News Archive 2011 & PAST

September 2011

Organic Agriculture and Markets - Aquaculture
(POSTED 09-11)

USDA Activities and Priorities Related to Organic Agriculture and Markets - The USDA Organic Working Group and the USDA National Organic Program have scheduled a public listening session for September 20, 2011 in Washington, DC to receive input concerning the Department’s activities and priorities related to supporting organic agriculture production, handling and markets.  Specifically, members of the public are invited to comment on USDA’s activities and priorities in two general categories: 1. Activities and priorities of the USDA National Organic Program, other than those specific to the business and work plans of the National Organic Standards Board; 2. Activities and priorities of USDA agencies and programs beyond the USDA National Organic Program.

Comments Due By: Members of the public are invited to submit written comments via email before midnight ET on October 1, 2011. Submit comments to 2011OrganicListening@AMS.USDA.gov

August 2011

National Seashore Receives Continued Criticism on Handling Drakes Bay Oyster Farm Issues
(POSTED 08-08-2011)

For a number of years, there has been conflict over the presence of an oyster operation within the Point Reyes National Seashore. It has been reported that the oyster operation in Drakes Estero, California has had adverse impacts on the biological environment of Drakes Estero located North of San Francisco California. I have had repeated requests to provide information about the conflict.

Because of the time-consuming nature of providing available information about the conflict, and having to constantly defend sustainable shellfish practices, I have chosen, with permission, to post articles appearing in local newspapers of the area. Central to these events include the release of a peer reviewed report by the National Parks Service (NPS) that administers to the national park. The NPS report presents the argument that the oyster operation has had negative impacts on the environment and its operation should be terminated when the lease expires in 2012.The NPS report came to the attention of congressional representatives when it was challenged by the oyster operation’s owner and other scientists; and eventually led to a review conducted by the National Academy of Science that was critical to the National Seashore report. This year, the report was published in a scientific journal.

As 2012 approaches, supporters of the removal of the oyster farm have stated that it was never the intention of the legislation that created the National Seashore to allow the oyster farm to continue the operation. In this latest news release, the author of that legislation disputes that contention and lends support to the continued operation.

Below are current articles, followed by references to past articles from California Aquaculture's archives. To access past articles, click on Archives in the left column and use the search function with the key word Drakes Estero. Four articles can be found in the archives.

F. Conte

CURRENT ARTICLES IN 2011 

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Perspectives on the Drakes Bay Oyster Farm and National Seashore Debate (POSTED 08-08-11)

 

“Unless there is strong evidence that the oyster farm endangers Drakes Estero or its wildlife inhabitants, I believe Secretary Salazar should grant it the renewed use permit authorized by the Feinstein legislation. In that connection any scientific opinion offered by the Park Service’s personnel who have been found guilty of misconduct and misrepresenting research for advocacy purposes should be highly suspect.”  

 The legislative history of Point Reyes National Seashore

 

By Pete McCloskey, July 14, 2011 

 

 As a fourth generation Californian, I believe the rolling green hills of West Marin and Sonoma Counties are perhaps the loveliest rural lands remaining in Northern California.

 

Carl Nolte, in last Sunday’s Chronicle (July 10), called West Marin “a slice of heaven.” The 77,000-acre Point Reyes National Seashore, created by legendary Congressman Clem Miller in 1962, is a key part of that slice of heaven.

 

Some 20,000 acres of dairy and beef farms were set aside in the middle of the Seashore as a “pastoral zone.” In the center of the pastoral zone lies the 2,200-acre Drakes Estero, a five mile-long coastal estuary, of which 1,000 acres have been leased for oyster growing by the State of California, since before the National Seashore was created. The Estero is also a prime area for seals and birdlife.  

 

Since 2005, the State Lease has been operated by the Lunny family, a third-generation West Marin rancher, whose cattle ranch overlooks the Estero.

 

Some weeks ago, another West Marin rancher asked me to look at a controversy which had arisen between the Lunnys and the National Park Service.   In May  2007, Seashore Superintendent Don Neubacher had advised the Marin County Board of Supervisors that the oyster farm constituted a threat to the seal population in the Estero, Park Service scientist Sarah Allen had told  the Board that the oyster farmer had caused a loss of 80 percent of the seal population.

 

These were serious charges. However, the  charges proved to be false. An investigation by the Inspector General of the Department of Interior found that the Park Service’s scientists had shown a “collective and troubling mindset,” misusing science for advocacy,” and were  guilty of misconduct.

 

A panel of the National Academy of Sciences found that the  Park Service “selectively presented, over-interpreted or misrepresented the available science on the potential impacts of the oyster mariculture operation.”

