to the food scarcity issues we are facing more and more every day.

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