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Oceangoing Aquaculture Vessel gains RINA Approval

by RINA 24 Nov 2021 09:57 UTC
The fish-farming Ocean Ark vessel © RINA

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

The fish-farming Ocean Ark vessel is developed by Ocean Arks Tech of Chile (OATECH) in accordance with RINA Rules and Marpol, Solas and IMO regulations. The Ocean Ark vessel delivers a new approach to fish farming and is set to revolutionise the industry by dramatically improving fish health, crew comfort and the industry's image.

The ocean may offer the only opportunity for fish-farming to meet the nutritional needs of a growing world population. Deploying the Ocean Ark away from marine heatwaves, algae blooms and storms- aquaculture's three Achilles' heels- would produce higher quality protein and increase world fish production without increasing pressures on fish stocks and coastal habitats.

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."

Newbuild line-up

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. While finance is secured for several units, MOU's to build the Ocean Arks are 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, this disruptive 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 Ocean Ark can operate near Asian, US and EU consumer markets for a major drop in transport 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.

Ocean Ark Tech of Chile (OATECH) and its strategic Ally, U.K-based Ocean Sovereign aim to help feed the earth's growing population of nearly eight billion, a key goal of the UN's 2050 Food Security Challenge. OATECH founder Rodrigo Sanchez Raccaro won Chile's national innovation Award, the Ibero-American Innovation Honour. Mr. Raccaro's drawings gave rise to the Ocean Ark, and he invited the notable industry pioneers and thinkers that now form the Ark team. Among them are Cristino Stange, Héctor Ruiz and Andrés Fuentes: former Chilean fish-farming CEOs & entrepreneurs; tech innovators for the worldwide industry and former officers of a Chilean Navy that routinely sailed the most inhospitable seas, including the infamous Cape Horn and Tierra del Fuego (Patagonia).

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