A Partnership for Sustainability

Pacific Ocean AquaFarms (POA) is a unique collaboration between Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI) – a renowned, non-profit research organization with a 50-year legacy of pioneering marine science and environmental conservation – and Pacific6, a Long Beach-based investment and development firm committed to important and urgent initiatives that positively impact people and the communities in which they live.

Both organizations share a solutions-oriented vision for how aquaculture can safely and sustainably feed a hungry world and revitalize the U.S. seafood industry – by emphasizing proven science, embracing regulatory oversight, utilizing best practices and technologies, and carefully conserving natural resources. 

POA is committed to addressing the growing global demand for seafood and paving the way for increased domestic seafood production through innovation, responsible stewardship and a diligent consideration for the environment.


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“Although our mission is to demonstrate both economic and environmental sustainability, a quest for profit will never supersede our over-riding purpose to respect and conserve sensitive marine life and ecosystems.”
Don Kent
CEO, HSWRI and Pacific Ocean AquaFarms

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Raising California Yellowtail in Native Waters

POA plans to permit, construct and operate a sustainable, commercial-scale farm to raise California Yellowtail (Seriola Dorsalis) approximately four miles off the coast of Southern California where the mild climate, strong currents, favorable water temperatures and shelter from extreme weather are ideal for raising this fish. 

Seriola Dorsalis is a native species that will thrive in the natural environment of a clean, deep, fast-moving water column.  Careful stocking will allow for natural schooling so the fish can grow stress-free with minimal human interaction.

Harvests will provide a fresh, healthy sushi-grade product aimed at competing with foreign imports – not with the domestic catch of local fishermen. The farm will allow for year-round production and employment – providing consistent product to market, and working in harmony with commercial fishing operations.  

Caring for Fish from Hatch to Harvest

The health and safety of our Yellowtail is paramount to how we conduct our operations. It is this crucial commitment to animal welfare that sets POA apart – from spawning and hatchery maintenance to proper care, feeding, and eventual harvesting.

HSWRI has cultured Seriola Dorsalis since 2003 at its San Diego hatchery, the only Yellowtail hatchery in North America, and will source juveniles to Pacific Ocean Aquafarms so that every one of our fish can be traced from X to plate.

POA, working with the seafood community, will embrace the strictest regulatory oversight, health monitoring and food safety standards to guarantee that our fish are safe, heathy and delicious to eat, and the short journey from offshore farm to consumer’s plate will ensure the freshest seafood with the lowest carbon footprint.

It is our commitment to feed the world with a better, healthier, more economical product in the most sustainable way.


The First Commercial Fin Fish Farm in U.S. Federal Waters

Pacific Ocean AquaFarms (POA) will be the first open-ocean fin fish farm sited in U.S. federal waters. This project aims to address the growing global demand for seafood while paving the way for more domestic seafood production through sustainable aquaculture.


The Location:
  • Sited to avoid conflicts with commercial and recreational fishing, shipping and military activities.
  • In deep, clean, temperate water with good current, away from critical habitats.
  • Outside the coastal zone and within natural range for the species.
  • Close to commercial fishing infrastructure and robust consumer markets.
The Economics:
  • At build-out, will generate $50 million-plus in annual sales.
  • Will create an estimated $100 million-plus in new annual spending.
  • Will create and/or support 300+ permanent, good-paying jobs.

With a commitment to utilizing the best available science and technology, and a diligent commitment to protect the environment, POA will demonstrate that healthy, premium-quality fish can be grown reliably and sustainably in the U.S. with negligible, if any, adverse environmental impacts.

POA aims to demonstrate that we can: DO IT HERE. DO IT RIGHT. DO IT NOW.


Providing proof of concept to CATALYZE a new industry, begin to SOLVE the enormous U.S. seafood trade deficit, And DEMONSTRATE how to SUSTAINABLY feed a hungry world.


The Domestic Challenge

The United States has the largest contiguous Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the world. This area, from three to 200 miles offshore, is ideally suited to open-ocean aquaculture. Compared to near-shore (state) waters, the EEZ offers better water quality, fewer conflicting uses and more natural habitat for fish. A very small area of the EEZ could produce significant amounts of farmed seafood … and do so very sustainably, both environmentally and economically.

With seafood being the most healthful form of animal protein and aquaculture being one of the most resource-efficient ways to produce it, it’s becoming increasingly important to establish responsible, sustainable ocean-based farming to support the food needs in the U.S. and around the world. However, while other nations invest heavily in aquaculture to meet the increasing demand, we continue to rely on other countries for our seafood supply. 

Today, the United States imports more than 85% of its seafood. Half of that seafood is farmed, most of it in Asia.

The result is that the vast majority of our seafood is being provided without traceability, product quality assurance, or the ability to ensure that foreign suppliers are meeting our rigorous environmental and agricultural regulatory standards. Besides the serious impact on the national trade deficit, this raises on-going concerns of food security, food standards and the carbon footprint of the seafood we eat. 


