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Oceanic permaculture is prime for pioneering - sustainable seafood  RSS feed

 
Amedean Messan
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Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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There is a surplus of young able people looking into making a lifestyle and career commitment for sustainable living. I was suggesting that instead of looking towards the traditional farm it would be worth to consider taking a risk on unfamiliar territory that could produce very high rewards. This is particularly true for seafood because the products are high value in the market. I guess many of the great minds in agriculture have congregated on land based systems developing fine sustainable systems indeed but this leaves a brain drain where more room for innovation is left in oceanic systems. One huge obstacle for us is acquisition of land which is why I would point out that as long as you have a boat, the ocean is free to use. You could farm 100 acres with only equipment, lease and travel expense.

Summarize my points of interest:
  • Strong and growing market for seafood.
  • Need for innovation.
  • Space and plenty of it.
  • Low competition for sustainable sourced oceanic products.
  • High yielding nature of water based ecosystems.
  • Novelty and allure.



  • There is a learning curve because people have to immerse themselves on understanding oceanic ecosystems but once achieved the market is readily available and high value. Kelp for example is very valuable and high yielding. I have seen a small scale system in development using an integration of kelp, scallops and oysters seen from Thimble Island Oyster Co. that looks very impressive. I believe the cultivar (if you want to call it that) of kelp he uses is "sugar kelp". In three months a single slip of this kelp can grow 9 to 12 feet in length. For curious people the site is a good reference for the feasibility of a business in ocean farming.

     
    Miles Flansburg
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    Great stuff Amedean, Here is one group that is moving in that direction. They will need good permaculturalists aboard !

    http://www.seasteading.org/
     
    Clara Florence
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    It should be noted though that gaining exclusive use of a waterway or bay still requires a lease, governent regulation. Same for fishing rights. So acquaculture is similarly restricted as agriculture. In fact, it is generally easier to gain exclusive use of land than waterways. There have been many instances where councils have willingly consented to use if its land for community based projects such as city farms. Waterways are generally much more heavily regulated and any 'guerilla' acquaculture is likely to be shut down pretty fast. Not saying aquaculture isnt a worthwhile pursuit though, its just not the free or all situation implied.

     
    Amedean Messan
    pollinator
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    Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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    Clara Florence wrote:It should be noted though that gaining exclusive use of a waterway or bay still requires a lease, governent regulation. Same for fishing rights. So acquaculture is similarly restricted as agriculture. In fact, it is generally easier to gain exclusive use of land than waterways.


    I don't know what your experiences are, my uncle and cousins have been in the fishing industry for years and speaking through some experience it is very easy to obtain a lease. You don't even need a high school education for applying a lease. These water ways absolutely should be regulated and in most places it should be far easier to apply for a lease to work the ocean than it is to work public lands. Most of the fishing regulations are common sense things like prevention of chemical and trash dumping, protecting endangered or threatened species and so on. It is still free usage (ok, you need to pay the lease...) and the space available trumps land by a large magnitude.

    Additionally I found a powerpoint presentation for the state of Alaska on fishing leases which I imagine is similar to many other coastal states.
    http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/shore/sf_leasing_presentation.pdf
     
    Clara Florence
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    Amedean Messan wrote:
    Clara Florence wrote:It should be noted though that gaining exclusive use of a waterway or bay still requires a lease, governent regulation. Same for fishing rights. So acquaculture is similarly restricted as agriculture. In fact, it is generally easier to gain exclusive use of land than waterways.


    I don't know what your experiences are, my uncle and cousins have been in the fishing industry for years and speaking through some experience it is very easy to obtain a lease. You don't even need a high school education for applying a lease. These water ways absolutely should be regulated and in most places it should be far easier to apply for a lease to work the ocean than it is to work public lands. Most of the fishing regulations are common sense things like prevention of chemical and trash dumping, protecting endangered or threatened species and so on. It is still free usage (ok, you need to pay the lease...) and the space available trumps land by a large magnitude.

    Additionally I found a powerpoint presentation for the state of Alaska on fishing leases which I imagine is similar to many other coastal states.
    http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/shore/sf_leasing_presentation.pdf


    And therein lies the difficulty, not everywhere is the state of Alaska. I live for instance in Australia where the regulations are different, a fishing lease here for instance doesnt give you exclusive use of a waterway, nor would it allow you to develop a kelp farm close to the shore. So you could develop a waterway to high stocking levels then still have to compete with all the other fishermen for the catch But even discounting that, you need to pay for a lease, buy a boat, some dive equipment and other bits and pieces. Sounds pretty epensive already. I can buy 100 acres of farmland in my local area for less than the cost of a boat.

    I'm not against the idea. Bu I dont think it really would be any less constrained or expensive than farming land.
     
    Amedean Messan
    pollinator
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    Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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    Ah, this makes sense. You should update your info with a location like what appears under my name. Just relevant information, I forget there is a growing international (from my perspective) group which I do welcome and appreciate their perspective.

    As far as the question of value, my advice is suggestive. Getting a small fishing boat is similar to the investment of a tractor. The lease for space is relatively cheap in the United States. Also I am not advocating catching wild fish so there should not be a competition, I am advocating for a push to pursue innovations in sustainable systems.
     
    John Polk
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    Just like land based agriculture, a big key would be to develop your markets.

    If you are selling corn, or scallops, the same holds true.
    There is a middleman, who does very little, but makes a better living than the producer.

     
    Amedean Messan
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    Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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    It would be easy to establish sales of kelp on say Amazon or eBay. Competitive rate for dried kelp powder is 4.50 per pound. Typically coastal cities have strong supply chains and restaurant demand. I think going through a middleman is a shortcut fishermen take because they choose to avoid the marketing element.
     
    Amedean Messan
    pollinator
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    Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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    More videos on the subject. I just thought these were incredibly informative and gives the viewer an idea to just how much there is to learn.



     
    Amedean Messan
    pollinator
    Posts: 928
    Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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    Reexploring a related subject, fresh water aquaculture has tremendous market demand at 10 percent annual growth. Good infomercial below.

     
    John Saltveit
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    Nice news story. I think it's important for us to keep ahead of recent developments in order to try to steer them to be sustainable, non-polluting, and using healthy growing practices.
    john s
    pdx or
     
    Amedean Messan
    pollinator
    Posts: 928
    Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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    Oh thats a load of bull......the owner just made private the video I shared! YouTube wont show it anymore......
     
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