After seeing so many of these fish ponds, you can pretty much get a feel of how valuable the fish is just by the external ‘aesthetics’ of the pond. Salmon, for example are too expensive to risk losing through sloppy maintenance. They also need heavy investment in mechanical pumps due to a need for higher water oxygen density. Therefore salmon’s high cost demands that their farming conditions be done in most preteen ponds.


Some of these ponds double up as Eatertainment, where members can do ‘fishing’ and even with facilities to cook their produces. Initially I cringed at this form of ‘cheating’. Fishing in an artificial scenery readily from an available population is hardly challenging but on the other hand, surely is a movement of medium-sufficiency to the readily available market model?

This could be well-designed intermediary between the ‘bare-hand’ foraging for survival aspiration and the absolute industrial experience of a supermarket. Surely this is at least gesturing towards some form of self-sufficiency?


Farmed fish are constantly under the dangers of increased infection from bacteria (pseudonomas), intestinal parasites (nematodes) and fish lice (argulidae). It’s understandable that fish farmers are tempted to the increased commercial use of antibiotics to treat the animals. In polluted water from the farms aren’t often treated with care (as in the case of the sinking boat, anything outside the farmed fish zone is irrelevant to the farmers).


Weighing all this evidence, these irrigation ditch systems are much more environmentally responsible than the open caged system, which is the cheaper and faster way of growing fish but has no means of controlling the pollutions from flowing directly back to wild rivers and seas.

However, the reason for the separated irrigation ditch systems are possibly to protect the farmed fish from outside pollutants. Last year, South East Chinese 8-9million fish died along the rivers along Fujian. Despite governmental statements about low oxygenated waters, farmers have started to build their ‘protected’ own ponds.


In consideration of all the dilemma, I’d like to also put in the argument that it’s possibly more rational to think of this as an opportunity to curate our aesthetics of farms while prototyping an artificial ideal of nature from commercial agriculture.

Surely there’s scope to inviting more people to interact with their food pre-cooking?

Here are other experiments with ecological system of aquaculture: Listen to the Story


Written by Lisa Ma

Lisa Ma socializes activism. Combining ethnographic research and speculative design, Lisa creates platforms of engagement from surprising insights and processes that deeply resonate with the global technological community. The emergence of clicktivism – to protest at the click of a mouse – is trivializing activism. Lisa argues that although activism doesn’t necessarily benefit from technology, we need to evolve how activism contributes to technological societies. To illustrate this, she designs dilemmas and creates social events that are perceived as activism but function as services.

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