Sustainable Aqua-Culture

Calcium carbonate, or limestone, is the basic compound of coral reefs and other marine organisms such as mollusks.  Commonly known mollusks for human consumption include:

 

  • Abalone; 

  • Oyster,

  • Clam,

  • Giant clam,

  • Mussel, and

  • Many other shellfish.

As Mineral Accretion Technology (“MAT”) is a process of electrolytic deposition of calcium carbonate from seawater, any living organism that creates a limestone-based shell can potentially sustain accelerated growth rates when grown in an electrical field generated by MAT.

Scientific research in this domain has not been published.  Nevertheless, there are reported cases whereby it was observed that mussels and oysters demonstrated a 4 - 5x increase in growth rate when grown in the presence of an electrical field.

Increasing commercial production of shellfish could make a significant contribution to the reduction in total global carbon emissions.  According to a 2012 study published by the Scottish Aquaculture Research Forum, commercial farming of mussels is amongst the lowest "cradle-to-gate" carbon-footprint of human grade protein, with a 95% lower carbon-footprint than beef.  

This warrants in-depth research as the potential benefits are tremendous for sustainable commercial applications:

  • If sustainable, accelerated growth rates of 4 - 5x of mollusks using MAT would materially increase the total annual shellfish yield, thereby boosting coastal economies. 

    In developing countries, this could significantly augment the per capita income of the most economically disenfranchised as well as relieving the pressure on unsustainable harvesting of declining wild mollusk populations;

  • A further application would be in the cultivation of South Sea pearls.  Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of South Sea pearls, accounting for 43 percent of global supply, but the industry’s fast growth has taken a toll on wild oyster populations, and there has also been a decline in the quality of pearls. 

    In response, Indonesia has launched a pearl oyster breeding initiative.  MAT has the potential to sustainably increase annual yield, stabilizing this niche industry and giving wild oysters the opportunity to recover and thrive.

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