Coastal cultures have often enjoyed abundant lifestyles thanks to the wide array of food, fiber, and other useful resources provided by the world's seas, sounds, estuaries and oceans. Indigenous peoples have also developed strong marine conservation traditions and ingenious methods of ensuring sustainable long-term harvests through practices commonly called 'aquaculture' today.
On this episode we hear from Nicola MacDonald about Kōhanga Kūtai, a project in New Zealand that aims to replace the plastic ropes used by mussel farmers with more sustainable alternatives. MacDonald tells us about the project's basis in blending traditional Maori knowledge with Western science.
We also speak with Dana Lepofsky, a professor in the archaeology department at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. Lepofsky tells us about her research into clam gardens on the Pacific coast of North America, some of which have been found to be as much as 3500 years old.
These clam gardens are such a reliable and sustainable source of food that there’s a movement afoot today to rebuild them.
Resources & reading:
Hear our conversation with Dune Lankard of the Native Conservancy about their kelp aquaculture project in Alaska on episode #137 or here:
Episode artwork: Green-lipped mussels are endemic to New Zealand and are commonly grown in aquaculture operations. Image courtesy of Adrian Midgley via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
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