The Blue Food Revolution


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The Blue Food Revolution

The article “The Blue Food Revolutionby Sarah Simpson focuses on the cultivation of fish in new ways that involve moving operations into off-shore locations as opposed to the conventional “green” practice of situating thousands of situating traditional fish farms along coastlines. The article delves into issues relating to aquaculture which is the cultivation of aquatic organisms such as fish and plants. Just like agriculture, aquaculture has many effects on the environment, some positive and others negative. For instance, it heavily contributes to lower water nutrient content, thus, improving the quality of water (Dosdat, 2001). Just like conventional agricultural activities, fish farming certainly has its limitations among them overfishing, reduced seafood levels and increased fish sewage. One of the ways in which these challenges are being addressed is through the blue food revolution.


In the article, Sarah Simpson reveals five ways of raising seafood, which include the use of open ocean cages, offshore cages, onshore tanks, coastal pens and turbine collars (Simpson, 2011). Open ocean cages and offshore cages essentially pick up fish through the currents, house them for months and later arrive at their designated destinations only when the fish are mature. Under the revolutionary “blue” approach, marine fish are hatched in onshore tanks and later transferred to pens upon reaching maturity. Coastal pens, complete with automated feeders that make them easy to maintain, function as houses for the fish. On the other hand, turbine collards are made of synthetic lines that mussels and seaweed adhere to while growing in their natural habitats.

Arguably, the blue revolution is more satisfying and effective than the green revolution (Thenkabail, 2010). According to Simpson (2011), the former offers the best chance at acquiring enough proteins needed while at the same time lowering pressure on the expansion of the land-based farming and the subsequent environmental costs. Moreover, land-based farming is more expensive, harder to maintain and more often than not, has negative implications for the environment if mishandled.

One environmental concern associated with fishing is the great use of fuel on the fishing fleets. This fuel emits greenhouse gases and pollutants that significantly contribute to the death of a significant number of marine animals. With the proper implementation of aquaculture, like in the case of the blue food revolution, such consequences can be avoided as the fish is harvested in their pens (Cowx, 1983). Simpson (2011) projects that having sustainable fish farming practices will not only guarantee about 62% of the total available protein supply by the year 2050, it will also ensure that only the right kind of fish is harvested, and only upon reaching maturity.


Fortunately, a number of agencies are working together to come up with a new national aquaculture policy that will ensure that the mistakes associated with the green revolution are not repeated thereby making aquaculture more efficient, sustainable and commercial viable (Simpson, 2011). Examples of these agencies include and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

I believe that the article “The Blue Food Revolution” by Sarah Simpsons holds valuable information that everyone looking to venture into aquaculture should set out to obtain. She not only goes into detail about the various factors that may affect aquaculture but also delves deep into its importance to both human survival and the environment conservation. As a resource manager, I am convinced that the blue revolution offers a better than the green revolution in terms of ensuring high protein production and supply for the next generation.


Cowx, I. G. (1983). Review of the methods for estimating fish population size from survey removal data. Aquaculture Research, 14(2), 67-82.

Dosdat, A. (2001). Environmental impact of aquaculture in the Mediterranean: nutritional and feeding aspects. A. Uriarte and B. Basurco (Eds.). Environmental impact assessment of Mediterranean aquaculture farms. pp. 23-36. London: Routledge.

Simpson, S. (2011). The blue food revolution. Scientific American, 304(2), 54-61.

Thenkabail, P. S. (2010). Global croplands and their importance for water and food security in the twenty-first century: Towards an ever green revolution that combines a second green revolution with a blue revolution. Remote Sensing, 2(9), 2305-2312.

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