The Gulf’s Green Future: One Community’s Hopeful Example After the BP Spill and Katrina

Mary Queen of Viet Nam Church, New Orleans East

Mary Queen of Viet Nam Church, New Orleans East (Photo: D. Guggenheim)

One of the hardest-hit communities by Hurricane Katrina and the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill is again demonstrating its exceptional determination not only to survive, but to breathe new economic life into its community while establishing itself as a visionary leader in green business and technology. And all the while, the community continues to strengthen its cultural heritage. Its vision: The Viet Village Urban Farm Sustainable Aquaculture Park, a project that will bring green jobs and a vibrant business model to the region while offering a sustainable alternative to fishing wild stocks and environmentally unfriendly forms of fish farming/aquaculture. [Read more...]

Sustainable Salmon Farming: New Developments and Promise for British Columbia

First Nations' totem art in British Columbia depicting a man with salmon. Representatives from the Canadian First Nations participated in the Vancouver workshop toward the goal of developing a more sustainable salmon industry for the region.

Serious environmental problems from traditional forms of marine finfish aquaculture — especially salmon aquaculture — are well-documented. The use of “net pens” in coastal areas around the world have resulted in local pollution, spread of disease and parasites, and escapement of non-native species. These problems are especially evident in the fjords of British Columbia where dozens of large-scale Atlantic Salmon farms have led to public outcry following the publication of peer-reviewed scientific papers demonstrating that nearby wild salmon populations are becoming infected with “sea lice,” (small parasitic crustaceans) from the captive salmon. [Read more...]

Next-Generation Aquaculture: The Future of Fishing on Planet Earth

This next-generation land-based recirculating aquaculture facility in northern Denmark supplies 20 percent of the eel consumed by the European market. (Photo courtesy of Aquaculture Developments, LLC)

After being nearly ignored for decades, marine conservation issues are increasingly at the forefront of the environmental agenda today, thanks in large part to the report of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and subsequent U.S. Ocean Action Plan as well as the results of the independent Pew Oceans Commission, and current actions of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. The similarity of the findings of these efforts has been striking, recognizing that urgent steps are required to restore marine ecosystems. Among the most serious problems cited is overfishing and the recognition that U.S. fisheries are increasingly unsustainable and many populations will take decades to recover.

Of course, this trend is not limited to the U.S. and global overfishing is viewed as one of the principal causes of the loss of integrity of marine ecosystems and is considered a major factor in the decline of coral reef communities. [Read more...]