Deserted Coal Mines Provide Water For Fish Farms in West Virginia

farmed trout photo

photo: andyabides via flickr

TreeHugger has covered fish farming a number of times; in fact just yesterday we covered a Worldwatch Institute report which claims that sustainable fish farms can feed the world. Today the same source is highlighting fish farms in what may seem an unlikely location (West Virginia) and using an unlikely source of water (deserted coal mines). Yeah, I found it slightly odd too, but read on; it's not as crazy as it sounds:Worldwatch Institute says that despite any what you might initially think about the claims of West Virginia fish farmers that the water from deserted coal mines is "clean, clear water" being untrue, independent experts say that the fish they are raising are perfectly safe.

Mine Sites Could Produce 100,000 Pounds of Fish Per Year
The original article describes how coal mine water and fish farming are intersecting:

Many abandoned coal mines in Appalachia are polluted with toxic metals. But some have been spared, and the water sources that accumulate are considered clean enough to raise fish. Pipes carry the water directly to the aquaculture operations without any treatment.

At the more polluted sites, coal companies are required to build treatment facilities that return the water to health. These purified water sources are abundant and growing in number as the region's once-plentiful coal supplies are emptied.

By channeling water from the mines or adapting treatment facilities into farms, some dozen potential mine sites could supply water for large-scale fish farming-enough for about 45 tons (100,000 pounds) of fish per year...

Still Not Convinced?
Check out "US Farms Tap Former Coal Mines for Water" for more info: Problems such as high water acidity, and the claimed benefits of this aquaculture method such as the decreased likelihood of disease arising in the fish, are discussed.

via :: Worldwatch Institute
Worldwatch Institute Reports That Sustainable Fish Farms Can Feed the World
The Urban Aquaculture Center: Aquaponics Goes Big
Backyard Aquaponics: Bringing Food Production Back Home
Snowcamp Aquaponics: DIY Fish Farming with Zero Experience

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