Bren Smith of GreenWave: Farming the Ocean Differently

December 5, 2019

Hosted by Robert Rimm

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Land-based food production is in crisis – driven by climate change and population increase. While we try to feed more people – an estimated 2 billion more by 2050, land-based farm yields simply cannot meet demand.

The solution according to my guest isn’t on land, it’s in the sea. But wild fisheries cannot bear the burden: fish stocks are either fully fished or overfished. Yes, the answer is in the ocean… but its farming the ocean that poses the most promise.

As was noted in The New Yorker recently, “seaweed, which requires neither fresh water nor fertilizer, is one of the world’s most sustainable and nutritious crops. It absorbs dissolved nitrogen, phosphorous, and carbon dioxide directly from the sea—its footprint is negative—and proliferates at a terrific rate.” It is a superfood and a super crop.

GreenWave is training a new generation of ocean farmers feeding the planet and building a blue-green economy in the era of climate change. GreenWave is a non-profit organization founded in 2014 dedicated to climate resilience and equity. They work in two areas: farm replication and market innovation. Their goal is a blue green economy – built and led by restorative ocean farmers – that feeds local communities while protecting the planet.

Bren Smith, GreenWave executive director and owner of Thimble Island Ocean Farm, pioneered the development of restorative 3D Ocean Farming. A lifelong commercial fisherman, he was named one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “25 People Shaping the Future” and featured in TIME magazine’s “Best Inventions of 2017”. He is the winner of the Buckminster Fuller Prize and been profiled by CNN, The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, National Geographic and elsewhere. He is an Ashoka and Echoing Green Climate Fellowand author of, Eat Like a Fish: My Adventures as a Fisherman Turned Restorative Ocean Farmer.

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Tune into the interview with Bren and click through the corresponding slideshow to the left… (Photos courtesy of Greenwave.)