December 31, 2017
Offshore Finfish Aquaculture: Global Review and U.S. Prospects
Publishers: California Environmental Associates, David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Developed by California Environmental Associates (CEA), this report provides a global review of finfish aquaculture occurring in waters more than three miles from shore. It demonstrates the relatively nascent status of the industry, with only a few countries currently producing farm-raised fish offshore.
The report addresses economic factors that impact the profitability of facilities operating in open ocean conditions, including labor and capital costs, species value, the role of subsidies, and proximity to high-end markets. Their findings suggest that offshore finfish aquaculture will remain more expensive than nearshore marine aquaculture. Based on these findings, the report discusses how these factors may impact growth of a United States industry.
Although aquaculture is not a focus of the Packard Foundation's U.S. Marine Strategy, we share this report with the hopes it may be helpful to stakeholders engaging in the issue. We recognize there is interest by some to grow the offshore aquaculture industry in the U.S. As a global leader in producing sustainable wild-caught seafood – the U.S. should take a similar science-based approach to ensure any future aquaculture development in our nation's waters is done responsibly and sets the bar for sustainability.