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A Comparative Cost – Effectiveness Analysis in Different Tested Aquaponic Systems

Petrea, Stefan Mihai, Coadă, Marian Tiberiu, Cristea, Victor, Dediu, Lorena, Cristea, Dragos, Rahoveanu, Adrian Turek, Zugravu, Adrian Gheorghe, Rahoveanu, Maria Magdalena Turek, Mocuta, Dorina Nicoleta
Agriculture and Agricultural Science Procedia 2016 v.10 pp. 555-565
Acipenser stellatus, Mentha piperita, Oncorhynchus mykiss, Spinacia oleracea, aquaponics, capital, clay, cost analysis, cost effectiveness, economic indicators, electricity, fish, food production, income, mint, profit maximization, profitability, recirculating aquaculture systems, spinach, tarragon
One of the main global priorities nowadays is finding sustainable methods of increasing food production. However, profit maximization remains the primary purpose of every economic activity. The integration of aquaculture recirculating systems with different aquaponics techniques comes as a respond to both requirements that were mentioned above. The aim of present research is to make a comparative cost effectiveness analysis in two integrated aquaponics systems, where both deep water culture (DWC) and light expanded clay aggregate (LECA) substrate aquaponic techniques were applied. Four combinations of fish and plants species were used as follows: rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) – spinach (Spinacia oleracea), stellate sturgeon (Acipenser stellatus) – spinach (Spinacia oleracea), stellate sturgeon (Acipenser stellatus) – mint (Mentha piperita) and stellate sturgeon (Acipenser stellatus) – tarragon (Artemisa dracunculus L.). Three production scales were used for the first two mentioned fish to plants combinations, as follows: 59crops/m2; 48crops/m2 and 39crops/m2. For each experiment, the cost analysis includes capital costs and operational costs. As main conclusions, we can point out that LECA substrate aquaponics technique requires a higher investment cost, comparing with DWC technique, but also had generated higher incomes, which led in the end to better economic indicators. The combination of fish to plants stellate sturgeon (Acipenser stellatus) – spinach (Spinacia oleracea), produced by applying LECA substrate aquaponics technique, had proved to be the most economic feasible, from all tested variants. It is recommended that alternative variants for power to be implemented, in order to minimize the electricity operational costs and therefore, to improve the profitability of tested facilities.