 

Nevertheless, it was clear that Superintendent Neubacher intended to terminate the oyster farm in 2012 when its federal permit expired.

 

Senator Dianne Feinstein caused the Congress to adopt a new law allowing the Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar, to continue the oyster’s use permit for an additional ten years if he elected to do so.

 

Against that background, I took some time off from farm work and  tried to contact the leaders of opinion on both sides of  the controversy. I  read thousands of pages of transcripts and scientific opinion.  It speedily became apparent that the legislative history and intent of Congress in creating the Seashore in 1962,  adding additional funding in 1969, and placing part of it in Wilderness in 1976, was at the  heart of the controversy.

 

All of us owe Congressman Phil Burton and his brother John a great debt of gratitude for providing us with the priceless gift of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, of which the Point Reyes National Seashore is at the northern end.

 

In 1976, John Burton and Senator John Tunney had introduced the 1976  Wilderness Act that set aside some 25,000 acres in wilderness, leaving 20,000 acres of privately-operated dairy and cattle ranches in a “pastoral zone,” and designating 8,000 acres of ranch land which included the Estero as “potential” wilderness. Nearly every Northern California congressman, including me, had supported the bill.

 

A sentence in the House Report accompanying the bill said that it was expected that the non-conforming uses in the potential wilderness would be ultimately terminated.

 

In 1969, when it appeared that the funds for acquisition of the ranches in the Seashore were exhausted, I had played a small role  in obtaining an additional $35 million for their purchase.   I had testified to the House Interior Committee that unless the funding was authorized, the rapid increases in land values in the Bay Area might make the Seashore unattainable.  

 

My then-friend and former law school classmate, John Ehrlichman, President Nixon’s personal counsel, persuaded a reluctant Bureau of the Budget to put up the $35 million. Another friend, President Ford’s Secretary of Interior Rogers Morton, had made sure in 1976, that the Point Reyes ranches were offered back to the original owners to operate under permit from the Park Service.

 

In 2004, the Solicitor for the Department of Interior had rendered an opinion that the 1976 Wilderness Act had MANDATED the termination of the oyster farm. That had not been my recollection and I asked  John Burton, the Act’s primary author, if that was so.

 

John said the Solicitor was dead wrong and sent me a set of documents in support. First were the words from the National Park Service’s Economic Feasibility Study prepared for Director Conrad Wirth in 1961: “Existing commercial oyster beds and an oyster cannery at Drake Estero, plus three existing commercial fisheries, SHOULD CONTINUE under national seashore status because of their public values. THE CULTURE OF OYSTERS IS AN INTERESTING AND UNIQUE INDUSTRY WHICH PRESENTS EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR INTRODUCING THE PUBLIC, ESPECIALLY STUDENTS, TO THE FIELD OF MARINE BIOLOGY.

 

“SOME 20,000 ACRES OF LAND SITUATED IN THE CENTRAL PART OF THE PENINSULA WOULD BE LEASED FOR RANCHING PURPOSES TO PRESERVE THE PRESENT PASTORAL SCENE. (Emphasis added.)

 

Drakes Estero is surrounded by those same ranches. The Act authorizing the National Seashore was enacted the following year.

 

The second document was from the  Sierra Club’s 1974 comments on the Final Environmental Impact Statement for S.2472, John Tunney’s bill to Designate Wilderness at Point Reyes National Seashore.

 

“The draft Environmental Impact Statement implies that none of the Drake’s Estero can be classified as wilderness because of Johnson Oyster Farm. THIS IS MISLEADING. The company’s buildings and the access road must be excluded but the estero need not be. The water area can be put under the Wilderness Act WHILE THE OYSTER CULTURE IS CONTINUED—IT WILL BE A PRIOR EXISTING, NON-CONFORMING USE.” (Emphasis added.)

 

The next document was an excerpt from the Citizens’ Advisory Commission for the Golden Gate National Recreation in 1975. The Commission consisted of John Mitchell, Chairman, Fred Blumberg, Daphne Greene, Joe Mendoza, Amy Meyer and Merritt Robinson. They agreed that specific provisions should be made in the legislation to allow the oyster farm to continue under the lease from the State of California.

 

Finally, John Burton sent copies of his testimony and that of Senator Tunney before the committees considering the bill.

 

Tunney: “Established private rights of landowners and leaseholders will continue to be respected and protected.  THE EXISTING AGRICLTURAL AND AQUACULTURE USES CAN CONTINUE.” (Emphasis added.)

