Diving In

isgs-mobilefishpen-680

Lockheed Martin teams with Kampachi Farms to develop an innovative system  which proves to be a sustainable fish farming solution

You’ve heard the old saying — there are plenty of fish in the sea — however, this may not always be the case.  The inability of wild fisheries to supply the demand for healthful and protein-rich seafood has given rise to a robust aquaculture industry that has helped alleviate the threat of overfishing in the world’s oceans.

One of Lockheed Martin’s latest innovations has earned a spot on TIME Magazine’s top 25 inventions of 2012 for its technology contributions to the Mobile Fish Pen, an aquaculture system that will not only solve environmental concerns, but also preserve the promise of aquaculture’s ability to satisfy seafood demands.

Protecting the Environment

While addressing environmental concerns that come with inland and shore-based fish farming and preserve the promise of aquaculture’s ability to satisfy the demand for fresh seafood, Lockheed Martin has teamed with Kampachi Farms of Hawaii and Illinois Soybean Association to develop an innovative new system that could produce a sea change in fish farming.

The new system is a mobile fish pen, or drifting fish cage, which is hooked to a barge that drifts with the ocean eddies. The system circles in the current much like a satellite is held by gravity in a controlled orbit around the Earth. The mobile system, which is constantly moving over the ocean’s surface, in waters over 12,000 ft deep, solves the potential problems of impacts on water quality or impacts on the seafloor, and appears to improve fish health and growth.

From Sky to Shining Sea

The system operates by integrating satellite communications, remote sensing data feeds, robotics, motor controls, and Lockheed Martin’s command and control and situational awareness software – typically used by our military customers.

“It’s easy to characterize Lockheed Martin's security brand in the traditional sense.  However, as critical resources like land and fresh water become increasingly scarce, the ability to produce large quantities of food without either has tremendous impact on food security and economic stability.  We are proud that our solutions at Lockheed Martin can support security in this larger sense,” said Macy Summers, vice president of Advanced Programs at Lockheed Martin IS&GS-Defense. 

Sustainable and Affordable Future

Using the mobile cage method, aquafarms could produce large volumes of high quality seafood with reduced costs, potentially reducing the $10 billion U.S. annual seafood trade deficit. Around the world, the new technology could enable countries without ample farmland or fresh water to farm fish more effectively, thereby allowing countries to open a new industry and achieve food security, along with the benefits of job creation.

Posted January 10, 2013

Story Highlights

  • The inability of wild fisheries to supply the burgeoning demand for healthful and protein-rich seafood has given rise to a robust aquaculture industry that has helped alleviate the threat of overfishing in the world’s oceans.
  • The technology-infused Mobile Fish Pen was developed as a system that will not only address environmental concerns, but also preserve the promise of aquaculture’s ability to satisfy the demand for fresh seafood
  • Lockheed Martin’s command and control (C2) and situational software and remote sensing technologies, which are used for defense-related applications, are used to help this system operate.

isgs_MobileFish220