Pacific Spirit Marine Institute
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
What kind of applications are there for deep seawater? It would seem there is nothing this water can’t enhance, change into or be used ‘for’.
So how deep is ‘deep seawater’ and what could it be used for? Deep sea water is located at a depth of generally lower than 200 meters. It takes about 2,000 years for this water to circle the globe.
Once it was discovered that, for example, the Japanese would pay up to $33.50 for a single bottle of desalinated deep seawater all kinds of people started jumping on the deep seawater pipeline.
The NELHA upwells a mind boggling 88,000 metric tones of the stuff per day. Japan has started several deep seawater projects as well as Norway.
Once the attributes of this water were discovered, the race was on to develop new ways to exploit its properties. Can we develop new industires based around this here to fore unexploited resource?
Ice-cold deep seawater was found to be advantageous in the aquaculture of cold-water species unable to be farmed in tropical seawater climates. Other aquaculture benefits are deep seawater increases the ability to grow cold water organisms, disease control and it contains few viruses and pathogenic bacteria.
Other applications could be used in the food industry, in medical treatment facilities, and even cooling water for power stations.
The demand for this water is growing as private companies are inventing new uses for it. Commercial fisheries often don’t take their catch directly to market, holding it until prices go up. The need to keep fish alive and in sanitary conditions is another use for deep seawater.
The ease at which water temperatures can be controlled by mixing surface water with the cold deep seawater is another benefit being touted. How can further changing the surface temperatures of the sea be a good thing?
This up-welled water is even being run through pipes underground to cool the temeratures of soil. Cold weather crops such as spinach can be grown in parts of the world where it was never intended to be grown by nature.
This up-welled deep seawater accounts right now for only .05% of all water in the ocean, but it supports nearly 50% of all sea products being manufactured.
The prospect of pulling this water up and sending it all over the earth to cool homes, soil and even power plants sounds like a tricky idea to me. Growing fish and crops in places they were never intended to be grown sounds like a bad idea to me.
Yes, we need to find new ways of sustaining life on the planet, but what will be the unintended consequences of using these methods?
Only time will tell if man will become his own bycatch.
Photo thanks OceanBoy Farms/Marine Photobank
Labels: Deep seawater, Japan, NELHA, Ocean, aquaculture, bycatch
© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.
Will Deep Seawater Systems Produce a New Kind of Bycatch?
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Something strange has been sucked out of its ocean habitat from 3,000 feet under the sea.
Is it a squidopus? Is it an octosquid?
What ever ‘it’ is ‘it’ was found caught in a filter in one of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority’s deep-sea water pipes. These pipes are pumping ice-cold seawater up from 3,000 feet down for desalinated bottled seawater.
The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) is currently hosting 3 desalinazation bottled water companies, with 4 more companies slated to tap into the NELHA pipeline soon. The Koyo USA Corp., is now the largest.
The claim to fame this water has is that it’s thousands of years old and free of modern impuritites. The desalinated water is marketed as a stress reducer, a weight loss aid, skin tone enhancer and digestive aid. Wow!
Deep sea desalinated bottled water is a multi-million dollar market recently developed. Until this year the market for ‘unsweetened’ water was tasting pretty sweet, but sales of the desalinated water have fallen 5% in the first three months of this year. While the same three months of 2006 showed a mind blowing 700% increase.
The decline may not indicate a lack of takers on the seawater market, but several other countries are breaking into this latest trend in bottled drinking water.
The octosquid or squidopus was found along with three rattail fish and half a dozen satellite jellyfish, and it stayed alive for three days. The little guy is now being examined at the University of Hawaii Manoa campus.
Two years ago NELHA filters trapped a fish that had never before been seen. NELHA cleans their filters every two to three months, but a more frequent cleaning may be in order these days.
This little creature had the ability to light up or glow while trying to frighten off predators. Sadly that tactic didn’t work on the NELHA pipes. DNA testing will be done at The Ohio State University.
Great! Mankind has discovered one more way to violate one more untouched portion of the planet. Now a whole new species can look forward to being sucked out of it’s ocean habitat in a new form of ‘bycatch’!
If these undersea creatures figure out how to avoid stationary pipes sucking in water, they will have to develop another skill-set; Avoiding moving pipes.
DSH International Inc., operating as Deep Ocean Hawaii began harvesting deep-sea drinking water from a ship positioned 3.4 miles west of Ko Olina.
This may be one more ‘good idea’ that will ultimately have devastating consequences to the environment. Decades from now we may discover we unintentionally wiped out the last hope to cure cancer…It was washed out of pipe filters as bycatch.
Meanwhile, we will discover all kinds of ‘new species’.
Labels: Bottled Deep-sea Water, Desalinated, Japan, NELHA, New species, Ocean, Ocean Habitat, octosquid
© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.
Desalinated Bottled Water is Finding New Markets and New Bycatch: Octosquid!