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Ocean Farming, Anyone?

 
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I did a little searching around the forums and I couldn't find anyone talking about this company in particular or this style of farming, so I'm starting one here.

Hey everyone! Has anyone ever heard of a company called Greenwave? Apparently they're talking about farming a polyculture of scallops, kelp, oysters, clams, and maybe fish in the oceans. They do it on a vertical system, so it doesn't take up much surface area, and they say that it's restorative to the ecosystem since it pulls carbon and nitrogen out of the water. Not only that, but on the site it talks about requiring "zero inputs", that is, no fertilizer, freshwater, or antibiotics. So all in all they say it restores oceans, heals dead zones, produces food, sinks carbon, and requires low-to-no inputs (and, of course, creates jobs and is replicable and scalable).

Now obviously some of these claims are exaggerated, but I don't know enough about ocean farming to know which. Does anyone know more about ocean farming? Is it actually awesome? (I'd love the answer to be yes) Are there hidden environmental consequences? Can it clean oceans, create habitat, and provide food?
 
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My main concerns would be:

1. Gas/oil spills from increased engine usage.
2. Ocean predators being hunted the same way wolves were in N. America
3. The oceans are kind of icky these days
4. I see this as making fishing by boat more difficult for a large amount of fishermen.

That being said there is a lot of potential if this is done in an environmental way and not the large scale industrial ag way.
 
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I love the idea of extending pemaculture to the sea.

When I looked at the site link I didn't see a lot of specifics, but since part of what they are selling is knowledge, more than a teaser on the front page would be a mistake from their point of view.

There are businesses scattered around that do at least some of these things, but usually in a monoculture. i.e. getting your molluscs to attach to a rope rather than a rock, then you can just hang the weighted ropes down and let the growing molluscs feed off what the tide brings them. To harvest, pull up the rope.

If you could talk seaweed into starting on the rope, harvest would be the same.

I've heard the natives in some parts of south east Alaska used to put branches (of evergreens I think) in the water when the herring spawned so they would lay their eggs to the branches, then the people would pull up the branches and gather the roe. (a vague description I admit, but I'm working from memory and hearsay).

I love the idea, but like the real estate people say, it's all about location. You would have to be in a spot where the currents/ tide would bring in enough nutrients. Given that, what you would be providing would be a place for the plants/ molluscs to hook onto a base. The presence of seaweed provides cover/food and attracts and support fish populations.

The only questionable thing I see about their site is the claim about healing deadzones. Technically they might be right, but in real world application I suspect they are wrong. Deadzones are created by excess plant growth (algae or plankton) brought on by overabundant nutrients (fertilizer, sewage, etc). When the plants die they are consumed by microorganisms and the sudden bloom of micro organisms and the digesting process use up the oxygen in the water faster than it can be replaced by photosynthesis, absorbtion from the atmosphere or movement of more oxyginated water into the area. A bunch of seaweed growing would introduce oxygen into the water, but deadzones tend to be large events and I think you would need a huge amount of seaweed to clean up a deadzone.

Healing deadzones is mostly a function of reducing fertilizer introduced to the area, usually from runoff from the land or dumping of sewage.

My only other question is Fukashima. I view this as the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. 5 years of thousands of tons of radioactively contaminated water pouring into the Pacific can't be a good thing. In environmental engineering 'the solution for pollution is dilution'. I realize the Oceans are a huge sink to dilute anything dumped into them, but I've never seen anyone address the acceptable levels of radioactive waste you can ingest, or what I recognize as a really good estimate of the contamination level of the water going into the ocean. At what point is it a concern? The Japanese govt. still doesn't seem to have a good handle on it. I may be simply flying off the handle and seeing a problem where there isn't one, but it seems to me it is mostly being pointedly ignored by the media. That makes me nervous.

I'm afraid I ended that on a negative note, which is wrong, because as I indicated at the beginning, I think most of what they are doing is probably proven technology, only extended into a polyculture.
 
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I guess I'm a harvester, not a farmer. I do 10:1 water/seawater as a fertilizer. My next plan is evaporating it for sea salt. This is pretty simple endeavor for a product everyone uses
 
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