Modern fish farm

(Conrad Kramer) #51

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.

Conrad Kramer


More of your hypocritical BS. TSI graciously allowed, on THEIR website, paid to be up and running by gracious donors, not 1 but 2 threads for JL to gain support, network and further develop his Gulfstead Project. And you are part of that project. It does benefit you directly.

Intended Incubator Site as Complete Support Base of Operations for the Gulf of Mexico

Biting the hand that feed you,…

Why should Joe answer Conrad request?? It wasn’t addressed to Joe or TSI. It was personally addressed to me.

The only irrelevant facts here are your postings.


Bren of GreeWave said his effort could be duplicated with ~$20k and a boat and he’s got ~30 acres tethered to the bottom.

Making it float and having sufficient ballast to maintain a vertical orientation isn’t as difficult as it sounds, but 2 boats and $250k worth of materials and ingenuity could probably get it floating properly.

Maybe use some variation of those ‘H’ frames, with spreader/separator bars and flexible couplings?


It wasn’t addressed to you,…

Au contraire! (quite the contrary, French) I wish you the best of luck and hope you succeed in attaining your goals.


Deleted. I only caught from you quoting my thread, down, and missed the first part. Phone screens are too small to do real service. My apologies.


No problem…


That’s a nice chunk of cash that will get you started up pretty fast on 10 acres.

I thought you mentioned French Polynesia as location. If location not established yet, you can’t do a feasibility study,… Kind of a catch 22.

The Pacific (offshore) is very rough. I would suggest a sheltered location, in a bay or on the lee side of an island. OR, if French Polynesia desirable, one of my previous idea would have been to “lease” one of their uninhabited atolls and operate inside the protected lagoon. There are plenty. BUT, that will have drawbacks, most importantly by being far from the markets. Kelp and seaweed, no problem. Dry it up and will travel well anywhere. Shellfish and fish WILL have to travel on ice or refrigerated. That’s if you deliver to the markets. If the buyer will come to you to pick up, then disregard.

How structurally sound a 3" PVC pipe floating on buoys can be,… A 15’ wave breaking on top of it will shred it to pieces…

Now you are talking about floating platforms supporting your whole operation. For that, they’ll have to be very solid and seaworthy. If not, and if one goes down, it will drag all the nets and lines with it. Now it’s a salvage operation,…if anything can be salvaged, specially in bad weather,…

Some of those are secondary questions,… (yes, seaweed will grow in the Pacific. It depends where-latitude therefore water temp and what type of seaweed. Kelp seems to like colder waters)

Personally, I would start by scouting for an ideal location:

  • Well protected and as close to shore as possible.

  • Conductive to the business at hand, meaning (no matter if abroad or in US) easily “permitted” and with the least interference from the “local governments”.

PS. I am also in the R&D stage with a project of mine that can accommodate aquaculture operations. If interested in networking, feel free to contact me at


Research Article

New Methods on Cultivation of Eucheuma denticulatum and Kappahycus alvarezii in Indonesia



Wow. That’s something else. It could be a seastead in itself…

But, I was hoping for more living space-accommodations :blush:

(Conrad Kramer) #61

Very helpful! Well, if open sea farming is not in my budget, what are my options for a sheltered lagoon? I’m from San Diego and I’m wondering if some of my Central American neighbors are encouraging seaweed/fish farming in their sheltered lagoons. Perhaps Mexico or Belize or the Caribbean?

(Wilfried Ellmer) #62


I suggest to check on ventures that do actually some kind of “open ocean activity” in the Pacific.

• check their gear

• have a close look at the ocean conditions you will have to deal with

• check the timespan people can live and work on wave beaten ships in stationary operation mode in open water ( boats are worse )

• check the velella recommendation to “run it like a spacestation” instead a surface operation

Neil Sims giving “been there done that - advice” |

• the ocean has its way to break things… |
• the surface boat is the vulnerable element in the equation |
• a better way - run it like a space station | no surface operation

This is a open water fish farm that operates near Panama (hurricane free zone but a lot of ship traffic to and from the canal zone and heavy US interference )

They run this cage model

My general suggestion it take what works well for those successful ventures and improve it one small step further…

I also recommend to take a look at Rafael Viera´s Mero Guasa project (near Cartagena)

• The product is for the 5 star hotel market at a good price
• The fish should do well in cement composite truss structures as enclosures in open water simulating a reef rock habitat | cientific breeding support is available | strategic connections made |

@conradkramer | let me hear your thoughts on those points…

| open ocean fish farming | cage models |

(Alex Smith) #63

good work, and dont worry about industry stuff, if its profitable, chinese would soon spread the design and acting it

(.) #64

San Diego is a close location for me. I was in San Diego yesterday. You know; the boat show.
I am planning to build a kelp field somewhere in the Pacific Ocean around San Diego and
Los Angeles. I sent you private mail in the TSI mail. And I gave my email address.
Would be interesting to cooperate. I wish you well.
Respectfully yours;


The only one I’m familiar with is Belize and their Government seems to be very friendly towards aquaculture. Their aquaculture consists 90% of shrimp with 8 major farms operating in the sector, if I’m not mistaken. Shrimp export earnings are about 15% of all of Belize’s annual export earnings.

Also, given the fact that Belize is home to the World’s second largest barrier reef (after Grand Barrier Reef) and in the light of the last few years devastating bleaching events that affected reefs worldwide, Belize Government is very proactive in implementing conservation and restoration measures.

And they have a very good reason to be concerned: The tourism industry in Belize makes up more than 38% of the country’s total gross domestic product, according to a report from the World Travel and Tourism Council. The industry also overwhelms the job market—fueling 50,000 jobs or 34% of the total employment. Plain and simple, no reef, no jobs, no dollars.

Therefore, to me, it is fair to assume with a high degree of certitude that a coral-shellfish-seaweed farming operation (with marine ecosystems restoration undertones) will be highly welcomed by the Belize Government.

Add a aquatourism dimension to it and it could be a big winner. IMHO

(Wilfried Ellmer) #66

@conradkramer | if you go for the Caribbean choose the hurricane free part (Colombia) … Things that you might think are difficult there - i can make them easy for you. ( permit, connections, authority handling, key player networking, logistics, support… )

Hurricane tracks last 170 years…The Colombian Coast and territorial waters are hurricane free - this is why the Spanish Overseas Empire (highly dependent on the logistics of fragile wooden ships) has chosen this region for its key port (Cartagena de Indias) in first place…

Colombia owns most of the Caribbean as territorial waters for historic reasons (heir of the spanish overseas empire).

Actually i think your project would be a nice addition to the Cartagena Marine Business Cluster

As you mentioned that you will retire in two years i also have a retirement plan with a floating home proposal for you… | floating homes cholon cartagena |


How’s the permitting going for ferrocement submarines in Cartegena?


c/o @noboxes

Can Seaweed Save the World • 2017 • episode “2/6” • Catalyst: Series 18

Growing seaweed is now a ten billion dollar a year global industry. Tim travels to Korea to see some of the biggest seaweed farms in the world and meets the scientists who are hoping to create a seaweed revolution in Australia.



(screenshot) Marine Permaculture Array starts @ 38:18