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Christophe de Margerie, a jovial and strategic boss

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We travel across the globe and meet the people behind the most fascinating environmental, health and technological innovations in a bid for sustainable solutions to our changing world. Every other Sunday at 8.40 pm.

DOWN TO EARTH

DOWN TO EARTH

Latest update : 2014-01-14

A fishy food dilemma

Global appetite for fish is exceeding the oceans' ecological limits, with devastating impacts on marine ecosystems. After decades of overfishing and intensive aquaculture, new industrial models are emerging. Veta la Palma, an aquaculture farm in Andalucia, proves that sustainable aquaculture is possible.

Ever since I was a child I have never liked the taste of fish. So it came to be that, at age 33, as I prepared to fill in for Mairead Dundas on her fantastic show "Down to Earth", I was fully ignorant of - and not that interested in - pretty much everything that happens in the sea.

But what I found out as I started doing some research startled me: according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, 60% of global fish stocks are currently being fished at full capacity and 30% are overfished.

Bottom line: we have reached nature’s limit. We cannot catch more fish in the sea, lest we deplete the stocks for good. Yet global demand continues to grow as the world population increases.

That leaves aquaculture to supply what the oceans cannot. Already half the fish that end up in our plates are farmed, not caught.

So what’s the problem? Well, over the years the aquaculture industry has been blamed for polluting the seas, spreading diseases and destroying natural habitats.

But things are beginning to change. In this edition of Down to Earth we visit one of the most innovative fish farms around: Veta la Palma, in Spain’s coastal region of Andalucia. The farm manages to turn a profit, improve the environment and produce some of the tastiest fish in the Mediterranean. Other players in the industry are also now looking to shake things up and invent the aquaculture of the future. 

By Cyril Vanier

Mairead Dundas is back next week.

By Cyril VANIER , Marina BERTSCH , Juliette LACHARNAY , Anna-Gaëlle Brault

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Archives

2014-10-19 carbon emissions

Climate therapy

Greenhouse gas emissions are rising at the fastest rate in three decades. Meteorologists warn the world is running out of time. In this episode, the Down to Earth team explores...

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2014-09-21 environment

Global warming: A drowning planet

Rising sea levels are an inevitable consequence of global warming. Scientific research indicates that sea levels worldwide have been rising at a rate of 0.14 inches (3.5...

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2014-06-22 water

Microplastics: The planet's tiny threat

Tiny plastic particles, barely visible, are infecting the world's sea and oceans, where they're being eaten by fish and other aquatic species before making their way up the food...

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2014-06-09 technology

Biomimicry: Hacking nature

Biomimicry is the science of mimicking life. Have millions of years of evolution churned out all the answers?

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2014-05-25 technology

Japan: Robots that care

This week, Down to Earth explores Japan's efforts to embrace robots to fill the gap left by a growing shortage of manpower.It's no secret that Japan is facing a demographic...

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