Aquaponics is the newest sustainable food production methodology. This system integrates fish farming and crop production to create a beneficial environment for both entities. Some studies have assessed the environmental and economic impact of aquaponics, while only a few studies have conducted social assessments.
Lifecycle assessment was used to evaluate the environmental, economic, and social impact of aquaponics from obtaining raw material, from production to disposal. Several types of fish are used in aquaponics, with the most common fish species being tilapia, while for plant culture, lettuce and herbs were favored to be produced in hydroponics.
Although this new system is considered environmentally friendly, as it reduces water consumption and fertilizer application, previous studies have shown that the overall environmental impact and cost of aquaponics were strongly affected by electricity and fish feed.
This chapter highlights the challenges that face aquaponic systems and suggests future studies that holistically assess the sustainability of these systems.
Source: Kamareddine, L. A., & Maraqa, M. A. (2021). Lifecycle assessment of aquaponics. In Pollution Assessment for Sustainable Practices in Applied Sciences and Engineering (pp. 1083-1108). Butterworth-Heinemann.
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