Another approach to fish farming: seasteading

While I do believe that vat-grown meats, including seafood, are the ultimate solution for meat production (at least until nanotech), there is a novel way to leverage seasteading for fish production.

Seasteading–especially OTEC-based systems of energy production, structured as seasteads–have long had a challenging cost-benefit hurdle. The more levers of value-added production (food, energy, recycling, etc.), the lower that hurdle becomes.

Given that many people will have an “ick” factor with vat-produced fish, they will still want wild or farmed fish. Farmed fish is currently limited to small species such as salmon, shrimp, and bivalves.

The advent of seasteads opens a new horizon: farmed bluefin tuna! The reason is that a seastead can support a massive net, perhaps 1/2 mile or more deep and miles across. Within such a net, bluefin tuna could grow and later be harvested. Smaller species of fish could pass through the netting, to be eaten by the bluefins.

Such nets could be designed to not trap dolphins or have other unwanted ecological effects. In fact, the undersurface of such seasteads could also support rapid-growth GMO corals to begin replenishing the corals suffering from oceanic changes. Those corals would attract many species of oceanic organisms (about 25% of oceanic creatures rely on corals for at least part of their lifecycle, making such preservation critical), and the tuna would likely be the apex predator in such partially closed ecosystems.

This sounds interesting. Are there any working examples yet or prototypes?

This has been done for almost 20 years now, with initial prototypes of farmed bluefin tuna being done in the early 2000s.

@timhammerich, @MetabolicRobots, you might also be interested in this discussion.

I am glad to learn that this idea is already partially in practice. Still, I believe that the advent of seasteading will enable a far wider application, with ancillary ecological benefits such as coral growth.

This kind of farming was used to grow gilt edged bream in the Gulf of Eilat. Unfortunately the project was moved to the Mediterranean as the net and its inhabitants were deemed dangerous to the coral reefs in this area. It was extremely profitable and other fish were also being sea-farmed experimentally. The food stuffs produced were very good. Currently the Eilat project as become a hatchery and ships gilt edged bream fingerlings to other projects.

Interesting, @Elaine71. Thinking about this, the net should be no problem for corals when affixed to the bottom of a seasteading city-state. Instead, as I envision it, the net would be a large ovoid shape suspended some distance from the bottom of the seastead via multiple redundant cables.

The corals would grow on the bottom (rocky) surface of the seastead, attracting other marine life that would be small enough to pass through the net unaffected by it; some of which could be harvested for food.