Organic City Project : Moving into a Culture of Sustainability
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Urban Aquaculture
 

For many of us, eating fish and other ocean proteins is not only an enjoyable experience, but a way of life. Unfortunately, our oceans have reached a limit as to what they can provide and are threatened by over consumption. With an increasing demand for fish in our diets, it is important to consider expanding the use of aquaculture to create a more sustainable environment.

Aquaculture in our City
While most of us probably picture aquaculture as large nets containing hundreds or thousands of fish being grown in coastal waters, there are many other ways to farm fish, both sustainable and unsustainable. One emerging idea is that of urban aquaculture. Urban aquaculture takes the idea of cultivating fish and applies it within an urban setting.

Where?
Those of us familiar with the urban environment know that there are many different neighborhoods within the broader city. All too often there are pockets of regions that seem to have been forgotten by all but those who live there. Characterized by conditions such as abandoned warehouses, high unemployment and hungry people begging for food, these areas are unsustainable in many ways. Fortunately, these neighborhoods are the ideal location for urban aquaculture.

How?
Introducing urban aquaculture to the neighborhood described above could convert it from a center of blight and depression into a thriving, sustainable community. This can be accomplished by doing the following:

* Convert abandoned warehouses into aquaculture facilities
* Grow hardy, popular fish like tilapia using sustainable techniques
* Provide jobs to local community members at facilities
* Use some of the fish to feed the local homeless and hungry

Achieving this vision not only creates social sustainability but the production and sale of fish from such a facility will help to relieve the pressures on our depleted ocean fisheries. At the same time, development pressures on other land areas are eased by reclaiming previously developed property and converting it into an important center of economic activity. Finally, a facility located in an urban center will reduce the transportation costs currently associated with importing fish from outside the city.

- by Rob Freudenberg

 


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Links

Fish Navy
Fish Navy looks to bring sustainable, integrated aquaculture farms to developing regions in the tropics and sub-tropics.
http://www.fishnavy.org

Seafood Choices Alliance
The Seafood Choices Alliance seeks to bring ocean conservation to the table by providing the seafood sector with the information they need to make sound choices about seafood.
http://www.seafoodchoices.com

SeaWeb
SeaWeb is an independent, not-for-profit ocean information center that reaches out to government officials, the media, and interested public to address the growing issue of fish farming in North America.
http://www.seaweb.org

Environmental Defense Seafood Selector
The Environmental Defense Seafood Selector is an educational tool to help consumers make sense of today's confusing array of information on fish.
http://www.environmentaldefense.org