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Aquaculture potential in the Caribbean – breeding Mero Guasa – Rafael Vieira

Home Forums Research Business Aquaculture potential in the Caribbean – breeding Mero Guasa – Rafael Vieira

This topic contains 25 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of  Anonymous 4 years ago.

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    I admit that i understand aquaculture much less than you do – just the fact that you can name the parasites in latin make me bow.

    There is a beauty in what Ted Turner implemented in raising cattle in the midwest – he just put the buffalo on the prairie again – herds them up with helicopter and this is the ONLY interaction he has with his “cattle”. They take care of parasites and vet issues themselves as they have evolved to do and have done before humans appeared – and it looks that Ted Turner is making profit too – in colombia we have a parallel with the african buffalo – these animals – still members of the bovine family prosper and get fat in conditions european domesticated cattle would die within weeks. – i would look for a fish that can be treated the same way for seasteading – i got the impression that mero guasa could be that for the caribbean.

    In the Acuario they do not even touch the fish during a lifetime, they do not check for infection, they leave canibalizing go its course, just throw sardines into the cages, what comes out seems to be still good business.

    You are correct that local factors may play a dominant rol which kind of aquaculture is indicated.


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    I understand your intended strategy, I’m just pointing out that the genus might not be suitable for what you intend since they’re more akin to Siberian Tigers than American Bison. It might make more sense to ranch a herbivore like Chanos chanos, the milk fish. They’re extremely easy to breed and are immune to most kinds of parasites. They’re filter feeders and require no feeding. This monoculture system works in almost every concievable spot where you’d place a seastead.

    If you’re thinking to take a polyculture approach though, grouper can be kept with things like lobsters, crabs and shrimp, which are their preferred natural prey items as well as things like sea cucumbers, oysters, mussels and edible snails. Milk fish work well in those environments as well. The idea there would be to build the ecosystem and manage it, much like what Ted Turner has done with bison. This does however, require massive(Several square kilometers) tracts of “land” in the form of reef no more than 15m below the surface.

    But I believe you mentioned your preference for wide flat structures so this might work very well in your favour. And you could incorporate tourism into the agriculture model as well. Which is actually what I’m attemping over here in Singapore.

    The nice thing about marine ecosystems is that so much of it is harvestable from predators, herbivores and scavengers. Where in terrestrial systems you would only harvest bison and ignore all the rodents and insects.

    Drop me an email if you need help, always willing to assist the more serious members =)

    King Shannon of the Constitutional Monarchy of Logos.

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    Oceanspar, http://www.oceanspar.com/seastation.htm, 600 to 6,000 m³, Aquapod, my favorite, http://www.oceanfarmtech.com/aquapod.htm , is submersible, can be floated to surface and spun for service, removable and replaceable panels, towable by boat, 115 cubic meters (8 m diameter) to 11,000 cubic meters (28 m diameter).

    I’ve considered a tensegrity sphere along the lines of Aquapod, uses much less rigid material, but harder to replace a panel of mesh, http://mositampa.blogspot.com/2009/08/tensile-intergrity-sphere.html .


    aquapod, oceanspar, a seastead can also have integrated cages… so this is again an example where the business model will influence the form of the seastead.

    . .

    In general i would start to assemble a couple of floating elements type breakwater marina and get the business going keeping an eye on being modular and expandable, sparse connection between floating elements will favor aquaculture.


    I have no doubth that you can grow and harvest a whole eco sistem below and around a seastead. The most critical phase is the start up phase where you have only money for a few small cages, no lab, limited knowledge and need something simple to start and make money – so XNS what would your recommendation for that kind of start up be?

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    Admiral Dotty as a fish farmer, what is the cubic meter volume of an optimal cage, and what material is it made from?

    chadsims wrote:

    If the cage is only a few meeters underwater as you say, you really wouldn’t need scooba gear. I used to be able to stay under water for two minutes. Simple practice and googles would be more than enough to do most repairs and to get down to the fish. It’s also more cost effective.

    for very small repairs maybe.

    but for major repairs and construction, scuba gear is imperative. Though maybe not as at end of post.

    For instance even with hydraulic quick-drying water-plug concrete, you may have to hold it in place for several minutes, which can exceed the 2 minute threshold, or even less considering you have to swim down and up.

    When doing construction, especially considering it may involve working with tools, wires, at a range of locations and angles, for potentially hours at a time, scuba gear would save a lot of time in travel, and be much easier on the body, as the pressure gradients would be more consistent.

    Also being so attentive to the fish, we could maintain them in good health.

