When I read a non-fiction book I like to learn something that I can take away with me, coming out of the book better informed than I was when I started reading; and this book met my needs in this respect. I am never going to run an ocean farm, but it is good to know how one works.
There is interesting information about the construction and running of shellfish and seaweed farms. Some of this applies to farms anywhere in the world, but there is specific information pertinent to the east coast of North America, where the author, whose farm is near Long Island, is based. In particular he has to deal with the consequences of hurricanes, which destroyed his oyster crop on one occasion by stirring up mud on the seabed, which smothered the oysters. We learn how he adapted his techniques and technology to obviate the dangers, and his strategy seems to have worked. The legal stuff about establishing ocean farms is probably relevant to the United States and cannot be applied elsewhere without adaptation.
What I did find very relevant is his chapter "Swimming With Sharks" which gave cautionary stories of his encounters with Wall Street financiers and the narrow misses he sustained in his dealings with them. He emphasises the importance of getting a lawyer to study contract proposals. He also tells of how it is important to follow your gut instincts about a potential employee, for one whom he hired was up to no good. This section is a cautionary tale warning against the seductions of becoming too big, and, though he does not mention the phrase, our minds are drawn to Schumacher's philosophy, Small is Beautiful. Keep your operation a manageable size is the message here and always deal with people whom you have ensured that you can trust, the book insists. There are many people of inspiring goodness in this book.
Smith has a vision of a network of ocean farms surrounding the coast, and to this end he has established his own organisation called Green Wave. This is a social organisation that does not seek a profit or to swell at the expense of others. It is to be Smith's legacy.