Two forces are converging which have the ability to influence the
development of urban agricultural enterprises. One is around the world;
fisheries are in trouble as are the oceans, lakes and rivers that are
the natural habitat of fish, lobster and so much more. This growing
threat provides an opportunity.
The second force is the need for employment as people are losing their
jobs and even as the economy appears to be recovering, the jobs are not
A third and important element is the demand for local produced food as
people seek to choose foods that are produced closer tot heir homes,
thereby shortening the distance their meals must travel.
Aquaculture or fish farming on a small scale with the fish farms housed
right in the community are a possible response to both these forces.
Take a look at the work the Fresh Water Institute
doing. The largest tank they use is 8 feet deep and has a diameter of
30 feet. This tank holds 40,000 gallons of water. But the water supply
to operate this tank is almost 100% reused - meaning it is cleaned and
then cycled back into the tank - and the entire recirculating system
holds 70,000 gallons.
This one tank will contain 35,000-40,000 pounds of fish. A tank this
size could be operated indoors all year round and a store front could
be incorporated and/or a restaurant so that customers could buy their
fish fresh and local.
It should be possible to set up smaller tanks in urban backyards under
domes or in sheds and even borrow from the shared yard experience, set
up a business that had tanks in several yards, with a rental fee and
perhaps some fish as a payment to the property owner.
Municipal officials and people interested in urban agriculture need to
sit down and discuss the various possibilities and begin to develop a
plan to increase the economically viable possibilities urban