The Open Blue Revolution
Published on Oct 12, 2014

 Open Blue

The Open Blue Revolution

In a quiet community located on a stretch of Panamanian coast between Colon and San Blas on the Caribbean Sea, one might not expect to find one of the fastest-growing Aquaculture enterprises in the world; but that’s just what you’ll find at Open Blue’s newly expanded world-class facility. Open Blue is a customer of Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems; located in the Costa Arriba region of Panama. Utilizing key pieces of Pentair equipment in their on-shore hatchery, Open Blue uses an integrated farming approach to responsibly farm cobia, a premium white fish which is gaining popularity in high-end seafood markets. In their integrated approach, Open Blue raises fish from egg to market size, which provides complete traceability from the farm to the marketplace. Traceability is an Aquaculture production best practice that helps to instill consumer confidence. Another unique aspect of Open Blue’s approach to Aquaculture is how they employ open ocean technology to sustainably culture fish in offshore enclosures, several miles off the coast of Panama in the deep sea. This technique avoids impacts upon recreational areas and provides a strong buffer for conservation fishing regions. Following the philosophy they call the “Open Blue Revolution”, Open Blue seeks to feed future generations in harmony with the ocean, and Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems is proud to be a partner for a sustainable future.

When it came time to expand Open Blue’s integrated farming platform with a new hatchery, Pentair was chosen as the primary equipment provider based on our extensive product portfolio, technical expertise, field service offering and customer first philosophy. In order to meet the unique needs of the customer, the Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems team drew upon the equipment portfolio’s from several Pentair Global Business units. “By partnering with Aurora and Keystone we supplied equipment for nearly every filtration and water movement process at the Open Blue facility. The product mix actually spans three different Pentair GBUs,” says Ryan Karcher, Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems service technician. This cross-GBU collaboration exemplifies the purpose, process and win right values behind the One Pentair vision.

Pentair’s relationship with Open Blue extends beyond that of just an equipment provider. Kurt Lang, Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems Technical Services Supervisor, traveled to Panama to assist with the installation and to ensure it ran smoothly. As it often goes with large projects there were some setbacks. Kurt explained, “There were a few issues to be sorted-out, but Pentair’s response to these challenges has been exemplary, and our customer first approach goes a long way to satisfy our customers. Functionality and production had a few glitches in the beginning, but with their trust, we have been able to resolve these issues.” Dan Farkas, Open Blue Hatchery Manager expressed his satisfaction by saying “To be able to work with one company with such a comprehensive equipment and service offering benefitted our project tremendously. Pentair has proven to be a great partner.”

Open Blue is estimated to harvest around 1,600 tons of Cobia this year alone. They expect to produce more juveniles to increase yields in 2015 and 2016 with the new facility. Pentair products will help solve many challenges for the Open Blue Cobia hatchery for many years to come including Pumping, Filtration, UV, Monitoring and Control, and Valves. Open Blue and Pentair’s hard work and dedication to the aquaculture industry will help to ensure a more stable, sustainable food source for the world’s growing population and translate to environmentally safe and delicious harvested seafood.

We are honored to be a part of Open Blue’s vision! For the latest project details, you can follow #OpenBlueCobia or take a look at their featured video on CNN’s The Next List.

Tech Sidebar:

The nursery will consist of:

  • Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems Emperor UV’s for disinfection (these include Hoffman enclosures for the UV's power supply).
  • Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems Verus™ Pumps and Sparus™ Pumps with Constant Flow Technology™ for water distribution to individual sections of the hatchery.
  • Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems DSF Series Filters were installed primarily for solids removal of incoming seawater and to filter the 5,600gpm water flow from the Aurora pumps, using 40 micron screens. Hoffman enclosures used for the control boxes.
  • Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems Arias™ Sand Filters for filtration of small fry tanks.
  • For monitoring and controls of the systems, the Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems Point Four LC Monitors were installed; these will allow monitoring of dissolved oxygen in all culture tanks. (again, using Hoffman enclosures).
  • Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems Point Four Transport Monitor was also installed, allowing for dissolved oxygen when transporting fish to harvest
  • Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems Point Four microbubble oxygen diffusers
  • Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems Sweetwater regenerative blowers and oxygen cones
  • Pentair Keystone Composeal Butterfly Valves for control of water flow from main system pumps and seawater distribution manifolds. Over 100 valves!
  • Pentair Keystone Gate Valves were installed to control the main incoming seawater pipeline. 18” diameter