March 15, 2023
Indigenous peoples have been stewarding the ocean for thousands of years. This stewardship has appeared in many different forms around the world, all of which represent a reciprocal relationship between humans and the sea rooted in deep place-based knowledge. From eel ponds in Budj Bim, Australia, to octopus houses in Haida Gwaii, Canada, an Indigenous mariculture renaissance is making waves as groups across the Pacific seek to revitalise these ancient techniques and traditions.
For the first time, information about a multitude of Indigenous cultivation practices has been collected into a cohesive online repository. Sea Gardens Across the Pacific: Reawakening Ancestral Mariculture Innovations is a new, interactive, “living” story map published by which was published by the Indigenous Aquaculture Collaborative Network, which is a community of practice coordinated by Melissa Poe, social scientist at Washington Sea Grant (WSG). The story map synthesizes knowledge about Indigenous aquaculture throughout the Pacific region, including the west coasts of North, Central and South America; the east coasts of Asia, Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand; Oceania; and coastlines in between. The project shows these local initiatives are not one-off projects, but rather pieces of a global story. It’s a story that is being told by Indigenous knowledge holders, and further amplified by diverse collaborators who created the story map.
Sea Gardens Across the Pacific is a new “story map” from the I that gathers information about Indigenous mariculture practices across the world and emphasizes the importance of revitalizing these practices for food sovereignty and resilience. Samantha Larson, Washington Sea Grant science writer, wrote a feature article about the project for the winter 2023 issue of Signals Magazine, the publication of the Australian National Maritime museum. Read it here.
Washington Sea Grant, based at the University of Washington, helps people and marine life thrive through research, technical expertise and education supporting the responsible use and conservation of coastal ecosystems. The National Sea Grant College Program is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.