Aquaculture INITIATIVES

 

MERQUA DRIFTFARM

Open Ocean Restocking Fish Farms(Ocean Water Drift)

Ocean based fish farming at a very large scale has been designed, but never implemented. Utilizing modern technologies and innovative strategies, deep ocean fish farming is now a reality requiring only funding to restock our oceans.  The DragonsHeart Aquaculture team helped to develop a new concept in open-ocean finfish farming which is called the MerQua Driftfarm (MD), consisting of several MD units grouped together to form one large MD pod, and a large support ship with fleets of specialized processing ships. This is our innovative means of restocking oceans, rivers and bays for the future.

 

The MerQua is a newly-developed, self-contained open-ocean finfish rearing facility (similar to the M.I.T. Sea Grant) which relies on the natural ocean currents to steer and propel it from one continent to another. It consists of a central spar, or sealed, hollow tube, which houses a small crew, including their provisions, kitchen and hygienic facilities.

The spar also contains satellite navigation and communications gear, feed for the fish, an onboard DragonsHeart power generator, and lastly, a water and concrete ballast to maintain buoyancy and balance. 

Only the top 12 feet (four meters) of the Pilot house remains above water while in motion. This design has proven to be the safest in rough seas, and can weather even the severest of wind and wave conditions with relative ease because of its submerged cargo and weight which stabilizes the entire unit.

 

Around the central spar is a tethered, circular net cage, which contains the fish. The top of the cage is attached to the central spar below the waterline, and the lower end of the net cage is attached to the bottom end of the spar, as you can see in the picture (above). For navigational course corrections or for final docking maneuvers, two powerful electrical thrusters are located on the circular frame, powered by a DragonsHeart generator.

We would initially configure the MD units minimally into groups of six, thereby creating a MerQua community or pod. This large pod of MD units will allow the combined crew members to form a seagoing 'family' with which to interact and circumvent boredom on long voyages. 

A provisions ship would service this floating community as needed with supplies and fuel for the crew and feed for the fish. They would also provide extra personnel for major repairs, along with parts, special materials and tools, if needed. 

A typical voyage would begin, for example, off the Florida coast, and proceed eastward across the Atlantic ocean towards the UK or Africa, where it offloads the now-mature fish crop for market, and takes on a new crop of young fish from our fish hatcheries in that area. After a much-needed layover in a coastal city, the MD crew would then begin their journey back to the US, skirting the northern end of South America on its way back to Florida. A one-way trip would take around 8 to 9 months, depending on the species of fish being delivered. As you can see on the map below, there are many circular current paths for the MD to follow all around the world. 

DragonsHeart foresees numerous MD farms re-populating the oceans of the world. In addition to providing fresh, healthy fish for the market, they would also be continuously re-populating the oceans.. The Feeding system could be provided abundant supplies by the nutrients from the OTEC upwelling which in general attract and supply nutrients for such abundant fishing, it makes the OTEC or SEATEC a profitable investment. 

Plankton from the bottom of the sea form skeletons when inoculated by the sun, and sink to the bottom thus providing a massive carbon sink. It is known that there are pockets of CO2 and it is hoped it will be possible to place OTECS in these regions. 

This was offered as an answer to global warning twenty years ago by our Co-Founder in the book “Living Water” and is presently being offered as a total solution by some ecological scientists. Further, as reports say that fishing will be exhausted by 2048, the restocking of the seas is vital to the survival of life as we know it.

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