California aquaculture: Past, present, and future

01/13/2020 - 11:00am
Bren School, Santa Barbara

California Sea Grant Aquaculture Specialist Luke Gardner will speak as part of the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management's seminar series. 


Aquaculture is broadly defined as the farming of aquatic organisms. The outcome of such farming is categorized into many sectors, including food, conservation/restoration, pharmaceuticals/ cosmetics, and jewelry, among others. Aquaculture is the fastest growing food production sector in the world, and its importance to the rapidly growing world population cannot be understated. However, while the US is the second largest consumer of seafood globally, it is only 16th in aquaculture production, importing >90% of its seafood. This is a concerning statistic when considering capture-based fisheries landings plateaued decades ago. In California, aquaculture has existed since the 1800s and is now present in nearly all counties in many different forms. However, aquaculture growth in California has been modest to date due a number of challenges, including regulatory costs and public perception. The response in California has been to develop niche markets to remain commercially viable. More recently, interest in aquaculture has surged nationally and locally, with California particularly focusing on how aquaculture can impact the environment positively. This presentation will explain the basic concepts of aquaculture and how they have transpired in California, as well as offering what some of the future directions may be for aquaculture in the Golden State. 

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