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Most of the world's surface is ocean and most of the ocean is desert because it contains too little nutrient to support much life (Photo: NOAA)

Invention Could Reverse Decline of World Ocean Fisheries

  (AUSTRALIA, 11/9/2010)

Ecofluidics invented its Nutrient Megapump in response to Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Earth Challenge (VEC) which offered a prize of USD 25 million for the first group to devise a method of removing CO2 (carbon dioxide) from the atmosphere. The VEC closed without winners in February 2010. 

As soon as Ecofluidics invented its Nutrient Megapump they saw that it was the best solution to a more important problem: ocean fisheries decline. World ocean fisheries have greatly declined, while demand for wild fish and Catch Effort, continues to increase, especially in East Asia.

Ecofluidics method not only removes CO2 but decreases ocean acidity and generates large amounts of fish. These new fisheries alone make the project commercially viable even without income from carbon credits

Half of the world’s wild ocean fish depend on natural upwellings, which bring nutrients up into the sunlit surface, the “euphotic” zone, from deeper, more nutrified layers. These natural upwellings occupy only 0.1 percent of the surface of the ocean.
The Nutrient Megapump uses the vast, untapped energy resource of hydrothermal vents situated along mid-ocean ridges to pump nitrate and phosphorus rich water from approximately 1000m depth up into the euphotic zone at less than 100 metres depth.

The pump has no moving parts and uses self-generated sonic shocks

Using the Nutrient Megapump to add an extra 0.2 percent of upwelling area to the oceans would double the world’s supply of wild ocean fish, according to Ecofluidics.

The approximate value of man-made nutrient flows can be estimated from the value of sustained production tonnages of well-managed wild fisheries based on natural upwellings. There have been two outstanding examples:

Russians and others took approximately 20 million tons of fish out of the Namibian upwelling during the 20 year period 1968-88, i.e. at a rate of about 500 kilotons per year per Sverdrup (k/y/S).

The Peruvian upwelling of about 15 Sverdrups produced approximately 20 million tons of anchovy per annum during non-El Nino years. Its maximum sustainable yield (MSY) was about 666 k/y/S.

Pumps need valves to control flow. The Nutrient Megapump utilizes the strange properties of wet steam to create a valve

“The Nutrient Megapump will be producing wild ocean fish of highest quality. So it is reasonable for us to value our fish using today’s overall $/ton rate from the world’s most up market contemporary wholesale fish market, Tokyo's Tsukiji”, says Peter Nielsen, Ecofluidics Director.

“Tsukiji is processing over 700,000 tons of fish per year in 2010 for an annual turnover of more than USD 6 billion, giving an average wholesale price of USD 8,572 per ton.

“The Namibian catch rate figure of 500,000 tons of fish per year per Sverdrup and the Tokyo average wholesale price of USD 8,572 per ton give an artificial upwelling value of USD 4.3 billion per year per Sverdrup.

“Using our estimated Yield of a 1 GW Nutrient Megapump of 1.7 x 10^-2 Sverdrup gives us an annual return in fisheries product from a single 1 GW Nutrient Megapump of USD 80 million/year.

The Nutrient Megapump is a gigantic bubble pump operating on a similar principle to the pump inside a kerosine refrigerator

“Carbon Credits of possibly greater value would be a further income. Ocean acidification due to CO2 is increasingly seen as threatening marine ecosystems.

“But our estimated USD 300 million cost of a 1GW Nutrient Megapump could be paid for by the fisheries value alone, hence apparent profitability. More powerful 1-10GW Megapumps would have even greater economies of scale”, Nielsen concluded.

All materials and images © 2007 Ecofluidics Pty Ltd. (ACN 091 770 339) No unauthorised reproduction.

Margaret E.L. Stacey
Editor Companies and Products
[email protected]

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