Technology has been both friend and foe to the seafood industry. For example, Gulf of Maine fishermen first benefited from improved gear and technology that allowed them to accurately pinpoint the location of a biomass. But that accuracy soon aided the devastation of groundfish stocks that are still being rebuilt.
Success has also become a problem for the aquaculture industry in places such as Vietnam. From 2006 to 2010, farm output for species like shrimp, mullet, seabass, snapper and lobster grew by almost two and a half times in Phu Yen Province, according to VietNam News. Now those farmers are facing problems caused by such rapid growth, including polluted groundwater from waste contamination and shortages in shrimp broodstock.
Technology now presents yet another answer. Scientific Associates in Indiantown, Fla., has begun marketing a saltwater purification technology that may help fish farmers by recirculating water instead of bringing it in and out from natural sources that may either be contaminated or become contaminated.
Company president Dave Brockwell points to the problems of rapid growth in Vietnam and shortages of coastline as an example of the need for this type of new system. He first realized the need for a “better widget” about a dozen years ago when he traveled the world as a shrimp buyer for his former employer, Ocean to Ocean Seafood.
“In many places, they’ll build a pond, run it as long as it can so it can’t support life any longer and then they abandon it. Well, we’re running out of coastline to do that,” explains Steve Massar, Scientific Associate’s general manager and VP.
Click here to read the rest of the feature on zero-exchange technology, which appeared in the October issue of SeaFood Business magazine.