Draft Aquaculture Informational Report to be Presented to the Marine Resources Committee on March 17

Aquaculture operations
Aquaculture operations. CDFW photo

In 2006, the State enacted Senate Bill 201 which requires the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), in consultation with the Aquaculture Development Committee, to “prepare programmatic environmental impact reports (PEIRs) for existing and potential commercial aquaculture operations in both coastal and inland areas of the state [if certain conditions are met]…”. Due to the complexities of this legislation, a draft PEIR has not yet been published as CDFW continues to work towards determination of an appropriate path forward in both the design and implementation of a management framework for existing aquaculture operations and potential future operations.

As a step toward providing a common understanding of existing marine aquaculture activities in the State, the potential impacts of those activities, and future considerations of expansion, CDFW has developed a draft informational report on commercial marine aquaculture in California. Building off the extensive body of work that was developed for previous versions of the PEIR, the report describes the primary marine aquaculture species and culture methods currently approved, a summary of environmental settings and potential impacts, the current management context including primary policies and management authorities, and expected opportunities and challenges facing the future development and management of commercial marine aquaculture.

The draft report will be presented to the California Fish and Game Commission’s (Commission) Marine Resources Committee on March 17, and CDFW is recommending it be submitted to the Commission at their April 15-16, 2020 meeting to provide a foundation for public discussion around current and future commercial marine aquaculture in California.


post by Kathryn Johnson, CDFW Environmental Scientist

Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Sea Lion Cove State Marine Conservation Area

The Point Arena Lighthouse is a popular landmark to visit along California’s picturesque Mendocino Coast. Standing 115 feet above the flat coastal prairie, the lighthouse rises from the headland’s edge, bravely overlooking the pounding waves below. Continue reading “Exploring California’s Marine Protected Areas: Sea Lion Cove State Marine Conservation Area”

Environmental Disaster Continues to Decimate Bull Kelp Forests and Red Abalone Populations in Northern California

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has monitored northern California kelp forest ecosystems and red abalone populations for the past 20 years. Surveys completed in the summer of 2018 continued to document mass abalone starvation and population collapse. Continue reading “Environmental Disaster Continues to Decimate Bull Kelp Forests and Red Abalone Populations in Northern California”

Red Abalone Fishery Management Plan Peer Review Report Webinar Set for October 12

abalone
Red abalone with telia anemone hitchhiker
CDFW photo by D. Stein

California Ocean Science Trust convened a peer review panel to evaluate the scientific merits of two proposed management strategies that have been developed to support the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in designing a recreational red abalone fishery management plan.

The final report prepared by the peer review panel is now available for review on the California Ocean Science Trust’s Recreational Red Abalone Peer Review web page.

Continue reading “Red Abalone Fishery Management Plan Peer Review Report Webinar Set for October 12”

Saving California’s White Abalone

abalone shells
California abalone harvest from Monterey, circa 1930. This pile of shells is the result of one morning’s cleaning operations. photo by R.S. Croker

Abalone have long played an important role in the cultural and ecological history of California. They were a favorite food and decoration for coastal Native American civilizations for thousands of years. Continue reading “Saving California’s White Abalone”