This is the Oceansphere, a gigantic highly automated fish farm that will grow 1,000 tons of ahi and bluefin tuna from eggs to harvest size at a depth of 1,300 feet a few miles off the coast of Hawaii.
There's lots to say here about the technology, which includes an automatic feeding system, water quality sensors, and thrusters that keep the sphere stationary, but let's all just marvel at the fact that the Fish Matrix is real and set to begin installation by the end of the year. Hawaii Oceanic Technology CEO Bill Spencer told West Hawaii Today that this first sphere is mostly about refining the technology, but that after installation and testing the earliest harvest could occur in late 2017.
"Our primary goal is technology."
The Oceansphere project has been years in the making — the video above is from 2008 — and HOT has been fighting legal and regulatory battles the entire time to make it reality. According to West Hawaii Today, 1,700 people signed a petition opposing the sphere, and 400 more wrote letters opposing the extension of construction deadlines in 2012. "The bottom line is the benefit does not outweigh the risks, no matter what kind of fish they plan to grow," Diane Kanealii of theKailapa Community Association in Kawaihae told the paper, while Rob Parsons of Food & Water Watch is quoted calling it a "factory feedlot in our ocean."
That's probably not going to stop HOT, which thinks the global market for deep sea fish farming equipment will be worth $75 billion by 2020, according to Fish Information & Services. "The deep ocean is the only place left to produce enough seafood naturally to feed the world efficiently, economically and with minimal environmental impact," Spencer told Big Island Now. "Our primary goal is technology."
It is not clear if the fish will be given the choice between blue and red pills.