“With a background in marine biology and two generations of New York’s Fulton Street fishmongers in his blood, the 30 year O’Hanlon thinks he’s found a better way to harvest fish in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way. He pioneered the use of advanced submersible cage designs for deep water, and was the first to stock mutton snapper and cobia in open ocean cages. His nets are anchored to the ocean floor eight miles off the coast of Panama in the clear blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.
With open ocean cages, the need for regular inspections is crucial. If the netting is torn, or the cage breaks loose from its moorings, fish and gear could be lost. With some of the holding pens extending more than 150 feet deep into the ocean, it is not practical to use divers because of their limited bottom time at these depths. One technology being employed to aid the modern day aquafarmer is side scan sonar. High frequency sonar has the ability to produce detailed images of the cages, the mooring lines and anchors… Open Blue decided on the (Fishers) dual frequency SSS-100K/600K which would provide both long range scan capability as well as short range, high resolution pictures.
Another piece of technology being employed in the aquaculture industry is the underwater video system. Several fish farms in Norway are using inexpensive drop cameras like Fishers MC-1 mini camera to view the condition of nets and health of the fish. In Canada, the Dept. of Fisheries and Aquaculture (DFA) which is responsible for monitoring the industry, is using Fishers SeaOtter ROV, a remote controlled vehicle, to inspect the country’s aquafarms.