Underwater farms vs. climate change? – Ayana Johnson and Megan Davis

Underwater farms vs. climate change? – Ayana Johnson and Megan Davis

For 3 billion people around the world, seafood provides a significant source
of protein and nutrition. But recent studies show that 33% of wild
fisheries are overfished, while another 60% are fished at their
maximum capacity. In fact, over half the seafood we eat– from finfish and shellfish to
seaweed and algae– isn’t caught in the wild. It’s grown through aquaculture,
or aquatic farming. Farmed seafood is one of the
fastest-growing food industries, expanding in volume by 5.8% each year. But different methods of aquaculture come
with different advantages and issues– some of which echo the serious problems
we’ve seen in industrial agriculture. So how can we avoid repeating the mistakes
we’ve made on land, at sea? What aquaculture approaches are we
currently using, and what does a sustainable way
to farm the ocean really look like? One of the most common aquaculture
methods involves large pens made of nets, where fish are farmed offshore in floating
cages roughly 1000 square meters in size. Commonly employed off the coast of Chile
and in the fjords of Norway, these fish, like many industrially
farmed animals, occupy stressful, overcrowded pens. They produce massive amounts of waste, polluting the surrounding areas and potentially spreading diseases
to wild species. Worse still, since the antibiotics
employed to fight disease aren’t fully absorbed by the fish, they get excreted back
into the environment. Net pens are also susceptible to escapes, unleashing huge numbers of fish which
compete for resources and weaken the local gene pool
with genes adapted for captivity. Escaped fish can even disrupt local
ecosystems as invasive species. Other techniques, such as man-made coastal ponds commonly
used for shrimp farming in Southeast Asia, create additional environmental problems. Just like net pens, these ponds are prone
to spreading pollution and disease. Their construction also frequently
destroys important ecosystems like mangroves and marshes, which protect coastal areas from storms, provide habitats, and absorb tons
of greenhouse gases. One way to solve these problems is to farm
fish on land in completely contained systems. Tanks and raceways can recirculate and
filter water to prevent pollution. But even fully contained facilities still
contend with another major hurdle: fishmeal. About 10% of the seafood caught globally
is used to feed animals, including carnivorous farmed fish. Researchers are working on fish feed made
of insects and plant-based proteins, but for now many inland fish farms
are connected to overfishing. All these obstacles can make sustainable
aquaculture feel a long way off, but innovative farmers are finding new
ways to responsibly farm the seas. The most promising solution of all
may be to look lower on the food chain. Instead of cramming large, carnivorous
fish into pens, we can work with natural ocean systems to produce huge amounts of shellfish
and seaweeds. These low-maintenance flora and fauna
don’t need to be fed at all. In fact, they naturally improve
water quality, filtering it as they feed off of sunlight
and nutrients in the seawater. By absorbing carbon through
photosynthesis, these farms help battle climate change, and reduce local ocean acidification while creating habitats for other
species to thrive. Shifting to restorative ocean farming could provide good jobs for
coastal communities, and support healthy plant and
shellfish-based diets that have an incredibly
low carbon footprint. In just 5 months, 4,000 square meters of ocean can
produce 25 tons of seaweed and 250,000 of shellfish. With the right distribution network, a series of small farms, collectively
the size of Washington State could feed the planet. Farms like these are already popping up
around the globe, and a new generation of farmers is
stepping up to pursue a more sustainable future. Done properly, regenerative ocean farming could play
a vital role in helping our oceans, our climate, and ourselves.

100 thoughts on “Underwater farms vs. climate change? – Ayana Johnson and Megan Davis

  1. Am I the only one who believes there is a reason oil, water and even gas is underground for a reason? Wouldn’t that cool the earth a lot better if we didn’t pull it all out, burn it, spread it everywhere. Basically spreading cancer. I thought my 3rd grade teacher told the class something like “the core of the earth is hotter than the sun”. Just saying. Maybe I’m crazy?? We will poison ourselves till we are strong enough to make the change…. until it has effected you personally, be blind.

  2. When I was a kid I was playing with a fish by pulling out its eyes. My mum said I shouldn't play with my food. I was just trying to cheer up about the death of the fish as having the entire corpse of a fish on my plate only made me sick at the view. By pulling its eyes out I was just trying to overcome the disgust of the idea that I had to section the fish just to make a favour to my mum . That was the last time I ate fish. I was only 8.

