California Aquaculture mourns the loss of a dear friend, colleague, and sage advisor, Dr. Fred Conte, state aquaculture specialist for UC Davis Cooperative Extension.
Read a special message from Tony Vaught, President of the California Aquaculture Association (CAA) linked here.
Today, NOAA Fisheries announced the appointment of Dr. Michael Rubino as the agency’s new Senior Advisor for Seafood Strategy. NOAA has established this new senior level position to support the agency’s strategic focus on seafood production and aquaculture. In this new role, Dr. Rubino will lead the development of markets for United States fisheries products–both wild capture and farmed–and facilitate new and expanded domestic aquaculture production.
Read more about the former Director of NOAA’s Office of Aquaculture’s appointment here.
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is working with Hog Island Oyster Company and the University of California Santa Cruz to assess the interactions between oyster aquaculture and eelgrass in Tomales Bay, California. The use of drones may help with these studies, and the validation of such aerial surveys could be highly valuable in both their perspective and economy (as this approach could be much less expensive than conventional side-scan sonar or diver-based methods). This TNC-produced video captures the study site and plan beautifully. The Tomales Bay studies are just beginning, so stay tuned to further developments and discussion.
Watch Delicacy of the Deep, Saving White Abalone to learn more about the efforts of UC Davis Bodega Marine Lab in saving the endangered white abalone.
“White abalone will likely go extinct very soon if we don’t do anything to save them”
The good news, Bodega Marine Lab has a successful captive breeding program for white abalone; with the goal of building the abalone population in captivity and out-planting in the wild.
Michael Rubino, Director of the Office of Aquaculture at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service, discusses obstacles to aquaculture growth, government assistance, and growing a sustainable, responsible aquaculture industry.
“We need to do a better job of getting the word out to the public on how far aquaculture has come, how it can and is being done in ways compatible with environmental stewardship, and how important it is and will be to feeding Americans and others around the world.”
Aquaponics, a system of farming that uses no soil, also uses far less water than traditional agriculture. But while the technique is gaining attention, it remains a very niche way to grow produce due to economic limitations. Special correspondent Cat Wise reports from Half Moon Bay, California.
Sterling Caviar recently hosted a tour of their sturgeon farm and caviar processing facility in Elverta, California for an audience of state legislative and agency officials, accompanied by post-graduate Fellows from the California Sea Grant Program. Organized by the Office of the State Aquaculture Coordinator and the California Aquaculture Association, participants learned about this local success story and the long-term commitment required of farm-raising caviar, which takes an average of 10 years to yield its crop.
Jonathan MacKay recently joined the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s aquaculture program as a Sea Grant fellow. He received his master’s degree in environmental science from California State University, Los Angeles in 2014. For his thesis work he modeled an oil spill in Santa Monica Bay, examining oversights in policy and analyzing the ecological effects on protected species and areas. Jonathan is married with no pets, house plants, or plans to have kids. He and his wife Diana, corporate counsel for a biotechnology company, recently relocated from Santa Monica to Midtown, Sacramento. They enjoy traveling, so “the fewer commitments outside of work and marriage the better.”
Annalisa Batanides recently joined NOAA Fisheries Office of Aquaculture as a Sea Grant Fellow. Annalisa received her J.D. from University of California, Davis School of Law in 2014, earning the Environmental Law Certificate and Public Service Law Certificate. She earned her B.S. from University of California, Davis in 2010. Batanides has worked as a legal clerk for Earthjustice, the Sierra Club and Tri-Valley CAREs. She currently lives in San Francisco with her “amazing boyfriend and the cutest dog in the world.”
The New Generation of Oyster Farmers
[The Watershed Project’s] Executive Director, Linda Hunter, sat down with Diani Taylor, a fifth generation oyster farmer from Shelton, Washington to talk about her family’s legacy of sustainable aquaculture, the future of oyster farming and our favorite – the Olympia Oyster.