Tuesday, November 4, 2014

04/11/2014: SeaWorld looks to build world's largest fishfarm

A research institute affiliated with SeaWorld is planning to raise California yellowtail off the San Diego coast and environmentalists are wary, writes Taylor Hill a Takepart associate environment and wildlife editor

In his full feature on the suject Mr Hill asks, "Will the fish on your dinner plate come from SeaWorld one day?"

Here's his report:

Hubbs-SeaWorld, the nonprofit research center affiliated with the marine mammal theme park, has teamed up with a private equity firm to construct a 300,000-square-foot aquaculture facility—the world’s largest—4.5 miles off the San Diego coast. If built, Rose Canyon Fisheries Project would be able to raise 5,000 tons of California yellowtail a year.ii

“We’re the third-largest consumer of seafood in the world, but we’re only producing about 9 percent of it domestically,” said Don Kent, president of the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute.

Instead, the United States relies on other countries, such as China, to produce its seafood, almost half of which is farmed. Meanwhile, stocks of wild fish are declining rapidly because of overfishing.

“This can breathe new life into our local seafood industry,” said Kent. “It can create an alternative source of protein and a new paradigm in the seafood business.”

So why is a nonprofit research institute getting involved with a for-profit venture like fish farming, an often controversial business given disputes over pollution and its impact on wild species? 

The organization is associated with SeaWorld, which has become a target of animal rights activists over its treatment of captive killer whales and other marine mammals.
Kent said that Rose Canyon could serve as a model for environmentally sustainable offshore aquaculture.

He noted that whatever profits the fish farm generates would fund research at Hubbs-SeaWorld.

Read more HERE.

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