Sea Harmony Ltd. has completed Horizon 2020 Phase 1 of ORTO (Ocean Reef Tower Oases: Feeding the World, Restoring the Oceans) project.
The project’s aim was to tackle two interrelated challenges of today – the environmental and humanitarian crisis.
The increase in global population, changes in diet, and decreasing crop yield, are projected to result in a 70% ‘Calorie Gap’ by the year 2050. On the other hand, the depleted ocean now produces only 10% of the world’s food.
The challenge is to overcome the stagnation of marine food production and restore large scale marine food production. Beyond overfishing and climate change factors, the most serious limitation to seafood production are the dead zones, issues arising from pollution, caused by the amount of fertilisers, up to 75%, that ends up, via rivers, in coastal areas. With normal self-regulating capacity overwhelmed, food chains break down, and the result are “dead zones” areas which cover 4,500,000 km2, (the size of the EU), and grow by 400,000 km2 (the size of the Black Sea) each year.
Our ORTO concept is based on the patented “Pisa Reef” artificial vertical mussel reef technology. Pisa Reefs quickly builds into sustainable food chains, reviving devastated ecosystems and providing a sustainable source of high quality sea food to face the 30 yr. stagnation in the mussel industry, resulting in 33% import dependency.
Our Feasibility study objectives have been structured in 3 areas:
- Technology – we have virtually tested the Pisa Reef serial model, validated the Harvester prototype concept and designed the Mobile Production Line
- Commercial – we have refined the market/commercial approach; and have identified trial partners and locations; and studied the relevant Regulation and Certification
- Financial – we have completed a plan for the financial framework of the company for the upcoming scale up; Risk management
ORTO can make a profound contribution to EU Blue Growth strategy, and multiple Societal Challenges (Food Security and Climate Action in particular). For example, our interim goal is to reverse the 3 decades of market stagnation for mussels in the EU, and reduce imports.
ORTO is designed for rapid scaling around the globe, so that this low carbon food source can revolutionise global maritime food supply and significantly contribute to the long-term global food requirements. This contributes positively to EU/UN Sustainable Development Goals #2, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, and 17.
- Build maritime industry and communities
- Produce sustainable low-carbon food, by utilization of the open sea-shelf
- Grow ecosystems (coral reef effect)
- Heal eutrophication, revitalize dead zones
The next steps in the development of the ORTO project are to advance the sales; to identify partners for the performance evaluation stage of the technology in different marine aquatories; to initiate Pisa Reef serial production as well as seeking business partnerships.
Sea Harmony’s team is preparing Horizon 2020 Phase 2 application for €3,5 million.