On the sustainability of aquaponics

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Bettina Konig
Ranka Junge
Andras Bittsanszky
Morris Villarroel
Tamas Komives


Aquaponics is an evolving closed-system food production technology that integrates recirculating aquaculture with hydroponics. In this paper we give a brief literature overview of the sustainability aspects of aquaponics by discussing its social, environmental, and economic impacts in different potential settings. The technology might be applied to commercial or community based urban food production, industrial scale production in rural areas, small scale farming in developing countries or as systems for education and decoration inside buildings. We conclude that due to the different potential applications and settings for installing the technology, sustainability impacts need to be considered separately and that due the complexity within markets, value chains, communities, urban and rural infrastructure  and policy settings, further research and data acquisition is needed to be able to assess all sustainability aspects.


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Konig, B., Junge, R., Bittsanszky, A., Villarroel, M., & Komives, T. (2016). On the sustainability of aquaponics. Ecocycles, 2(1), 26-32. https://doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v2i1.50