Ocean Farming

This solution addresses diminished ocean biodiversity, climate change, and a declining industry in Northeast US for fishers, seafood consumers, and all surrounding residents

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Problem Description

The state of our oceans has changed dramatically in the past 100 years. Extractive farming and management practices have significantly impacted ocean health and biodiversity. At the same time, billions of people's livelihoods are directly tied to these systems. GreenWave is a non-profit organization that is looking to change the way we think about ocean farming. To do this, it has designed the world’s first multi-species 3D ocean farming system. It utilizes a novel approach that farms species that are exclusively restorative. This means that they not only provide food and other differentiated products, but also actively improve the health of surrounding ecosystems. In addition, the farming of these species creates new economics opportunities and jobs in high-need coastal communities.

Building Blocks


After dropping out of high school, Bren Smith, founder of GreenWave, went to work for various commercial fishing outfits and saw firsthand the devastation that these operations could have on the ecological health of fisheries. Looking for a new model that could simultaneously provide resiliency, sustenance, and economic security, Smith turned to aquaculture. Over years of research, partnering with leading academics in the field, Smith developed core pillars of GreenWave's "3D Farming" system.

Sustainable Development Goals

On September 25th 2015, countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years. This solution covers the following goals:

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Social Progress Index

  • Ecosystem Sustainability - Is this society using its resources so they will be available to future generations?
  • Photos

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    Contributed By

    • Bren Smith, GreenWave

    Solution Stage

    One of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
    Making the case4
    Business development and evaluation
    • Market sizing, development and testing
    • Business case analysis
    • Identifying cashable savings
    • Prepare to adapt approach, based on evaluation results and user feedback
    • Grant funding or funding out of investment
    A stronger case with cost and benefit projections developed through practical trials and experiments, involving potential users
    Clarity about what warrants implementation and funding

    Key Details

    Social Progress Index
    Ecosystem Sustainability
    Sustainable Development Goals
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