How cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) cultivation can contribute to a sustainable fish production
World fish demand is increasing while capture production is stagnating. Aquaculture can be a sustainable solution to meet the global fish consumption. Sustainable aquaculture can be done in a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). In a RAS, water is filtered, mechanically and biologically, and recirculated. The small amount of waste water that is produced, is rich in nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, valuable for plant growth. A combination of aquaculture and hydroponics is called aquaponics (AP). Tests proved that using aquaculture waste water from the cultivation of Omega perch (Therapon barcoo) for the hydroponic cultivation of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) has high potential to be introduced on a bigger scale. Yield, quality and plant performance are not affected by using aquaculture waste water as basis for the nutrient solution. Above that, cucumbers seem to be a lot more salt tolerant than expected. Sensory analysis showed no difference in tastiness and flavour but a small difference in texture between cucumbers grown in aquaponic and hydroponic growing systems. Professional aquaponics certainly has growth potential for the near future. It is a nice example of circular economy and it has a high added value to the sustainability of both sectors.
Crappé, S. and Buysens, S. (2020). How cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) cultivation can contribute to a sustainable fish production. Acta Hortic. 1294, 61-68
decoupled aquaponic system, hydroponic, cucumber, circular economy, sustainable production