Aquaculture's future is offshore

13 Mar 2017
The 7th Offshore Mariculture conference was held this month in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

The 7th Offshore Mariculture conference was held this month in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

The 7th Offshore Mariculture Conference 2017 took place from 6-10 March in Mexico and highlighted the huge potential for offshore aquaculture, in America and around the world.

During the segment, Offshore Aquaculture in the Americas, Neil Sims, co-Founder and co-CEO of Kampachi Farms LC and Founding President of the Ocean Stewards Institute discussed the potential of offshore aquaculture.

He said that the transition of using more innovative farms into exposed waters should expand incrementally.

“Aquaculture must still up its game. This is a modern industry and there’s still much to learn. Sub-Saharan Africa needs more fish, investment and capacity are needed,” explained Arni Mathiesen, director general of the fisheries and aquaculture department of the FAO.

An example given was Maya Fish which has established itself on the eastern side of Mexico, coping with the challenges of offshore mariculture in the Gulf of Mexico to raise red drum for the US market with production encompassing all stages of the process from hatchery to fattening in deep water and processing.

Rodrigo Sánchez’s vision of open ocean aquaculture begins with copper alloy cages that offer challenges and opportunities, providing advantages.

He explained his view and support for open ocean aquaculture, and has a vision of ships capable of following cages deployed in the open sea, moving aquaculture away from coastal zones where more than 90% of aquaculture currently takes place.

The vision is for a 60m vessel consisting of a system of copper alloy cages that can spend several weeks at sea, capable of growing salmon, trout, cobia, tuna or seriola in its cages, with capacity for 450 tonnes of fish.