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taming the blue frontier

fisheries worth $ 246 billion worldwide.

http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t58446022/fishing-profit-revenues-fish-farming-aquaculture/

 

Drifting ocean cage, Velella:

http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t49755465/drifting-oceanic-aquaculture/

 

Earth population, protein production, and the urgent need for ocean domestication:

http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t58921987/sustainability-population-growth-consumption-growth-ocean-co/

 

 



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By Sarah Simpson

Illustration by Ira Korman

A shipment of 100,000 fresh, sushi-grade cobia, each fish amounting to about five pounds of firm, white meat, arrives on schedule in the Port of Miami. In this case, “fresh” does not mean beheaded and ice-packed—these fish are very much alive and swimming. As fingerlings, they were set adrift in a 3-million-liter pen which latched onto a current traveling the Caribbean in a predictable, clockwise path. Nine months later, a frenzy of splashes erupts at the water’s surface as the underwater corral emerges from the depths. After rounding the western tip of Cuba and skirting a storm near the Yucatán (via remotely operated thrusters), the floating farm has made port just as the fish reach harvestable size.

Aquatic engineer Clifford Goudey had this futuristic vision dancing in his head last July when he tested the world’s first self-propelled, submersible fish pen. A geodesic sphere measuring 19 meters in diameter, the cage proved surprisingly maneuverable when outfitted with a pair of 2.5-meter propellers, says Goudey, who directs MIT Sea Grant’s Offshore Aquaculture Engineering Center. In his Caribbean current scenario, Goudey imagines launching dozens of floating farms in a steady progression, each a week behind the other. His work marks a breakthrough in the quest to raise fish in parts of the oceans that are too deep for traditional, anchored cages. It also amounts to a key step toward what a few cutting-edge thinkers have been craving for years: the wholesale taming of the sea.

 

The oceans provide about 20 percent of the world’s protein, and pressure to deliver this critical food stream has led to extreme overharvesting. As wild fish stocks decline, aquaculture is the logical candidate to pick up the slack, and some are looking to it as a way to rebuild commercial fish stocks. In a 2005 Nature commentary, oceanographer John Marra argued that widespread ocean farming is inevitable. “We have already accepted domestication of the land,” Marra wrote. “Now is the time to accept the same for the seas.” (1)

Such visions have long been anathema to many environmentalists who fear the spread of present-day aquaculture’s myriad ills. Many of today’s coastal fish farms have decimated habitat and spread disease into local fish populations. Making matters worse, fish farms represent a net drain on populations of wild fish, which are often caught just so they can be ground into feed for salmon and other species.

Despite these concerns, a shift is underway. Some members of the environmental community are concluding that widespread aquaculture must be pursued if we are to save the oceans and feed the planet. Aquaculture production must double by 2050 just to keep up with per capita demand. But merely scaling up current methods would only exacerbate the problems.

In other words, the world needs new, sustainable aquaculture practices, and it needs them fast. It took 10,000 years for domestic agriculture to transform the land, but viable ocean farming schemes must be developed in one one-hundredth of that time if they are to forestall the oceans’ demise. This urgency is spurring some leading environmentalists and scientists to lend their knowledge and support, instead of their opposition. In a recent lecture, the renowned marine ecologist Jeremy Jackson discussed the threat of overfishing and announced, “the most important scientific challenge we now face is how to make aquaculture ecologically sustainable.”

The mobile fish pens are just one example of the cutting-edge technologies emerging to surmount Jackson’s challenge. Also in the works are intriguing methods of recycling fish sewage, new feed formulations that use dramatically smaller amounts of wild fish, and onshore farms where salt-water species are tricked into living in fresh water. As these developments solve some of aquaculture’s seemingly intractable problems, they could also be the first steps toward widespread, sustainable domestication of the oceans.

From his post at eastern Canada’s Bay of Fundy, Thierry Chopin has seen first-hand how salmon farms devastate bays and inlets. Typically located just a stone’s throw from shore, the farms are relentless sources of excrement and pollution. Some estimates suggest the nutrient outfall from salmon farms in Scotland, for example, is comparable in volume to the untreated sewage from half its human population. What’s more, salmon are sloppy eaters that typically consume only about 80 percent of the food that comes their way. The nutrient-laden effluent spills from cages, sometimes triggering harmful algal blooms and other pollution problems. But Chopin, a University of New Brunswick marine biologist who has spent eight years trying to mitigate these problems, says cleaning up salmon farms may be as simple as re-casting poop and uneaten food scraps as a resource.

In conjunction with Cooke Aquaculture, a Canadian company pursuing sustainable farming, Chopin is experimenting with so-called integrated multitrophic aquaculture, or integrated farms. This innovative approach positions salmon pens in close proximity to plants and animals that actually consume the pollution. The farms aim to absorb the vast majority of the salmon waste, sparing the surrounding waters while nurturing species that can be sold on the global seafood market.

