Ocean Harvest on Regenerative Ocean Farming
How we can heal our oceans by eating more oysters, mussels, and seaweed
Regenerative ocean farming has been identified as a key solution to climate change. It’s the practice of growing seaweed along with several kinds of shellfish like oysters and mussels not just to feed people, but also to heal the oceans. HavHøst or OceanHarvest is an NGO helping communities throughout the Nordics get set up with toolkits to grow, harvest, and eat from the sea without harming nature or existing underwater ecosystems. In this episode, Joachim Hjerl shares how a crazy idea of growing 20 oysters in Copenhagen’s central harbor became a movement of blue community gardens
Analisa Winther, Nordic FoodTech Podcast Host 1:10
Hello, and welcome to the Nordic FoodTech Podcast. How are you today?
Joachim Hjerl, HavHøst 1:45
I'm very good. Thank you.
Analisa Winther, Nordic FoodTech Podcast Host 1:47
So, your story kind of began 20 years ago with a crazy idea. What was the crazy idea?
Joachim Hjerl, HavHøst 1:55
Well, the crazy idea was to actually set up an oyster farm in the harbor of Copenhagen to try and use the urban blue spaces for something besides kayaking and swimming. These things had been uncommon before in the industrial harbor in Copenhagen. But like many other harbors in the world, the Copenhagen harbor has been revitalized and become a recreational space more than a productive space. So, we wanted to see if we could focus more on the productivity of the harbor to produce something worth eating. We actually tried to make people understand that in Denmark we really have a crown jewel in the global gastronomic landscape. We have this flat oyster, the European oyster. The largest natural habitat for the oyster is in Denmark in the Limfjord.. Not many people know this. We export most of them to countries that are more into fresh, natural food. But we wanted to see if we could take this oyster and generate a story around it by basically creating this urban harbor farm. So, we took some oysters from the Limfjord, these flat oysters maybe 30, 40, 50 of them and brought them to Copenhagen. We put them in a small homemade platform that we had set up and invited some chefs and some press and media to come down and share the exhilaration of trying to create an urban productive space based on oysters. And people were rejoicing and drinking champagne and having a few oysters and then we sailed this homemade platform out into the harbor of Copenhagen and placed it there. We got the municipality to give us the green light for that. And that could have been it, but it sort of exploded, this whole idea of blue urban farming.
Analisa Winther, Nordic FoodTech Podcast Host 4:42
And you won the Vision of the Year Award.