There is a crisis in global fisheries stock due to industrial fishing, including illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, accompanying habitat destruction, pollution and climate change. Rearing livestock for food is a major source of greenhouse gas and can be supplanted by enhancing fish protein as a food source. 

Several esthetic and environmental issues constrain development of mariculture in coastal waters. People do not want industrial operations on ocean front property and surface‑based fish farms are navigational hazards. They also produce considerable waste including solid waste and dissolved nutrients.

Technology Overview

The majority of these problems can be resolved by developing a new platform for coastal mariculture that submerges the system, incorporates closed recycling bioremediation of water, uses wave energy for power and allows operation and monitoring through the internet. 

Northeastern inventors have created RoboCulture, an underwater autonomous closed robotic mariculture system. RoboCulture is designed to overcome current issues through a combination of hardware (the containment system, sensors, video, communication systems), and software/algorithms that communicate conditions of the system and autonomously regulate temperature, depth, and feeding. 

This technology uses a fabricated tank closed to the external environment and suspended in a carbon fiber spaceframe. It uses autonomous processes that minimize energy, remove toxins from the water, and have negligible impact on the environment.


● Automated electronic harvesting system.

● Eliminates environmental impact both visually and navigationally, and contains pollution.

● Allows remote control using an Internet of Things WiFi interface.

● Closed containment and waste management ensures toxin-free healthy fish.

● Eliminates energy costs by using ambient thermal management and wave energy.


● Increased mariculture production globally without using labor-intensive techniques 

 ● Can be used with polar to tropical aquaculture species 

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Mark Saulich
Associate Director of Commercialization
Northeastern University
Joseph Ayers
Mark Patterson
Annalisa Onnis-Hayden
April Gu
Jerome Hajjar
Milica Stojanovic
Amy Mueller
Marc Meyer
Scott Sagalow