Seen from above, Chopin’s operation looks like a tray of soda cans, with circular salmon pens anchored in a square grid. It amounts to a carefully calibrated ecosystem, and Chopin, along with Shawn Robinson at Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans, has helped identify which species can thrive within it. “It’s all about choosing species based on their function,” Chopin explains.

Seaweeds, for instance, are amazingly efficient waste recyclers that can extract about 40 percent of the dissolved nutrients available during their growing season. To take advantage of this, Chopin’s team positions seaweed on ropes dangling from rafts located downstream from the pens. The kelp thrive in this fertilizer bath, which is primarily ammonia released from salmon gills and decaying food pellets; some species grow as much as 46 percent faster than they do in salmon-free areas.

Sharing the same grisly appetite for salmon waste are filter-feeding mussels, which play a different role in the clean-up process by extracting particles of excrement and food scraps. Chopin’s system places the mussels in cages alongside the fish pens. Thanks to their close quarters with salmon, the mussels grow as much as 50 percent faster as they absorb about half of the fine waste particles. About three years ago, though, Chopin’s team realized some waste particles were too big for the mussels to manage. That’s where sea cucumbers and urchins, which thrive on the heftier scraps and are placed in trays directly below the salmon pens, come into the picture. “One man’s trash is another’s treasure” takes on new meaning when you see how remarkably plump a culinary delicacy such as urchin roe grows in a cloud of salmon sewage.

There is, of course, a more obvious way to manage the effluent problem: move fish farms away from the coast, into deeper waters where pollution would be carried off and diluted by the sea. That turns out to be much harder than it sounds. For starters, offshore cages have to be built to withstand the pressure and currents that come with being located farther out at sea—keeping enormous pens steady in 60 meters of open water is a tricky proposition. They must also keep their plump inhabitants safe from sharks and other predators looking for an easy lunch.

A handful of companies are overcoming these challenges with innovative cage designs that allow fish to be farmed in deeper water than ever before. Anchored varieties of the spherical AquaPod, developed by Ocean Farm Technologies in Searsmont, Maine, range up to 27 meters in diameter, which translates to almost a billion liters in capacity. Another innovator is Bainbridge Island, Washington­–based OceanSpar, which has developed its SeaStation pens in the shape of oversized toy tops. Built around galvanized steel frames, the pens are covered in Kevlar-like netting that prevents wily fish from chewing their way out—or in.

Half a mile off the Hawaiian coast, Kona Blue Water Farms is using eight 3-million-liter SeaStations to house some 480,000 Hawaiian yellowtail. The pens are tethered by a network of 22 anchors, each weighing 3.5 tons and anchored by a one-ton chain. All told, Kona Blue spent around $500,000 to set up the infrastructure 30 meters beneath the sea (except during maintenance and harvest), which allows excrement and uneaten food to be swept away in brisk subsurface currents. Water quality downstream from the pens is the same as at sites upstream. The innovations deliver a glimpse of the future, when industrial techniques may transform the continental shelf into a sprawling network of farms playing a vital role in global food production.

Neil Sims, cofounder of Kona Blue Water Farms, is taking aim at another critical hurdle to sustainability: the need to harvest vast amounts of wild fish just to feed the ones being farmed. Salmon and other carnivorous fish must be fed large quantities of fish oil and fish meal to gain the taste and texture that consumers crave. It typically takes 2.3 kilograms of so-called “forage fish” to produce half a kilogram of farmed fish. (And that’s using carefully formulated feed pellets; many fish farms around the world still use raw fish, which pushes the necessary kilograms to nine or higher.) Fortunately, Sims is gaining ground in his crusade to rewrite this equation.

Sims oversees a booming operation that produces one of the world’s most prized farmed fish: Hawaiian yellowtail sold under the name Kona Kampachi. Sold in swank restaurants across the U.S., a serving of Kona Kampachi sashimi can fetch a price upwards of $15, in part because sushi connoisseurs prize the fish’s firm, yet tender, flesh. Sims worries that, as aquaculture grows, it will further harm the species that form the basis of fishmeal. In the past 25 years, farming of marine fish and shellfish has grown by 10 percent per year. That surge translates into ever-increasing pressure on populations of forage fish such as anchovies and sardines. So Sims has launched an ambitious effort find replacement sources for the fatty acids and amino acids his fish need.

