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Hawaii company gets patent for open-ocean fish cage

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Hawaii Oceanic Technology Inc. said Wednesday it has received a U.S. patent for a spherical fish cage that it plans to use in the open ocean to raise bigeye and yellowfin tuna.

Bill Spencer, chief executive officer said he hopes to have the first “Oceansphere” in place off the coast of Hawaii island within two years. The company also plans to sell and license Oceanspheres globally, Spencer said

”The goal of the company is to demonstrate new fish farming technology that allows pelagic species such as tuna to be grown in deep ocean waters where constant currents and large volumes of clean water assure fish health and rapid mineralization of effluents,” Spencer said.

Each Oceansphere will have a diameter of about 50 yards. The company has permits and approval for 12 of the cages on a 247-acre fish farm 2.6 miles off of the North Kohala coast, he said.

Spencer estimated the farm will produce 6,000 tons of tuna per year. The fish will be marketed as “King Ahi,” he said.

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