Tech File: OATECH Fish-Farming "Superyacht" Earns RINA AIP

November 23, 2021

Yachting Journal

Ocean Ark, a new-concept offshore fish-farming system recently received an AIP from RINA. Image courtesy Ocean Ark Tech of Chile/RINA

A fish-farming superyacht developed by Ocean Ark Tech of Chile (OATECH) and its strategic ally, London-based Ocean Sovereign, is one step closer to delivering fish to market after winning a key approval from marine classification society, RINA.

Registro Italiano Navale (RINA) announced the Approval in Principle (AiP) of the new-concept offshore fish-farming system, Ocean Ark. The vessel delivers a new approach to aquaculture and looks set to disrupt by dramatically improving fish health, crew comfort and the industry’s image.

A key advantage of the new system is its mobility, able to be deployed away from marine heatwaves, algae blooms and storms — aquaculture’s trio of Achilles’ heels — could go a long way in helping to produce higher quality fish and increase world protein production without increasing pressures on wild stocks, coastal habitats or on-land water resources.

“We have applied all our knowledge and experience in the design, engineering and development of this farming Ark Superyacht, including the dynamic and static modelling that test wave resistance," said Rodrigo Sanchez Raccaro, OATECH founder. "The ships offer a solid business plan for fish production. This Superyacht Fish farm was designed to operate offshore, where the best conditions are met for the fish. This technology allows low-density production of healthier, higher-quality fish at lower costs than the offshore, land-based and coastal aquaculture systems now available."

The vessel is a self-propelled, AI-assisted, low-emissions trimaran measuring 170 m long and 64 m wide. AI and self-cleaning fish pens of copper help secure fish health and welfare. While finance is secured for several units, MOU’s to build the Ocean Arks are signed with a range of shipyards that includes China Merchants Industry holdings, Tersan and CIMC Raffles.

“This is an unusual vessel," said Patrizio Di Francesco, RINA Marine Principal Engineer for Northwest Europe. "Its AiP presents a milestone for both the fish farming industry and for the classification of unconventional ships. It is an innovative approach to the sustainable harvesting of fish to help secure food security and sovereignty and one which may revolutionise fish farming for the future."