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Fish farming "superyacht" gains regulatory approval

Salmonids Marine fish Technology & equipment +5 more

A 170m self-propelled fish farm developed by Ocean Ark Tech (OATECH) of Chile and its strategic ally, London-based Ocean Sovereign, is one step closer to delivering fish to market after winning a key approval.

The design for the Ocean Ark fish farm

Registro Italiano Navale (RINA) announced today an Approval in Principle (AiP) of the new-concept offshore fish-farming system, Ocean Ark. The vessel aims to deliver a new approach to aquaculture – that improves fish health, crew comfort and the industry’s image.

The AI-assisted, low-emission trimaran is being designed with self-cleaning copper fish pens. According to OATECH, finance has been secured for several units, while MOUs to build the vessels have been signed with a range of world-leading shipyards, including China Merchants Industry holdings, Tersan and CIMC Raffles.

According to OATECH: “Deploying the Ocean Ark away from marine heatwaves, algae blooms and storms – aquaculture’s three Achilles’ heels – would produce higher quality fish and increase world protein production without increasing pressures on wild stocks, coastal habitats or on-land water resources.”

“We have applied all our knowledge and experience in the design, engineering and development of this farming ark superyacht, including the dynamic and static modelling that test wave resistance. The ships offer a solid business plan for fish production,” said OATECH founder, Rodrigo Sanchez Raccaro, in a press release.

“This superyacht fish farm was designed to operate offshore, where the best conditions are met for the fish,” he added. “This technology allows low-density production of healthier, higher-quality fish at lower costs than the offshore, land-based and coastal aquaculture systems now available. The Ocean Ark can operate near Asian, US and EU consumer markets for a major drop in transport emissions.”

Find out more about offshore aquaculture here.

RINA Marine Principal Engineer for Northwest Europe, Patrizio Di Francesco, said, “This is an unusual vessel. Its AiP presents a milestone for both the fish farming industry and for the classification of unconventional ships. It is an innovative approach to the sustainable harvesting of fish to help secure food security and sovereignty and one which may revolutionise fish farming for the future.”