In 2017 we got the news that we would receive funding from the European Marine Fisheries Fund, Via the UK based Marine Management Organisation and the Sustainable Eel Group, to build and run our proposed eel conservation project!
In 2015 we elected to use European eels (Anguilla anguilla) in our production because we could see that this species would provide the best opportunity to operate our business in a restorative / regenerative manner. We want to bring people closer to their food and to their environment / place and regenerative / restorative farming is a mechanism that we see as integral to doing food better. Eels are an integral part of the local landscape here in the Bristol Channel, are critically endangered and critically to our model make good eating and have a high market value. As a fish the European eel also meets our production needs for a species tolerant of a 19 °C culture temperature, able to be cultured at high densities, omnivorous, with an optimum pH ideal for an established aquaponics system (6.8 – 7.5) and tolerant to the higher pH of our local water supply. So we adapted our concept to centre around the production of eels. In April 2016 we brought in eels from a certified sustainable source (UK Glass Eels) and began our trial of eel husbandry in an aquaponic system at our facility and have been pleased with the results.
Since then we have begun work on designing and building a modular system for production based on readily available materials – as part of our ‘make it accessible to others’ modus operandi.
So now we get to build our dream farm!
Read the Business Case for the project here (it’s a little out of date as we wrote it in January 2017 but didn’t get the go ahead until October 2017)