When Kona Blue anchored its first offshore pen in 2005, their feed was 80 percent Peruvian anchovy fishmeal and fish oil. By early 2008, the company had reduced that percentage to 30, thanks to careful experimentation that allowed Kona Blue to substitute soybean meal and chicken oil for the fish products. Sims is thrilled to say it now takes only 1.4 kilograms of Peruvian anchovies to produce one kilo of Kona Kampachi. Indeed, this breakthrough—in combination with Kona Blue’s other conscientious practices—made U.S.–farmed yellowtail the first ocean-farmed fish to earn a “good alternative” rating from Seafood Watch, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s popular sustainable seafood advisory list.

Sims acknowledges the battle is ongoing and Kona Blue is aggressively pursuing a 1:1 ratio. To achieve this, the company is looking at soy protein concentrates as well as canola and soy oils. Kona Blue is also keeping an eye on a particularly exciting biotech breakthrough in which scientists have coaxed the coveted omega-3 fatty acid DHA out of microscopic algae. One animal-nutrition firm is now testing fish feeds enhanced with the same algal-based DHA already marketed in infant formula, milk, and juice.

Sims isn’t alone. Similar feed formulations have been developed for cobia and other fish, but the limiting factor is cost. Until the price of fish meal and fish oil rise to reflect the world’s depleted stocks, Sims says, it will be hard for many aquaculturists to justify pricier, more sustainable feed.

Even those at aquaculture’s leading edge have difficulty predicting just how quickly the new practices might translate into large-scale ocean domestication. But they do agree that difficult barriers remain and that the biggest challenges may be not technical but political.

Take Goudey’s self-propelled AquaPod. Sending flotillas of corralled fish to fatten up on the high seas is already feasible from an engineering standpoint, he says. A first step might be free-floating farms riding in and out and back again with the tide, returning to the same spot every 12 hours. Eventually, Goudey envisions full transoceanic voyages: penned fingerlings launched from Miami hitch a ride on the Gulf Stream to Europe, where they are harvested and replaced with a new, young brood for the return voyage to America. It would require only the integration of the self-propelled cage (such as the one he tested last summer) with a surface buoy carrying an automatic feeder (imagine a giant version of what you leave for your cat when you go on vacation)—plus navigation, tracking, and communications networks such as those already well-honed for research submersibles and Mars rovers.

Even though the technologies are within reach, progress toward offshore farming has been sluggish. Of some 50 offshore installations worldwide, only five U.S. commercial marine fish and shellfish farms have ventured into open water. Goudey thinks more aquaculture entrepreneurs would jump into the fray if the U.S. put into place the appropriate legislation and permitting systems. This would not only give aquaculturists the green light but also help guide the industry toward a sustainable future. Introduced in 2007, the National Offshore Aquaculture Act, for instance, would have authorized the U.S. government to grant aquaculture permits throughout the U.S.–exclusive economic zone, which extends 200 nautical miles from each coast. Issuance of these permits could be tied to sustainable practices. But the legislation has languished in Congress since 2005 and has not been reintroduced this session.

That reality has forced at least two U.S. offshore fish farms, frustrated with the permitting chokehold, to investigate expanding their operations to Mexico and Panama—or move them there entirely. In other words, businesses that might be goaded into pursuing sustainable aims via legislation now have incentives to migrate to other waters where the aquaculture mentality might be more akin to “anything goes.”

Halting such overseas moves would also give the U.S. opportunity to improve food security. Among natural resources, the country’s $9 billion annual trade deficit in seafood is second only to its dependence on foreign oil. To help offset that food imbalance, the U.S. Department of Commerce has declared it would like to quintuple the value of annual domestic aquaculture production, currently just shy of $1 billion, by 2025.

If the world can muster the unprecedented political will and international cooperation necessary to domesticate the high seas, critics ask, why not put those energies toward restoring the oceans rather than risk degrading them further? As Julia K. Baum wrote in Nature in reply to Marra’s 2005 call to tame the seas, offshore aquaculture “is not ‘inevitable.’ It is a course of action that can be chosen—or not.” (2)

Given the world’s food needs, such a wholesale rejection of aquaculture might amount to accepting the status quo: a fishing industry that is devastating wild stocks, decimating the oceans, and generating enormous amounts of CO2. As Scripps’s Jeremy Jackson points out, “sustainable fishing is an oxymoron.” Jackson draws a comparison to hunting and gathering and argues that sending flotillas of fishing boats out to round up wild fish is on a par with hunting down bears and elk for food. “If we’re going to get lots of protein from the ocean,” he concludes, “the only solution is aquaculture.”

That doesn’t mean today’s latest methods are the final solution. After all, farmed yellowtail and salmon, like cod and tuna, are luxury foods that most people in the world will never taste. Together with academics such as Stanford University’s Rosamond Naylor, Jackson believes we won’t be able to save the oceans until we abandon our taste for fish that live high on the food chain. In that case, the world’s ocean-based protein would have to come from anchovies, shellfish, and other species operating at lower trophic levels.

