Sustainable deepwater fish farms could propel the fishing industry into a new direction and in an “environmentally responsible manner” by replenishing depleted wild stocks that have been affected by overfishing and pollution. Marine biologist Neil Sims is helping to spearhead this initiative with Hawaii-based Ocean Era (formerly Kampachi Farms), a start-up that’s established offshore.
Ocean Era breeds “sushi-grade fish” in pens 230 feet and almost 4 miles (70 meters deep, 6 km) from the coast. Currently, aquaculture (the farming of fish, seafood and aquatic plants) already accounts for about half the fish eaten worldwide. However, these fish farms are typically located in coastal waters where the fecal waste produced by the fish, and chemicals used in the farming process potentially impacts the environment.
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Eco-friendly Ocean Era Farms reportedly benefits from strong currents and deeper waters, which help to dilute and wash away excrement. These open sea conditions are beneficial as “the waters are very pure” and “the fish are in their natural habitat,” which doesn’t negatively impact density or add pollution.