Hawaii Ocean Technology, Inc. To Move Forward On Mariculture Encolosures
After being approved on December 4, Hawaii Ocean Technology, Inc., a pioneer in mariculture technology, has gotten their patent for sphere-like enclosures to grow marine species for harvest. The enclosures have been named “The Oceansphere” and will make it possible to harvest species from the ocean without stressing the wild populations of fish. All-around this is a huge step towards protecting the environment, and feeding an increasingly hungry and constantly growing world population. By farming fish in their natural habitats in the Oceanshperes fish farmers will cut down on the amount of time spent harvesting wild fish, they’ll cut down on the amount of bi-catch (species that are caught unintentionally in fishing nets, especially traulers), and the carbon footprint of these huge operations; not to mention the fact that there is no water needed to upkeep the produce like in conventional land farming. CEO of Hawaii Ocean Technology, Bill Spencer, stated on their website that “We plan to use Oceanspheres to produce Yellow Fin and Big Eye tuna within the next two years. We will also sell and license Oceanspheres globally. The goal of the company is to demonstrate new fish farming technology that allows pelagic species such as tuna to be grown in deep ocean waters where constant currents and large volumes of clean water assure fish health and rapid mineralization of effluents.” Company estimates put the first yield of tuna to be ready in about two years, and the oceanspheres are estimated to produce approximately 6,000 tons of tuna each year. The tuna, which will be branded as “King Ahi” will provide an excellent source of sustainable protein. The company has been approved and has a 35 year lease on their 247-acre deep ocean aquaculture site located off the coast of the Big Island. Spencer said that their site is still in state waters, but is in a very deep spot, 1,320 feet deep to be exact, and this will allow the oceanspheres to produce large volumes of seafood in a relatively small footprint.