The ever increasing demands of the world population on ocean resources has resulted in severe overfishing in many parts of the world. Worldwide fisheries cannot meet the needs of the growing human population without the supplementation of aquaculture, but currently available aquaculture cages are heavy and expensive, requiring a lot of labor to transport and assemble. This E-Team developed a novel open ocean aquaculture (OOA) cage that uses pressurized flexible tubes to replace the rigid members of a typical OOA cage. The flexible tubes are pressurized when filled with water; the hose members become extremely stiff and are capable of supporting a tremendous amount of force. Once the water is removed, the members regain flexibility and can be easily transported.
The E-Team consisted of a senior mechanical engineering student, one business student, two faculty members from the UF Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, a faculty member with expertise in business, and one industry advisor.