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Fish Farming Gets Boost Locally From Federal Government

Audio

Aired 7/12/11

The San Diego region figures to get a boost in jobs and seafood production from the federal government.

NOAA Director Dr. Jane Lubchenco (left) with HSWRI's Don Kent at Hubbs-SeaWorld Hubbard Marine Fish Hatchery in Carlsbad.
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Above: NOAA Director Dr. Jane Lubchenco (left) with HSWRI's Don Kent at Hubbs-SeaWorld Hubbard Marine Fish Hatchery in Carlsbad.

CARLSBAD -- "Aquaculture," the development of fish farms, will get a boost in local coastal waters. The head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today announced a public-private initiative for creating jobs and increasing seafood production.

In launching the "Aquaculture Technology Transfer," NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco indicated that federal subsidies will be offered to science-based innovations which hold the promise of job creation and increased production.

Lubchenco toured the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute's marine hatchery in Carlsbad before announcing the key points of the new initiative:

"NOAA working with partners to develop select technology-transfer-science innovation projects to advance marine aquaculture; two, NOAA prioritizing grant funding for innovation, start-ups and training, loan financing for expansion of operations; and three, NOAA providing leadership and guidance through the regulatory process."

She said 85 percent of the seafood we eat in the U.S. is imported and half of it comes from farms. But only about 5 percent of the farmed fish consumed in the U.S. is homegrown.

Lubchenco said the U.S. trade deficit in seafood now exceeds $10 billion.

Don Kent with Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute said aquaculture technology developed in the U.S. can change those numbers.

"And it's a matter of whether we're going to pass all that off to somebody else or we're going to take advantage of these technologies we've developed here," said Kent. "NOAA has recognized it's time to take advantage of them here and develop the farming industry that can create the jobs and the economic benefit for our society."

With more than 50 percent of the seafood the U.S. consumes coming from farms, companies processing wild fish are looking to aquaculture.

"When we look at where the growth is, we're already starting to evaluate certain farmed and aquaculture fisheries," said Chris Lischewski, President and CEO of BumbleBee Seafoods. "Clearly what we've seen here in the U.S. it's absolutely possible and it's clearly the future."

Located on Agua Hedonia Lagoon, the fishery seeks to enhance the California white seabass, producing more than 350,000 young fish each year which are released off the coast.

The Obama Administration has recently supported the notion of streamlining federal regulations in an effort to increase fish farming and production. Hubbs-Seaworld tried two years ago to secure permits for a large-scale research project involving thousands of striped bass off Mission Beach. The effort foundered in red tape, however.

While fish farming has been successful in Baja California, there are no commercial fish farms in federal waters on the West Coast of the U.S.

Environmentalists have opposed large-scale fish farming in ocean waters on grounds that it increases pollution.

Comments

Avatar for user 'waynetyson'

waynetyson | July 12, 2011 at 1:38 p.m. ― 3 years, 4 months ago

Our (San Diego's own) late local marine ecologist, Raymond (Ray) Gilmore, who was always very positive, and who always suffered fools (like me) gladly, once told me, "Wayne, don't forget--the suspension of judgment is the highest exercise in intellectual discipline!"

I’ve forgotten who said “Nine-tenths of the hell being raised in the world is well-intentioned!”

The former is a pretty good starting-place to move the nine-tenths to eight-tenths and beyond.

Now to the comment I had for the guest (and “the environmentalists”) to set up my question:

Real (biological) ecology is not so complicated that the ecological context needs to be avoided in such discussions. Why, then, do the talking heads (headless in the case of radio, I guess) persist in generalizations and pat solutions at the media interface? Why are the most relevant aspects of ecological context, ones that would clarify so much, left out or avoided in such sound bytes? Is it salesmanship? Is it the media habit of dumbing-down content to hammer a subject into a slot? Is it part of some Grand Conspiracy (woo, woo-woo)? Or is it the blind-spots created by privilege? I truly don’t know if it’s any of these or none of these, but just what is it? Or, if my implied assertions, the spirit, the specifics of my observations and questions just plain wrong-headed. If so, please tell me specifically why!

WT

"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education." --Albert Einstein

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Avatar for user 'space'

space | July 30, 2011 at 7:27 p.m. ― 3 years, 3 months ago

thats S.T.R.A.N.G.E.!!!!!!

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