Development of Effective and Low Cost Predator Exclusion Devices for Offshore Aquaculture Facilities in the United States EEZ
Mariculture will be a significant global industry for food fish production. The United States lags behind other nations in the use of aquaculture to meet the growing demand for food fish in the global marketplace. Sustainable, offshore aquaculture will alleviate many problems currently faced by near shore marine aquaculture operations, such as pollution and navigational/recreational conflicts while preserving aesthetic values. Offshore aquaculture is the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the United States most practical approach to meeting the growing demand. Recently two pioneering offshore aquaculture companies, Snapperfarm, Inc. in Puerto Rico and AquaSense, LLC in the Bahamas have experienced major problems with sharks that have nearly put them out of business. SnapperfarmÂ¿s main goal of this Phase I project is to overcome a major obstacle for offshore aquaculture development by creating simple, economically viable systems for predator exclusion. Different predator nets and an electronic shark deterrent system will be tested in Phase I. Phase II can expand on the work done in Phase I by refining the predator nets to make them more effective and less expensive, and to refine the electronic shark deterrent system to make a robust, powerful unit that can be wired into a grid to protect a wide area around the farm. The development of an effective, economically viable solution to this problem will reduce one of the many risks faced by offshore aquaculture ventures.
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PO Box 685 Culebra, PR 00775
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