Most of the land in Zeeland (a province in south-western Netherlands) lies below the sea level. Saline water from the sea constantly tries to push its way under the dijks, onto the land.
To manage the situation, farmers keep draining their lands. However, frequent draining causes the soil to go down. A combination of this and rising sea levels has led to a situation where it might become outright impossible to carry out normal agriculture 50 years from now. Therefore, it is worth exploring whether it would be feasible to culture saltwater crops and animals, as a strategy for food security.
In this video, Sander Ruizeveld de Winter shows us around a trial farm he manages in Colijnsplaat, Zeeland. Supported by the Stichting Zeeuwse Tong (or Zeeland Sole Council, a consortium of businesses, research organisations and training institutes), the farm is trying to investigate whether/how inland saline aquaculture can be made commercially viable.
The experiment has highlighted that commercial viability can be achieved is by choosing a mix of products in which the waste produced by one can feed the other. This reduces both production costs and environmental costs significantly.
It is quite possible to set up production processes like this one in a variety of regions across the world. “All you need is that water is available,” says Sander. In fact, agricultural land in most countries is much cheaper than The Netherlands, and this positions them better to cut costs and achieve commercial viability.
More info: zeeuwsetong.nl/
Produced by: TheWaterChannel
Region: The Netherlands, Western Europe