  3. "Series of farms collectively the size of Washington could fees the planet"

    not everyone eat shellfish or sea weeds alone.

    Yeah sustainability is a good idea but is it feasible

  4. You cant fight climate change by eating seaweed. Its not removing any carbon from the biosphere atmosphere exchange. Replacing worse methods is fine but if you want to sequester carbon effectively you need an ineffincy in the system to waste organic material to the deeper parts of the seafloor. Thats why the best aquaculture method for fighting climate change is for regional fisheries to be liscenced to fertilize tropical open sea, where the ocean would otherwise have extremely low biodensity and make use of an otherwise unused space in a similar way to how river mouths or sea mounts that cause upwelling affect the ocean.

  5. We do not have the damn time for it, the oceans are dying right now. There is too much plastic from the fishing nets and every ecosystem suffers.

  6. This video only makes people feel ok about eating fish. The video does more bad by preventing people from stopping fish eating.

  7. You have headache's = climate change
    You have a diarrhea = climate change
    You can't pay your monthly Bill's = climate change
    Don't want to have sex= climate change
    Wars around the world= climate change
    Peace around the world = climate change
    Nobody buy's your global warming= climate change

    It is so funny that you can use "Climate Change" for everything under the sun.

  8. How do I find out if my supermarket sells any of those sustainably farmed clam and seaweed products ?
    Is there a special regional code or a small sign or anything on it, so I'll know?

  9. Wouldn't the shellfish+seaweed aqua-culture attract massive amount of wild animals?
    I hear news about sea otter devastating shellfish farm every year.

  10. I think we should genetically engineer delicious and nutritious plants that can grow abundantly underwater. Essentially like seaweed but better. If we do that, we'll unlock vast swaths of farmland, or rather farmsea, if you will.

  11. I really love these small videos and they are really easy to understand and don't bore. Thank you for uploading these. Can we get a video about Haruki Murakami and his works!?

  12. Shellfish is just not very known in some parts of the world, I tried some in a travel and loved it, I hope the farming bring down the prices.

  13. Maybe can harvest the shellfish and use it to produce the fish meal? The shell could also grind into powder and make to fertilizer

  14. Ted-Ed imparts us the knowledge that we seldom access and with it I believe we can make the world better together

  15. The answer is no, there is no responsible or ethical way to hunt farm or eat fish… except shellfish leamo

  16. I honestly believe that anything that we turn into an industry is going to end up being problematic to the environment and us, simply because of a growing human population. In other words, just feed me plastic bags already.

  17. You are doing a great job man, I love to see your videos. They are a great source of knowledge for me and awareness about environment and nature. Keep doing your great job hope you soon reach 10 million

  18. the way i see it, the mass Antibiotika use in those Fishing Farms is the biggest issue.  Breeding multi resistent bacteria there.

  19. There's a natural exchange of souls that dim-watch calls war.  I think this is funny. The observer has no place to go. Its a big house.  This heaven thing.   BIG HOUSE.  We're exchanging souls with our nearest collapse of the same wave functions.  You're a wave going through slits.  At least know why.  Use that laser. It matters. Squeeze the vacuum (the other Skywalker) or, collapse the wave function (you guys).  The big science. The puppy in the pool.

  20. Can you imagine being a fish and eating another fish? EDIT : at 3:27 that’s what my ex’s pale and unshaven balls looked like

  21. You mean global warming. Funny thing is, none of the historical data points to anything abnormal. Biggest difference during this interglacial period is us. The sea levels are at least 3 meters lower than the last interglacial period. There is no way we can get accurate comparisons to CO2 levels. Remember, CO2 levels are lower in the Arctic regions. Yet, we base the comparisons to the monitoring station in Hawaii. It sets on a volcano, that emits CO2. 🤔 Do we pollute and destroy the Earth. Yes. That definitely should be our goal. Stop expanding cities. I'm directing that at the left. Urban heat islands are getting out of control. Ever leave the city? It's a lot cooler out there. If the data is correct, we will not be concerned with global warming soon anyway. I'm not biased, I don't like either side. However, it's funny how they discredit a female scientist, that has accurately forecasted the past and present solar cycles. No one else did. Still they discredit her. She predicts a mini ice age. Think about that. Maybe do some research. Note, water vapor is the most dominate greenhouse gas. Not CO2.

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