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Fish Farming Goes Urban

by Ellen Hardy
05 February 2008, at 12:00am

ISRAEL - Israeli Professor Yonathan Zohar has developed a land-based production fish farming system that he says might stop the world's dramatic decline in fisheries.

Prof. Zohar is director of the Center of Marine Biotechnology at the University of Maryland. He has spent a lifetime researching fish production and has now created fish farms for the urban environment. The specialist self-contained fish pools can be built close to fresh food markets, in city warehouses and even in your own back yard (or home!), he says.

"It is clear that the consumption of seafood and fish is on the rise, because of the great health benefits... but now we are over-harvesting," warns Zohar. "We need to change that practice and become more efficient in a way that is compatible to the earth."

A report on Israel 21C says that Jerusalem-born Zohar thinks his solution is ideal. He believes Hip "green" environmentalists and sushi lovers will like it too.

In the basement of the center in Baltimore, he has built a series of high-tech fish pools. They are filled with freshwater from the tap, and have been adjusted with salts and buffers to mimic the marine environment.

Using advanced concepts of microbiology, Zohar has entrained special microbes to live in symbiosis with the fish in order to digest their waste. Aerated by plastic plugs that house the microbes, the fish pools are bio-secure and contaminant free, according to Zohar.

To read the full story and see a film of this system click here

Ellen Hardy