Is this self-propelled, AI-assisted 170m trimaran the future of fish farming?

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Oceangoing Aquaculture Vessel Gains RINA Approval.

On Tuesday, ship classification society, RINA announced the Approval in Principle (AiP) of a new-concept offshore fish-farming vessel.

The fish-farming “Ocean Ark” vessel has been developed by Ocean Arks Tech of Chile (OATECH) in accordance with RINA rules and Marpol, Solas and IMO regulations.

Ocean Ark 1.jpg

New approach
According to a release issue by RINA, the “Ocean Ark” vessel delivers a new approach to fish farming and is set to revolutionise the industry. The company claims the ship is capable of not only fish health but also crew comfort and the industry’s image.

The “Ocean Ark” is designed to be deployed away from marine heatwaves, algae blooms and storms.

RINA Marine Principal Engineer for North West Europe, Patrizio Di Francesco. PHOTO: LinkedIn

RINA Marine Principal Engineer for North West Europe, Patrizio Di Francesco said, “Sustainability is a core strategic pillar at RINA, but this is not just about reducing carbon emissions. A sustainable food production chain is also needed to supply an increasing global demand for nutrition. We believe aquaculture in the open sea is one solution that will help for the future.”

AI-assisted
The fish-farming vessel is a self-propelled, AI-assisted, low emissions trimaran 170 m long and 64 m wide. Artificial intelligence and self-cleaning fish cages of copper help secure fish health and welfare.

According to the release, finance is secured for several units and MOU’s to build a number of Ocean Arks have been signed with a range of world-leading shipyards that include China Merchants Industry holdings, Tersan and CIMC Raffles.

With its capacity of 4,000 tons of biomass, the company claims this new technology allows for the low-density production of healthier, higher-quality fish at lower costs than the offshore, land-based and coastal aquaculture systems now available. The ability for the ship to operate near Asian, US and EU consumer markets will reduce the amount of emissions.

“This is an unusual vessel. Its AiP presents a milestone for both the fish farming industry and for the classification of ships with an unconventional design. It is an innovative approach to the sustainable harvesting of fish to help ensure food security and sovereignty and one which may revolutionise fish farming for the future” Di Francesco concluded.