Kaitlin Yent – Hollund Industrial Marine, Inc., an American underwater management company, has recently taken great interest in Lake Bayano after a recent underwater survey was completed. The survey yielded potential fortunes to be harvested from underwater forests, should someone take the time and expense to excavate them from the depths of the lake.
Lake Bayano, just to the east of Panama City, was formed in 1976 by the creation of the Bayano Dam (which provides the second largest source of power in the country). The dam and resulting lake flooded what had been 2,470 acres of tropical forest full of valuable hardwoods. The survey specifically cited 20 marketable species of wood, made up in one third of hardwoods, including cocobolo and rosewood, softwoods included espave.
No timeline was given for the project; permits for an undertaking like this will be many and not easily or quickly obtained. The long-term possibilities, though, could be both practical and profitable. Fish farming (tilapia) is one of the proposals for making use of the lake once it is cleared. Until now, the lost trees have hampered any efforts to put the massive underwater space to real use. Hollund Industrial isn’t the first to have the idea, Canadian Coast Eco Timber Inc. has been doing much the same thing in Lake Gatun.