Students can also learn about the lab’s sustainability practices. Kapuscinski said the facility’s location at the UCSC Farm was carefully selected to model how aquaculture and agriculture can be integrated to reduce waste. Water periodically removed from the recirculating aquaculture tanks contains beneficial nutrients for plants and will be used as irrigation and fertilizer for the organic farm managed by the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS).

With a new facility up and running and new grant funding in hand, the research team members say they are feeling optimistic about the road ahead.

“I am delighted to conduct this line of research at UCSC,” Sarker said. “This is a tremendous opportunity for our society to shift away from unsustainable practices to sustainable aquaculture production. I think we can do better. We have an obligation to do better for our planet.”