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Meet San Diego’s ‘aquacowboy’

Don Kent of Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute forges ahead with plans for large scale, open-ocean fish farm


by Clare Leschin-Hoar


SAN DIEGO, CA – America is running a deep seafood deficit.

We control more ocean than any nation in the world, a whopping 2.8 billion acres, yet we import 91% of the seafood we eat.

But if Don Kent, president and CEO of Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute (HSWRI), gets his way, a big part of the solution will be floating four and a half miles off the sands of Mission Beach here, and it will mark a significant milestone in the nation’s efforts to cultivate seafood.

Dubbed the Rose Canyon Fisheries Sustainable Aquaculture Project, a partnership between Hubbs and private equity firm Cuna Del Mar, it will be the first commercial offshore fish operation in the US.

The term  offshore means the farm will sit beyond the three-mile mark typically regulated by the state, but still within federal waters.

The sheer size of the project – 29,000 square meters, or about six football fields – means it will be the first and most ambitious offshore operation of its kind.

The project will start with half-a-million yellowtail the first year, with the ability to scale up to 10 million fish per year (5,000 metric tons) at full capacity.

The vision for Rose Canyon has been in the works for at least a decade.

In 2004, Kent explored the idea of placing an aquaculture site near a decommissioned oil rig.  But the rig didn’t stay decommissioned for long.

Later, in 2009, Kent tried to secure permits to place a cage system off of La Jolla, but that project eventually floundered too…

FFN_5_14cover…read the rest and much, much more in Issue 5, 2014 of Fish Farming News. 

Download access instructions so that you can read the online flipbook AND download a pdf copy for future reference.

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