AN INNOVATIVE AND SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION TO OUR LOW OCEAN STOCKS
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Diobas Ltd

AN INNOVATIVE AND SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION TO OUR LOW OCEAN STOCKS

Imagine a sustainable supply of Fresh Cod around the world and being able to afford to eat it, whatever your income. Well, DIOBAS has found a completely new way to rear Cod in Freshwater at any location in the world in a controlled environment, even on the most unproductive terrain any distance from the sea without quotas and approximately one third below current market price. The benefits to the environment are obvious, particularly when considering the reduced transport costs and the chance to rest and restock our oceans. The Research Team at DIOBAS has managed to push the boundaries beyond established research with a completely new solution to the rapid depletion of our ocean fish stocks. This innovation will revolutionise the way we harvest Cod and indeed many other endangered saltwater species such as Bluefin Tuna, and can even rear the endangered freshwater Sturgeon. It is no exaggeration to say that this Freshwater Research Program is of significant international importance both financially and environmentally. To date, all research, both government and privately funded, has concentrated on studying the various ocean species in their own environment with limited success. Rearing pens have proved unsatisfactory both in terms of disease vulnerability and practicality. Diobas approached this challenge in a different way and decided to take Cod out from the vagaries of a saltwater environment and rear them in a controlled freshwater habitat thus eliminating all the problems. This was a radical decision that has proved extremely difficult to accomplish. At times it seemed that the problems associated with this new approach were frankly impossible to solve but the rewards were too great for us to give up on the Program. We had to design many new components including, revolutionary Particle Fractionators, with controlled natural daylight sequences, and even tide movements manipulated as part of the controlled environment. The end result is strong healthy fish, free from disease and the usual parasites that plague attempts to rear these fish in salt water pens. Our approach has been completely different to any other form of research and we are convinced that one day many other species will be reared in the same way.

It is not the intention of DIOBAS to supply Cod for the marketplace but purely to provide the means for others to do so. Within a fully automated and controlled freshwater environment, these fish thrive with a growth rate three times faster than in the wild. Their welfare has been the primary factor and they literally grow in a marine version of The Savoy whilst their behaviour patterns remain the same as if they were in the wild. The Freshwater System can be operated in a wide variety of sizes with the smallest producing in excess of 100 tons of Cod, the first crop being ready for sale 18 months to two years after the installation. The entire system is self contained and once filled with water will not require a re-supply of fluids. The main tank is connected to the second tank and water is pumped between the two with a tidal replication sequence at twice the normal rate. Coupled with simulated lighting operated with 12 hour daily cycles and seasonally comparative moon cycles, the fish are encouraged to develop at almost twice the normal metabolic rate, a further 30% growth rate is achieved through an enriched feeding program. A series of Ultra Violet units and our revolutionary Particle Fractionators have overcome the problem of efficient bacteria removal. Whilst the main tank is almost entirely dedicated to the growth of the Cod, the second tank performs several tasks. Primarily it acts as a giant biological filter and as well as fingerlings, will contain a variety of secondary income sources with filter feeding crustaceans, algae, crayfish and other sought after shell fish. When the main tank is cropped, the fish from the second tank are added and the whole procedure replicated to provide continuity. Once the water has circulated through this second tank it will be returned to the main tank in tidal sequence. The whole system is self contained and therefore cannot contaminate or interact with anything outside the building and there is virtually no waste as all the bacterial content is absorbed by the organisms in the second tank. This is the first time that a truly self contained environment has ever been achieved in either fresh or salt water.

The transition for Cod from saltwater to live in freshwater is an absolutely remarkable achievement. This success will remain our secret at this early stage, particularly as we would like to carry out research on other species in the future but suffice to say that no drugs or any genetic modification are used, the Cod are entirely natural and thrive in this simulated environment. The whole principle is geared to keeping the Cod themselves stress free. The concentration of fish is a little less than would be found on a Salmon farm with the important difference that in our Freshwater System the environment is totally controlled. A density of 35 to 40 kg of fish per cubic metre allows more than adequate space. Reducing the density would gain nothing as the Cod habitually shoal and one would just end up with large areas of empty space. Their predatory instincts are also catered for as the food is introduced in a unique way through turbulent currents and therefore "on the move" which encourages competition and active feeding. Muscle tone is kept at its optimum as there are strong and varying currents designed within the environment so there is no difference between wild Cod and those reared in our Freshwater System. It is important also to remember that it is entirely foolish to associate the needs of a fish with our own. They spend their lives with only two aims that fill their entire existence, feeding and breeding. There are no other considerations for them at all. What we have done is remove the stress from each by providing a safe environment with ample food and plenty of opportunity to breed. Every development we embark on always has the welfare of the world's Marine and Freshwater environment in the forefront of our mind. In short, to describe this system as the marine equivalent of The Savoy is no exaggeration.

Whilst we all at DIOBAS appreciate the enormous potential of the Freshwater Research Program and if you include the important investment safeguard of being able to switch production to a non saltwater species such as Sturgeon and the prospect of international demand for what is fundamentally the world's most advanced Freshwater System, is something we find quite daunting. It is perfectly clear that we cannot realistically go it alone; we are after all a research based company. Ideally, the best way forward for us would be to build a full scale research and production facility in the UK which could be used to display the system to international buyers both commercial and governmental. This full scale 2 million gallon Freshwater System facility would clearly provide its own income and be a valuable and essential part of our expansion. To help take us to this next stage, we have just made available a small quantity of company shares. As far as global commercialisation, we fully realise that we need help and are quite happy to discuss all options. To give you an indication into the potential numbers of Freshwater Systems - to achieve a 1% market share of the Cod quota for UK, France, Germany, Norway and Russia which is currently 625,000 tons per annum, still well below demand, then just 66 Freshwater Systems are required and once you take into consideration the developing Asian and Chinese market and this figure is multiplied many fold.

DIOBAS will retain full control of the contractual installation, commissioning, specialised training, continuous supply of Cod Fingerlings, and the peripheral income from licensing rights. Producing fish as a valuable comparatively cheap resource in areas where food production is often impossible, the global demand for the product and the incalculable gain in both income and environmental benefits will ensure the long term success of the Freshwater Research Program. One day, all fish will be produced this way right alongside processing plants situated where they are needed in major cities worldwide. It is a future that has to be embraced and could be one of the most important steps forward we have all had the opportunity to take for many years in terms of green issues. At the present time, it looks like this opportunity to keep the Freshwater Research Program and facilities in the UK are dwindling and may reluctantly have to move overseas. This will be devastating if we cannot keep this technology in the UK as it has all the right ingredients, and exhaustible demand for the product, low risk with excellent returns and very definite environmental benefits. The current method of using trawlers can never compete either on price, supply or ethics. This is the beginning of a whole new technology and one day all fish for the table may well be reared with our Freshwater System. It is time that modern technology turned the very dangerous, heavily subsidised and often unproductive gathering of an important food source into a safe and reliable industry. The financial benefits are too obvious to ignore. The moral considerations of exploiting to destruction what natural stocks we have left by employing ships and nets when there is a viable alternative we'll leave to the reader to justify.

For further information, please see www.diobas.com or contact commercial.director@diobas.com

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