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.
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.
The US Dept. of Agriculture announces this year’s RFA (Request For Applications) for the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program’s Phase I grants. With $9 million in funding, individual businesses may be awarded up to $100,000 for a project to prove concept or feasibility. After which a larger Phase II round of funding may be sought for further development. This year’s aquaculture topic focuses on developing new technologies necessary for the expansion of the aquaculture industry, with the following subtopics:
Integrated Aquatic Animal Health Management
Improved Production Systems and Management Strategies
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.
Dr. Sergei Doroshov and colleagues with a white sturgeon (1979).
Bobby Renschler speaks to group touring facility.
White Sturgeon in large tanks.
Workers carefully extract sturgeon eggs to create caviar.
Bobby Renschler describes the traditional Italian caviar tins that have not been surpassed by modern alternatives.