Transformational
thinking

Welcome back, Nemo

24 July, 2020

At current rates, half of the ocean’s species will be extinct in less than a hundred years. Bye-bye, Nemo. 

Obviously, there is no easy solution to this multi-faceted problem. Over-fishing is the first culprit but, in second place, we find coastal land and sea use change. What do these include? Aquaculture, underwater infrastructure and resource extraction, which not only disseminate toxic chemicals, but also dramatically change marine landscapes. What’s more? Underwater infrastructure is usually made from cement, the third largest source of industrial carbon dioxide emissions in the world.  

It’s safe to say we were thoroughly impressed when we came across Reef Cubes, which address so many of these problems at once. Made from recycled concrete (goodbye polluting resource extraction) and other marine-friendly materials, this artificial reef cube has holes that stimulate marine wildlife by providing food, homes and spawning grounds for many species. Carbon emissions are avoided through an innovative production process and later, thanks to the thriving marine life, the ocean gains an increased capability to sequester carbon.  

If that wasn’t enough, these blocks can replace the underwater cement structures currently in place: protecting both marine biodiversity (welcome back, Nemo) and the offshore infrastructure needed for our transition to renewable energy. Big win for innovation! 

By Marie Guérinet

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