Open-net fish farms release excrement, antibiotics, and parasites into the sea, depleting marine ecologies. In a season of polluted waters, CLIMAVORE promotes the transition to alternative aqua-cultures through ingredients that filter and oxygenate the ocean.
In 2016 an eye-catching sparrow was spotted in Scotland. The bird had ingested feed pellets from a nearby salmon farm, turning its feathers pink. Cramped in underwater feedlots, farmed salmon have no access to the prey that colour their flesh in the wild. Instead, they are fed artificial colourants mixed with supplements, drugs, and hormones, causing them to relentlessly produce the additive-filled flesh that fills supermarket shelves. The environmental degradation caused by open-net fish farms (not only salmon, but also sea bream, sea bass, tilapia and shrimp) can be observed in areas far from the dead zones created around the farms. Making fish feed requires krill from the Arctic, sardines and anchovies from the coast of Peru, India, Western Sahara and Senegal, and soy from Argentina and Brazil, where vast swathes of land are being deforested to provide space for agriculture.
As an alternative, CLIMAVORE creates intertidal systems to produce food while also cultivating diverse marine habitats. By filtering seawater as they breathe, bivalves break down and reabsorb waterborne toxins. One mussel is able to filter up to 25 litres of water a day and a single oyster up to 120 litres. Seaweeds, meanwhile, are like trees, oxygenating their surroundings. All of these ingredients provide easy-access protein without the need for irrigation, fertilisers, medication, or colouring. Divesting from salmon farming requires shifting to intertidal foodways that nourish both people and the coast.