THROUGH its work in aquaponics, Pentair Ltd. is helping a new industry bring healthy food to developing countries, arid climates and space-challenged urban centers.
Fish farming is expanding to meet the growing population's increased need for additional protein sources. It is anticipated that more than half of the world's seafood supply in the next decade will come from farmed fish.
"The world's population — and more specifically, the middle-class population — is growing, and with it, the demand for fish protein is quickly surpassing sustainable natural fish production. Aquaponics has the potential to help meet the demand while reducing pressure on fish populations in the wild," Pentair chairman and chief executive officer Randall J. Hogan said. "Our expertise in water systems and solutions allows us to reimagine fish farming in a sustainable way that provides a real commercial option to help solve this growing food dilemma and potentially support urban growth and renewal."
Aquaponics is the combined cultivation of fish and hydroponic vegetable crops in a closed-loop system. In aquaponics, fish provide the nutrients that plants need to grow, and the plants act as a filter to improve the water quality for the fish.
Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems Inc. has been helping commercial operations around the globe integrate their traditional fish farms and plant production with its recirculating aquaculture system solutions. Designed to be energy efficient with minimal waste, the resulting benefits include cost savings on filtration and fertilizer, the elimination of soil-borne diseases in vegetable production and the potential to meet organic standards, an announcement explained.
Traditionally, fish farming has taken place near water systems, but modern aquaponics makes it possible to create fish farms in a variety of places such as old industrial factories and buildings, Pentair said.
One example the company cited is Urban Organics, a large-scale, indoor aquaponics farm located in the historic Hamm's Brewery building in St. Paul, Minn. Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems and its team of experts — including engineers, horticulturists and biologists — worked with Urban Organics to design, install and engineer one of the largest and most advanced aquaponics facilities in the country. The system will eventually house eighteen 3,500 gal. fish tanks and will generate more than 720,000 lb. of greens and 150,000 lb. of fish annually.
Pentair delivers products, services and solutions for its customers' diverse needs in water and other fluids, thermal management and equipment protection.