COST Action FA1305, ‘The EU Aquaponics Hub’ is a timely intervention which responds to the growth in aquaponics research and development in the EU and around the world.
Aquaponics is an innovative, sustainable food production system integrating aquaculture with hydroponic vegetal crops. Aquaponics has a key role to play in food provision and tackling global challenges such as water scarcity, food security, urbanization, and reductions in energy use and food miles. The EU acknowledges these challenges through its Common Agriculture Policy and policies on Water Protection, Climate Change, and Social Integration. A European approach is required in the globally emerging aquaponics research field building on the foundations of Europe’s status as a global centre of excellence and technological innovation in the domains of aquaculture and hydroponic horticulture. The EU Aquaponics Hub’s aim is to the develop aquaponics in the EU, by leading the research agenda through the creation of a networking hub of expert research and industry scientists, engineers, economists, aquaculturists and horticulturalists, and contributing to the training of young aquaponic scientists. The EU Aquaponics Hub focuses on three primary systems in three settings; 1) ‘cities and urban areas’ – urban agriculture aquaponics, 2) ‘developing country systems’ – devising systems and technologies for food security for local people and 3) ‘industrial scale aquaponics’ – providing competitive systems delivering cost effective, healthy and sustainable local food in the EU.