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Saya de Malha Bank

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Author Topic: Saya de Malha Bank  (Read 1346 times)
Atlantean Warrior
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« on: February 08, 2011, 01:25:14 pm »

Artificial island projectThe Saya de Malha Bank is, or was, the site of an attempt to create an artificial island by Wolf Hilbertz (1938-2007) and Dr. Thomas Goreau. Hilbertz created seacrete and biorock, by combining the minerals in sea brine with electricity to create an artificial coral, or building materials. Hilbertz and Goreau made several expeditions to the bank to attempt to create or grow an island around a steel structure that has been anchored to the North Bank sea floor at a depth of 11 meters. Some sources say that the island would have been named Autopia or Autopia Saya, and declared a micronation.

Excerpt from an online interview with Wolf Hilbertz in Celestopea Times, 2004

You and your discovery of accreting minerals in seawater into solid forms has inspired several groups over the years to contemplate creating artificial islands for their piece of paradise. Your name has been linked to some such as Autopia Ampere and Skerki Bank. Is there an update on either of those projects or words of encouragement for others seeking something similar?
Examining the geography and bathymetry of the globe to find a spot in the ocean where to establish a permanent research settlement I came upon Seamount Ampere, east of Gibraltar, and Skerki Bank near Sicily. Both sites had potential, but Saya de Malha Banks in the NE Indian Ocean eclipsed them all. Having about the size of Belgium, most of Saya lies in international waters, 'in the high seas' legally speaking, governed only by the U.N. Law of the Sea. In 1997, Goreau and I sailed to Saya de Malha's many shallow sites and established the first accretion structure there, powered by floating photovoltaics and thus claiming the banks. In 2002 the second Saya de Malha Expedition with three boats laid the foundation of Autopia Saya, powered by photovoltaics, and performed the first modern bathymetric surveys ever conducted in the area. The latest Saya de Malha Expedition Report is on our websites. We are busy now organizing a third expedition to get Autopia Saya growing above sea level.
Mauritius claims the Saya de Malha Bank as part of its Exclusive Economic Zone. In the similar situation, Tonga evicted the Republic of Minerva from the Minerva Reefs by arguing that they had established a claim over that non-adjoining underwater site by traditional fishing use.

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