The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) has signed two memorandum of understandings with Blue Planet Ecosystems (BPE).
Signed by John Pagano, chief executive of TRSDC and Paul Schmitzberger, chief executive of BPE, the deal sees the entities pledging to investigate the implementation of a viable solution for sustainable high tech, CO2 negative fish production.
The Blue Planet Ecosystems’ solution proposed will provide sustainable production of seafood and algae in a desert environment.
“In response to growing consumer demand for sustainable protein and to further contribute to the long-term protection and enhancement of ocean biodiversity, TRSDC strives to explore innovative technology solutions.
“Our partnership with Blue Planet Ecosystems, means working together to set a new global standard in sustainable, multitrophic desert aquaculture where we can literally turn sunlight into seafood,” said Pagano.
The Land-based Automated Recirculating Aquaculture (LARA) system works by replicating natural aquatic ecosystems in a modular and automated system.
LARA coverts CO2 directly into chemical-free seafood using phyto and zooplankton as transitional stages.
It is constructed of a tower of three horizontal units.
The top unit uses the sun’s energy to grow microalgae which powers the entire system.
The microalgae is then moved to the next unit down, where it nourishes zooplankton.
Finally, the zooplankton is then transported to the bottom unit, where it is eaten by fish.
“The LARA system has a minimal environmental footprint and will not only help feed our guests and residents sustainably but will aid in carbon sequestration for our flagship destination as well as future projects on the Red Sea coast, in alignment with the company’s aspiration to achieve 100 percent carbon neutrality,” added Pagano.
Algae can consume more carbon dioxide than trees because it can cover more surface area and grow faster.
Certain species of microalgae have been shown to efficiently remove CO₂ at a rate of more than ten times higher than terrestrial plants.
The first phase of the project will be implemented as a 3,500 m2 pilot, to assess whether conditions at the Red Sea Project are suitable for the solution to work effectively and efficiently.
This will be the first LARA pilot outside Europe to undergo a commercial trial.
Schmitzberger said: “It is fascinating to see what can be achieved when innovation meets a clear vision for a sustainable future.
“The Red Sea Project is demonstrating how the destination of the future will look and operate.”