Project Title: The
Ocean Drifter -- Fish Farming on a Global Scale
Goudey, MIT Sea Grant
Drifter - Fish Farming on a Global Scale
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CFER is developing
a novel approach to open-ocean aquaculture. The Ocean Drifter is
a self-propelled fish farming system that
can operate in the open ocean and survive the severest marine weather
conditions. The concept pictured below is a derivative of the Sea
Station® cage developed by Ocean Spar Technologies; however,
this version is much larger and has its own propulsion and maneuvering
system (see Figures 1 and 2). Model tests at DTMB have demonstrated
the seaworthiness of the concept and characterized the power requirements.
The current focus is on optimizing operation in ocean currents.
Click an image to view a full-size version.
1: A 64,000 cu. m. Ocean Drifter.
2: Central spar.
seemingly novel, the concept of mobile fish farming is not new.
Past concepts have typically involved the use of obsolete ship
hulls or purpose-built barges. Because of the capital- and energy-intensive
nature of such approaches, they have not prospered. In addition,
in spite of their size, such surface platforms and their swimming
cargos are very vulnerable to extreme weather.
By contrast, the Ocean Drifter can be economical from a capital-cost/growing
volume standpoint, and, because its primary mode of transport is
by ocean currents, it is energy efficient by comparison. Also,
because of the depth of the Ocean Drifter containment volume and
the small waterplane area of the central spar, the system is extremely
stable and nearly immune to storms. An early report on Ocean Drifter
model tests can be found at: link.
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