[USA] One of Connecticut’s more interesting entrepreneurs – a “vertical ocean farmer” named Bren Smith – is scheduled to be featured on this Sunday’s edition of “60 Minutes” on CBS.
Smith is an advocate of ocean kelp farming as a sustainable, environmentally friendly and potentially lucrative way to feed the world.
He established his first “vertical ocean farm” in the waters off Branford’s Thimble Islands a couple of years ago, raising both shellfish and the leafy underwater vegetables he likes to call “sea greens” as opposed to the old-fashioned term seaweed.
Smith is a former fisherman and was the subject of an in-depth Hartford Courant profile in 2016.
In that article, Smith recalled that other fishermen “were laughing me off the water” when he first started developing his kelp farm. And now he’s going to be on “60 Minutes.”
He argues that raising sugar kelp in the waters of Long Island Sound uses fewer resources and less space than traditional land-based agriculture, requires no pesticides or artificial fertilizer, and actually helps clean the ocean waters of excess nutrients and carbon dioxide.
His ocean farming system uses a grid of line anchored to the sea bed and kept afloat in the water by buoys. The kelp grows attached to the lines under the water’s surface, with bags and crates of oysters and mussels and scallops hanging below the kelp.
Smith has also started his own kelp processing facility in New Haven and has set up a nonprofit organization called Green Wave to help others get started in ocean farming.
Photo: Vertical ocean farmer Bren Smith pulls a line of sugar kelp that he is growing out of the Stony Creek Harbor area of Long Island Sound. (Brad Horrigan / Hartford Courant)
View original article at: Connecticut kelp farmer to be featured on ’60 minutes’
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