Con­fer­ence de­bates ‘new frontier’ of ocean farm­ing

Fish Farmer - - World News -

A GROUP of lead­ing sci­en­tists were due to meet in Nel­son, New Zealand, early this month to de­bate mov­ing aqua­cul­ture away from shel­tered coastal ar­eas to open ocean farm­ing.

The event was be­ing hosted by New Zealand’s largest in­de­pen­dent sci­ence or­gan­i­sa­tion, the Cawthron In­sti­tute, at its in­au­gu­ral Open Oceans aqua­cul­ture sym­po­sium, ti­tled ‘Un­lock­ing the po­ten­tial of our oceans’.

Un­der dis­cus­sion at the meet­ing – from Au­gust 5-7 - was how open ocean aqua­cul­ture devel­op­ments in both shellfish and fin­fish farm­ing could rev­o­lu­tionise the global aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try.

Cawthron In­sti­tute CEO Pro­fes­sor Charles Ea­son said aqua­cul­ture in a num­ber of coun­tries, in­clud­ing New Zealand, was be­ing con­strained by lim­ited in­shore farm space.

The new frontier, he be­lieves, is open ocean aqua­cul­ture, where there are large tracts of con­sented space avail­able, but also where farm­ing in ex­posed wa­ters was chal­leng­ing.

This will mean new en­gi­neer­ing con­cepts and farm­ing ap­proaches to pro­vide con­fi­dence for in­vestors.

‘The Cawthron In­sti­tute is ad­vanc­ing open ocean aqua­cul­ture tech­nol­ogy through the de­vel­op­ment of new tools and meth­ods to cost ef­fec­tively farm shellfish and fin­fish,’ he said.

Pro­fes­sor Ea­son said the sym­po­sium was a unique op­por­tu­nity to bring to­gether in­dus­try and global re­search lead­ers.

Those due to at­tend in­cluded Hans V. Bjel­land, direc­tor of Ex­posed Aqua­cul­ture at the Cen­tre for re­search based in­no­va­tion from Trond­heim, Nor­way, and Arndt Hilde­brandt from the Lud­wig-Franz­ius In­sti­tute for Hy­draulic, Es­tu­ar­ine, and Coastal En­gi­neer­ing in Hanover, Ger­many.

Cawthron’s aqua­cul­ture spe­cial­ist Kevin Heas­man, who is lead­ing the de­vel­op­ment of the meth­ods to farm fin­fish and shellfish in the open ocean, was also ad­dress­ing the sym­po­sium.

Above: Nel­son, New Zealand

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