La Noria social innovation center has promoted the first aquaponics system in the province of Malaga, a technique that combines aquaculture and hydroponics for the production of fish and plants in the same cycle. Producers can grow different varieties of fruits and vegetables in this system, such as aubergines, lettuces, aromatic herbs, melons, and cherry tomatoes, among others. These fruits and vegetables are grown without soil and are fed by the water that is rich in nutrients generated by the fish that live in it.
Juan Antonio Lopez, the president of Aula del Mar, and Jose Carlos Marin, a biologist who is working on the project thanks to a grant from the University of Malaga, are in charge of this initiative that is part of the collaboration agreement between the Diputación de Málaga and Obra Social La Caixa. Both live the dream of self-consumption and their diets are one hundred percent organic.
"For the moment we can only contribute with a part of the food that large supermarkets provide us with, but aquaponics is a system that promotes organic fish and vegetables, the basic components of the Mediterranean diet," Juan Antonio stated.
The metabolic waste generated by fish and food remains is transformed into organic plant matter. "A valuable product is generated through a disposable by-product. In addition, the free-of-nutrients water can be reused by fish or aquaculture species," he added.
Juan Antonio is convinced that, in times of climate change and intensive animal husbandry, aquaponics will play an important part in the sustainability of the planet's resources.