Rough Outline of Commercial Aquaponics Course


Proposed Course Outline


-To make commercial aquaponics accessible
-To enable participants to overcome specific production issues through access to specific information and expert guidance;
-To enable participants to realise true product value, by taking a systems approach focusing on the entire production cycle and determining the best options for system set up, diversification and sustainability;
-To train entry level practitioners in a holistic manner, in response to current challenges to the socioeconomic sustainability of the aquaculture industry in Europe

Thursday – Intro and Compliance

  • Introduction to this year’s course, tour of Bristol Fish Project’s facility in making with Q&A.
  • Session with Eric Roderick of FishGen on inspirational aquaponics projects from around the world, and on his work in commercial hatchery and Broodstock management.
  • CEFAS – Fish Health and Biosecurity and Compliance with Nick Stinton.

Working through your Business Templates:

  • Building a Biosecurity Plan – Introduction to the Template
  • Building a Risk Assessment – Introduction to the Template
  • Building a Food Safety Management Plan – Introduction to the Template

Evening Class – Preparing (filleting, gutting, scaling – techniques with advanced techniques if the group is already pro-fae with basic techniques) your fish with The Fish Shop team and Q&A with a fishmonger – with discussion on wholesale prices, quality, asthetic, and what it means to sell the ‘story’ of your product.

Friday – The Practice

  • We start the day with a witness session – Michael Jeutner will be presenting an exemplar design and business plan for a decoupled warehouse system +Q&A.
  • Following that Kate Hoffman of GrowUp Urban Farms will be sharing her experiences for applying for different kinds of funding and how to maximise your chances of success.
  • Typical farming issues – debugging fish and plants
  • After Lunch we will take a look at our next template – Building a Funding Proposal
  • Dr Rosemary Crichton on Feed Options and Nutritional Profiling.
  • Beca Beeby (Humble by Nature) hands-on session on working with Black Soldier Flies for urban food waste recycling and feed production.

Saturday – The Tech

  • Hydroculture – a demonstration of a variety of hydroponic techniques – hands on –
  • Synthetic lighting / augmenting natural light.
  • Sensors, Water Quality, Monitoring with Seneye. Understanding what is happening in your water is vital to ensuring that the aquatic life remains healthy. This revolutionary water monitoring device allows you to continuously track the changes in the water parameters, alerting you to the problems before they affect your system.
  • Building and managing your production schedule with Agrilysta web-based software platform that helps indoor farms manage their crops and gain data-driven insights to make more profitable production decisions.

Saturday –

  • Visit to BioAqua Farm in Somerset.
  • Visit to Grow Bristol
  • Funding your venture – Model Template
  • New business models (CSA, community enterprise, crowd-equity, SITR)
  • Welcome to the British Aquaponics Association and course Alumni (+access to network resources). Group Meal.

Sunday – Morning visit to Haughton Springs Arctic Char farm in Dorset

Afternoon regroup for final Q&A and hands on at Bristol Fish Project


Pricing – As usual – because our project’s mission is to make aquaponics accessible; the course is run at close-to-cost and we remain a not-for-profit organisation – so it’s hard for us to make concessions. If you can’t manage the price (£400) though – please get in touch and we can investigate options such a skill swap / group price if you are several people coming from one organisation. We are particularly keen for businesses to sponsor a student – please let us know if your project is able to sponsor a place for a student this year.

NB students from previous years can also attend some of the sessions for a minimum donation of £5. We will keep you all posted with the up-to-date schedule.

Here are a few snippets from previous years… 

and remember if you are interested  PLEASE FILL OUT THE DOODLE with your availability so that we can pick the best weekend to suit everyone!

unnamedLast year for the first time Dr Rosemary Crichton took us through fish physiology and responses to feeds and discusses the various ingredient options and how we can consider these for making aquaponic feeds.

Rose has a huge interest in how aquaponic feeds can be produced from urban waste streams

kate.jpgIn previous years we’ve heard how raising the funding for an aquaponics project, regardless of the size, is hard work and takes time. But it can pay off if it means you can start your project! Kate Hofman  of GrowUp Urban Farms will be sharing her experiences for applying for different kinds of funding and how to maximise your chances of success… Kate is the co-founder of GrowUp Urban Farms. GrowUp Urban Farms produces sustainable fresh fish, salads and herbs in cities using a combination of aquaponic and vertical growing technologies.

unnamed (1)In our final commercial aquaponics class, we are confronting the endgame – and the mental shift from sacrifice to celebration – the aching beauty of preparing carefully that which you have nurtured for the platter…[read more]


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