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Open ocean shellfish farm design. (Photo: kzoseafarms)

First open water shellfish farm to be built off Southern California

Click on the flag for more information about United States UNITED STATES
Monday, July 23, 2012, 23:50 (GMT + 9)

KZO Sea Farms is building the "First Open Ocean Shellfish Farm in US Federal Waters" in accordance with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) new aquaculture policy. The new farm will bring jobs and help slash the country’s USD 10 billion seafood deficit, the company said.

The US Army Corps of Engineers last week issued a provisional permit allowing the aquaculture firm to start construction and operate a shellfish farm 9 mi off the coast of Long Beach, California.

KZO’s plan is to develop a 100-ac bivalve farm to grow and harvest 100,000 lb of Pacific oysters and Mediterranean mussels, to subsequently be sold to distributors and restaurants across Southern California by the end of next year, The Long Beach Post reports.

"Offshore farms show higher growth rates, better meat yields and heavier production compared with inshore farms", highlights  KZO President Phil Cruver.

Open Ocean Shellfish Farm. (Map: kzoseafarms)


And according to the US Army Corps of Engineers, when properly sited, operated and maintained, commercial shellfish aquaculture activities generally result in minimal adverse effects on the aquatic environment, he adds.

Filter-feeding bivalve shellfish are vital throughout the globe when it comes to environmentally sustainable aquaculture in the marine environment and as ecologically sensitive monitors and water purifiers, according to KZO Sea Farms.

NOAA recently announced national aquaculture policies establishing a framework that allows for sustainable domestic aquaculture to add to the US seafood supply. The policy includes an emphasis on sustainable marine aquaculture through a “National Shellfish Initiative” for increasing shellfish farming and restoration.

Shellfish farming. (Photos: kzoseafarms)


Further, California recently released its “State Water Bottom Lease” for running aquaculture operations in marine waters.

The Pacific oyster is the most widely farmed oyster species in the world thanks to its large size, vitality, resilience to adverse conditions, resistance to diseases, fast growth and reproductive capacity.

Moreover, the Mediterranean mussel is now farmed in coastal marine environments throughout the world. It is larger, faster growing, has more meat content than the Blue mussel, and is more tolerant to heat and salinity.

By Natalia Real
[email protected]
www.fis.com


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