Fish farming on the Moon is a possibility within decades, according a team of French scientists. Future astronauts could take with them live fish eggs and, using water which is believed to lie just under the lunar surface, cultivate them into fully grown fish, researchers suggest.
The British Columbia based marine science magazine Hakai reports that to test this theory, scientists from the Montpellier University Space Centre and the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER) packed seabass and related meagre fish eggs — which they felt were hardier than adult fish — into instruments that vibrated and shook them to recreate the experience of blasting off in a Russian Soyuz rocket.
The results were impressive with 76% of the seabass eggs and 95% of the meagre eggs surviving the experience.
IFREMER scientist and lead researcher Cyrille Przybyla told Hakai: “The environment was very hard for these eggs.”
The experiment has a practical side because when Moon villages are eventually established – and that could be within the next 20 to 25 years – the crews are going to need food. Cultivating fish would be a healthy and practical way of providing it.
Rearing terrestrial animals is thought to be out of the question at present. Aside from the dietary benefits, fish would give astronauts a reminder of life back home.
Przybyla and his colleagues say food autonomy represents “an essential challenge” for the future Moon Village planned by the European Space Agency (ESA).
The ESA believes that structures for astronauts to live in on the lunar surface for any length of time will involve building a sustainable colony where scientists can study lunar resources.
Launched six years ago, Hakai magazine is part of the Tula Foundation which celebrates discovery and science and is named after the Hakai Luxubalis Conservancy, a large protected marine area on Canada’s west coast.