SeaFarm – sustainable food production
Let’s introduce to you the SeaFarm: It’s one of the solutions to secure food, feed, green chemistry and energy in the near future.
As per United Nations:
“The world population is predicted to grow to 8.3 billion in 2030 and to 9.1 billion in 2050. By 2030, food demand is predicted to increase by 50% (70% by 2050). The main challenge facing the agricultural sector is not so much growing 70% more food in 40 years, but making 70% more food available on the plate.”
We live at sea
Two third of the world population lives not more than 350 miles from the sea. Somewhat more than halve of the population lives at a maximum of 150 miles from the sea.
In 2050 – in order to feed, clothe, house and energize mankind – we need to have doubled agro production. The big question is ‘Is this possible?’ Yes it is. Which alternatives do we have?
- We can speed up deforestation, but then don’t bother about biodiversity, nature etc.
- Triple P? Yes, but then bring agriculture to the marine environment. This should be the start of developing sustainable seafarms, based on seaweeds and (shell)fish.
Advantages of a Seafarm
The developed SeaFarm concept and design is a solution to move food production of aquatic and non-aquatic cultures to the ocean surface. Benefits of such solution, comparing to “traditional” farming are:
- No land reclamation
- Minimizing losses due to pests “infection”
- Minimizing or completely removing usage of pesticides
- Organic food production is possible without costly and lengthy process of land preparation (“healing”)
- Cultures are grown in controlled climate
- Cultures are grown in vicinity of the consumers, cutting transportation COx pollution and costs and reducing road congestion
- Inserting Oxygen into atmosphere by photo synthesis and reducing CO2
- Minimal usage or no usage of fossil fuels or external energy sources
- No new or “experimental” technology – only proven components are used
- Short “pay-back” period – approx. 18 months for presented case.
This should be the start of developing sustainable seafarms, based on seaweeds and (shell)fish.
According to the University Wageningen, seaweeds-based seafarms produce:
- Minerals (especially P)
- and Energy!
Starting point for new developments is that it must be TripleP sustainable, since we cannot afford any longer to threaten the worlds ecosystems and its biodiversity, and since we have to meet human requirements such as food security, green chemistry and climate measures.
A futuristic view? We do have 40 years for realization! Seaweed-based sea farming is then an opportunity:
- Food security >> proteins, micronutrients and lots of other valuable compounds
- Green chemistry >> replacement of fossil resources together with land based plant resources
- Energy if not otherwise
- Production of fresh water if needed
- No freshwater usage for plant production
- Recycling of lost plant nutrients
- Sequestering Green House Gasses
Off shore cultivation
Logistic, costs of infrastructure yield and planting mechanisms. The University Wageningen concluded that recent cultivation research has led to a reduction of costs of more than 50%. Sustainable seaweed cultivation is necessary to develop new production and market chains!
Why seafood is the new superfood
Seaweed is most commonly recognized as being the green wrapping around your sushi rolls, but it has so much more to offer your body and the planet than just sushi support. Seaweed is known as the ocean’s superfood and is one of the most sustainable, nutritious and cheapest foods we can grow. It’s an abundant source of minerals and has unique cleansing and detoxifying properties. Seaweed is an amazing, underutilized gift straight from the ocean.
Once you get over the slimy texture, you’ll find that seaweed has a lot to offer nutritionally and is easy to sneak into your diet in different forms. Sea vegetables are rich in trace minerals, iodine, iron and calcium. These minerals are essential for proper brain function, metabolism and maintenance of strong bones. They also have powerful electrolytes to help keep you hydrated, contain blood-purifying chlorophyll (remember, they’re still plants and require photosynthesis to develop) and polysaccharides, which detoxify your body from heavy metals and other toxic substances. They can also be great sources of protein, vitamin B-12 and omega-3 fatty acids. These properties definitely qualify seaweed as a superfood — one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.
One of the biggest factors contributing to climate change is the carbon-dioxide emissions produced from factory farming. More than a quarter of the CO2 released into the atmosphere is absorbed directly into the ocean. Seaweed, however, has the amazing ability to absorb dissolved nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon dioxide directly from the sea. It actually needs to absorb CO2 in order to grow, making it the ideal plant to assist with our threatened ecosystems.
We need seaweed to keep our oceans clean. Fortunately, it’s a resilient plant that reproduces quickly. Seaweed farms are becoming more popular and have the capacity to grow nutrient-dense food for both humans and animals. Seaweed also has the potential to be a source of biofuel and fertilizer for crops like corn and soy. As one of the fastest-growing plants in the world, it could nourish the entire planet while leaving a negative carbon footprint — you can think of seaweed as the culinary equivalent to an electric car.
Varieties of Seaweed
Seaweed has more than 10,000 species. It’s very easy to incorporate the most common and easiest species into your diet.
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