Anti-aquaculture protesters are dinosaurs

“Aquaculture, not the Internet, represents the most promising investment opportunity of the 21st century.”

Peter Drucker

Anti-aquaculture protesters are rapidly becoming irrelevant.

They are dinosaurs, thundering around trying to scare people with vague talk of risk and potential harm, with very few facts to back them up.

The solutions they offer, if they offer any, are weak, calculated to benefit the people and groups which fund their moral outrage.

Meanwhile, the rest of the planet is moving on.

We were blown away by this collection of architectural drawings of floating farming cities. Someday soon we will see these sorts of places along our coastlines.

“Harvest City,” a floating farm community envisioned by E. Kevin Schopfer for Port-au-Prince, Haiti, would be able to resist the most violent storms while providing a home and livelihood for thousands of fish farmers and support industries.

It seems like something out of science fiction. But these sorts of cities will happen, it’s only a matter of time.

The only thing anti-aquaculture protesters are accomplishing is scaring people in North America away from being world leaders in sustainable ocean farming.

Good thing other, developing nations aren’t so timid and scared of a few outmoded loudmouths. They are looking to the future, the ocean and to technology to meet their food and economic needs.

Follow the link to see more spectacular visions of floating farming cities.


7 thoughts on “Anti-aquaculture protesters are dinosaurs”

  1. Some of these designs are absolutely breathtaking!
    Though the scale is far larger than may be feasible now, the idea of creating a self-contained habitat on the water is very real.
    Just think of all the float houses rafted together in many areas on the coast…
    What if those same people were to work cooperatively to design a smaller scale village, where wastes were recycled, power was generated through tidal or biofuel and finfish, shellfish and algae were farmed alongside?
    You could inhabit remote coastal areas where land access was limited, and where topography would restrict development ashore.
    Minimal impact with maximum sustainability!
    Of course you’d probably draw the ire of some kayakers ’rounding the corner expecting to see nothing, but those types hate everything anyways – so who cares!

  2. Clearly, aquaculture is going to be required to provide food for our un-managed and continuing population growth. However,I agree that floating aquaculture production cities by enlarge are not well founded – not only does it have limited engineering science, but it lacks competence in basic biology, environmental and economic science. The world is facing a dramatic increase in food production costs due to the confluence of peak petroleum and peak phosphates’ negative (cost increasing) affects on 95% of global food production – for its ever expanding human domestic animal populations.

    Currently, aquaculture feed costs in most commercial aquaculture ventures are between 40 and 60% of total operating costs. Consider that 85% of that expensive feed by weight does not go into the primary aquaculture produce, but into the surrounding waters (contained and recycled in RAS systems, but un-contained in open water cage systems, systems). It becomes economically clear that systems that are unable to recycle a majority of these wastes nutrients into side stream value and income will not be able to compete economically with those that can. In addition, fiinding sites for floating cage systems where environmental impacts are minimal is becoming more and more difficult – as we learn more about the over nitrification and acidification of the worlds oceans. Currently, there are no commercial floating cage systems with any significant nutrient recycling ability.

    Consequently, open water cages systems that rely on commercial agriculture commodity feed inputs are the true economic dinosaurs here, but not aquaculture in general. The only floating aquaculture systems that I see with a long term future are either floating contained ISRAS systems and aquaculture partnerships with OTEC power generating systems that produce passive upwelling as feed for filter feeding aquaculture species that require no ag. commodity inputs.

    1. This post was about things which can be done in the future and while the floating cities look like science fiction now, we must remember that no one thought people would walk on the moon 30 years before it actually happened, and no one thought in 1980 that 30 years later most of the world would be interconnected through a vast electronic network.

      No offence, but you err in applying current limitations on future technology while ignoring the many advances which have already been made in the last 15 years in salmon farming alone.

      We also disagree with your statement that 85 per cent of feed goes into the environment as waste. Maybe that applies to some species, but salmon farmers live and die by their feed conversion ratios. In B.C. farmers typically aim for around 1.25, meaning 1.25 kg of feed grows 1 kg of salmon. That’s only 20 per cent of feed that doesn’t go directly into growing fish.

      RAS systems are great, and we’re very familiar with them since we use them to grow our fish to smolt size. To grow a fish like salmon to market-size, they are resource-intensive, driving up the end cost of the seafood they produce.

      We see a lot of long-term potential in ocean pen, multi-trophic systems, where a high-value species such as salmon is grown and that 20 per cent waste floating away is used a a food source for mussels or oysters, and seaweed, which can all be harvested as additional food sources.

  3. What a complete and utter pipe dream! This is from someone in Hati where two years after a magnitude 7 earthquake over 1/2 a million of his neighbors still have no clean drinking water, sewer or shelter. Completey oblivious to reality and the plight of his fellow Hatians. Who again are you calling dinosaurs?

      1. You are welcome:-)! I am just trying to point out that there is a real world where most of us live. It is somewhere between the panacea that you preach and the depth of Hell that Morton preaches. We the real people living in a tent in Haiti with no drinkable water, sewerage or homes. On Canadian Federally designated reserve we live with no drinkable water,sewerage or homes. In Haitian, authorities allow harvest/selling of perfectly edible marine resources to feed penned farmed salmon in Canada for rich country consumption. In Canada the Government allows foreign salmon pens to be installed in our river estuaries endangering our food sources. Where is the justice in this situation?

      2. Your gospel of doom and gloom with no solution is getting old and people in the real world where most of us live are getting tired of hearing it. Watch the video we linked to see how aquaculture is actually helping people climb out of poverty in Haiti.

        Do you live on a reserve in deplorable conditions? Have you ever seen them for yourself? We have. And we have also seen how aquaculture is helping B.C. First Nations get jobs, training and self-sufficiency where fishing, the government and moral outrage from white people in cities has done nothing for them.

        Finally, once again, you err. Our marine resources do not come from Haiti, and our farms are not foreign. They are built and operated by Canadians. They are also not installed in river estuaries (perhaps you are thinking of Alaskan ocean “ranches?”) and they do not endanger food sources, they, in fact, create food.

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