In cities as crowded as Hong Kong, there is nowhere to go but up, up, up -- even for fish. So, on the 15th floor of a high-rise, is a mini ocean in the sky: 80,000 litres of salt water where young groupers swim under cool, blue light. Could this be the future of urban farming?
While eighty per cent of fish in Hong Kong already come from farms, most aquaculture still takes place in the sea -- or at least on ground level. But OceanEthix's farm in the sky raises fish close to the restaurants that buy them live. "If you like, this is rooftop farming on steroids," the firm's managing director Lloyd Moskalik said to BBC.
The Hong Kong farm is comprised of eleven large plastic tanks filled with salt water. A blue glow imitates the light of the ocean depths. Here, groupers spend a year of lives growing big enough to be eaten. Moskalik says he sells 2000 tons of the fish a year, netting up to $US100 per pound. Building this indoor ocean, of course, only makes economic sense when the demand for fish is so high.
As overfishing has depleted the oceans, aquaculture has been increasingly touted as the answer to our growing appetite for seafood. OceanEthix also sells its technology to other companies setting up indoor fish farms across Asia. Perhaps one could even imagine a (nearly) self-sustaining skyscraper in the future -- a vertical ecosystem, if you will, with rooftop beehives, underground farms, and a fish pool on the fifteenth floor. [BBC, Time]
Pictures: video from Time