We are partnering with California Sea Grant to develop a statewide Aquaculture Action Plan for California (plan), a priority identified in the OPC’s recently adopted Strategic Plan to Protect California’s Coast and Ocean. The plan will be informed by a set of Guiding Aquaculture Principles collaboratively developed by the state’s Aquaculture Leadership Team (made up of state natural resource, public health, and food and agriculture agencies) , ongoing direction from the Leadership Team, and extensive outreach and engagement with Tribes, stakeholders and the public. Globally, aquaculture is rapidly expanding, but domestic development has to date been minimal. California has an opportunity to advance sustainable marine aquaculture in a way that protects ecosystem health and serves as a model for other states around the nation.
Figure by Caitlin Fong
Goal of the project The Aquaculture Action Plan will identify opportunities for growth that minimize impacts to habitat, biodiversity, and wild fisheries and will include minimum project criteria, including best practices for eliminating detrimental environmental impacts.
The Action Plan will integrate the vision and priorities within the Aquaculture Principles to develop an industry that is informed by best available science; is compatible with wild fisheries; is guided by comprehensive planning and collaboration; causes minimal harm to the environment; provides local, safe and healthy food production; supports living wages and equitably grows the state’s economy; partners with California Native American Tribes (Tribes); and protects public access.
What an Action Plan is...
A comprehensive, community-informed and science-based framework for marine aquaculture growth in California
Focused on marine algae and shellfish in state marine waters
Also considering land-based, recirculating tank operations for marine algae, shellfish, and finfish
What an Action plan is NOT...
A government mandate to grow aquaculture in the state of California
A marine spatial plan or an aquaculture siting plan
Best management regulations
Project Timeline 2021 - Phase 1: Development of the plan Create a draft Action Plan based on input from the Aquaculture Leadership Team, aquaculture growth scenarios based on synthesis of the latest science, survey input and recommendations from a community advisory committee and a science advisory committee.
2022 - Phase 2: Community Engagement Refine the draft Action Plan with public input from regionally held community meetings. 2023 - Phase 3: Refinement Incorporate recommendations from community meetings and the Aquaculture Leadership Team into a final Action Plan for the state of California.