In the recirculating aquaponics system, water flows between tanks with yellow perch and crayfish and a raceway with floating boards that support tomato plants.

A new research project has shown that integrated multitrophic aquaculture, or IMTA, is showing promise in the future as a key component of aquaculture in the Midwest. Michigan Sea Grant Director Silvia Newell, along with Dr. Kevin Neves, associate teaching professor in Bowling Green’s Department of Biological Sciences, recently showed that a recirculating aquaponics system is more than capable of simultaneously raising Lake Erie yellow perch and crops like tomatoes and lettuce.

“We were able to figure out how the nitrogen gets moved through the system and found that the rate at which ammonia was converted to nitrate — nitrification — was impressive,” Newell was quoted as saying in a recent article by Ohio Sea Grant. “This conversion is important because nitrate is a form of nitrogen that is typically safe for most organisms, even at higher levels. And plants flourish with a lot of nitrate.”

Read more about the project and the benefits of IMTA.