From this point of view, the latest aquaculture innovations are best seen as an incomplete step in an important direction. Perhaps offshore farming will ultimately provide all the high-trophic-level species the world demands and also mass-produce the species many environmentalists find more favorable. Free-floating farms, for instance, could also be used to grow sardines, Goudey says. The University of New Brunswick’s Chopin adds his own twist to the idea: he would add shellfish and seaweed rafts trailing behind.

As we pursue these goals, Chopin reminds us to be patient and to understand that a rapid transition to aquaculture means there will be missteps along the way. “Even after centuries of agriculture, we don’t have all the best practices,” he says. “In aquaculture, we want to solve everything in a few decades.” ❧

Literature Cited:

1. Marra, J. 2005. When will we tame the oceans? Nature 436:175–176.

2. Baum, J., J. McPherson, and R. Myers. 2005. Farming need not replace fishing if stocks are rebuilt. Nature 437:26.

Further Reading:

Halweil, B. 2008. Farming fish for the future. Worldwatch Report 176. Eagle, J., R. Naylor, and W. Smith. 2004. Why farm salmon outcompete fishery salmon. Marine Policy. 28(3):259–270.

Michler-Cieluch, T., G. Krause, and B.H. Buck. 2009. Reflections on integrating operation and maintenance activities of offshore wind farms and mariculture. Ocean & Coastal Management 52:57–68.



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conservationmagazine.org/2009/04/taming-the-blue-frontier/

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The concept of thrusters on a oceanic fish cage leads to the ocean habitation and the ocean sphere concept:

http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t55433095/ocean-sphere-the-next-wave-of-sustainable-fish-farming/

 Velella Mariculture Project



-- Edited by admin on Thursday 4th of December 2014 05:28:52 PM

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Concrete Floating Structures

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more interesting reading:

How oceanic living space bubbles will lead to seasteading and space colonization...

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t55503005/ocean-cage-fish-farming-thruster-setup/

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ocean sphere fish farming:
concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t55433095/ocean-sphere-the-next-wave-of-sustainable-fish-farming/

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yook3.com

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Why going oceanic is the next big thing to come...

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t56680633/the-reasons-why-oceanic-business-is-the-next-big-thing-to-co/

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The Captain Nemo Lifestyle:

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t43942461/the-captain-nemo-float-out-seasteading/

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Ocean Colonization, Picture Gallery, Concepts:

imulead.com/tolimared/concretesubmarine/picturegallery/concept/

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Get a foothold in ocean colonization:

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t49529137/oceanic-frontier-develpment-investment-foothold-in-ocean-col/

The Captain Nemo Lifestyle:

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t43942461/the-captain-nemo-float-out-seasteading/

Why oceanic business is the next big thing to come:

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t56680633/the-reasons-why-oceanic-business-is-the-next-big-thing-to-co/

Ocean sphere fish farming:

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t55433095/ocean-sphere-the-next-wave-of-sustainable-fish-farming/

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yook3.com

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Nations Have Carved Up the Ocean. Now What?

March 14, 2014

The U.S. has laid claim to 2.5 billion acres of coastal seas, but that vast area produces very little seafood for Americans. Therein lies a dilemma: should the U.S. cultivate giant offshore fish farms in its piece of the sea or keep taking most of the fish we eat from foreign waters?

By Paul Greenberg


If you live in New York and a dead fish arrives on your doorstep, your first instinct is to think of The Godfather and to assume that someone you haven’t heard from in a while must have been rubbed out. But recently, when not one but two dead fish arrived at my apartment building several blocks south of Don Corleone’s old haunts, I was informed that much the opposite had occurred. Neil Sims, a Hawaii-based aquaculture scientist and entrepreneur whose Kona Blue Water Farm I’d scuba-dived a half-decade ago, was, it appeared, alive and well. The last time I’d heard about Sims, I’d gotten the impression that environmental activists had quashed his dream of creating this country’s first major offshore aquaculture facility. But the letter that accompanied the fish he’d mailed informed me that Sims’s operation had not died but rather evolved. True, he’d dissolved his original company, but he had moved even farther out into the open sea; now, under a new name, he was growing fish like no one had grown them before.

The two fish Sims sent me were almaco jack. To my knowledge, they were among the only fish ever cultured in what is known as the U.S. “Exclusive Economic Zone” or EEZ—the federally controlled stretch of water extending from U.S. coastal boundaries all the way past the continental shelf, some 200 nautical miles from shore. Thanks to a series of political maneuvers over the course of the past half-century, the U.S. has come to control the world’s largest EEZ, with over 2.5 billion acres of ocean—more than twice what we have for growing landfood. And yet, this vast expanse produces relatively little food for us, either from the farm or from the wild. At present, 91 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from abroad. Most galling to people like Sims, the majority of that foreign seafood is aquacultured. We Americans love farmed fish, it seems, but we just don’t seem to want them produced in our home oceans.

