Thesis Defence: Anna Jarvis

Thursday, April 23, 2020 1:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

Farming the High Seas: An adaptive approach for the inhabitation of oceanic recirculation gyres

Jarvis thesis image


Ocean management authorities predict that global fish stocks will be severely depleted by mid-century unless commercial fishing practices are greatly modified. This thesis considers aquatic architecture in general, and explores in particular an experimental design for floating colonies that follow oceanic circulation gyres for the development and management of high sea fisheries. Because these colonies would be isolated from other human communities for much of the time, they would need to be capable of being self-sustaining. The colonies could provide all of their own power, shelter, food and water, but they have been designed to generate a surplus of energy and protein. In the interest of diversifying the resources available to their inhabitants and reducing pressure on wild fish stocks and non-renewable energy sources, the colonies could trade fish and power with coastal nations as they travel around the gyres. Geopolitical ramifications of High Seas inhabitation are also considered.

A range of books, journals, websites and documentaries were studied in order to gain a broad understanding of the historical, ecological, and political context of drifting High Seas resource and research stations. The design of the structures presented is informed by environmental factors such as wavelengths in stormy weather; psychological and physiological concerns such as isolation from society, exposure to an extreme and highly changeable environment, fish behaviour and nutritional requirements of aquatic species at various trophic levels. The location of the project has been chosen based on current and historical environmental and political conditions such as fish migration patterns and the slow rate of change for international law.

The examining committee is as follows:


Elizabeth English, University of Waterloo

Committee Members:

Terri Boake, University of Waterloo

Simon Courtenay


External Reader:

Margaret Ikeda  


The committee has been approved as authorized by the Graduate Studies Committee.

The Defence Examination will take place: April 23, 2020, 1:00pm, closed defence.