food sustainability

The kelp solution

Marine farming is something I’ve been keeping an eye on over the last few weeks, and today I noticed that Greenwave are the 2015 winners of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, an annual award for innovation in sustainability. We’ll be hearing more about marine farming, so here’s a little video that shows what Greenwave are up to and how their ‘3D’ sea farming works. I’m particularly interested in the idea of bridging land and sea farming by producing nitrogen at sea to fertilise conventional farms – a very promising concept.



  1. Sounds great, but, it also seems that every time some of our planet is seen as profitable it is taken to excessive abusive extremes creating yet another problem, so, I really do hope the obvious optimism becomes verified. It would be a great day. It will no doubt take many years/decades to tell. Fingers crossed!

    1. That abuse has already been committed when it comes to commercial fish farming, but what we’re seeing now is a maturing of that initial rush into ocean farming, a more holistic and integrated approach. Fish farming is much more sustainable than it used to be, and incorporating sea vegetable production into it will make it better still.

      If marine farming becomes a major commercial concern, I’m sure there will be good and bad ways to do it, ways that are destructive and ways that are restorative. But that’s not a reason to avoid the idea – just to make sure that the best practice is championed, and that consumers are informed enough to make good choices.

      1. Let’s hope it becomes a real overall benefit and in some small/big way helps us to learn how to end factory farming – see: Compassion In World Farming ‘Stop The Factory Farming Wrecking Ball’ and their email campaign letter to our European Commissioner Canete, David Cameron and the UK delegation re. November’s Climate Change negotiations. (Sorry, can’t seem to get the link).

  2. Didn’t farmers in the Western Isles / west of Ireland used to collect seaweed and spread it on their land as fertiliser? That was largely kelp. Nothing new under the sun…
    Now they now doubt use agrochemicals.

    1. Yes, and some organic gardeners swear by it still, even if farmers don’t. There are multiple advantages to using a seaweed mulch: its natural salt content deters slugs, it is rich in nutrients and minerals, and it doesn’t have any seeds that will sprout – unlike the straw that I use in my own raised beds. And it’s free. If I lived anywhere near the sea, I’d use it!

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