Select Page

This Foreword is part of The Urban Aquaponics Manual – 4th Edition.

The Urban Aquaponics Manual first saw the light of day in 2007 – the first publication of its type in the world.

I created the 2nd Edition in 2008 and, in 2010; I revised the Manual yet again (3rd Edition) and made it available through a subscription web site – another first.

In 2012, I embarked on this 4th Edition.

I had already done a substantial amount of the work when, in 2014, I made the acquaintance of Dr Mark R McMurtry. In the ensuing couple of months, everything that I thought I knew about integrated aquaculture got turned on its head.

In the mid-1980’s, McMurtry invented the Integrated Aqua-Vegeculture System (iAVs) – the first successful ‘closed loop’ production of vegetables using the metabolic wastes of fish.

Indeed, iAVs features so prominently in the history and development of aquaponics that the relationship between the two is an egg that can’t really be unscrambled.

While it was the precursor to everything that subsequently became known as aquaponics, McMurtry vigorously asserts that iAVs is not aquaponics.

So, aside from acknowledging its historical significance – and asserting its genealogical integrity I’ll be respecting the views of iAVs’ inventor and not mixing integrated aquaculture metaphors by attempting to shoehorn iAVs into a book about aquaponics.

Aquaponics is a dynamic discipline so any published work on the subject quickly becomes redundant without frequent revision. Notwithstanding the fact that the Urban Aquaponics Manual has undergone the process three times, this 4th Edition is a very different book to the 3rd Edition.


Gary Donaldson
Macleay Island, Queensland
September 2017