A new building has sprung up in the city-state of Singapore. This is not a hotel or an office, but a visibly much more useful project. It will be the world’s first vertical aquaculture farm. The site is expected to produce several thousand tonnes of fish and other seafood each year.
Produce more and better
Recently, we mentioned the research of a French scientist whose goal is to allow astronauts to breed fish in space, especially on the Moon and on Mars. However, it is not necessary to go out of our atmosphere to find surprising concepts related to aquaculture. As an article by Hakai Magazine published on February 8, 2021, Singapore will soon inaugurate a completely new building. The eight-storey building will be the world’s first vertical fish farm.
At the origin of the project, we find the Apollo Aquaculture Group (AAG) which has been testing this concept since 2012. This company was also the subject of a presentation by the Singapore Food Agency in August 2020. The vertical farm is expected to produce not less than 3,000 tons groupers, trout and other shrimp each year. Those in charge of the project promise a productivity six times higher than that of conventional breeding.
Vertical fish farming will take three floors housing two saltwater ponds each covering an area of 135 m². The water in these basins will be in a closed circuit and will be cleaned thanks to the presence of aquatic plants. An algorithm will be responsible for monitoring the breeding, more precisely the quality and salinity of the water as well as the quantity of food needed by the fish. Through this method, AAG hopes reduce mortality by 20 to 30% compared to that of conventional breeding.
Reduce food dependency
According to the Singapore Food Agency, this project responds to a problem related to the heavy food addiction of the Asian city-state. Today, Singapore imports around 90% of its food and wants to change that. However, the objective is to achieve on-site production of 30% of the food consumed by 2030. The city has already supported numerous high-tech vertical farm projects ensuring food crops using hydroponics. Moreover, the fact that we are talking about vertical farms is no accident. With 5.8 million inhabitants spread over an area of just 700 km², Singapore is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Thus, this concept of vertical fish farming is important.
If successful, between 50 and 60 hectares of ponds could eventually be installed, which should be sufficient to cover all Singaporeans’ fish needs. AGG also believes that this kind of problem does not only concern Singapore. More and more countries are wondering about food security. This company has also already been consulted by countries such as Brunei, China and the United States.