Project Overview

Aerial image of new federally-licensed Marine Protected Area in Ostional Bay.

Schematic for an array of Labyrinth Reefs surrounding one section of the lobster houses.

Schematic of floating hatchery with twin propellers to provide redundancy for three critical systems to support hatchery operations.

Project Summary

After 4 years of process and structure testing, diver training, and government negotiations, we have successfully launched our Pilot Project in Ostional Bay in SW Nicaragua in a new federally-licensed Marine Protected Area (MPA). This pilot project is designed to test all the physical aspects of the project as well as the supporting business model. This pilot project is expected to take about 18 months to complete.

 

Long Term Vision

Based on continuous improvement and early lessons learned, we plan on quickly implementing many subsequent projects over the next 5 years to perfect the complex specialized tooling and processes necessary for a success. The long-term vision is to create a fully scalable business model that can be customized to any size need. Our plan is to finalize the business model, process flow charts and complete engineering drawings in the next 3-5 years. These will be offered free of charge to anyone globally who wants to utilize it to restore their local marine fauna and flora and to educate the local people on the benefits of protecting the oceans.

 

Strong Federal and Local Support

Four years of developing partnerships has paid huge dividends.   Federally, our local partner (Oceanic),was granted in January 2020 the first ever sea floor concession by the Nicaraguan Fisheries Ministry (INPESCA) to enable legal protection of our project. Locally, the small town of Ostional demonstrated their strong support, by granting us a FREE ocean front concession to run the project. They also requested a display model of our Labyrinth Reef be installed on their malecon.

 

Major Project Components

  1. Large 1,300 lb. Labyrinth Reefs will be precisely placed on the ocean floor to create a protective envelop around the Lobster Aquaculture.  These reefs have been refined over the last 4 years to provide protection for juvenile marine life and a suitable surface for promoting marine flora.

  2. The Lobster Aquaculture will be used to educate the local fishers on how to sustainably farm the ocean.  It is expected that it will take about 1 year for the young lobsters to reach market size after being transferred into the aquaculture system.

  3. The Lobster Hatchery will be a floating platform with dual redundant wind-powered systems that will provide everything necessary for the lobsters to grow from egg to 8-month old juvenile. The two main systems will ​constantly circulate sea water and add supplemental oxygen to the hatchery pods. The third system will generate electricity for safety lights at night and other needs.

Minimize Biodiversity Impact

  • To minimize the impact of lobster feeding on local biodiversity, we are working with a local women's group to launch a Black Soldier Fly farming initiative.

  • They plan to collect organic wastes that are normally discarded in the village by the fishermen, restaurants and households including fish guts and kitchen refuse to recycle as food for the Black Soldier Fly larvae. 

  • When the larvae have reached full size, they will be harvested and dried. Mixing the dried Black Soldier Fly larvae, which are high in protein, with fish guts, which are high in fat, will create a perfect food for young lobsters.  

  • This initiative will be promoted as a for-profit operation for the local women's group, with a plan for them to sell it first to the hatchery, then to the aquaculture operation, and then potentially third parties if sufficient production can be achieved.

Black Soldier Fly larvae consume organic waste and produce a high protein concentrate once harvested and dried.

Publications

Genesis of a spiny lobster hatchery and aquaculture in rural Nicaragua.  Lobster Newsletter, v31, no.1 pp 6-8

 http://www.fish.wa.gov.au/Documents/rock_lobster/the_lobster_newsletter/lobster_newsletter_v31_no1.pdf

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