Aquaponics is a combination of both hydroponics and aquaculture. Marine aquaponics system applies this technology to marine aquatic organisms and plants that can be grown in sea water systems. Aquaponics systems are a symbiotic system where fish effluent provides nourishment to plants, while plants, in return, filters toxic fish waste from the fish tank water. Salicornia is a halophytes plant, which can be irrigated with salt water. It is a plant with a high content of n-3 fatty acids and a high market price, usually used in salads.
A preliminary test was conducted for growing Salicornia (Salicornia europea) & Seabass (Dicentrachus labrax) with marine aquaponic technology. With this technology, it is possible to reduce the water consumption and the environmental impact with a double benefit. During the trial, we test the growth of fishes and plants compared with blank test.
A comparison between the proximal biochemical composition between wild and cultivated salicornia was conducted.
Fatty acid profiles of wild and cultured salicorsia were compared.
Methods & results
Comparing the composition of both types of Salicornia is noted that:
1. The Salicornia cultivation has a significantly higher water content (Student t test P = 0.002), lipids (Student t test P = 0.002), carbohydrates and proteins (Student t test p <0.001) than the wild salicornia.
2. No differences in ash content (Student t test P = 0.116).
3. Significant differences were observed for some fatty acids, mainly monounsaturated (P = 0.038) found in greater amounts in the wild Salicornia, and in terms of total n-3 polyunsaturated due to a higher content 18: 3n-3 (P = 0.003) and total polyunsaturated (P = 0.027) in the Salicornia cultivation in aquaponic systems.
Salicornia maintained in aquaponic culture conditions is nutritionally better (higher content of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, fatty acids and total n-3 polyunsaturated) that salicornia harvested in the Ebro delta.
The culture of Seabass has been carried out under standard parameters of a Recirculation Aquaculture System (RAS).
Presented at Advances in Research on Aquaculture, Barcelona, 2015.
We thank the Institute of Secondary Education (IES ALFACS) and especially her teacher Marta Gonzalez Creus by their ready availability and collaboration to let involving three of his students, whose participation has been principal in this trial.