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UAE - Aquaculture expert helps build one of the world\'s biggest fish farms in Middle East

n late 2013 aquaponics consultant Paul Van der Werf, from Queensland\'s Earthan Group, was invited to the UAE to build one of the world\'s biggest aquaponics systems. The farm, now completed, consists of a 4,500 square metre shed which produces around 40 tonnes of tilapia. The facility is also piloting a breeding program for juvenile barramundi.

March 19, 2015

There is sand as far as the eye can see and daily temperatures soar to about 50 degrees. On the face of it, is is probably not the ideal spot to establish a fish and vegetable farm. Some developers are trying to change that.

Over the years various companies have come up with ways to breed fish and use their waste water as fertiliser on vegetable crops.

In late 2013 aquaponics consultant Paul Van der Werf, from Queensland\'s Earthan Group, was invited to the UAE to build one of the world\'s biggest aquaponics systems.

The farm, now completed, consists of a 4,500 square metre shed which produces around 40 tonnes of tilapia. The facility is also piloting a breeding program for juvenile barramundi.


Waste water from a nearby food manufacturer, which is normally dumped in the desert, fills the fish tanks.

\"We\'ve got recirculating aquaculture,\" Mr Van der Werf said.

\"So it (the water) goes round and round, through filtration back to the fish and then we take all of their waste and move that waste out, it\'s good for the fish.

\"We biologically inoculate, so we aerate it and make it safe to use.

\"We use that to circulate out onto a big 1 million litre floating raft, where we grow plants.\"

It is literally a massive floating salad on styrofoam.

[Source: Laurissa Smith, NSW Country Hour, ABC. Read articleListen to Audio].

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