To combine a profitable business model and a platform suitable to survive in international waters is one of the challenges of the seasteading movement. We have seen in the Sink or Swim Business Plan Contest, that aquaculture (fish farming) is one of the most promising business in international waters. We have also seen that semisubmersibles are the best platforms to be deployed in the open ocean, both with the Clubstead or with the semisubmersible flotels. So it could be good to combine both concepts, fish farming and semisubmersible platforms, to create a seastead. This has been already done some years ago with a patented concept vessel by IZAR-Fene shipyard (formerly ASTANO) called the Restocking Ship. We present here below a brief description of the vessel.
The Restocking Ship
It’s long been our feeling that the ocean is a vast reserve and that we don’t have to worry about things such as fish shortages, as evidenced by archaeological excavations that reveal our ancestors having used boats to fish.
But the rapid depletion of fish stocks is the inevitable outcome of sophisticated industrial technology being thrown at decreasing marine populations as demand rises, fueled by growth in human population and rising incomes.
Aquaculture and stock enhancement programs could help ameliorate the coming shortages.
The restocking ship is thought to be one of the most efficient ways to implement stock enhancement programs.
The patented vessel resembles an offshore semi-submersible unit and is supported by buoyancy columns and three storage tanks placed underwater within the hull structure. A double deck is arranged into the structure to hold additional hatchery and filtering areas, while side tanks are used for ballast purposes.
On top of the buoyancy columns, large surfaces are provided for hatchery of fish fry, laboratories, offices, living quarters, etc. The vessel is outfitted with electric propulsion for transit at 6 knots between fishing grounds to make provision of zooplankton.
The ship would receive fish pumped at sea directly from trawl codends along three meter diameter pipelines. Fish pumped onto the ship would first be used for scientific stock assessments, and then their eggs would be released into nets beneath the ship and hatchery area within a double deck.
Fish fry would be grown aboard. The unit would act both as hatchery and safe havens for eggs and larvae during the most vulnerable stages of their life cycles.
Tanks to hold plankton and newly-hatched fish would be situated on the semisubmersible ship’s main deck.
On board the unit, egg and larvae mortality after two-three months will be reduced dramatically. If the young fish are then released into the sea, and the ratio of adult fish surviving after three years compared to wild reproduction will be augmented exponentially.
Additionally, this unit could help to cut short fleet scrapping programs and kick-start flagging fisheries for many species around the world.