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Monday, January 8, 2018


This is part 2 of my beginning of the year summary on what we can expect from our oceans in the Year 2100.  I began yesterday with The Ultimate Guide to Sashimi.  Don't know what sashimi is?  Click on that posting.

Nearly six years ago I wrote on:  

According to that article (you'll need to click on these graphics to actually read them):
  • It is rumored that it takes 20 pounds of corn to make one pound of steak, but something like 6:1 is probably closer to the truth, for there are exaggerations from both camps on this figure.
  • Most farms and ranches today are energy, fertilizer and herbicide intensive.  There is no energy self-sufficient model, although there are reports that the ocean can attain this goal.
  • Seafood today already costs more than chicken, pork and beef.
  • Aquaculture currently occurs on land or near the coastline, and already supplies almost a third of seafood today consumed, while polluting the environment.
  • The Ultimate Ocean Ranch should be able to produce self-sustainable products:
    • Place these ranches in the open ocean away from coastal environments.
    • Link to the cold water effluent of ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) plantships. These waters are very high in nutrients in the exact ratio and composition needed for sea life to thrive.
    • Conduct the basic science and engineering for the process:
      a. Utilize nutrient or temperature barriers (i.e., no cages).
      b. Close the growth cycle so that no feeding is necessary.
      c. Acoustically harvest the seafood (not too adventuresome, but sound can attract fish).
      d. Develop the robotics to protect the bioproduct.
But what is the optimal seafood for an ultimate ocean ranch?
  • A fish that feeds at the lowest trophic level.
  • A carnivorous fish, such as tuna, survives at the highest level.
  • If a specie can be found that eats at trophic level 2, you can produce 1000 times more mass than tuna at level 5, for each level below the highest can produce ten times more biomass, as the difference of these levels becomes the exponent to the number ten.
  • The whale shark, which is the largest fish--and is a shark, not a whale--eats plankton and krill, so should be able to produce a hundred to a thousand times more than if tuna is the focus.
  • A cow mostly produces one calf/year for five years.  A whale shark female can produce 300 pups, and each will reach a marketable size in a year or two.  Sounds morbid, but people do consume veal and lamb.  The life of the whale shark today is mostly a mystery, but they are said to live for up to 150 years.    
Will the public accept products from a whale shark?
  • I've never tasted the flesh, but this is a delicacy in China.
  • It is illegal to fish for them in parts of the world.
  • But the Ultimate Ocean Ranch, in the process of marketing this seafood product, can also release whale sharks into the wild to enhance the natural population.
  • There is also the potential of the Ultimate Ocean Ranch serving as a hatchery for bluefin tuna and other endangered species.
So the future of sashimi will depend on various factors:
  • Most of the tuna varieties will provide for the general public into the near future.
  • However, the world population continues to increase, and the demand for seafood is growing because of nutritional benefits.
  • Thus, the price of seafood will only continue to rise as demand exceeds supply.
  • The world is just about at Peak Meat (of all types, including seafood), producing today seven times more than in 1950.
  • The Kindai University experiments appear to be leading the way to commercialize their bluefin tuna efforts.
  • However, there is a limit to what can and should be farmed/ranched on land and the nearby coastline.
  • The ultimate solution for both traditional meats and seafood will depend on innovations.
    • The oceans cover 71% of the globe and hold 96.5% of all the water.
    • Much of the usable land is already farmed and ranched.
    • Outer space will not be the solution.
    • The next frontier for economic development, and more sashimi and beef, will be the oceans.
    • The Blue Revolution could well be the key for the transition of food resources for the next century or two.
When will the Ultimate Ocean Ranch become operational?  When the Blue Revolution becomes prominent.  How long will this take?  Return for Part 3:  LIFE ON PLANET EARTH FOR HUMANITY IN THE 22ND CENTURY.  Perhaps the future of sashimi and steak will be a merging of tastes and texture such that a century or more from now we will dine of a seafood specie that combines o-toro and Japanese wagyu beef into the ultimate delicacy.

In the Indian Ocean, Tropical Cyclone Irving will attain Category 2 status well south of Mauritius and Le Reunion, and head for Indonesia.


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