 

Burton: “This legislation is intended to preserve the present diverse uses of the Seashore. There are two areas proposed for wilderness which may be included as wilderness with ‘prior non-conforming use’ provisions. ONE IS DRAKES ESTERO WHERE THERE IS A COMMERCIAL OYSTER FARM.” (Emphasis added.)

 

There can be no better interpreter of the congressional intent than that of the authors of the bills which they shepherded through the House and Senate.

 

Prior to enactment, Assistant Secretary of Interior Jon Kyl had written to the Congress: “The State of California retains mineral and fishing rights over submerged lands. The reservation of such rights is inconsistent with wilderness....Drakes Estero commercial oyster operations take place in this estuary and the reserved rights by the State on tidelands in this area make this acreage inconsistent with Wilderness.”

 

In 2004, however, the Department of Interior Solicitor’s Office, the same office which had found the Park Service’s scientists guilty of misconduct, reached the conclusion that Mr. Kyl was wrong and that the legislative history of the Burton Act MANDATED the closure of the oyster farm in 2012, although the State lease the Lunnys had purchased in 2005 ran to 2029. Based on that opinion, the Park Service, which clearly feels uncomfortable with private farms and commercial operations in parks it administers, remains committed to terminating the oyster farm.

 

Superintendent Neubacher has permitted several of the dairy and beef farms to revert to native brush and foliage,  to the point where trails for horses and hikers have had to be bulldozed.

 

I think the Solicitor’s opinion is in error. There is no question but that Congress acted in 1976 with the State’s oyster lease in mind.  The oyster farm is regulated by ten separate agencies: four federal, three state and three local. It of course must operate in a manner not to endanger the seal population which is a prime habitat for harbor seals.

 

Dr. John Dixon, the Coastal Commission’s lead scientist, while he is concerned about potential problems for the Estero and its wildlife population, states unequivocally:  “I don’t think there is any strong evidence either way whether the oyster operations  help or hurt the seal population.”

 

The Park Service’s own logs and photographs show that the seal population is thriving. There have been more disturbances of seals in the estuary by kayakers, hikers, canoers and clam-diggers than by the oyster farm employees.

 

An interesting sideline is that Point Reyes Station’s thriving kayak rentals and tours use the oyster cannery docks as a launching point into Drakes Estero.  Kayakers, canoers and hikers are encouraged to visit the Estero.

 

The oyster farm is regularly visited by school classes, and as the Park Service pointed out 50 years ago, is a valuable resource for education and research as well as food production. The Point Reyes ranches produce 20 percent of Marin County’s dairy products, and the oyster farm some 80 percent of the Bay Area’s oysters. Unless there is strong evidence that the oyster farm endangers Drakes Estero or its wildlife inhabitants, I believe Secretary Salazar should grant it the renewed use permit authorized by the Feinstein legislation. In that connection any scientific opinion offered by the Park Service’s personnel who have been found guilty of misconduct and misrepresenting research for advocacy purposes should be highly suspect. 

For those of you who might not know Pete McCloskey or his involvement with Point Reyes over the years, here’s a short bio. Dave W.

Paul Norton "Pete" McCloskey Jr. (born September 29, 1927) is a former Republican politician from the U.S. State of California who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1967 to 1983. He ran on an anti-war platform for the Republican nomination for President in 1972, but was defeated by incumbent President Richard Nixon.  In April 2007, McCloskey switched his affiliation to the Democratic Party.  He is a decorated United States Marine Corps veteran of combat during the Korean War, being awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, and two awards of the Purple Heart.  McCloskey was the first member of Congress to publicly call for the impeachment of President Nixon after the Watergate scandal. He was also the first lawmaker to call for a repeal of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that allowed for the War in Vietnam.  An opponent of the Iraq War, McCloskey broke party ranks in 2004 to endorse John Kerry in his bid to unseat George W. Bush as President of the United States. 

McCloskey has a distinguished career as an environmentalist.  He was a co-founder of Earth Day, a co-author of the 1973 Endangered Species Act, and the winner in 2010 of the Sierra Club Edgar Wayburn Environmental Hero Award that honors outstanding distinguished service to the cause of conservation and the environmental by a public official.  When he served in the House, McCloskey supported the creation of Point Reyes National Seashore Wilderness Act and, earlier, was instrumental in getting the funding needed to buy the parkland in the late 1960s.

Link to Point Reyes Light

http://www.ptreyeslight.com/Point_Reyes_Light/Home/Home.html


Bagley: oysters guaranteed by state grant
(POSTED 08-08-11)

Tess Elliott, July 14, 2011

“The federal government cannot take away the public’s right to cultivate oysters in Drakes Estero, says Bill Bagley, the former state assemblyman who wrote the 1965 bill transferring ownership of waters surrounding Point Reyes to the National Park Service. According to Bagley, recent statements to the contrary by the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) are a “revision of history” and the result of pressure from environmentalists. His statement may prove powerful in the ongoing controversy over Drakes Estero.”

