Finnish Aquaponics Society / Suomen Akvaponinen Viljely ry (SAVRY)

SAVRY is a non-profit organization aiming to promote, develop & commercialize aquaponics inFinland for a more sustainable future.

We are a registered association (PRH, Finland) since September 3, 2021.

Our expertise

Together, the 7 current members cover a broad range of knowledge: Aquaponics, Hydroponics, Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS),

Urban gardening, Phycology, Microbiology, Biogeochemistry & International business.

AQUAPONICS – Basic set-up (image taken from https://www.freepik.com/)

The aims of SAVRY – Our motivation

The 4 CORE aspects (diagram by Tobias Lipsewers):

SAVRY aims to improve these 4 core aspects to clear the way for aquaponics in Finland & elsewhere.

Closing the cycle

Sustainability & the 0-waste approach (diagram by Tobias Lipsewers):

SAVRY is a platform to exchange ideas & nurturing our creativity to carry out innovative research projects & design new system technologies.

Local & Fresh (images by Faiqa Atique)

Increasing the availability of locally produced & fresh food to improve food safety, reduce the carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint of our consumer behavior & save the environment from further
stress.

The rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss, average weight = 250g) and the lettuce depicted here were grown in an aquaponics research system run by Faiqa Atique

What is Aquaponics?

It is an alternative food production system inhabiting aquatic organisms and plants, where > 50% of the nutrients supporting optimal plant growth derive from the waste originating from feeding the aquatic organisms (Palm et al. 2018).

Above: Basic diagram showing the principle of aquaponics and some examples of products. Note, beside plants also algae can be cultivated using nutrients from the fish tanks (diagram by Tobias
Lipsewers).

Aquaponics has multiple advantages for the consumer and the environment:

  • Multiple foodstuffs can be produced with this ecosystem and potentially zero-waste approach.
  • Improved food safety: No antibiotics, pesticides, and other harmful substances are required.
  • Increased sustainability: Due to a land-based recirculating system, eutrophication and overfishing of natural waters are counteracted.
  • Increased local production: Reduced emissions (e.g., CO2) due to shorter transport chains and reduced need for imported food.
  • High quality standards: Due to the lower production size, the fish would be of better health and thus, better quality (compared to sea-based mass production).
  • Improving the local economy: Creation of job and research possibilities (in rural and urban areas).
  • Aquaponic food production is independent of weather extremes, increasing with climate change; crisis-safe because it is not affected by collapsing transport chains; *HAB-safe because of the
    strictly monitored water quality.
    *HAB stands for Harmful Algae Bloom, which is a major threat to, for example, sea-based fish farms (Díaz et al., 2019).
Above: An example of aquaponics. This is a so-called deep-water culture, where the roots of the plants grow directly into a fish tank (image taken from http://www.theaquaponicsdoctors.com/gallery.php).

Get to know the founding members –

Our backgrounds & interests

Faiqa Atique (Vicechair)
Faiqa Atique is a doctoral student with research experience in aquaculture, hydroponics and aquaponics at University of Jyväskylä. She is professional with demonstrated experience in biology education. She holds two Masters degrees in Botany and Sustainable management of inland aquatic resources. She has experience of growing variety of plants in soil and hydroponics. She has research experience with plant’s growth hormones as a way to enhance the growth and yield of the crops.
She has been involved in a research work to restore the diversity of salmonids in Finnish and Swedish streams and rivers. She has been involved in aquaponics since 2016 and has experience in scaling up, assembling, running and managing the aquaponics systems with various edible plants and trout. She is very interested in sustainable farming of fish and plants along with reducing environmental pollution.

Jaakko Kotiranta (Secretary)
Co-founder and partner at InnaGrow. InnaGrow manufactures aquaponic indoor gardens for institutions such as schools and care homes (www.innagrow.fi). Jaakko’s interest in aquaponics started about a decade ago when first hearing about this fascinating growing technique. Soon after that he set up his first aquaponics system with two friends, who became the co-founders of InnaGrow. Since then, Jaakko has been involved in aquaponics, first as an enthusiast and later professionally with the company. InnaGrow’s goal is to utilize aquaponics to help people connect with nature and to bring awareness that guides toward a happier and more sustainable lifestyle.
Believing that there is a role for aquaponics in the global food system, Jaakko aims to be involved in tackling the problems caused by current food production and creating solutions for more sustainable future.

Pekka Marttinen (Treasurer)
Pekka Marttinen (BSc – Fisheries and Environmental Care) has been working in several RAS-farms since 2001 and has extensive practical experience in various areas related to Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS). During 2001-2015 Pekka has been working as fish farmer, farm manager and managing director in several fresh water RAS- farms in Finland, which produced pike
perch, sturgeon, eel, and grayling. Since November 2015, Pekka has been working as a private trader in a company called RAS-Consulting, which offers consulting and design services related to RAS.

Dr. Tobias Lipsewers (Chairman)
Tobias completed his PhD in Biological and Environmental Sciences (University of Helsinki) in 2020. These studies focused on the microplankton community dynamics during the so-called spring bloom in Baltic Sea surface waters. In the future, he would like to apply what he learned from the aquatic foodweb and biogeochemical cycles to the field of aquaponics. He initiated and co-founded the Finnish Aquaponics Society to follow a vision, the set-up and operation of a research and production facility focusing on this alternative food production method in Finland. The following topics are of special interest to him: aquaponics, 0-waste approaches, aquatic ecology, environmental conservation, recreational fish-keeping and fishing, as well as urban gardening.

Would you like to collaborate with us, become a member, or just get in touch?

tobias.lipsewers@savry.fi