Aquaculture – A Vital Food Solution

Summary

The world’s population is projected to grow to 9.5 billion in 2050. Demand for protein will grow, especially for seafood because of its health benefits. How will the world meet that demand?

Wild fisheries are at or near sustainable yield. Even the best management will not enable them to grow fast enough to keep up. New ways to provide animal protein for human consumption are essential. 

Aquaculture, specifically open-ocean aquaculture of fish and shellfish, is one way.

Why is it important?

Today, the United States imports more than 90% of its seafood. Half of that seafood is farmed, most of it in Asia. Besides its impact on the national trade deficit, this raises issues of food security, food standards and the carbon footprint of seafood.

Aquaculture has the lowest environmental impacts of any animal protein production, requiring far less land, fresh water and feed, and causing much fewer greenhouse gas emissions. From a sustainability standpoint, aquaculture is an imperative.

POA’s commitment

Our commitment is to demonstrate sustainable aquaculture, farming California yellowtail (Seriola dorsalis) about three miles off the coast of Southern California. POA will deploy the latest scientific knowledge and technologies, and rely on best management practices for this commercial-scale operation. We want to be the model that will catalyze a new domestic industry and help answer how to feed a hungry world.

PIONEERING SUSTAINABLE AQUACULTURE

Summary

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.

Why is it important?

In the past, food production, including aquaculture, has occasionally traded one problem for another – providing more food, but at a cost to the environment. We are already pushing Earth to its limits.

Scientific research has pointed the way to more sustainable aquaculture, emphasizing proper siting and native species to avoid the problems of the past. Siting in the EEZ with its high water quality will help ensure fish health, product quality and nutritional value, while also demonstrating sustainable food production.

POA’s commitment

POA is dedicated to sustainability, and has defined that as utilizing natural resources for the benefit of current and future generations without depleting those resources or harming the environment, all while enabling economic viability. Our project will be environmentally and economically sustainable, and in keeping with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Our motto is Do it here. Do it right. Do it now.

LEVERAGING SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

Summary

Aquaculture has come a very long way in its 5,000 years of providing food. Today, having learned from past missteps – and learning more on a continual basis – aquaculture operations provide a better product in a more sustainable way. Scientific learning, technological innovations and evolving best management practices will enable aquaculture to meet the most rigorous oversight conditions and standards. Ongoing learning and continuous improvement will allow scaling up without negative impacts.

Why is it important?

Science, not emotion, should drive discussions about, and implementation of aquaculture projects like POA. Research and demonstration will provide new and better answers. U.S. ingenuity and innovation will drive technological advances. Best practices and shared learning will continuously raise the bar. Today, the U.S. in effect exports its aquaculture science and technology. We need to apply those here.

POA’s commitment

POA’s partners embody its commitment. Internationally renowned Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI) has more than 50 years’ experience with marine science research, and more than 30 years of direct experience with aquaculture. HSWRI is the only California organization to have successfully demonstrated open-ocean aquaculture. Pacific6 is a California-based investment and development partnership. Its mission focus is inspiring and important projects that positively impact people and communities, economically, socially or both. Together, these partners have undertaken to lead the way in the United States and California – under the strictest regulatory oversight and food safety standards.

MEETING A MORAL IMPERATIVE

Summary

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.

Why is it important?

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.

POA’s commitment

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.

Aquaculture – Significant Collateral Benefits

Summary

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.

Why is it important?

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.

POA’s commitment

Do it here. Do it right. Do it now.

PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Pioneering sustainable fin fish aquaculture

Pacific Ocean AquaFarms is a partnership between Hubbs-Seaworld Research Institute – a renowned, not-for-profit research organization with a 50-year legacy of pioneering marine science and environmental conservation, and Pacific6, an investment and development company committed to initiatives that positively impact people and their communities.  Both share a common vision for how acquaculture will safely and sustainably feed a hungry world – by emphasizing science, best practices and latest technology, embracing regulatory oversight, and demonstrating a diligent concern for the environment.

A MODEL FOR OFFSHORE AQUACULTURE

RAISING FARMED YELLOWTAIL IN THEIR NATIVE HABITAT

POA plans to raise California Yellowtail (Seriola Dorsalis) approx. four miles off the coast of Southern California where the mild climate, favorable water temperatures and shelter from extreme weather are ideal. 

Seriola Dorsalis is a native species that will thrive in the natural environment of a clean, deep, fast-moving water column – away from coastal interaction. Proper siting and diligent monitoring will ensure minimal impact on the surrounding environment. High-tech enclosures, invisible from shore, will be carefully stocked to allow for natural schooling so the fish can grow stress-free with minimal human interaction.

Fish will be harvested at approximately 12kg/26lbs to provide a fresh and 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 – working in harmony with commercial fishing operations and providing consistent product to market.

Yellowtail is successfully farmed around the world, including Australia. Its spawning and rearing parameters are well known to HSWRI who has cultured Seriola Dorsalis since 2003 at its San Diego facility – the only Yellowtail hatchery in North America and the source of juveniles for the Pacific Ocean AquaFarm project.

A MODEL FOR OFFSHORE AQUACULTURE

RAISING FARMED YELLOWTAIL IN THEIR NATIVE HABITAT

The FIRST offshore fish farm in U.S. federal waters, In a tiny area of THE world’s LARGEST exclusive economic zone, Under the MOST stringent regulatory, food production standards, Providing proof of concept to CATALYZE a new industry, To begin to SOLVE the enormous U.S. seafood trade deficit, And DEMONSTRATE how to SUSTAINABLY feed a hungry world.

The farm will be the FIRST commercial, offshore fin fish farm of its kind to operate in the federal controlled waters of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Pacific Ocean AquaFarms is currently in the process of permitting, prepared to go through work under the MOST stringent regulatory the food production standards to develop a fish farm that will serve as a model for offshore aquaculture – producing healthy seafood, creating jobs, supporting the working waterfront and providing new trade opportunities for generations to come.

It is vital that purposeful projects like this come to fruition. While nations around the world recognize and investing heavily in aquaculture to meet the increasing demand and boost their seafood security, the United States lags behind.  With domestic wild-caught fisheries at, or near, maximum sustainable yield, we continue to import over 85% of our seafood supply – half of which is farmed, mostly in Asia. This not only contributes to a substantial trade deficit, it relies on foreign regulation and farming practices for the quality and safety of the seafood we consume.

With the immense size of the U.S. exclusive economic zone (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