Don Kent Details Benefits of Fish Farm Proposed Off San Diego’s Coast

don kentDon Kent peers into a water tank about the size of a backyard swimming pool and watches as a school of 10 yellowtails swim by, each about 4 feet long.

“There are some big guys in there. There they come,” he said. “That’s a big fish right there.”

I ask if he has names for them.

“I try not to have names for things I eat,” he said.

Kent won’t be eating these fish, but he hopes we’ll all be chowing down on their offspring in a few years.

Kent is president and CEO of the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, a research nonprofit partially funded by SeaWorld. Hubbs-SeaWorld is partnering with a private investment firm to create the largest fish farm in America.

The proposed Rose Canyon Fisheries aquaculture project would be built 4 miles off San Diego’s coast. It could have a footprint on the ocean floor that’s slightly smaller than Balboa Park, and could produce 11 million pounds of yellowtail and sea bass each year.

Kent said this country needs the project because 91 percent of its seafood is imported, and countries like China that produce a lot of fish are now keeping more for themselves.

“The price of seafood is going up higher and higher for people like us who have to import it,” he said. “So the big advantage we have over those other supplies is from the fact that we can grow it locally.”…

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