PANAMA -- Hollund Industrial Marine, Inc., an underwater forest management company, says it will soon be in position to harvest valuable hardwoods submerged in the Bayano Reservoir in Panama. The Bayano Lake Project covers 2,470 acres of tropical forest in the eastern part of Panama. The lake was formed after the Bayano Dam, the country’s second-largest power source, was built in 1976.

Following the results of a survey of the underwater area in Darién Province, Panama, Hollund announced the discovery of more than 20 marketable species of wood. According to its survey, which was performed by Bayano Lake Wood Products, one-third of the timber in the reservoir is made up of valuable hardwoods, such as Cocobolo or Rosewood. The other two thirds of the timber include softwoods, such as Espave.

Hollund gave no time table for the underwater harvest, citing the need for permits for the work, but notes in its announcement the term of a concession permit is five years, with renewal options. The goal of the forest harvest activities is the removal of accessible timber in Bayano Lake Project permitted areas, for the primary purpose of selling or processing forest products.

Once the timber is harvested, the reservoir will be used in part to create fish farms for the raising of tilapia. The submerged woods have hindered this plan. Hollund officials say they plan to assist the local community leaders with underwater technologies to help refine tilapia farming following the removal of the timber.

A project in Ghana to recover logs from Volta Lake, a man-made body of water, used the Triton Sawfish submarine to harvest the submerged forest.

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