When we hear the term “resource curse,” it usually refers to the exploitation of countries with rich stores of natural resources like fossil fuels or widely coveted metals and minerals. Today, however, we are talking about protein. Some of the most beautiful, remote parts on the planet also produce some of its most unsustainable protein sources. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with environmental journalist Malavika Vyawahare from the distant Indian Ocean island of Réunion to discuss the devastating and corrupt practices surrounding the tuna fishing industry in that part of the world. We learn about the destructive practice using fish aggregating devices (or FADs), how ships from wealthy European nations like Spain and France are exploiting law-of-the-sea loopholes, and what steps are being taken to prevent the region’s fishery from being completed wiped out.Read the show transcript
When life gives you lemons they say to make lemonade. And what if life gives you sewage released into an enclosed bay, what can you make? Certainly not lemonade, right? Our guest today on Sea Change Radio is NASA scientist and UC Santa Cruz professor, Jonathan Trent. He has figured out how to use algae to turn wastewater pollution into biofuel. This ambitious project, called Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae (or OMEGA) not only places algae where it can consume waste and excrete oils for fuel, it also creates spaces for low-impact aquaculture, captures CO2, and cleans pollutants out of bays.
The technology also converts wastewater to drinking water, which, with a little lemon and sugar could even be used to make, you guessed it, lemonade. Listen now as host Alex Wise talks with Dr. Trent, an inventor, pioneer, and visionary whose OMEGA project offers hope for fuel, food, water, and a cleaner world.
Making responsible choices as a seafood consumer has never been more complicated. An average fish-eater might be aware that tuna is high in mercury, or that Chilean sea bass is over-fished, but even the most devoted environmentalists usually have to refer to their pocket Seafood Watch guide when perusing the fish counter at their local grocery store to make sure they’re choosing something that is a) sustainable, b) not filled with toxins, and c) something they know how to cook.
One of the developments in the 21st Century seafood industry, for better or for worse, is the growing market share that farmed fish represents. But are farmed fish sustainable? What makes one farmed fish a more responsible choice than another, or than a wild caught fish? Our guest today on Sea Change Radio is Josh Goldman, the CEO of Australis Aquaculture, the world’s largest producer of Barramundi, or what the company calls “sustainable sea bass.” Goldman walks us through innovations in aquaculture and tells us everything we’ve always wondered about fish farming – from why there aren’t any tuna farms to whether the all-powerful Japanese seafood industry is finally coming around to more responsible production practices.
Ocean pollution is something most of us are well aware of whether it be from seeing plastic bags washed ashore or images of marine life stuck in oil spills – but ocean acidification is a more latent phenomenon that scientists are still learning about. This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks first with the editor of E: The Environmental magazine, Brita Belli, about her recent feature on ocean acidification and how oysters have been an unlikely source for better understanding the problem – and possible solutions. Then, the second part of our discussion with Seth Berry, an Assemblyman from Maine who’s not only actively involved in local environmental political issues, he also helps run a sustainable aquaculture business.