But as I unwrapped the two plump almaco jack that had been reared in a drifting “aquapod” in the federal EEZ off Hawaii’s coast, I couldn’t help but ruminate on one largely unstated fact of our modern seafood supply. In the minds of most consumers, there is a clear dividing line between which fish are wild and which are farmed. But the truth is that this line is increasingly a blurry one. What we are really talking about when we talk about farmed and wild fish is the degree to which those fish and the resources they require are under human control. Prior to 1950, almost all the seafood Americans ate was wild. But more importantly, before that date, the seafood we ate was nearly always ownerless—accessible to anyone around the world who could manage to get a boat to where the fish happened to be. Today, increasingly, the ownership of much of the fish we eat is at least partly predetermined, even before it leaves the water. In the course of the last half-century, the U.S. has in effect annexed 2.5 billion acres of water. How the world came to divvy up the sea, and how nations have used those newly nationalized resources, is the story of the modern ocean. How we and other nations develop them in the future will have huge ramifications for the future of the seas.

It is no small irony that the question of ocean ownership was first seriously debated as a result of events occurring in the waters off Greenland, the historical epicenter of the world’s most valuable farmed fish: Atlantic salmon. For millennia, wild Atlantic salmon from Europe and North America migrated from their home rivers and set out across the Atlantic, where they found in Greenland’s waters huge shoals of krill and capelin to prey upon. These same shoals of forage animals attracted pods of whales, which in turn attracted whalers. In 1613, two Dutch vessels in hot pursuit of whales were intercepted by a small English fleet. The British accused the Dutch captains of “trespassing” in waters claimed by the Crown, arrested their crews, and brought them back to London for trial. It was then that another kind of predator arrived on the scene: a lawyer from Holland named Hugo de Groot.

Hugo de Groot (or Hugo Grotius, as he is more commonly known) was a curious adventurer whose many exploits included surviving a shipwreck, governing Rotterdam, and escaping prison by mailing himself out in a shipping trunk. But by far his most memorable sleight of hand was convincing the world to fundamentally rethink how the ocean was owned. In 1609, Grotius published Mare Liberum or “The Free Seas,” in which he argued that no nation should have sovereignty over the oceans and that by opening up the seas to universal use, benefits would be garnered by all. And although Grotius would go on to lose the Greenland whaling petition in London, the concept of Mare Liberum was greatly popularized during the affair of the Dutch whalers; over the course of the next decades, it would be embraced by the great powers of Europe. It is in large part due to Grotius that from the 1700s all the way until the 1930s, nations would generally agree that the oceans beyond the distance a cannonball could fly would be available for common use—use that included, notably, fishing.

But World War II and its aftermath would finally change all that. The war was very much an ocean war, one where naval technology and an ocean-going vessel’s range dramatically improved. And with this new technology, the possibility of controlling the oceans came to be seen as a way to advance national ambitions. Fishing fleets, the inheritors of much of that WWII maritime technology, became pawns for expressing those territorial ambitions in the postwar era. Through government subsidies, fishing fleets were encouraged to go prospecting for new seafood sources in waters they might not have previously explored.

It was once again in the salmon-rich waters off Greenland that these issues would come to a head. On a series of exploratory fishing trips in 1951, Jørgen Nielsen, chief of Greenland Fisheries Research for the Danish government, deduced that a large percentage of Europe’s and North America’s wild Atlantic salmon converged annually in a relatively small portion of Greenland’s waters. Nielsen, as was his duty, placed this information into the hands of the Danish fishing fleet. What followed was an unregulated, species-decimating blitzkrieg in which Scandinavian fleets effectively stole salmon from the nations of the world. Their catches rose from 60 to more than 2600 metric tons within a decade. Catches were so phenomenal and seemingly limitless that a Danish captain named Ole Martensen bragged to a Copenhagen newspaper that he planned to go to Japan to learn the techniques of fishing on the publicly owned high seas. He promised to return with a new, 135-ton Japanese cutter equipped with the most modern Japanese gear. By 1970, thanks to people such as Captain Martensen, the wild salmon fishery of the North Atlantic became so public as to be out of control.

Not coincidentally, 1970 was the same year that privatized salmon aquaculture started in earnest. It all began when a Norwegian purse seiner captain named Sivert Grønvedt and his brother, Ove, started putting salmon juveniles into net pens hung in the sea off the island of Hitra. By 1971, their harvest would be 98 tons. Within a decade, the privately owned salmon farms of the Norwegian fjords would nearly replace the public salmon fishery.

