Self Sustaining, Futuristic Fish Farms

November 10 2008 / by jvarden / In association with Future
Category: Environment   Year: 2008   Rating: 6 Hot

Seafood harvesters pay no heed to fish populations and their massive catches cause damage to oceanic ecosystems. Inland fisheries can have a harsh environmental impact and can also impact the health of the fish that are raised. The state of the world’s fisheries is uncertain and if current practices continue, the future could be grim.

Hawaii Ocean Technology will attempt to answer these issues with its deep water, offshore Oceanasphere, where “twelve Oceanspheres in less than half of a square mile can yield as much as 24,000 tons of seafood” (Source). Floating free in the deep sea, the Oceanasphere is a sphere of aluminum and Kevlar, 162 feet in diameter. This fish farm is powered by an ocean thermal energy conversion system so it lacks the need for fossil fuel burning or any other source of energy, making it self sufficient with little negative impact on its surrounding environment. The Oceanasphere also is large enough and has a controlled food supply, which will result in healthier fish populations. This innovative design will hopefully lead to a new step in ocean fish farming technology.

A competing approach to the problems posed by inland fisheries is being developed by scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole who are testing a system that conditions particular fish to “catch themselves” by swimming into a net when they hear a tone that signals feeding time.

Image: [Axiepics] Flickr CC

Comment Thread (3 Responses)

  1. I wonder if these things are going to be free floating. It could ruin your day to hit one of those with a boat. Reminds me of a TV special I saw on Bluefin Tuna fishing in australia where they keep the fish in a net their whole life but a mile out at sea.

    Posted by: John Heylin   November 11, 2008
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  2. My family was really interested in going into fish farming. Actually, they experimented with a small fish farm. But due to climate control and the filter system, they had a difficult time and they wanted to get a bigger facility. I’m not really an expert on the subject. It’s just that this story brought up some memories.

    Posted by: christinep   November 11, 2008
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  3. John, the article did state that the Oceanaspheres will be free-floating, but I’m guessing that there will be some identifying marker to avoid collisions. Christinep, you know more about fish farming than me. Hopefully this style of fish farm does answer climate control and filtration issues, along with the problems of feeding and environmental impact.

    Posted by: jvarden   November 12, 2008
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