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Keeping aquaculture afloat

Lockheed Martin may be responsible for your future plate of sushi. The defense giant from Bethesda has developed an aquaculture system so innovative that it was named one of Time magazine’s top 25 inventions of 2012.

Working with Kampachi Farms of Hawaii and Illinois Soybean Association, Lockheed has come up with a mobile fish pen that floats along on ocean currents while attached to a barge. Automated systems — tied to satellite communications — feed the fish and clean the pen while it journeys through deep water.

“This truly revolutionary approach to aquaculture is a remarkable example of the breadth of missions and projects to which Lockheed Martin technology can be applied,” Gerry Fasano, president of Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Solutions-Defense, said in a news release. “We took technologies and software developed for defense-related applications and used them to create a sustainable, environmentally sound method of farming, which will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on our oceans and wildlife.”

The mobile pen could help alleviate environmental or crowding issues related to inland  and shore-based fish farms.