THE GREENING OF AQUACULTURE - OR - INTEGRATION OF AQUACULTURE WITH OTHER AGRO-INDUSTRIAL MUNICIPAL PROCESSES

Nick C. Parker

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Texas Cooperative fish and Wildlife Research Unit

Texas Tech University

Lubbock. TX 79409-2125 USA

Citizens of the United States have about 10,000 m3 of water per person available for use. This compares to annual per capita potential of 5,500 m3 in haq, 3,037 m3 in West Texas, 460 m3 in Israel and 260 m3 in Jordan. Contracts for water in western states have commonly exceeded $1000/acre-ft, and one contract in Colorado was signed for $6,176/acre-ft. However, the average price of water in the U.S. is $0.36/m3 or only about one third that of the price in Germany, $1.17/m3. Electric power plants, chemical companies, poultry producers, textile mills, cattle feedlots and aquaculture compete for water and share the common requirement of complying with environmental regulations. Independent on-site containment or treatment of water is often an added business cost with little to no monetary return. On-site recycling or recovery of waste components presents new sources of revenue and lowers the cost of environmental compliance. As the value of fish and fishery products escalates at rates greater than the supply, it is time for aquaculturists to consider new opportunities. Highly integrated systems can be developed to recycle water, recover nutrients, and use low-grade thermal energy from other industries such as cattle feedlots, ethanol plants, feedmills, pharmaceutical plants, and power plants. These industries located side-by-side could also process municipal solid wastes, municipal sewage and carbon dioxide emissions to produce a broad range of products including fish, other aquatic organisms, and aquatic plants.

Reprinted from: World Aquaculture Society Book of Abstracts, p.29. New Orleans, Louisiana, January 14-18, 1994.