Open Fish Farming in Panama
A couple weeks ago we headed to Panama to test our technology at a high-energy open ocean farm. We were working with InnovaSea, a company committed to producing innovative, environmentally-focused sustainable technologies for the aquaculture industry.
In Panama, InnovaSea is working closely with Open Blue to help pioneer farming in the open ocean. Open Blue operates a farm off the coast of Panama where they raise Cobia in their native waters. The Open Blue farm is 8 miles offshore in pristine blue waters and is the largest open ocean farm of its kind in the world.
InnovaSea had heard about our products and were curious to see if the aquaMeasure and our underwater communications could work in the unrelenting water conditions off the shores of Panama. Their grid is much larger than what we typically see at coastal salmon farms and because of the continuous high surface energy, their cages are submerged under water.
We were happy to oblige, always ready to show off our technology to those as passionate about aquaculture as we are. We were confident that our product could withstand the challenging water conditions and were ready to put our products to the test.
Early in the week, we went to work testing the range. When we arrived on site, we caught our first glimpse of the SeaStation. The SeaStation is an impressive display of engineering technology. A net-pen intended for the open ocean, they have been designed to survive in high-energy environments and are fully functional both at the surface and when submerged. While the high-water energy created logistical challenges, it is excellent water quality for farming with high DO and consistent water temperatures year round.
In Panama, the Sea Station’s are deployed in a grid. We worked primarily in a 2 x 6 grid with twelve pens. During the day, the offshore site was very busy, with several boats and employees servicing the biomass with ongoing cage stocking, harvesting and feeding operations. The distance between each pen is approximately 100 meters and we worked with the local divers to deploy sensors throughout the grid and within the SeaStation. While testing continues, we are happy to report that these sensors provided full coverage to the entire grid.
We were very fortunate to spend the week with a team of professionals who are truly at the leading edge of aquaculture innovation. InnovaSea is committed to responsible aquaculture in the ocean, and Open Blue is committed to nourishing current and future generations with their premier fish, the Open Blue Cobia, a high-quality sashimi grade fish whose taste is undeniably delicious. We appreciate their hospitality and look forward to working together in the future.