OriginOil, Catalina Sea Ranch to collaborate in research program

By OriginOil Inc. | April 22, 2014

OriginOil Inc., developer of Electro Water Separation, the high-speed, chemical-free process to clean up large quantities of water, announced this month that it recently agreed to a collaborative exchange of equipment and information with the Catalina Sea Ranch, the first offshore shellfish ranch in U.S. federal waters.

OriginOil will provide its demonstration-scale EWS Algae Model 12 system to Catalina Sea Ranch, which will use it to treat incoming seawater and harvest algae to feed its shellfish nursery and selective breeding program. Catalina Sea Ranch will provide independent data on the efficiency and use of the machine, and will give OriginOil access to its nursery for field research.

“We are delighted with this partnership,” said Phil Cruver, CEO of Catalina Sea Ranch. “Southern California Marine Institute, where our shellfish nursery is located, has a sophisticated closed filtration seawater system, and we believe OriginOil’s A12 will help remove dissolved nitrogenous waste, biological contaminants such as algae and bacteria, and chemical contaminants such as heavy metals.”

Cruver added, “On the feed side, we are excited to use the A12 to harvest algae as feed for our nursery. This dual use is another first for Catalina Sea Ranch, America’s innovative deepwater shellfish program.”

“Catalina Sea Ranch, which is monitored by leading Southern California institutions, is the perfect place for us to test and validate our process,” said Nicholas Eckelberry, OriginOil Chief Research Officer. “Here is a compact, high-efficiency solution to the dual problems of water cleanup and making inexpensive, high quality algae to feed nurseries and hatcheries. We expect this program to get a lot of attention throughout the global seafood industry.”

In January, the California Coastal Commission unanimously approved Catalina Sea Ranch’s application for a 100-acre shellfish farm in January. This was one of the few supportive policy measures for aquaculture enacted by the U.S. state government in recent years, a positive sign for the industry.

According to Catalina Sea Ranch, its operations will be monitored by leading institutions specializing in marine ecology and spatial planning. This will provide science-based data for evaluating any environmental and social impacts from the 100-acre shellfish ranch.

These institutions include the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, Scripps Institution for Oceanography, Southern California Marine Institute, California State University Long Beach, Ocean Studies Network, National Ocean Tracking Network, NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service Shellfish Aquaculture Laboratory in Milford, and NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center.

Lockheed Martin will provide technical consultation and remote sensing data analyses. Participation by this global technology leader for reviewing the engineering concepts and validating results as a trusted third party provides transparent and objective credibility for this pioneering program. 


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