Meanwhile, in the Pacific, the same Japanese high-seas fishermen who had schooled the Danish captain on how to really hammer wild salmon were causing similar damage in public fisheries around the world. Japan’s newly rebuilt fishing fleet began venturing into international waters. To the north, the Japanese moved into the Bering Sea with massive drift net operations that harvested hundreds of thousands of pounds of pink, chum, and sockeye salmon—many of which spawned in American rivers. To the south, Japanese fleets advanced into the upwelling of the Humboldt Current off Peru and Chile. Here, Japanese tuna vessels congregated, fishing international waters so hard that many local fishermen gave up entirely on hunting big fish. Instead, they turned to the tiny Peruvian anchoveta, a fish nobody seemed to want but which would later become the source of industrial feed for much of the world’s farmed salmon. Today the Peruvian anchoveta is the largest fishery on earth by tonnage, and most of it goes to feeding farmed fish.

Alongside this wild international race for fish, nations on the receiving end of the onslaught began objecting to what was perceived as outright piscatorial theft. In August 1952 Peru, Chile, and Ecuador collectively signed the Santiago Declaration, which established a 200–nautical mile exclusive economic zone for the cosigners of the treaty. The number 200 seems to hail from the Panama Declaration of 1939, in which the U.K. and the U.S. agreed to put in place a quarantine zone around South America in order to halt the resupplying of Axis ships in austral ports. Twenty years later, the United Nations would take up the issue in a series of meetings lasting into the 1980s, resulting in the eventual ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III). The U.S. would never sign UNCLOS III, but that didn’t stop it from unilaterally declaring a 200-mile EEZ in 1983. As the century entered its final quarter, nearly every nation came to own its marine resources in waters out to 200 nautical miles from shore. Hugo de Groot’s free seas were, increasingly, private property.

Now that the U.S. had exclusive rights to the ocean at its doorstep, maximizing the value of those waters was the next logical move. And there is perhaps no better place to see how that has been achieved than in the salmon grounds of Alaska. A little while back, I got a bird’s-eye view of this fishery while flying with R. J. Kopchak, a former Alaska commercial salmon fisherman, over Prince William Sound near the southeast Alaska town of Cordova.

“Look at all those boats! Wow, look at that one—he’s got a lotta fish in that net! Jesus Christ!” said Kopchak, who in his retirement from fishing cofounded the Prince William Sound Science Center and regularly observes the fleet. Only a few of the boats were actually fishing, the salmon visibly flashing as they hit the nets. But to the south, a gaggle of vessels had queued up in a surprisingly orderly fashion, waiting to fish this particularly productive spit. “Sometimes the boats will wait in line for five hours, just to fish that point for ten minutes,” Kopchak told me. During the height of the fishing season, one of the members of the fleet is typically designated “the mayor,” taking down names and making sure that every fisherman gets a turn at the salmon.

The orderly nature of the salmon fishery is a relatively recent phenomenon. It took shape in the Pacific in tandem with the establishment of the 200-mile U.S. EEZ. Prior to the 1970s, Alaska’s salmon fisheries had been constitution-ally mandated to be public—a fishery open to all. But as the move to control ocean resources began to ramp up in the early 70s, and as Alaska’s salmon fisheries showed consistent decline from the 1930s onward, the state government changed things dramatically. In 1973, Alaska passed the Limited Entry Act, which effectively capped the number of fishermen who could pursue salmon. As of the year 2000, 63 different Alaskan salmon fisheries were under limitations—with approximately 14,000 individual permits issued. Today it is extremely difficult for a new fisherman to enter. First, an existing permit must be put up for sale—and today, a permit in the Prince William Sound area can cost more than $200,000. In other non-salmonid fisheries elsewhere in Alaska, restricted access is even more extreme. In fisheries such as halibut, regulators limit the number of fishermen and sometimes even pre-allocate exactly how much an individual fisherman may catch. In these kinds of regimes, the result is something that starts to look less like fishing and more like the harvesting of a private herd.

The gradual fencing off of U.S. fisheries would have a curious effect outside American waters. After UNCLOS III went into effect in the early 1990s, Japanese high seas fleets were increasingly restricted in their ability to fish U.S. salmon grounds. U.S. and Canadian regulators even overstepped UNCLOS bounds with a bilateral treaty claiming ownership of all North American–born salmon anywhere in the ocean they might roam, including well outside the EEZ.

In light of these developments, Japanese fisheries officials recognized the need to have some other means of acquiring salmon. Since the 1890s, Japan had been operating salmon hatcheries on the northernmost island of Hokkaido through a handful of private firms. These operations produced a low if consistent number of salmon, which upon release would migrate into the Bering Sea, fatten up, and then return to Japan—where they were harvested by Japanese fishermen. But as fishing restrictions peaked in 1993, Japan greatly boosted its salmon hatchery program. Hatchery fish releases went from under 100 million juveniles in 1950 to a present level of well over 1 billion fish.

