A Little Perspective on the Growth of Aquaponics

The awareness of and enthusiasm for aquaponics is beginning to snowball.  Every day I see new references to aquaponics, new blog posts, articles and media attention.  I am glad to see this and find it encouraging that so many people are recognizing the potential of aquaponics.  But, unfortunately, there is also a great deal of misinformation being written, blogged and printed about aquaponics.

Our company, Nelson and Pade, Inc., which has been in aquaponics and controlled environment agriculture for 20+ years, has gotten and continues to get a lot of press for the things we have achieved.   There are also many new organizations, typically with only a couple of years of experience (and sometimes even less) that are in the headlines as well.  And, often, these people new to aquaponics neglect to acknowledge the history and research that has preceded them.  It might be new technology to them, but it is not new technology.  Dr. Rakocy and his associates at the University of the Virgin Islands, as well as other research scientist around the world, have been researching and helping to develop this technology for over 30 years.

A number of these aquaponics start-ups appear to be in the business of using the buzz around aquaponics to entice investors rather than growing food or to convince you that their “new” invention of aquaponics is the solution to all of the world’s problems.  I have seen these schemes emerge in a big way in the past year.

So, my advice is: buyer beware.    Before you move forward with an aquaponic company, foundation or non-profit who wants to recruit you as an investor, provide you information, or sell you something; be sure to check them out, look for actual achievements and make sure they have hands-on, real-life success in aquaponics.

As new aquaponics organizations sprout up, some with websites showing nothing more than drawings and concepts and others grabbing headlines, we are busy building, shipping and installing systems that are operating and providing food for people of all walks of life.  In the past year Nelson and Pade, Inc. has built and shipped 20 complete aquaponic systems to commercial growers, hobbyists, mission groups, Universities and schools and we have taught over 200 people from 28 states and 12 countries about aquaponics in our comprehensive workshops.  We are out there making it happen on both a large and small scale, in developed and developing countries.

In case you are wondering about the history and experience of Nelson and Pade, Inc., visit our history page for rundown of some of our achievements over the last 25 years.