Ocean Farm 1 is the world’s first deep-sea aquaculture farm. It is designed by leading salmon farmer SalMar ASA (of Norway). They paid China Shipbuilding Industry $300 million for six facilities.
The first pilot system is 67 meters (220 feet high) and a diameter of 110 meters (football field length). It has the volume of over two hundred Olympic swimming pools. The pilot system can withstand 50 foot (15 meter) waves.
Movable, submerged valves disperse food to allow fish to live at depths instead of clustering near the surface for feeding. The ocean current helps clear out the waste to keep low mortality and healthier fish.
The production unit will be around 70 meters high and will have a diameter of around 160 meters. the production unit will be able to produce 12,000 tons of fish each year. The production system can withstand 100 foot (31 meter) waves. The systems can be put anywhere in the open sea.
The new system will be able to grow 3 million salmon each year. The production ocean fish farm will cost 157 million euros.
Back in 2006, I had a prediction that there would be a cubic mile of deep ocean fish farms by the end of 2025. It would take about 2,500 of the production sized ocean fish farms to reach that volume. The number of fish farms and reaching the overall volume now seems likely. It is a matter of when. It could be in the 2030-2050 timeframe.
China is also deploying these large fish farms in the Yellow Sea.
A 35-meter-high cage will be deployed in the Yellow Sea about 130 nautical miles east of Rizhao where the cold water is believed to be a suitable habitat for the fish. Wang Yu, head of the Hubei Marine Engineering Equipment Research Institute, said the cage had a volume of 50,000 cubic meters and could generate a harvest of about 1,500 tonnes of salmon per season.
More open sea farms in China and other locations could follow. China estimates the Yellow Sea could support an industry of more than 100 billion yuan (US$15.7 billion). This would be about 1000 of the large Salmar production sized systems.
The value of the global fish trade was about $150 billion in 2017. This was an increase of about 7% compared with 2016. Global aquaculture production is anticipated to exceed the 100 million tonne mark for the first time in 2025 and to reach 102 million tonnes by 2026.
Salmon is growing in popularity in China, with the country consuming about 70,000 tonnes of the fish each year.
There are over 1000 ocean oil platforms. Ocean oil platforms are even larger than the ocean fish farm.