The prototype of the macroalgae cultivation rig (MACR) installed by Ocean Rainforest is a horizontal main line with vertical seed lines.
This type of structure has several advantages over competing alternatives. It is light, robust and easy to cultivate and harvest by incorporating the basic principles of long-line fisheries and mussel aquaculture, in the design. The addition of vertical seed lines to the main line provides the capability to switch production between species between harvests – thus maximising utilisation year round.
In early 2010 the cultivation rig was ready for deployment at the aquaculture test site north of the village Funningur in the Faroe Islands. The installation deployed had 1200 meters of seed line attached. During the following months the installation withstood winds up to 62 m/s and wave heights of 7.8 meters. The structure remains intact, undamaged in the water where it was deployed and has proven itself able to withstand the physical strains caused by an energetic wave climate and the storms of the North Atlantic.
Biological test: The next phase in the development programme is to carry out a “cultivation test” and seeded line deployment. On completion this capability will make Ocean Rainforest the single largest macroalgae cultivation activity in Europe and North America and the largest in the world deployed in an open sea environments with >50 water depth.