Solutionaries: James Arthur Smith and Sustainable Aquaculture to Feed the World
Thanks to documentaries like ‘Seaspiracy’, the world is waking to the short-sightedness of industrial scale hunting wild-caught seafood. As Jacques Cousteau once said, “We must learn to plant the sea and herd it’s animals using the sea as farmers instead of hunters.” Seatopia founder James Arthur Smith joins us to share how he is working with the world’s most sustainable and ethical fish farmers to create a new paradigm that can feed the world.
James Arthur Smith
Over the last eight years, the owner, and my guest on today’s show—James Arthur Smith—has been personally visiting aquaculture farms, eating the feed the fish eat, swimming in, under, and around the grow-out pens, and lab testing the harvested products to quantity claims. Through SEATOPIA, James is endeavoring to revolutionize the seafood supply chain and empower health-conscious consumers to directly support artisan farms, helping to foster regenerative seafood practices. He thinks that despite the information shared in documentaries like SEASPIRACY, there are a handful of success stories of sustainable fisheries and innovative aquaculture projects regenerating the oceans while producing some of the healthiest protein on the planet.
Currently, in the Sea of Cortez, Baja Mexico, James Arthur Smith and his wife have been living aboard their vintage sailboat for nearly a decade. Immersed in the ocean since childhood, at age six, James Arthur became the youngest junior lifeguard to complete the La Jolla, California open ocean swim challenge. At age 12, he began volunteering at the Chula Vista Marine Science Discovery Center where a steelhead trout breeding and hatchery program sparked his interest in the principles of regenerative aquaculture and marine conservation. While James’ childhood dream of being a Shamu trainer has since evolved, a commitment to connecting with nature and protecting marine environments has been consistent.
For the last eight years, James Arthur has been connecting boutique aquaculture projects from around the world with award-winning farm-to-table restaurants. Through these relationships, James Arthur developed one of the most trusted wholesale seafood distribution businesses in Southern California catering to world-renowned farm-to-table restaurants and Michelin Star chefs. When Covid-19 closed restaurants, James Arthur switched his energy to developing a 100% plastic & styrofoam-free home delivery box for truly sustainable seafood. Today, SEATOPIA is revolutionizing the seafood supply chain by connecting home cooks with sushi-grade products directly from the world’s best farms and has garnered a cult-like following from health-conscious foodies and environmentalists nationwide.