INTRODUCTION: As the cost of producing food increases, a group of researchers in southern California are developing a system of aqua culture, using the sun as the main energy input in farming fish.
SV PAN Greenhouse and fish tank
Designer of complex, Steven Serfling, standing by hyacinth tank
CU Thermometer PULL BACK TO SV tanks in greenhouse
SV Fish tank showing fish feeding (2 shots)
SV Men farming fish (4 shots)
SV Fish feeding underwater (2 shots)
SCU Shrimp in tank (2 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: As the cost of producing food increases, a group of researchers in southern California are developing a system of aqua culture, using the sun as the main energy input in farming fish. The researchers at Encinitas, near San Diego, farm the fish in tanks heated by the sun. The constant temperature of the water allows a year-long farming period which they believe is far more economically viable than conventional fishing with the high energy cost of putting ships to sea.
SYNOPSIS: It looks like an ordinary greenhouse, but this complex at Encinitas in southern California is playing a vital role in the development of aqua culture. In order to cut down on energy costs, the designer, Steven Serfling, is using one of the cheapest forms of energy: the sun. The water in the tanks is kept at a constant temperature, allowing a controlled year-round growth cycle. Mr. Serfling, supported by a 15-thousand dollar grant from the U.S. Energy Department, and his colleagues at Solar Aquafarms Incorporated, hopes to develop the system, which he believes is more efficient than conventional fishing. He describes it as a closed, controlled environment in which the sun and fertiliser are the only inputs and waste is recycled into the fish food chain.
Catching the fish is unconventional. Mr. Serfling points to the economics of the system of aqua culture, claiming it can produce up to 100 thousand pounds (more than 45,000 kilograms) of fish per acre per year, compared with one to two thousand pounds per acre per year, using conventional methods. Among the fish harvested is the exotic Pacu fish from the Amazon River in South America; they can grow to a weight of 40 pounds (18 kilograms) in six months.
The people behind Solar Aquafarms believe the development of aqua culture could lead to a cut in the high energy cost of producing food and cut down on the United State's high seafood import bill. Such delicacies as shrimp can be quite easily farmed in the tanks at Encinitas. The aqua culture advocates say the delicacy can be produced at a fraction of the normal cost, using their method.