Rose Canyon Fisheries is applying for permits to create the largest fish farm in the United States.
A proposed undersea fish farm off the coast of San Diego could have a 1.3-square-mile footprint on the ocean floor.
According to the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, which is a partner in the project, the United States has a “seafood imbalance” of too much imported seafood.
“The price of seafood is going up higher and higher for people like us who have to import it,” Don Kent, the president and CEO of Hubbs-SeaWorld, told NPR. “So the big advantage we have over those other supplies is from the fact that we can grow it locally.”
The project’s goal is to produce 11 million pounds of yellowtail and sea bass annually.
There are those opposed to the proposed fish farm. Critics say the farm will be visible from shore. What’s worse, they say, is that marine life could get caught in the nets and ropes. Another concern is inbreeding of the caged fish, which could lead to the spread of disease.
Other critics say that the United States already does produce seafood. Residents just don’t eat stronger-tasting fish, like mackerel and black cod. They say those species of fish are exported.
Kent counters that with the growing world population, aquaculture can help feed more people.