Last year, the UN predicted that without proper restructuring of the fish industry, the oceans could be depleted of all fish by 2050. Overfishing, environmental disasters...what's a conservationist to do?
At the same time, things originally built to hold garbage being repurposed into something awesome is increasingly a new urban trend. In Brooklyn, they build fantastic restaurants out of dumpsters. In Queens, they build pools out of them.
In the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx, they grow fish in garbage bins. Tilapia, to be exact. Saving the ocean and warranting a future trend piece in the Times at the same time? Well done. DNAinfo got the scoop first.
Mad scientist and reformed banker Christopher Toole dedicated himself to the study of of aquaponics after quitting his banking gig in 2010, and now aims to be the Johnny Appleseed of the urban fish growing community. A dozen or so tanks, some of which are 50 gallon garbage bins, are now serving as fish farms in a South Bronx converted parking garage. Usually, people use hydroponic technology to grow something else entirely in the South Bronx.
Neither Toole nor his girlfriend Anya Pozdeeva are shy about stating just about how important an impact a project like this could have in the future:
"On one hand, it's just fish. But on the other hand, it's changing the world," Pozdeeva said. She grinned slyly. "This is the new world order we're trying to push."
"Give a person some fish, and you start a self-perpetuating cycle of education and growth," Toole said. "This is urban survival. And we're waking people up to it."
Toole is certainly not lacking an ambition. He aims "to create a network of homes, restaurants and cooperative farms where millions of people in the metropolitan area will raise and eat what he calls Bronx Best Blue Tilapia."
Let's hope it works out.
There's an extremely vulgar joke here involving Hunts Point, but given that I'm not securely employed I'll leave that part to you fine commenters.
[DNAinfo, pic via AP]