Sustainable, vertical ocean farming- Nearly 90 percent of large fish stocks are threatened by over-fishing, and global per capita fish consumption has doubled since 1960. This is a major problem for the 3.5 billion people dependent on the ocean as their primary food source. A recent study suggests that if nothing changes in the way we fish today, we will run out of seafood by 2048. But this is not the only problem, as oxygen depleted dead zones in oceans (partially caused by nutrient pollution from dumped by-catch or from antibiotics and pesticides used in fish farming) are shaping up to become a major global crisis - the main perpetrator being nitrogen coming from our farms, our factories, and our homes. Last but not least, the climate is changing at an alarming rate, mainly due to the fact that the levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our oceans are higher today than they have been at any time in the past 400,000 years. It is a triple whammy of large-scale challenges, seemingly unsolvable by any single individual. But Bren Smith is not your average guy. He founded GreenWave, a revolutionary ocean farming system designed to restore ocean ecosystems, mitigate climate change, and create jobs for fishermen - while providing healthy, local food for communities. At the heart of GreenWave is an ocean farm consisting of differently shaped fishing nets, mussel “socks”, oyster cages and fish traps, in which you farm fish, shellfish and seaweed. Each net houses different species and floats at different depths - and the entire structure is anchored to the ocean floor, making it hurricane proof. Each species in the farm is carefully selected to address a certain environmental challenge. Such as oysters who can fix excess nitrogen through a natural filtration process (200 liters of water per day, per oyster), and fast growing seaweed that soaks up five times more carbon dioxide than land-based plants. Apart from the tangible ocean farms, GreenWave is also a system design. GreenWave’s design is shared on an open source basis with fishermen who produce food, biofuel, fertilizer, animal feed, and cosmetics from their crops. GreenWave also provides its new farmers with grants, low-cost seed, free outdoor gear, and training for two years. And guarantee to purchase 80% of new farmers’ crops over five years - at triple the market rate! The crops are then sold to restaurants around the country. GreenWave proves that anyone can apply design thinking in creating a better world. GreenWave is about design through practice and learning by doing, with an open source approach enabling fishermen everywhere to apply design competencies themselves. What’s not to like? Requiring zero input, Greenwave farms are designed to have an extremely negative carbon footprint - and an extremely positive impact on local and global waters. The farms are designed to be easily scalable and each new farm requires a minimal initial skill set and low capital costs. Restorative hatcheries, seafood hubs, and online resources create a foundation for emerging blue-green economies and provide a land-based infrastructure necessary to ensure sustainable growth for new ocean farmers. Greenwave’s ocean farms are designed to be community spaces where anyone can fish. They are designed to ensure that our oceans remain beautiful and pristine spaces, and communal sources of food. This allows people to take the crisis of climate change and flip it into an opportunity to innovate in sustainable ways. It is a stunningly simple strategy, and implemented at scale, it will have an enormous impact.
Category: INDEX: AWARD 2017 WINNER WORK CATEGORY