Bren Smith on Underwater Food Forests For Ailing Oceans /44

Woodcut: "Point Reyes From Double Point" Tom Killion, 1990

Woodcut: "Point Reyes From Double Point" Tom Killion, 1990

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As living communities on land and sea continue to unravel, Bren Smith of Green Wave is determined to pioneer and popularize a food system that carries marine restoration in its very architecture. Having spent his life on the seas from Newfoundland to Alaska, Bren has witnessed first hand the collapse of global fisheries. Over the last decade and a half, he has spearheaded and developed the methods of vertical 3D ocean farming. His visionary model has the potential to feed the world, while sequestering carbon and pollution, creating crucial habitat for aquatic and bird species, and ensuring a livelihood for farmers and fisher-folk everywhere. With the low-hanging fruit of wild fish nearly exhausted and with famine lurking on the world stage, ocean farming may represent a genuine way forward. Bren argues a sustainable food system must go beyond the innovations: we need to shift our priorities by reducing our consumption of wild fish and embracing the thousands of novel varieties of sea veggies. The New Yorker called Bren’s system “the culinary equivalent of the electric car” and it has recently been honored with the Buckminster Fuller Prize for Ecological Design and the European Sustainia Award, among others.