High seas fish farm set to sail under a French flag

Catamaran fish farm vessel on a blue sea

Plans for a fish farming “superyacht”, the Ocean Ark, have moved a step closer to reality, with an agreement between assurance and risk management provider DNV and the developers, aimed at securing registration as a French vessel.

The Ocean Ark, a patented advanced self-cleaning trimaran superstructure incorporating fish pens into its design, was developed by Ocean Sovereign according to Marpol, Solas and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations.

The 170-metre long vessel is projected to have a biomass capacity of up to 4,000 tonnes. As a mobile platform, its developers believe it will be better able to avoid hazards such as algal blooms, marine heatwaves and storms.

As part of the collaboration deal, DNV will support Ocean Sovereign with business-critical challenges and innovations, designed to prevent fish escape and reduce the risk of technical failure in operation by delivering:

  • Classification of the floating structure/vessel and marine systems
  • Certification of mooring/dynamic positioning system
  • Certification of aquaculture nets and systems; and
  • Assessment operation and integrity controls during the design lifetime.

DNV said it will work with Ocean Sovereign to set up a regulatory framework to fulfil local requirements in alignment with the rules and standards of the French authorities.

The Ocean Ark is designed to operate in high-energy offshore waters, drifting with the natural current and natural fish shoals. It is designed to ensure sufficient safety for the environment, fish and crew.

Ocean Sovereign said: “The mobile nature of Ocean Ark will help to ensure the health and welfare of the fish and ensure that the fish are kept in their natural habitat.”

Cross-industry know-how

DNV is an independent assurance and risk management provider, operating in more than 100 countries. Its roles include certifying products, verifying claims, creating nnew assurance models and optimising and decarbonising supply chains.

“Offshore fish production is based on a combination of two well-known concepts, fish farming and offshore technology, and therefore a cross-industry approach and know-how is needed,” explains Ocean Sovereign General Manager, Zeyd Fassi Fehri. “At Ocean Sovereign, we are happy to join forces with DNV and benefit from their knowledge gained through decades of experience in these two fields that will allow us to safely deploy the vessels. We believe that DNV’s extensive experience in offshore and fish farming will help us to play a key role in the deployment of our vessels under French Registration.”

In addition to its high-quality standards and being Europe’s largest market for salmon, France also has one of the world’s largest maritime exclusive economic zones across the oceans.

“As well as sustainability and fish welfare, the inclusion of local communities is embedded into every Ocean Sovereign project. The deployment of the Ocean Ark offers many synergies and growth opportunities for the existing local aquaculture and fishing sector,” confirms Zeyd Fassi Fehri. “To seize these opportunities, agreements have been reached with well-established French aquaculture and fishing stakeholders and will be released shortly.”

“DNV is proud to safeguard innovative technology to deliver sustainable seafood products to consumers,” said Thomas Vogth-Eriksen, Global Aquaculture Director at DNV Supply Chain & Product Assurance. “As a global leader in advancing the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of a range of ocean-based industries, we are particularly pleased to support knowledge-driven solutions that contribute to the sustainable growth of the aquaculture sector.”

Catamaran fish farm vessel in a blue sea

Ocean Ark rendering

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