The practice of harvesting underwater timber is profitable. All over the world wood sources are submerged from artificial damming and disregarded logs from normal lumbering practices. The wood can remain usable, and sometime highly prized for its size and age. Rare and exotic woods can be found as far away as Ghana by the same means.
There are a number of companies specializing in the practice of reclaiming sunken woods. Triton Logging has the coolest gadget out there so far, the Sawfish. Some of the specs include:
- 54-inch-long chain saw
- 6 feet high, nearly 12 feet long, and 6 feet wide
- weighs 7,700 pounds
- Joystick operated from above water
- Eight underwater cameras
- 720-foot-long high-voltage power cable
From there, the four person crew uses the Sawfish to maneuver the logs into a submerged cradle until they are brought to the surface and barged out 1000 logs at a time. The practice ends up being more energy efficient than normal on-land logging practices. Transporting the timber is aided by water, no overland hauling is required, and no roads need to be built to the timber sources.
CEO of Triton Logging Chris Godsall states, “We don't think we can sell a wood product that has some environmental benefits for terrestrial forests while fouling the aquatic environment.”
Triton Logging operates their one of a kind Sawfish in Ootsa Lake in British Columbia where the goal is to harvest 45,000 trees a year in this man made 154-square-mile reservoir.
Other types of aqua-logging aim to find sunken wood that was abandoned or lost in transportation years ago by traditional logging methods. As logs were floated from their source to the mill many were lost to the watery depths. The wood is water logged and sits at the bottom of lakes and rivers waiting to be re-harvested. The enticing facet of this practice is that the submerged logs can be huge in size and rare in species and otherwise impossible to find in their natural habitats.
The practice of “Recovering the Forests of Yesterday to Save the Forests of Tomorrow,” as S and S Aqua logging puts it, creates outlets for harvesting anything from old growth, to exotic, to everyday wood sources without sacrificing living forests.