Oko Farms is a commercial urban aquaculture and education company in Brooklyn, New York. We utilize a hybrid of aquaculture and hydroponics known as aquaponics to raise freshwater fish along with a variety of vegetables and fruits. On our farm, waste water from the fish tank is constantly pumped through several hydroponic grow beds to provide nutrient rich fertilizer for our plants. In return, the plants filter all of the toxic waste from the water while it cycles through the system. This constant cycling of nutrients via fish waste creates an extremely efficient recycling system that allows us to avoid the toxic environmental run-off that characterizes current aquaculture practices.
Over-exploitation of the ocean’s fisheries has reduced available stock causing a dependence on aquaculture to meet our growing demands for fish. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that aquaculture provides 4.5 billions pounds of fish consumed in the United States and 48% of fish consumed globally. Unfortunately, majority of these fish are raised overseas in feedlot-type ponds rife with feces, disease, pesticides, and antibiotics. These conditions are harmful to aquatic eco-systems and to humans who consume these fish.
By Implementing aquaponics in New York City, we shrink our carbon footprint for fish consumption, reduce the ecosystem pollution and health concerns associated with commercial-scale aquaculture, and produce a high-yield of organically grown vegetables in dense urban spaces.