World Aquaculture Society Meetings

Add To Calendar 24/02/2016 09:15:0024/02/2016 09:35:00America/ChicagoAquaculture 2016OPEN OCEAN AQUACULTURE SESSION - OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR OFFSHORE AQUACULTURE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA   Champagne 2The World Aquaculture Societyjohnc@was.orgfalseanrl65yqlzh3g1q0dme13067DD/MM/YYYY

OPEN OCEAN AQUACULTURE SESSION - OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR OFFSHORE AQUACULTURE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA  

Diane Windham*, Regional Aquaculture Coordinator-California
NOAA Fisheries, West Coast Region
650 Capitol Mall, Suite 5-100
Sacramento, California 95814
diane.windham@noaa.gov ; (916) 930-3619

Sustainable marine aquaculture has the potential to expand in California's state and federal offshore waters. National policies from the Administration, the US Dept. of Commerce, and NOAA support and encourage such expansion as well as related research. Increasing interest in offshore shellfish and finfish aquaculture in southern California has highlighted the need for marine spatial planning tools, modeling and monitoring frameworks, identification and clarification of regulatory permitting approaches and processes, translation of the best available science and identification of science needs and data gaps to inform regulatory decision-making.

Several efforts are underway in southern California that are responsive to the need for safe and sustainably produced marine aquaculture products, as well as efforts to communicate, inform, coordinate and collaborate between the research and academic community, regulatory agencies, industry, and various stakeholders and NGOs. There is opportunity to "grow" offshore marine aquaculture in southern California and provide healthy and safe sustainable seafood compatibly with other ocean uses while protecting and even enhancing the marine ecosystem, but such opportunities do not come without significant challenges. While the need to provide domestically produced seafood is evident, siting offshore aquaculture operations, the permitting pathway and associated monitoring requirements are complex and we are literally learning as we go, forging into a new frontier - but new only in southern California. There are many efforts underway in other states and nations that can inform and guide offshore aquaculture development here.

This presentation will provide an overview of several offshore aquaculture projects that are underway in southern California, at various stages of development and implementation. The permitting process in state and federal waters is unclear and through these project permitting efforts, we collectively are learning what is required, how to creatively approach the process collaboratively, and bring the best science to bear to facilitate sound processes that coastal/marine resource managers support, and that is transparent and robust. In addition to individual projects pursuing permits, there are also several efforts underway to provide science-based tools that coastal managers can utilize that include siting considerations, identification of user conflicts, and forecast environmental effects (both positive and negative). These tools generate data; coast-wide data management that allows for broad access to the data must be part of our efforts to develop tools that contribute to and inform a framework to support offshore aquaculture. The tools as well as various collaborative efforts and working groups addressing this information will be discussed.

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