On October 4th, 2016, the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (JCFA) held a hearing on modern aquaculture in California. The hearing was held at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory in Bodega Bay and shared time with presentations on the 2016-17 crab season outlook.
Senator Mike McGuire, Chair of the Joint Committee, and Congressman Jared Huffman convened the hearing. The hearing began with presentations regarding the California crab fishery and moved into presentations from aquaculture industry leaders on offshore finfish, shellfish, and inland production. The hearing concluded with reports from state and federal regulators on current needs and plans for progress in the aquaculture field.
- Topic: Harmful Algal Blooms and Domoic Acid: 2016-17 Season Updated Forecast
- Raphael Kudela, PhD. – Lynn Professor of Ocean Health, University of California Santa Cruz
- Topic: Crab Season 2016-17: Advisory Options, Testing and Domoic Acid Levels
- Sonke Mastrup – Environmental Program Manager, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Patrick Kennelly – Chief, Food Safety Section, California Department of Public Health
- Topic: Aquaculture – Industry Overview Panel
- Anthonie Schuur – President, California Aquaculture Association (CAA)
- Topic: Aquaculture – Offshore Finfish Panel
- Don Kent – President and Chief Executive Officer, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute
- Steve Gaines, PhD. – Dean and Professor, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management (Don Kent provided Dr. Gaines’s presentation in his absence.)
- Topic: Aquaculture – Shellfish Panel
- John Finger – Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Hog Island Oyster Company
- Greg Dale – Southwest Operations Manager, Coast Seafood Company (CAA Director)
- Topic: Aquaculture – Inland Production Panel
- Tony Vaught – President, Professional Aquaculture Services (CAA Director)
- Ken Beer – President and Chief Executive Officer, The Fishery
- Topic: Aquaculture – State and Federal Agency Panel
- Randy Lovell – State Aquaculture Coordinator, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Diane Windham – Aquaculture Coordinator California, NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region
Following the hearing, the California Aquaculture Association (CAA) and Hog Island Oyster Company hosted a reception at the Hog Island Oyster Company farm in Marshall, CA. Attendees enjoyed a variety of food and libations, including fresh Hog Island oysters on the half shell, smoked sturgeon from The Fishery, and caviar from Tsar Nicoulai. Special thanks to those who provided food and drinks at the reception.
The day’s events, hearing and reception, were a huge success, allowing for thoughtful conversation and connection between industry and regulatory agencies. CAA envisions this as the beginning of a productive partnership with the JCFA and looks forward to engaging in similar hearings in the future.
CAA thanks all those involved and all those who attended the hearing and reception. CAA extends its appreciation especially to Tom Weseloh, Chief Consultant for the Joint Committee, whose extensive planning created the foundation for a successful and efficient hearing.
By Michael Lee and Lauren Bernadett