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Sunday, June 1, 2014

THE BLUE REVOLUTION HAS BEGUN

Joe Quirk of the Seasteading Institute referred me to his posting on "National Geographic:  Can the Blue Revolution Solve the Worlds Food Puzzle?"  You can read the NG article by clicking here, which starts with:

It should be a surprise to most that in tonnage, there is now more farmed fish (70 million tons/year) than beef!!!  A few more bullets:
  • Fish farming began in China 2500 years ago with carp.
  • China now produces 42 million tons/year, mostly carp and tilapia (Above, did you know that this fish is a mouth breeder?  Yes, hard to see, but the eggs are kept in the mouth.), in ponds, rivers, lakes and the ocean.  
  • Here are two graphs from Taiwan:


  • Aquaculture has expanded 14-fold since 1980.
  • Seafood demand will increase by 35% over the next two decades.
  • As wild fish production has stagnated, all this increase will come from farms (click on the graphic to actually read it).

  • 90% of farmed fish are in Asia.
  • With respect to farming, fish production is very efficient:

  • China dominates global aquaculture.
  • However, many of these developments have destroyed desirable habitats, caused severe water pollution and induced a myriad of food-safety scares.
  • The USA now imports 90% of its seafood, only 2% of which is inspected by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Disease is the bane of fish farms, as infectious anemia has killed off $2 billion worth of salmon in Chile, and the shrimp industry of Mozambique was wiped out in  2011.
Here are most frequently asked questions answered by Fishwatch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (click on any question to view the answer):

All the above continues to talk about cages, fish feeding and the conventional.  While entertaining with fabulous National Geographic photos, the theme is sadly uninspired.  For a quarter century now, I have been cheerleading the concept of a real Blue Revolution, particularly with respect to next generation fisheries, or an Ultimate Ocean Ranch (click on it to read my Huffington Post article on that subject):
  • Sited in the open ocean, away from coastal environments.
  • Linked to the cold water effluent (high in nutrients and pathogen free) of OTEC plantships.
  • Eliminate the need for cages with nutrient or temperature barriers.
  • Eliminate the need for feed, as the system will close the growth cycle for maintaining a sustainable seafood population.
  • Acoutiscally harvest.
  • Use of robotics to protect byproduct.

Of course, the ultimate ocean ranch has not yet begun because there is today no commercial OTEC facility anywhere.  Thus, much of what is happening today is that necessary bridge to the future.  The Seasteading Institute and Blue Revolution Hawaii have taken on the challenge, with a few competitors from Japan and Europe.
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