Pacific Oceans AquaFarms has filed applications for a California yellowtail farm
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Pacific Ocean AquaFarms (POA), a collaboration between an ocean science research institute and a purpose-based investment group, has filed applications for permits for a California yellowtail farm in federal waters off the coast of southern California.
Formed by Pacific6 Enterprises, a Long Beach, CA-based social benefit investment group, with Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI) providing science-based consulting services, POA will construct and operate the first-of-its-kind finfish farm located in U.S. federal waters. Once approved, POA will initially grow and harvest 1,000 metric tons of California yellowtail, scaling up over several years to 5,000 metric tons as it proves its environmental and economic sustainability.
HSWRI is a San Diego-based 501(c)(3) research institute that works in cooperation with, but is independent of, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. For more than 50 years, it has been recognized for its leading environmental and conservation research.
“Aquaculture is at a crucial inflection point,” said Donald Kent, President & CEO of HSWRI. “Scientific and technical advances have addressed past concerns about negative impacts. And, as the single most sustainable and fastest-growing food production sector in the world, aquaculture must grow in the U.S.”
The World Resources Institute has stated that aquaculture is the most sustainable form of animal food production in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. According to a 2018 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report, aquaculture represented more than 50% of global seafood production for consumption in 2016. The same report noted that wild fishery stocks cannot sustainably yield more, therefore “aquaculture must bridge the growing gap between supplies of aquatic food and demand from a growing and wealthier population.”
“We see this as a game changer for the U.S., which today imports the vast majority of its seafood, half of which is farmed,” said Robert Gordon, a Founding Partner at Pacific6. “Our project will show how aquaculture, subject to our nation’s stringent environmental and food safety standards, will be done right.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will serve as lead agency during the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) review process. POA anticipates that environmental review and permitting will take 18 to 24 months.