Page updated March 10th, 2019
Hi, I’m Matthias Heilweck, from Alsace, France. Since over 30 years, alongside my bread-and-butter job, the focus of my spare time is oceanography. Although I live about 1000 km far away from the sea, I have always loved to read and digest all press articles and scientific publications I could find about this topic. Being a pragmatic ecologist with a certain Cartesian sense of logic, I guess I have found a good way to help preserve the oceans as a healthy and sustainable food source for mankind. Between global pollution, overfishing and artificialisation of aquaculture, this may sound utopian, even pretentious. However, in order to confront criticisms I hope constructive, I decided to publish here the synthesis of my reflections about it.
It all comes down to the development of a huge and healthy marine protein source, able to take over from wild forage fish, small pelagic fish of low trophic levels, caught today for fish farming. Indeed, forage fish is lacking more and more, while it is essential both for the aquaculture industry to be able to produce healthy fish and for the open ocean to feed all the wild species from upper trophic levels, including other fish species we want to eat also. We cannot use forage fish twice, this cannot be sustainable. Sea mammals, seabirds and wild fish populations are drastically declining, while forage fish is progressively replaced by jellyfish in its biotope and artisanal fishers have to work longer and further to earn less, or stay at home. Combined with the high growing rates of aquaculture in the world, the lack of forage fish means also to include less fishmeal and fish oil in farmed fish feed and thereby to produce a much poorer food for us. Currently, we are duped twice!
To counter efficiently this unpleasant state, the development of my project still needs several relevant contributions from scientists, engineers, lawyers and other specialists. The following facts have to be audited, to be thought "out of the box" and complemented by experts in each domain. I did not get any high degree when I was young, I am just a modest long-term freethinker with an idea. Obviously I will also need huge funds to finalize this project, this is unavoidable. Each simple operation on sea is tremendously expensive. I cannot start in my garage like others did, and I am not at the head of a personal fortune.
In the following tab, I will go into further detail, WHY it should be done, HOW it can be achieved, WHERE it can take place and WHAT sort of marine organism can be raised. It will perhaps not be always easy to read, I am not a novelist . However, if you have the patience to follow my brainstorming step by step until the end, I think you will have to admit that it makes sense.
So here I am now, humbly publishing my conclusions in order to give them a chance. This is my message in a bottle, optimistically thrown into the wide web ocean, initially on June 8th, 2014 and updated since, from time to time.
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