I first heard the tale from chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill during the Sustainable Foods Institute we put on last month at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. He described his delight in touring a multi-species aquaculture farm in Spain that is a seamless part of a wetland restoration project in the Guadalquivir Marshes of Andalusia. Where the farmers produce abundant, high-quality seafood -- sea bass, bream, red mullet and shrimp -- AND where predators like flocks of flamingos are welcomed as a sign that the ecosystem is flourishing.
Dan was overwhelmed to see the flamingos as they waded in the aquaculture ponds, feasting on the shrimp the farmers were raising. He was blown away that the farmers at Veta la Palma were as delighted to have the birds there as he was -- not the least because the region's wetlands are most important bird habitat in Spain.
Now you can read the details in TIME Magazine (online or in print). The story's delightfully told (though if you get a chance to hear it straight from Dan Barber, savor the experience).
With roughly half of all seafood now coming from aquaculture farms, this is a model worth sharing -- and encouraging. As the story came out on the eve of World Ocean Day, we can hope that it represents a glimpse of the shape of of things to come.