I appreciate the debate and the information on floating farms. Let me tell you more about my interest in farming at sea. First, I’ve only got the resources to buy two boats and about a quarter million to assemble the farm so I am not interested in, nor can I afford, an industrial operation. My interest is in innovating and testing a family farm seasteader model, maybe just a 10 acre free floating vertical farm to start with. If we have any success in profitability, then I can go get financing to scale up to 20 or 40 acres, whatever makes sense. My wife and I, and our two grown sons would run the operation on site, with additional labor.
I am just getting started in exploring this idea, so I don’t have a feasibility study yet. I don’t even know what the farm will look like. I’m interested in the Pacific because I’m looking for calm seas because whatever I can afford to build will not be hurricane proof. I’m thinking of building a flexible floating structure so the sea does not shake it apart. Yet it would have to be rigid enough to hold its shape. I’m thinking of assembling hexagons with 20’ 3" PVC pipe threaded with robust line. It would float with buoys. Many of the hexagons on the periphery would be reinforced to maintain their shape, which I hope would keep the entire structure in shape. Seaweed lines would run throughout. I could hang nets for fish farming and cages for mussels and scallops.
At this point I know I am naive on almost every aspect of this idea. Will the structure hold up? Is the Pacific calm enough? Is it just calm enough on the equator? How do I keep my farm in the calm regions? It will not be able to be easily towed. Could the farm just float back and forth on the equatorial currents? Yet the supply and distribution lines get very long. Will my seaweed grow in the open Pacific? Can I pump up nutrients from 600 meters down? Are there nutrients there and can I pump enough to allow my seaweed to grow? If I can’t sell and/or deliver the seaweed can I feed it to the fish I’m growing? Or, if I am growing sardines, can I feed the seaweed to plankton that then feed my sardines? I’m thinking that I don’t need to deliver fish. With all the commercial fishing boats prowling the seas I could sell my fish to them. Is this true?
I really appreciate your input and, your ideas of where I can go to get some of these answers.