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Hawaii Oceanic Technology Shuts Its Doors After Almost Ten Years in Business

Lucy Towers
27 January 2017, at 12:00am

US - Hawaii Oceanic Technology Inc., a Honolulu-based open ocean fish farming technology company, has shut down after nearly a decade in business.

Bill Spencer, CEO of the company, said in a recent letter to the state Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) that the company’s board voted to dissolve the company effective December 31 and requests that its lease with the state be cancelled, reports Pacific Business News.

When it started, the business had planned to place 12 “Oceanspheres” on a 247-acre site in the deep waters 2.6 miles off the Kohala Coast on the Big Island.

The BLNR is scheduled to make its decision today (Friday) regarding the cancellation of the company’s lease as of Dec. 31, although state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ executives recommend the BLNR to cancel the lease.

The company’s large sphere-shaped, untethered fish cages would’ve raised bigeye and yellowfin tuna.

The fish cages were expected to product 6,000 tons of tuna, which would’ve been branded “King Ahi,” per year.

Spencer, former longtime head of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association, said the company never began commercial operations on the site nor did it at any time use or build permanent or temporary facilities.

The goal of the company, which attained U.S. patents, “was to demonstrate new fish farming technology that allows pelagic species such as tuna to be grown in deep ocean waters where constant currents and large volumes of clean water assure fish health and rapid mineralization of effluents.”