Why iAVs lapsed into Obscurity.

Steve Diver’s ATTRA aquaponics document was one of the very few general information sources pertaining to aquaponics – leading up to its renaissance in the mid-2000’s.

My recent re-reading of this document revealed some interesting insights including:

  • My initial impression of iAVs was heavily influenced by Diver’s description of “trickle irrigated” – the mental image was nothing like iAVs actually turned out to be.
  • Any reasonable person who read Diver’s accounts of the NCSU System (iAVs) and “the Speraneo Model” would have to conclude that the Speraneo model was an improvement on the iAVs…particularly given his use of the words…”The Speraneo system was practical, productive, and wildly successful.” 

In fact, it was none of those things.  The Speraneo model was a failed attempt to build an iAVs and its ascendance into popular use retarded the development of closed loop integrated aquaculture for two decades.

  • The business of selling information packages, seminars and consultancy actually kicked off with the Speraneos.

A few day’s later, Mark asked me why iAVs failed to capture my attention (to the point where I’d investigate it more fully)……and the penny dropped. When I read the North Carolina State University System excerpt, and the one on the Speraneo System, it’s patently clear why the Speraneo system gained ascendancy over iAVs.

Diver’s document was very influential in the aquaponics renaissance in the mid 2000’s…..it was on Page 1 of Google for years. There must have been thousands of people who read that document and formed their impressions of what aquaponics was about from its contents.

On reflection, I can’t think of any single greater influence on why the Speraneo Model rose to prominence while, at the some time, iAVs slipped into obscurity.

I can still recall how I reacted to the document at the first time I read it – and how it affected my perception around aquaponics…..’til now!


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