Environmentalists give aquaculture a bad name because of its high energy absorption and negative effects on fish health. Fish farmers target negative ecological impacts by sourcing energy from geothermal sources. Geothermal energy lowers operating costs, increases resource accessibility and protects the health of aquatic species.
The seafood production sector also uses renewable energy sources to meet green energy initiatives. Some countries hold companies accountable for their waste and impose fines on major polluters. Fisheries can adopt geothermal energy systems to global environmental sustainability goals.
Current geothermal production efforts
Fisheries can support sustainability goals by using geothermal energy. Geothermal power plants emit much less carbon dioxide than fossil fuel power plants when producing energy and provide constant and reliable power.
Renewable energy sources also help countries achieve decarbonization goals for their energy sectors. America alone produced approximately 1,447 million tons of electricity emissions per year.
Geothermal aquaculture in Iceland
Iceland’s seafood industry uses significant amounts of geothermal energy. In fact, the country receives more than 27% of its electricity supply from geothermal sources. Iceland also has an abundance of fish farms due to its high quality fresh water.
Fisheries use the resource to maintain farming conditions, supply packing facilities and support transport processes. Icelandic fish farmers rely on geothermal water temperature differentiation to create sufficient growth environments. Initially, farmers heated seawater by by combining it with 20 °C to 50 °VS geothermal water. Around 20 fisheries use the renewable resource to farm trout, salmon and tilapia.
The country uses a closed-loop system, based on wells. Heat exchangers extract heat from the fluid for power generation and return excess resources to the aquifer.
Iceland’s largest fish farm, Samherji, uses geothermal energy to farm salmon and arctic char. The company has placed its Islandslax farm in a geothermal region with naturally stable water temperatures. Operators use approximately 240 liters per second of geothermal water from the wells. They pump almost a third water upwards, and gravity naturally surfaces the remaining water.
Operators use heat exchangers to heat some of the fresh water on the farm. Soft water helps oxygenate the water because geothermal outlets contain lower oxygen levels.
Geothermal aquaculture in China
China produces the most fish in the world using geothermal energy. the the country has more than 200 fish farmers farms, and most use these resources. Chinese farmers also use geothermal energy to heat aquatic habitats.
The country also relies on geothermal energy to heat and cool its industrial facilities. Using renewable energy to support packing plants can further reduce aquaculture emissions and operating costs. The industry relies on geothermal energy to improve national sustainability.
Almost 56.8% of the country’s power supply comes from coal. The energy source releases significant amounts of greenhouse gases into the environment.
Improving the sustainability of aquaculture
Geothermal energy is significantly more sustainable than fossil fuels, helping fisheries meet the demands of eco-consumers. Farmers can increase their sales by reducing the carbon footprint of their products. They can also improve aquatic conditions by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Fish farms that rely on fossil fuels decrease local air quality. Farmers’ long-term exposures to emissions can harm their lung health. Over time, the risk of asthma, lung cancer and other respiratory diseases increases.
Improving the affordability of aquaculture
Geothermal energy is cheaper than coal and other fossil fuels. It can significantly increase profitability of aquaculture. Operators who power heat exchange pumps with geothermal energy eliminate associated costs.
Aquaculturists can also reduce their packaging plant costs by heating and cooling the facility with geothermal energy. They can further increase their financial stability by reducing product losses.
Increase fish survival rates
Aquaculturists can rely on geothermal water to minimize disease rates. Maintaining consistent aquatic environments limits stress on fish. Temperature fluctuations can cause biological changes that reduce the effectiveness of a marine species’ immune system.
Hot water can also naturally treat aquatic diseases. Colorado researchers explored the relationship between water temperature and catfish health. They found the rise river water at 32 °It can prevent the catfish from developing “ick”.
Overheating water can also harm marine species. High temperatures create a sufficient growth environment for algae, and algal blooms can deplete oxygen levels and create uninhabitable regions. Algae are less likely to take over marine habitats when geothermal energy controls water temperature.
Help fish grow faster
Geothermal energy improves fish growth rates. Different marine species need unique habitat conditions to thrive. Geothermal heat can sustain warm water fish like trout, catfish, bass, tilapia and more.
High water temperatures create a comfortable environment where fish can reach their full growth potential. Geothermal energy also helps the north regions grow tropical fish, reducing transport emissions. Fish that grow faster in controlled environments use fewer resources and minimize production costs.
Can the US seafood industry use geothermal energy?
Aquaculturists in Idaho have the potential to sustain their farms with geothermal energy. Idaho has one of the largest geothermal capacities in America. Some farmers understand the trend of renewable energy and use it to grow catfishtilapia and alligators.
California also has high geothermal capacity. Aquaculturists can reduce the environmental impact of seafood production and help California meet its ambitious sustainability goal by using renewable energy. They can also heat their packaging facilities and operations buildings with geothermal energy to minimize emissions.
People can also improve the sustainability of aquaculture by using geothermal energy to produce fish feed. Cultivation of seaweed, kelp and duckweed in controlled environments can limit negative ecological and economic effects. Aquaculture resources typically contribute to a product’s carbon footprint.
Geothermal energy in seafood production
Farmers can appeal to eco-consumer demands and increase their sales by using renewable energy throughout their production processes. Producing animal feed, raising fish and powering packing facilities in this way can help society meet the UN’s global sustainability goal.