Committing to Sustainability

Pacific Ocean AquaFarms strives to be the model farm to catalyze a new domestic industry and help answer how to feed a hungry world. To do this, science must drive discussion and decision, research and demonstration must provide new and better answers, U.S. ingenuity and innovation must drive technological advances, and best practices and shared learning must continuously raise the bar.

Embracing Regulatory Oversight

The Permitting and Environmental Review Process

The United States has some of the world’s most stringent regulatory food production and environmental standards. POA welcomes this oversight as it ensures transparency, traceability and accountability in producing the safest and highest quality seafood product possible.

The following agencies will be conducting environmental review and permitting:

Additional review will likely be conducted by other agencies as the project moves through the permitting and environmental review process.

Applying Science and Technology

POA will deploy the latest scientific knowledge and technologies, and focus on best practices in all facets of the operation. Open-ocean finfish farming is constantly evolving and POA will continue to research and adopt proven systems to maintain the highest standards and environmental ethos.

Adhering to Best Practices

POA will follow the Best Aquaculture Practices set forth by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund and the Global Aquaculture Alliance.

This includes the following overarching principles: 

1. Comply with all applicable international, national, and local laws and regulations.

POA will meet all legal obligations and adhere to the law to ensure basic environmental and social requirements are met.

2. Conserve natural habitat, local biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function.

POA intends to achieve this through its daily operational protocols and environmental monitoring, thus minimizing or eliminating benthic and water quality impacts and the effects of chemical inputs and nutrient loading.

3. Protect the health and genetic integrity of wild populations.

POA will only rear endemic species with broodstock collected from local populations. The facility will also have a rigorously trained aquatic animal health team that will develop, maintain and follow a comprehensive Fish Health Management Plan. The project will have robust pen engineering and an Escape Prevention and Response Plan within the Operations Plan that minimizes, if not eliminates, any adverse impacts related to escapes.

4. Use resources in an environmentally efficient and responsible manner.

Feed will only be sourced from Best Aquaculture Practices certified feed mills. POA will also follow the latest research in order to implement the most advanced and customized diets for the cultured fish.

5. Proactively maintain the health of cultured fish to minimize the risk of disease.

A California licensed veterinarian with a U.S. Department of Agriculture Category II accreditation will be a part of POA’s aquatic animal health team to develop and implement a comprehensive Fish Health Management Plan.

6. Operate farms with responsible labor practices.

POA will prioritize the health and safety of all of its employees and will ensure all are treated with equality and fairness in an atmosphere without discrimination.

7. Be a good neighbor and conscientious citizen.

POA will engage with local stakeholders and gather input from the community on a regular basis.

Welcoming Input from Subject-Matter Experts

POA has established a Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel comprised of experts from around the nation to review operational protocols and offer advice to the POA Board of Managers. Members of the panel have expertise in areas such as aquaculture, socioeconomics, genetics, animal health, nutrition, water quality, sediment impacts, and agriculture.

Additionally, POA has established a Stakeholder Advisory Panel with members from environmental organizations, the seafood industry, and the commercial and recreational fishing industries to gain insights and advice from their respective specialty areas.