A twist on Oliver Twist. Fish— our food of choice. Alas, our lack of manners might land us with cabbage instead.
How far are we really from living in a world that Smells Like Cabbage? If Svetlana and Igor from this week’s “What-If” post trilogy could communicate with us through cyber space time travel what would they say?
It seems we have all the ingredients and technology that can make ocean farming a reality. We’re not just talking fish farms along the coastlines. There are companies currently fish farming in the open ocean and seeing results to their liking (aka. bottom line bounty). The question is: What are they NOT seeing?
Check out this video.
What do you think? Could this burgeoning industry work or are we going to contaminate the oceans through acts of Gaea, increasing storms breaking apart the containment systems, genetically engineered fish, or growing species out of habitat where they would not normally be found?
Yes, this particular company is growing fish that normally are found in these waters…for now.
Are farmers going to start to use iron-fertilization in their “contained” open ocean fish farms to increase their yields and thus create more organic debris at the bottom of the oceans than the local ecosystem can handle?
What about the travel it takes to get to these fish and bring them back? Ocean vessels use the dirtiest of all of the fossil fuels on the planet (Why not? we can just let the ocean’s absorb the gunk, right?)
Water will flow through the open netting but fish will not they claim, until their families come to visit and pass them a few files in their birthday crab cakes that is. And sharks? They are really just a minor concern considering humanity has already killed 95% of them. Actually, having more sharks would be one of the few bonuses.
Today, if you look down from an airplane as you fly over Kansas and Oklahoma you see a land covered in polka dots. These, however, are not on the polka dot path to sustainability. On the surface, it seems Gaea has contracted a case of the green measles. But if you look more closely (go ahead, zoom in with Google Maps satellite view) you see that they are farms using the circular irrigation technique, more than likely all filled with artificial chemicals and fertilizers. Yum.
And if you look over the oceans as you fly across the pond to visit the guys with the funny hats at Buckingham Palace, you see the awesome vastness of our blue planet, ignoring the regrettable oil rigs of course.
Will land measles spread to the oceans? Will our seascape transform into pen after pen of fish prisons so that our blue paradise as seen from space looks like one gigantic factory farm?
Make no mistake, the open waters are not owned by any governments so private citizens can essentially do what they want there. Which is terrific isn’t it? Wouldn’t you like to own a piece of the ocean? Although how can one stake a claim to water that is always moving. Hmmm.
Personally, my dream is to own and fund a marine preserve. That would be totally AWESOME!!! I figure I need the GDP of a small country to do so, and I already have the first few dollars. YAY!!!
What about you? Do you see yourself sipping coco-locos on the deck of your deep ocean vacation home while you watch the sunset over the water as dolphins crest the surface in the distance?
But realistically speaking, the only people who will be able to afford a piece of the deep blue will be NOT-people. Corporations will see the big bucks, as they are starting to now, inherent in feeding a growing world population hungry for Skinny Mermaid Salmon.
We’ve seen what factory farming has already done to our land and the oceans along the coastlines and I may be misinformed here, but I imagine that factory farms will set up shop across our life source as well— our oceans.
Here is one final thought.
If there isn’t enough wild fish currently in the ocean to feed 7 billion of us today, is that not a “clue” that our planet cannot sustain any more carnivorous humans? Nature is unable to produce enough to feed us. I dare say that Gaia is refusing to give in to our childish tantrum.
”I WANT FISH. GIMME FISH!!! WHAAAAAA! GIMME GIMME GIMME. WHAAAAAA! MORE FISH!” (kick, scream, fly around the planet blowing up stuff, rip the top off mountains, dump plastic and garbage in the ocean, rake the ocean floor with our trawler, dig up the ocean floor for minerals, slaughter, slaughter and slaughter to get attention).
But Gaia is a wise parent who knows what’s best for us. She shows us tough love and refuses to over-indulge us, so we bring it on with everything we have.
“GIMME FISH FISH FISH FISH FISH FISH FISH FISH FISH FISH…!!! (stomp stomp stomp…) YOU’RE A BAD MOMMY!…
…I HATE YOU!”
What have we become?
P.S. I challenge you to be that spoiled Earth child and scream and act out those words. I mean…really FEEL them. If it doesn’t bring tears to your eyes or tightness in your throat, then Gaea help us.