Unesco Green Citizens
Project begin: 01/07/2018

To help fish farmers address economic and sustainability challenges, three young women are studying lemna, an aquatic plant that cleans water and offers a new source of income.

Leading organisation: Microterra Biotec INC
The country where the team is based: Mexico
Covered Countries: Mexico
Theme: Hydrology, Ocean
Sub-themes: Waste management
Selection: 2021
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Marissa Cuevas was sensitive to the UN’s prediction that World War III would be about water. This led her to study the uses and pollution of freshwater. Paola Constantino and Fanny Villiers joined her in 2019 to launch microTERRA and develop the idea: a circular system that transforms aquaculture wastewater into clean, reusable water and a sustainable food. They are already installed in 3 fish farms in Mexico.

An answer to freshwater needs

Water is a highly strategic resource for inland fish farming. Mexican traditional fish farmers have enormous economic and sustainability challenges, to keep the fish healthy they must replace 30% of the water in the tanks every week. This creates two major challenges, huge freshwater requirements, and huge wastewater discharges, creating nutrient downstream pollution. microTERRA’s business relies on a sharing economy model. They offer them the training to adopt the cultivation of an aquatic plant, the lemna, that cleans their water and brings them a new source of income. By the end of 2023, they plan to be present in 40 farms in Mexico and to be producing around 2,000 Tons of lemna meal. After that step, they will focus on expanding the production internationally, in Latam, aiming at Ecuador and Perú.

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