© Danielle Goergen
99% of fish consumed in the Grand Duchy is imported, while Luxembourgish farmers produce less than 3% of all consumed vegetables.
Young entrepreneurs Daryl Fuchs and Manuel Arrillaga launched a start-up company in an attempt to change this status quo. "Fësch Haff" intends to farm both vegetables and fish in a sustainable manner. Fuchs and Arrillage met at university, and although both have different areas of expertise, materials science versus bio engineering, they decided to start the business together.
Their strategy for the project is aquaponics, which means they use both aquacultural farming to raise fish and hydroponics to cultivate plants with the help of water. The mechanism builds on a natural life cycle, during which the fish water is used to help grow the plants. A bio reactor is used to process the water in between changes and helps keep the cycle functioning.
Both entrepreneurs already managed to grow a variety of vegetables, including salads, courgettes, and chillis. They recently also added herbs to their range. In terms of aquatic creatures, Fesch Haff farms lobsters, which grow relatively fast, and trout.
Given that all elements of the cycle depend on each other, it is critical to keep the system running at all times. Should pumps fail, for instance, the fish may die, which is why emergency equipment is needed to guarantee the proper functioning of the farm. With the help of LED lights, plants can be grown all year around.
Another advantage of the interdependence is that every element has to be treated in organic way. Pesticides may harm the fish, and antibiotics can harm the plants.
For more information on the start-up, please visit fesch-haff.lu.