CLF Aquaculture Links: March 2017

The White House proposed budget calls for large cuts to NOAA and completely removes Coastal Zone Management grants, the Sea Grant program, and the NERRS coastal research sites. These cuts will harm the ability for local and state governments to respond to climate change and storms, and will have negative impacts on businesses that rely on Sea Grant extension services, as well. The CLF has  a longstanding collaboration with staff at the Maryland Sea Grant, and we are concerned about these proposed budget cuts. Read more at the Washington Post. Read More >

CLF Aquaculture Links: September 2015

AQ-news-300Debate over open ocean fish farms. Open ocean finfish farming is being considered four miles off the coast of San Diego in the Pacific Ocean, and similar ideas are being discussed in the Great Lakes region. The proposed San Diego farm is a joint partnership between Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute and private investors, and would be the nation’s largest, raising yellowtail and sea bass. Presently, it is unclear whether the proposed farm will be permitted. The Great Lakes is new to net pen aquaculture, but Michigan State University and Michigan Sea Grant are testing the waters by hosting a public forum about the topic. Supporters and critics of both regions are lining up to debate the issue. Read the articles at NPR and Michigan State University Extension. Read More >

Recirculating Farms Coalition: Fish Farms Meet Agroecology

Sahib Punjabi's recirculating farm in Winter Park, Fla.

The United States needs better food systems, and it needs more jobs. Aquaponics, a relatively new type of urban food production model, can give us both—sustainable food and green jobs.

Currently, the U.S. imports about 85 percent of our seafood, a large fraction of which is produced in overseas fish farms, by a process called aquaculture. Another 10 percent is “domestic wild catch,” which is made up of seafood caught by U.S. fishermen (NOAA). The remaining 5 percent comes from U.S. aquaculture.  As global wild catch declines, aquaculture is steadily increasing as a viable replacement, although some aquaculture operations are criticized for being sited in open water or rivers, where fish escapes, exchange of fish diseases between farmed and wild fish, and environmental pollution are of concern.

But there is a different approach to aquaculture that addresses many of these concerns: aquaponics. Aquaponics is typically land-based, closed-system farming that is designed with the principles of agroecology in mind— fish species and vegetable crops are raised together in harmony— because fish waste serves as liquid plant fertilizer and plants strip the water of chemicals that are harmful to fish.

Agroecology, a method for integrating biological systems into agriculture, is widely recognized as a potential solution for increasing farm productivity and environmental sustainability of agriculture. Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, is strongly in favor of the agroecology approach, in which farmers create “complex farming systems that replicate the complexities of nature.” Read More >

Past CLF Dodge Lecturer is President-elect Obama’s Pick to Head NOAA

Dr. Jane Lubchenco, an environmental scientist and marine ecologist actively engaged in teaching, research, synthesis and communication of scientific knowledge, was recently named by President-elect Barack Obama to head up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Dr. Lubchenco, Wayne and Gladys Valley Professor of Marine Biology 
Distinguished Professor of Zoology at Oregon State University, presented the Center for a Livable Future’s Sixth Annual Edward and Nancy Dodge Lecture on April 22, 2005. Here’s the full-text of an article that appeared on the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s web site follow Dr. Lubchenco’s lecture:

May 18, 2005

Dodge Lecture Address Environmental Concerns

World-renowned marine ecologist Jane Lubchenco, PhD, had a message for the faculty and students of the Bloomberg School of Public Health: Human-caused ecosystem changes impact human health and well being worldwide and scientists should inform the public of these changes. Lubchenco’s comments came during the 6th Annual Edward and Nancy Dodge Lecture, “Seas the Day: Ocean Science, Politics and Ethics,” in honor of Earth Day. The event was sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.

Read More >