Just in time for National Aquaculture Week, the Aquarium of the Pacific, Sea Grant, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the second report of their Offshore Aquaculture Workshop series. This workshop continues the conversation with Federal and State agencies about how to improve regulatory confidence in aquaculture operations. The workshop introduced a model as a possible tool for decision making, and includes information on animal health management, protected species concerns, and a summary of the permitting process.
Webcast speakers include Dr. Jerry Schubel, president and CEO, Aquarium of the Pacific; Dr. James Morris, marine ecologist, NOAA’s National Ocean Service and National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science; and Dr. Paul Olin, aquaculture specialist, California Sea Grant and the University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
The United States Aquaculture Society, National Aquaculture Association and North Central Regional Aquaculture Center are offering a free webinar focused on the regulatory costs incurred by bait and sportfish farmers. Many aquaculture producers and scientists have long pointed to an excessively burdensome regulatory environment in the United States as a constraint to growth and development of aquaculture. However, there has been little research done to determine the magnitude of the specific costs incurred by aquaculture producers as they comply with regulations.
This 1-hour webinar will present results of the first-ever study to measure the specific costs of regulations and how these costs affect U.S. baitfish and sportfish farms. While this study focused on baitfish and sportfish farms, results are likely to be of interest to the broader aquaculture community and to state regulatory agencies. New studies under development to similarly measure regulatory costs on U.S. West Coast shellfish growers and trout and salmon farmers will also be discussed.
Date and Time: Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 3:00 PM Eastern.
Presenter: Dr. Carole Engle is an Aquaculture Economist with more than 35 years of experience in the analysis of economics and marketing issues related to aquaculture businesses. She has worked in 19 different countries, has published over 112 scientific articles, serves as Executive Editor of the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society and Editor-in-Chief of Aquaculture Economics and Management.
Courtesy of Seafood Watch And Monterey Bay Aquarium:
Seafood Watch assesses the sustainability of fisheries and fish farms by compiling relevant science-based information and evaluating that information against our standards. We periodically revise our standards to ensure we take into account developments in the scientific understanding of the impacts of fisheries and aquaculture operations, as well as in our understanding of what producers and managers can do to mitigate those impacts.
We are now collecting public comments on proposed modifications to the Standard for Wild Fisheries and Standard for Aquaculture. All comments on other areas of the standards will be considered during the next Seafood Watch Standards Revision process in 2019. This fourth public comment period will end September 18, 2016. We greatly value your input into how we can better meet our objectives in assessing fisheries and fish farms. We encourage you to view background information on the revision process and submit comments by visiting our website. The solicitation for this public comment period is under the heading Public Consultation 4.
Our intent with these changes is to improve clarity and ease of use of the standard, but there are two areas which could potentially be more substantive. These are 1) when to use the Unknown Bycatch Matrices in Criterion 2 in the Standard for Wild Fisheries and 2) the appropriate assumed percentage of harvested farmed fish byproduct used for further protein production in Criterion 5 in the Standard for Aquaculture. Comments on these aspects in particular would be useful.
NOAA is hosting a new webinar to share more information about this year’s Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant process. This webinar will discuss the grant application process, including the mandatory pre-proposal process in advance of a full proposal submission.
The 2017 Saltonstall-Kennedy (SK) Grant Competition is here, and NOAA is hosting a webinar to prepare applicants to get through the application process.
Approximately $10 million will be available to support fisheries projects in this grant competition. The proposal process is open on Grants.gov on July 22, 2016, and will close on December 9, 2016. New for this year is the requirement to submit a pre-proposal in advance of a full proposal submission. The pre-proposal process is intended to provide an indication to potential applicants of the technical merit and the relevancy of the proposed project to the SK program before preparing a full proposal.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is now offering competitive grants to qualified small businesses. This program aims to support innovation that tackles scientific problems and local opportunities that can lead to improving communities. Aquaculture projects are encouraged to apply, especially concepts that look at issues such as reproductive efficiency and health management, among others.
Phase 1 includes grants up to $100,000 for a duration of 8 months, and will be awarded to businesses in order to create conceptual designs at a small scale. Once this proof-of-concept has been created, SBIR will open Phase 2, which will award larger grants to winning concepts in order to implement the ideas. Since 1983, 200 grants have been awarded through the program. The due date to apply is October 6, 2016.
Dr Fred Conte, Extension Aquaculture Specialist at the University of California, Davis, recently shared an upcoming study being lead by the Western Regional Aquaculture Center (WRAC) through the California Aquaculture Association newsletter. This study aims to look into the economic impact regulations have on the Aquaculture industry across the west coast. The research team will look at the shellfish and trout industries in Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, and Idaho, using industry surveys as well as state and federal agency input to compile an economic analysis.
The 3-year study hopes to increase the understanding across stakeholder groups of how the regulatory process effects the industry and communities. The results of the study and related materials will be shared with stakeholders via internet, newsletters, and follow up meetings. A webinar for the general public is also being planned.
The research team consists of Co-Principal Investigator and Project Director Mr. Gary Fornshell, University of Idaho; and Co-Principal Investigators Ms. Bobbi Hudson, Pacific Shellfish Institute (WA), Dr. William Hanshumaker, Oregon State University; and Dr. Fred Conte, University of California, Davis. The Industry Advisor is Mr. Bill Dewey, Taylor Shellfish Co. (WA). The Project Monitor will be Dr. Gunnar Knapp, of the University of Alaska.
The USA contributes only 1% of the 100 billion dollar worldwide aquaculture industry and meanwhile imports nearly 90% of the seafood consumed here. There is a real opportunity for increased development of sustainable aquaculture that can feed and support our communities. Living Ocean Productions presents a detailed look at the success stories from around the country, and the possibilities available if we continue to explore the potential for aquaculture industry growth.
Meet the farmers growing & harvesting catfish, salmon, oyster, and mussels, and learn about their dedication to environmental sustainability, community engagement, and high quality products.
A company in Australia is working to find out just that. Indian Ocean Fresh Australia has been working with the Mid West Development Commission to build a commercially viable and environmentally responsible offshore finfish industry off the west coast of Australia. Through supported research, they’ve been able to grow out 15,000 Yellowtail Kingfish to harvest and send to market.
In the past, their predecessors in a similar project failed due to issues with disease. This new venture is making fish health a top priority and has established a proactive monitoring system, with frequent blood tests & dissections to insure a standard of high health. So far, the results of this experiment have been encouraging; the fish are healthy, and according to feedback from local restaurants, of high quality and good taste.
The challenges for offshore aquaculture are many, both in protecting the natural environment and creating an economically viable, high-quality product. This venture is a great step in understanding the different challenges and actively finding solutions to create a more sustainable future.
Watch the video below to get a taste of their offshore farm, and read more here.