U.S. Seafood is Imported


Imported from Asia

Aquaculture World Ranking

Trade Deficit Billion $


Embracing the Regulatory and Oversight Regimen

Pacific Ocean AquaFarms is currently in the detailed process of permitting the farm, working with government agencies, each with their own jurisdictions, regulations and standards. POA embraces the strictest regulatory process and oversight to ensure efficacy, transparency and sustainability to produce the safest farm and highest quality product possible. 



Adhering to a Science-based Methodology

POA will deploy the latest scientific knowledge and technologies, and focus on best practices in all facets of the operation’s development. Open ocean finfish technology is constantly evolving, so POA will continue to research and deploy proven systems to keep operations at the highest standards. At all times overlaying an environmental ethos.
The Science and Technology:

The POA Advisory Panel

POA maintains 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 will maintain a Stakeholder Advisory Panel with members from environmental NGOs, the seafood industry and the commercial and recreational fishing industries to gain insights and advice from their respective specialty areas.



The Global Challenge

is Fast Approaching


Increase in Population

Billion Global Population


Increase in Need for Protein

The global population, already over 7 billion, is growing by roughly 83 million people every year. To feed a projected population of 9.7 billion people in 2050 is a daunting challenge. Food production will need to increase by as much as 70%. A large proportion of this increase will come from animal protein demanded by an anticipated three billion new middle-class consumers throughout the globe

Feeding the planet while conserving the environment that underpins food production is one of the greatest challenges of our day.

The global food system is reaching a critical inflection point.  Despite massive gains in scale and efficiency over the past 60 years, (exemplified by the Green Revolution in agriculture) food production is surpassing the ecological limits of the planet.  If food and agricultural systems remain on their current path, the evidence points to a future characterized by persistent food insecurity and unsustainable economic growth.

Responsible aquaculture is the solution for growing demand. 

Aquaculture is the most ecologically appropriate way to grow animal protein for human consumption. The ocean has the capacity to expand food production without heavy reliance on land and freshwater resources. It can also increase our food supply with less greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

Compared to terrestrial food production, aquaculture requires:  
• Far less area to farm 
• Less vital resources – such as fresh water  
• Less feed for the resulting protein yield  
• Less energy and fossil fuel for production  
 It also generates the least amount of climate threatening gasses.

 An integrated program that combines responsible land-based agriculture with ocean-based aquaculture can support a long-term strategy to create a safe, secure, sustainable, and more resilient global food system.  

The Immense Opportunity

With the vast size of our EEZ, our advanced ocean science and technology, and our exceptionally high standards for food production, the U.S. has the potential, and the need, to lead the world in developing responsible, sustainable marine aquaculture.

Pacific Ocean Aquafarms is committed to developing a fish farm that will serve as a model for this – producing healthy seafood, creating jobs, supporting the working waterfront and providing new trade opportunities for generations to come.





Scaling up domestic aquaculture is not about money or profitability at any cost. In fact, it is difficult and expensive to bring about. But anything that contributes to feeding a hungry world is worth trying. Food security is lessened when we import more than 90 percent of our seafood. And aquaculture has proven itself around the world. It is time to prove it here, adhering to the highest standards and meeting the greatest need.


To Provide Food for the Future

Norman Borlaug, the father of the green revolution, said, “Food is the moral right of all who are born into this.” Aquaculture is not only the fastest-growing food production sector in the world, it is synergistic with commercial fishing and will help to preserve that industry. The commercial fishing infrastructure and skills are needed. Aquaculture also relieves pressure on wild fisheries. The greatest level of food security comes from domestic – and local – sources that follow the strictest safeguards in everyone’s interests.

To Provide Jobs for Generations

Aquaculture offers much more than providing healthy seafood. Each operation will create economic development – upstream for vendors and equipment manufacturers, for example, and downstream for the seafood distribution system. Each will create new jobs and supplement existing jobs (e.g., in boating and commercial transportation of fish). Aquaculture can help invigorate working waterfronts and preserve them for commercial fishing. It promises a new domestic industry, which will create additional ripple effects to benefit coastal communities. And it promises to help offset the national trade deficit and dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of seafood.

Coastal communities and their economies are seeing working waterfronts encroached on by development. Commercial fishing infrastructure is threatened by declining catches and the need to travel greater distances at greater cost to get those catches. Aquaculture will add a new element tied to commercial fishing with product delivered through working waterfronts. The economic impacts, coupled with developing a new source of local, healthy, low-impact food, are too promising to ignore.

To Protect our Natural Resources

Pacific Ocean AquaFarms is likely to be the first commercial finfish aquaculture operation in the entire United States EEZ. Being first means creating a path where there is none. POA’s partners have committed to the task of being the first because it is so important to do it … and to do it right. We will invest the time, money and effort needed to prove it successful … and maximize the potential for local, national and even international benefit.

• Using latest technologies

• Following best management practices

• Emphasizing continued research

• Overlaying an environmental ethos