An Oceans Abcdarium created by the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz, Germany


Hannah Siehoff

The world’s population is constantly growing, at pace beyond the development of material means—which raises the question of how to provide humankind with adequate nutrition in the future. Up until now, most of our foodstuffs, on dry land as well as in the sea, have been produced in monocultures. It has however become clear that these monocultures are responsible for myriad negative impacts on the environment. For example, a study conducted in Korea found that while extractive organisms such as seaweeds are mostly farmed in the southwestern Korea, finfish, the main nutrient producers, are cultured in the southeast. This is causing ecological as well as economical issues. Both polyculture and integrated multi-trophic aquaculture production are two approaches towards a more sustainable marine food production. Both create balanced systems where several different species are cultured together, in which by-products from one species benefit another.The series of animated illustrations shows three foodstuffs with strong potential for future sustainable food production: kelp, mussels, and oysters.

Sources: Park, Miseon et al., “Application of open water integrated multi-trophic aquaculture to intensive monoculture: A review of the current status and challenges in Korea”, Aquaculture, vol. 497, (2018): 174-183.