We thought long and hard about the relevance of a fish farming story to our readers but the saga of Aquapods is a compelling one. You see, we tend to think of fish farming as the kind of thing that happens “somewhere else”, just the same way we think of traditional land-based farming that way. The thing is, that nearly all fish farming is done near shore, exacerbating many environmental problems of pollution, disease and a general deterioration of the coastal environment.
In America these near-shore fish farming environments are generally in estuaries, bays and generally non-reef associated environments but we’ll give you one guess as to where this kind of fish farming happens in more tropical countries – if you guessed “near reefs”, you’d be right. During our travels through Indonesia, and even the seemingly remote islands of Flores and Komodo, we flew over and boated past countless different types of aquaculture farms which raised everything from milkfish to pearl oysters – how do you think Bali Aquarich got its start? Sure as heck wasn’t breeding clownfish.
A new venture similar to Oceanspheres called Aquapods is already underway at neutralizing some of the problems associated with near shore fish farming, primarily by creating gigantic off shore ocean pens. The Aquapods are a form of geodesic sphere which hold the maximum amount of volume with a minimum amount of surface area, giving them a better chance at surviving the harsh weather and storms that can occur offshore.
Already a number of Aquapods are being tested and researched in La Paz, Mexico where a single installation can raise nearly 100,000 large ocean food fish. The Aquapods were created and developed by Ocean Farm Technologies who believes that the future of seafood, and the future of farmed seafood together with better functioning near shore ecologies is by raising oceanic fish in oceanic conditions, off shore.
This kind of development in off shore fishing technologies is very important not only to satisfy our growing demand for seafood but also to protect and preserve the coastal ecosystems which we cherish and appreciate in our aquariums. Ten years ago, farmed seafood was the exception to wild caught, and now in many places the reverse is true.
Hopefully in the near future we’ll also have choice of near shore and offshore farmed seafood as well. Part of being a saltwater aquarist is not just about buying sustainably harvested fish and corals for aquariums, but also about being more informed than the average citizen so we can make the best choice for every decision we make that impacts our planet, and especially the sea. [Motherboard]