CMBC Brown Bag: Opportunities and Challenges of Aquaculture

12/12/2017 - 12:30pm
4500 Hubbs Hall
Event Description: 

Opportunities and Challenges of Aquaculture in the Southern California Bight
Speaker:  Tom Grimm, CEO Carlsbad Aquafarms, Inc.

In the United States more than 91% of the seafood consumed is imported, mostly from Asia. Even in Southern California over 83% of consumed seafood is imported.  The Southern California Bight is one of best coastal areas in North America for offshore aquaculture. It has favorable atmospheric and oceanographic conditions, infrequent major storms, large areas of deep water with a good circulation close to shore, and high value, native species from which to develop successful offshore farms. The region also boasts a coastal fisheries infrastructure close to the largest seafood market on the west coast.

There are both opportunities and challenges in developing offshore aquaculture the Southern California Bight. While Southern California could readily support an offshore aquaculture industry that could become a $2 billion/year industry using just a small percentage of State waters and Federal waters, regulatory barriers to offshore aquaculture have undermined this opportunity. Today the permitting process for offshore aquaculture remain complex, time consuming, expensive and carry a high risk of uncertainty regarding any hope of a successful outcome. There is a need for a standardized Federal and State Register that delineates and simplifies the permitting requirements and incorporates all interagency consultations into a unified, coherent system.

However, even if the permitting process was simplified, what would a properly constructed, well-managed offshore aquaculture industry actually look like, and how would if function? What technologies and best practices would be used to insure a safe, secure, stable supply of seafood and relieve pressure on the coast’s diminishing wild fish stocks and allow them to recover? How could a successful offshore aquaculture industry play a role in conserving California’s remaining working waterfronts without unacceptable adverse impacts on the marine environment? What are some of examples of the most advanced aquaculture innovations on the horizon? How would these innovations address the many concerns raised about offshore aquaculture?

These questions will be explored in this presentation.

For more information on this event, contact: 
Penny Dockry
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