As frustrating and upsetting as it is, there are people all over the world that will do anything for wealth. They will tell lies, make promises that they don’t intend to keep, all while trying to reassure you that they are successful experts and try to sell you “fake aquaponics”. Unfortunately in the aquaponics culture, people like this exist, we call them Aquashysters. Aquaponics will usually attract those who are looking to produce food, help others, live a sustainable lifestyle and become closer with nature, but there will always be individual looking for personal gain in a negative way. Whether you are approached by someone looking for an investor, a business partner, or looking for advice on starting up your own aquaponics system or business, beware of who you are dealing with!
Who can you trust?
No one! Just kidding, sort of. Always always always do a background check. This could include anything from simply Googling their name to requesting references from them.
I was reading an article that has multiple excellent examples of aquashysters:
First was a man who wanted to build a fish farm in the Dominican Republic and have it financed by some wealthy families that lived on the island. The man claimed to have successful fish farming operations already, but the author of the article, Dr. James Rakocy, wary of fake aquaponics, was quick to do a background check. He immediately discovered that the man had cheated the government out of a lot of money in the past and delivered nothing in return. Dr. Rakocy warned potential investors, received a threatening phone call from the angry man, then never heard from him again. Always do a background check!
Second was a situation in St. Lucia, where a man who owned a large amount of land was approached by an apparent international company who wanted to raise crawfish on the man’s property, as well as requested he and his friend invest in the project. Dr. Rakocy was immediately wary because St. Lucia does not have the proper conditions needed for crawfish. The apparent company could not be found in an international directory, and the man’s friend ended up losing a hefty sum of money. Always do a background check!
Aquashysters will attempt to gain investors all so they can take a massive salary and either drive the company to bankruptcy, or run away with the money.
Other aquashysters may sell a product, but lie about what that product is capable of doing. Know who you’re doing business with before you put your hard earned money on the line!
Beware that those who claim to be experts in the field are actually experts. Many people will make this claim, however they will have little or no training or experience. Don’t trust someone who has built one system and decided to sell it. Google their name; if there is only one reference- they’re own website- don’t always take their words or claims seriously. If someone is trying to sell you a system, ask for references from others who have bought that same system. Look for people who have been in business for many years and have a valid (and good) track record.
Always be cautious, you don’t want to find out after you’ve spent your savings investing in someone, or on someone’s product, that you aren’t getting or won’t get what you paid for. It is so unfortunate, but there are always going to be people who are just in it for the money.
Do you have any horror stories about the dreaded shyster, whether it’s to do with aquaponics or not?