Not to be outdone, the U.S. began a salmon supplementation project of its own. Today, about a third of all the “wild” salmon in Alaska are the products of hatcheries. And before being released into the wild, salmon juveniles from those hatcheries are fed wild fish—sometimes anchoveta, sometimes forage fish taken from any number of countries around the world. But forage fish—one of the most poorly regulated classes of fish in the sea—are now such a highly traded commodity item that they can come from dubious sources. In 2007, Alaskan hatchery fish were found to be contaminated with melamine because they’d eaten the same Chinese fishmeal that had tainted Chinese products ranging from chickens to pet food.

Once these hatchery-raised salmon are released into coastal rivers, they head out into the open ocean, where they share the same resources in the Bering Sea as salmon originating from the Japanese side. In other words, prior to the nationalization of oceans, fishing nations competed for salmon. Now those same nations allow their salmon to compete with one another for prey. Japan and the U.S. still fight over fish, only now it is a proxy war where the salmon do the fighting. As a result of all this stock supplementation, there are probably more salmon in the Bering Sea than at any other time in recorded history. Whether those artificially high numbers exceed the carrying capacity of the Bering Sea is now openly debated by scientists. Many in the aquaculture community call this aspect of the Alaskan salmon fishery outright hypocrisy. Why, they ask, are U.S. aquaculturists frequently the target of environmental scrutiny, when hatchery-supplemented salmon may be stressing the Bering Sea ecosystem with an equally punishing effect?

Stock supplementation or not, Americans still can’t seem to get their hands on enough American fish. While the more classic finfish aquaculture off the coasts of Chile, Norway, and Southeast Asia supply the U.S. with a large portion of its seafood, Americans have turned up their noses at near-shore, privately owned aquaculture. From the dawn of salmon farming in 1970 and until 2010, the U.S. coastal population grew by 39 percent. As coastal states have become progressively gentrified, property owners have voiced consistent and effective protest against aquaculture’s presence in their “viewshed.” Today the U.S. remains one of the most difficult places in the world to site aquaculture facilities, even though Americans eat more farmed fish than nearly any other nation on earth.

How, then, in the year 2014—the twentieth anniversary of UNCLOS III’s coming into effect—should the U.S. proceed with using all the ocean resources it has come to acquire? Should we be content with the U.S. wild fish quota satisfying about ten percent of our seafood demand, relying on imported farmed fish for the rest? Should we continue to stealthily stock our EEZ with fish and pretend it’s not really a form of aquaculture? Or should the U.S. revise its vision for its EEZ and think of it as a place where aquaculture could be more ecofriendly, coexisting with wild fish populations?

Neil Sims, the Hawaiian fish farmer who mailed me those two almaco jack from the U.S. EEZ, feels the present model needs to be rethought. “I get emotional about the lack of aquaculture [in the U.S.],” Sims wrote me recently. “I am haunted by the fact that the U.S. has the largest EEZ on the planet. We import the greatest amount of seafood (by dollar value) of all countries on the planet. And how much seafood was commercially grown last year in federal waters? Nothing. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Same as last year. And the year before that . . .”

Sims envisions deep-moored arrays of submersible net pens scattered over the wide expanse of the EEZ in waters so deep and far from shore that, he believes, many of the pollution problems typically associated with aquaculture will be mitigated. “All of the accumulated evidence from open ocean aquaculture operations,” he wrote, “suggests that when located in deep water, with adequate currents, there is no significant increase in nutrient levels once you get away from the immediate area around the net pens.”

In fact, Sims argues, aquaculture could actually improve wild offshore areas. Being far from coastal river mouths, offshore zones are often nutrient-poor and are biologically sparse. This is something Sims believes aquaculture could change. “As this industry scales,” Sims wrote, “there may begin to be some measurable increase in primary productivity (phytoplankton) . . . And with more primary productivity, properly assimilated, you will have more biodiversity, and you have what would generally be considered an ‘improvement’ over otherwise empty ocean space.” Aquaculture scientist Jack Rensel, who has worked with academics, government, and industry since 1974 and who coheads a company that produces software to model the effects of fish farms, thinks similarly: “If there were large fish farms properly located and spaced in the truly blue water [of the] open ocean, there is a huge capacity to assimilate the waste dissolved nitrogen into the food web without perturbation.” After four decades of trying to help farmers optimize fish production while avoiding potentially adverse effects of waste nutrients on nearshore waters, Rensel believes that in the EEZ, “Carbon-containing organic fish waste particles that are not assimilated by the food web can settle to the deep ocean for mineralization and removal from the biosphere. But to date, the industry is limited to locations near shore or, in the U.S., to few if any locations.”