    In my mind I see a wide flat bottomed boat as the best choice for seasteading. It would be easy to swim under to fix because it’s width would help it to stay high in the water.

    er but then it’ll be hard to get out from underneath, could get trapped, floating into the floor. Wheras if it was a keelboat shape, even if you do work on the very bottom, and get knocked unconcious, you’ll still float up to the surface. Also recall it’s easier to work on something beside you, than above you…

    The issue, if my knowlidge is right would be stability in storms for this design. Purhaps a ‘weight’ A simple weight hung off of a rope at the center of the bottom to increase stability. Or maybe one at each corner would be best? Ideas?

    ‘Lead, Follow, or get out of my way.’ -Unknown

    I guess the kon-tiki was more or less flat bottomed square shape…

    Though any hull shape less than round in boats, is used almost solely due to haste, i.e. flatties and chines are easier to make with straight pieces of wood.

    I can agree on having a polygon for an internal skeleton made of ibeams, if you’re going for some very large ships or those with high depth requirements. Generally rebar is sufficient, and rebar is easy to bend into round shapes, just remember to have diagonals and you’ll get a nice shape.

    We could make incremental islands by making the boat in a dome shape, perhaps working in a spiral, so can make a small one first, add in some fish, work on the next spiral, add in more fish, or let the current ones grow, then once we get to a large enough radius, can start on the roof going inwards, but still making more room for fish.

    Of course until we can apply all our concrete underwater, we’d still have to have a drydock, that can lift the “island frame” and hold it while we apply at least the first few layers of concrete on the bottom.

    That way we could assemble it only using snorkle, with minimal dives.

    We with You are a Network, our goal to become technologically-enabled reproducible family communities. http://weyounet.info

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    Ok so a few Concrete pontoons with cross planking. Build them one cell at a time. Keep adding them together till you have a say six strapped together. Easier to move and if the pontoons are big enough you could mount a crane on it to lift the cages up at harvest time and when cages need to be repaired.


    to get a closer picture about the mero guasa breeding project in the rosario islands check ( here ) there are videos of the cages and the fish.

    The facility works in part as a tourist attraction (dolphins, restaurants) in part as a scientific aquaculture center.

    The cages are simple piloted areas in shallow water the whole site is built on stilts.

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    I’d start using something like the plastic cages I designed/built last year, courtesy of admiral doty and patri’s investment. I remember posting photos here some time ago, but I can’t seem to find them anymore. But basically you need to do the following:

    1) Build a cheap, bouyant, 2m x 2m x 2m plastic net-cage reinforced with 6062 aluminium. Each one shouldn’t cost you more that $1000 in materials.

    2) Find somewhere accessable to anchor it. It has to be close enough to shore that you can access it in a few minutes but far enough from pollution that you can eat your produce without worrying about contaminants. In asia you can lease ocean space from the government to build a farm. It costs $800 a year in Singapore for a 5000m2 plot. I’d imagine similar prices where you are Ellmer.

    3) Place fish that will attain a total maximum weight of 20kg for each cubic meter of water they have in the cage. For example, if you want to harvest grouper at 800g you should stock (20/0.8 x Volume) = SD

    4) While the fish are growing out, you can harvest the mussels or oysters that grow on the sides of the cage along with corals and sponges

    5) Establish contacts with a restaurant, fishmonger or pet shop who will buy your harvest

    6) Slowly expand your business.


    – Hang a light directly above the centre of your cage for a few hours every night when your fish are young, this attracts all sorts of tiny critters that your grouper will eat.

    – Clean un-sellable items off the cage once a week with a brush, this improves flow rates and allows desirable biofouling organisms(oysters) to grow.

    – Invite potential buyers to your farm, you can usually sell at a premium from there since it’s fresher

    – Don’t clean biofouling off anything that isn’t a boat, intake or cage. You’re growing an ecosystem, not a sterile environment.

    Ah ha! found a video:

    King Shannon of the Constitutional Monarchy of Logos.

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    Seems like it would be useful to have an inner cage or a flat net with a coarser weave to lay on the bottom so the fish can be sorted once a week by just lifting the coarse net or cage out of the pen along with the larger fish to move to the next larger sized fish pen. Inteesting point you made earlier regarding sorting to avoid cannibalism – that one was new to me.

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    5 years to maturation? What would the turn-around be? How early can you sell them? Currently subject to overfishing pressure, in the Mediteranian… Possible high-value export, if shipping is reasonable…



    Never be afraid to try something new…

    Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.

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    Farm raised fish are typically harvested within one year.

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