Data storage, mining and wind: oceans seen as new frontier but at what cost?

Data storage, mining and wind: oceans seen as new frontier but at what cost?

Industries gazing out to sea for more space, more cold, clean water and more wind offer a glimpse of the future and its risks

In September 2017, a giant, floating fish farm capable of raising 1.5 million salmon was installed in central Norway. Besides its vast size – the circular structure is roughly the equivalent of two baseball fields – what set SalMar’s Ocean Farm 1 apart was its location three miles off the coast. It was hailed as the world’s first offshore salmon farm.

Four years later, there have been two production cycles with better growth and survival of salmon compared with inshore farms, according to the company, hence less food waste and a lower carbon footprint. Energy demand was also reduced compared with traditional inshore farms because seawater naturally flows through the nets, oxygenating salmon with no need for the pumps used on traditional inshore farms.

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