Out on the edge

How one woman plans to ex­tend the bound­aries of US aqua­cul­ture

Fish Farmer - - Innovation -

The United States has not taken ad­van­tage of its aqua­cul­ture po­ten­tial, said NOAA’s Michael Ru­bino at the re­cent Off­shore Mar­i­cul­ture Con­fer­ence in Barcelona, but one woman is at­tempt­ing to change that.

Donna Lanzetta hopes her Manna Fish Farms af­ter she has se­cured the nec­es­sary per­mits, a long drawn out process in the States.

Lanzetta was also in Barcelona, where she com­pared notes with other off­shore pi­o­neers.

Manna Fish Farms will pro­duce striped bass in sub­mersible pods 14 nau­ti­cal miles off the coast of Long Is­land, and Lanzetta was en­cour­aged by the de­ci­sion in Jan­uary to al­low farm­ing in fed­eral wa­ters in the Gulf of Mex­ico.

‘It was cer­tainly long over­due, it took 10 years to get that de­ci­sion, but it is in­dica­tive of the fu­ture. I think ev­ery­one un­der­stands that the need to farm in the ocean is real, it’s clear and it’s im­per­a­tive that we get out there.That’s the place to do it in a sus­tain­able fash­ion.’

She said while the Gulf rul­ing has no di­rect bear­ing on her lo­ca­tion, it is ‘cer­tainly a great guide­line for us’.

‘At least we have some­thing to go on with wa­ter guide­lines and so on, and we can fol­low some of the pro­to­col that’s in place with the Gulf plan.’

She said there are ap­prox­i­mately 37 dif­fer­ent agen­cies she needs to ‘touch base with’ to ob­tain per­mits, with the Army Corps of En­gi­neers the lead agency (for rea­sons even she doesn’t un­der­stand!).

‘Right now, it’s a crime un­der fed­eral law to pos­sess striped bass in fed­eral to clar­ify it and get a let­ter of ex­emp­tion or change the law,’ said Lanzetta, an at­tor­ney by pro­fes­sion, which she ad­mits has come in handy.

‘We hope we’ll have our per­mits by next spring.We are launch­ing our wa­ter mon­i­tor­ing equip­ment now and we need to get a full year’s worth of data be­fore we put our equip­ment into the wa­ter.To be 100 per cent cer­tain that this is a vi­able site we will mon­i­tor for the next year, ev­ery­thing about the site.’

Above: Aqua­pod. In­set: Op­po­site page: Donna on an

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