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InnoAquaTech Training School in Rostock – Report

In the period from 25.03. - 27.03.2019 a training school on aquaponics took place as part of the InnoAquaTech project at the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of the University of Rostock in Germany.

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Within the framework of the InnoAquaTech project funded by the Interreg ProgrammeSouth Baltic, the University of Rostock, with the professorship of Aquaculture and Sea-Ranching as an academic project partner, had committed itself to organize a training school for experts and interested parties in the field of aquaponics, such as students, scientists, aquaculture companies and potential investors.

More than 40 participants, including students and scientists from various disciplines, aquaculture experts, but also farmers and other potential investors, met at the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of the University of Rostock to exchange knowledge and ideas on the subject of aquaponics.

The Training School began on 25thof March 2019 with an introductory presentation by Prof. Palm, who gave a lecture on the developments and research work carried out on aquaponics at the Rostock site. In the course of the day, further presentations were given, which focused on animals in aquaponics. Topics such as the further development and diversification of aquaponics, fish welfare in aquaponics facilities or the relevant species spectrum of aquaculture fish for use in aquaponics were discussed. The second day of the event was followed by further presentations addressing aquaponic plants and their needs-based nutrient supply. Furthermore, the nutrient fluxes in aquaponic systems and the further use by primary producers, such as microalgae, were discussed, but also how an aquaponics system can be built up and used for own (backyard) purposes. On the last day of the event, the range of topics was expanded to include saltwater culture and the further use of solid waste by a worm culture. Finally, the concept of meat quality of the African catfish was explained both in a lecture and by means of a practical tasting. On all days of the event, the participants had sufficient opportunity to exchange ideas in discussion rounds and to define further research and development requirements for the future development of aquaponics.

As a conclusion of the Aquaponics Training School it was stated that the topic aquaponics for the sustainable, resource efficient and environmentally friendly food production must and will gain more and more importance. Both science and practice must be involved in this development, but the food trade and consumers must also be integrated into it. Unfortunately, it had to be summed up that there are still too few opportunities to meet regularly and exchange experiences in such a framework. Work will also be done on this in the future.

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