There are, of course, many unknowns here, and it is often difficult to assess the impact of repurposing large swaths of the wild until long after the damage has been done. “Fertilization of almost any kind can have profound effects,” MacArthur Fellow and Blue Ocean Institute President Carl Safina wrote me when I shared some of Neil Sims’s thoughts. “A rusting boat on a coral reef can destroy corals over a wide area because the mere rust provides enough iron to let normally iron-limited seaweeds overgrow corals. Business people who promise that their business will be good if let loose in the world set off very loud alarm bells with me because, usually, those people are dangerously wrong.”

Others in the environmental community put greater faith in the EEZ’s unmodified natural systems to do more than just give us food. “Ultimately, natural ecosystems do a better job of providing a balanced suite of goods and services (including seafood production, resilient food webs, abundant wildlife, biodiversity, etc.) than human engineered systems,” Geoff Shester of the ocean conservation NGO Oceana wrote me. “The more we try to produce more food than our ecosystems naturally provide, the more we will be stealing from future generations. And if it was food production we cared about, we should get rid of the net pens and instead eat the forage species we’re currently feeding to marine finfish. If we did that, we could feed more people healthier food (higher omega-3s and lower contaminants), leave more fish in the ocean, and free ourselves from a sustainability debate which is really about the lesser of evils.” While Shester’s idea is a biologically sound one, getting Americans to switch over from eating big, predatory fish such as salmon to low-trophic forage fish such as anchoveta has remained an elusive goal. The list of the ten most-consumed seafoods in the U.S. contains nary an anchovy nor a sardine.

Because of all the various doubts raised by the environmental community, a pall of skepticism remains around expanding the use of the U.S. EEZ for aquaculture. For the moment, we seem content to import away our fish deficiencies. And so Neil Sims’s EEZ-grown almaco jack that lay on my counter, ready for the fillet knife, would probably be one of the only ones actually eaten by a human.

But ten-plus years into his project—and heading farther and farther out into the EEZ—Sims shows no signs of giving up on his idea. Indeed, it has become something of a crusade, a crusade to get Americans to acknowledge the fact that the fish they are eating is very different from what they imagine it to be.

“It all reminds me of Lewis Carroll’s walrus and the carpenter,” Sims mused at the end of his latest communication to me, “where the walrus is sobbing into his handkerchief over the fate of the oysters . . . but only so he can conceal how many of the larger oysters he is eating.”

conservationmagazine.org/2014/03/aquaculture-in-us-federal-waters/

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Sustainable aquaculture the key to feed 7 billion humans on the planet.

Ocean domestication on large scale or distribution conflicts.

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t58921987/sustainability-population-growth-consumption-growth-ocean-co/

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The ocean sphere habitat - a sphere shell enclosure is the most efficient way to make ocean volume a usable space for human activities - read more here:

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t56239662/oceanic-concrete-sphere-habitat/

Oceanic real estate, as the world becomes ocean oriented more building activity on the water - read more here:

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t43963728/floating-real-estate-building-lots-on-the-water/

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Oceanic concrete sphere habitat - read more here:

http://concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t56239662/oceanic-concrete-sphere-habitat/





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Humanity going oceanic and growing out of its childhood pants:

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t58993851/humanity-growing-out-of-its-childhood-pants/

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(concretesubmarine.com)

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Get a foothold in ocean colonization:

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t49529137/oceanic-frontier-develpment-investment-foothold-in-ocean-col/

The Captain Nemo Lifestyle:

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t43942461/the-captain-nemo-float-out-seasteading/

Why oceanic business is the next big thing to come:

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t56680633/the-reasons-why-oceanic-business-is-the-next-big-thing-to-co/

Ocean sphere fish farming:

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t55433095/ocean-sphere-the-next-wave-of-sustainable-fish-farming/

Ocean colonization gallery:

imulead.com/tolimared/concretesubmarine/picturegallery/concept/

Big things have small beginnings ocean colonization transition, potential:

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t58002383/big-things-have-small-beginnings-transition-capability-key-f/

Sustainability on Planet Earth only the oceans can safe us:

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t58921987/sustainability-population-growth-consumption-growth-ocean-co/

Free spirited oceanic lifestyle global mobility:

concretesubmarine.activeboard.com/t58935854/subdue-to-nobody/

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/ Lens shell pictures overview / / Ramform floating home pictures / / c-shell floating home pictures / / Floating concrete building methods / / shell cluster pictures / / investor proposal list /



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submarine yacht 25m wilfried ellmer yook3 submarine yacht wilfried ellmer yook3 submarine prototype concrete submarine yacht submarine yacht hull Cartagena 200ton 18m submarine yacht pictures submarine yacht key player network



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nautilusmaker.com/t/what-you-should-know-about-me/1584/1


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