A new report was issued today by the Aquarium of the Pacific, National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and California Sea Grant
on aquaculture or fish farming. According to the findings, establishing
a robust aquaculture industry in the United States would help cut the
more than 90 percent of seafood imported into this country annually and
reduce a seafood trade deficit exceeding $14 billion with California
serving as a model. The report is the result of two workshops convened
in 2015 and 2016 sponsored by NOAA Sea Grant.
The key findings from these workshops provide recommendations for growth
and expansion of marine aquaculture in the U.S. and address the complex
permitting system and the need for continued research and public
“Here in California, we have the oceanographic conditions, proximity to
markets, and scientific expertise necessary to support environmentally
responsible aquaculture. With our planet’s growing human population and
rising demand for food, aquaculture will play a pivotal role in
increasing the safe supply of healthy protein in our global food
systems, and California could serve as a model for states looking to
develop a robust aquaculture industry,” said Dr. Jerry Schubel, Aquarium
of the Pacific president and CEO.
“These workshops provided an unprecedented look into all of the possible
environmental concerns of offshore aquaculture along the Southern
California coast. We are confident that aquaculture can be sited
sustainably in the coastal ocean. The science is sound on this. Our
challenge is putting the science to action to identify environmentally
suitable locations that avoid conflicts with other users,” said Dr.
James Morris, NOAA's National Ocean Service, National Centers for
Coastal Ocean Science.
The workshops hosted at the Aquarium of the Pacific brought together
regulators and scientists to discuss the application of the best
available science and incorporating appropriate tools that can inform
decision making for the permitting of marine aquaculture in California.
The participants represented a cross-section of scientists, regulators,
and industry practitioners with expertise in the field of aquaculture
and environmental science. State and federal agencies with regulatory
responsibilities for permitting aquaculture also participated.
The full report is available at www.aquariumofpacific.org/aquaculturereport.
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