The federal government cannot take away the public’s right to cultivate oysters in Drakes Estero, says Bill Bagley, the former state assemblyman who wrote the 1965 bill transferring ownership of waters surrounding Point Reyes to the National Park Service. According to Bagley, recent statements to the contrary by the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) are a “revision of history” and the result of pressure from environmentalists. His statement may prove powerful in the ongoing controversy over Drakes Estero.

In 2007, DFG wrote to then Point Reyes National Seashore Superintendent Don Neubacher that the park service has primary authority over aquaculture in Drakes Estero. The reservation by the state of the public’s right to fish—as stipulated in the
 1965 bill—does not include aquaculture, DFG stated.


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David Briggs

 DRAKES ESTERO.  Bill Bagley, who represented Marin and Sonoma Counties as a California Assemblyman, authored the 1965 bill that reserved the public’s right to cultivate oysters in Drakes Estero.

The position was reiterated in a 2008 letter from DFG Director John McCamman to Assemblyman Jared Huffman: “In May 2007, the Department concluded that since fishing was distinct from aquaculture, [the oyster farm] was not subject to the tidelands grant reservation.” McCamman stated that in 1982 DFG wrote into code that aquaculture is a form of agriculture, distinct from commercial fishing; he said that distinction was evident in statutes predating 1965.

To support his argument, McCamman added that aquaculture, unlike fishing, involves the cultivation of private property. He concluded that the 1965 reservation of the right to fish is “clearly inapplicable” at Drakes Estero.

But Bagley says this interpretation of his bill is dead wrong. “The revisionists are trying to revise history and thus rescind what we did in 1965,” he said. “When we reserved the right to fish, we reserved the right to cultivate shellfish.” Now 84, Bagley is a native of West Marin and longtime friend to the previous oyster farmer at Point Reyes, Charlie Johnson.

Assembly Bill 1024, which passed on July 9, 1965 and went into effect on October 9, gave “total ongoing property-right jurisdiction over the existing oyster operation to the state Fish and Game Commission and Department,” in agreement with Article 1, Section 25 of the state constitution: … “no land owned by the State shall ever be sold or transferred without reserving in the people the absolute right to fish thereupon….”

Two weeks later, on October 22, 1965, the director of DFG sent a letter to the park service stating “that all state laws and regulations pertaining to shellfish cultivation (including planting requirements, land rentals, etc.) remain in effect since the conveyance by the Legislature reserves fishing rights to the state.”

That position was clarified by Point Reyes National Seashore a decade later, in 1974, in an environmental review that stated: “[The Drakes Estero operation] is the only oyster farm in the seashore. Control of the lease from the California Department of Fish and Game, with presumed renewal indefinitely, is within the rights reserved by the state on these submerged lands.”

 Bagley believes these letters, as well as his own statement of intent, could be persuasive in the Drakes Estero debate. “In a court of law, the best guide to interpreting a legislative act is its concurrent implementation by those authorized to execute it,” Bagley said. “They can change their minds, but what we reserved in 1965 is legal. They can’t change it.”

 Bagley’s statement adds to the growing proof that the notion of the oyster farm having to shut down in 2012 is recent, and mistaken.

A decision by the Secretary of the Interior to renew or terminate Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s operating agreement is pending; Point Reyes National Seashore officials still argue that the estero must be converted to wilderness in 2012, when the oyster farm’s Reservation of Use and Occupancy expires (the farm’s leases with DFG were renewed in 2004, until 2029). This, despite clarification to the contrary by the lead author of the Point Reyes Wilderness Act, John Burton.

 A few weeks ago Burton, the former United States Congressman who co-sponsored the act, declared that his intent was never to get rid of the oyster farm in 2012. Rather, the authors of the act—as well as the then director of the National Park Service, Conrad Wirth, the Citizen’s Advisory Commission and the Sierra Club—had agreed that the farm could continue as a pre-existing, non-conforming use.  (Since the act designated Drakes Estero as “potential wilderness” rather than as part of the pastoral zone, the area had to be managed as wilderness.)

 Bagley appears optimistic that his and Burton’s view will prevail. “It’s not easy to revise history when its authors are still alive,” he said. “Now there’s a good quote for you!”

Link to Point Reyes Light

http://www.ptreyeslight.com/Point_Reyes_Light/Home/Home.html
 

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Legislative elders weigh in on Drake’s Bay Oyster Company (POSTED 08-08-11) 

“John Burton, former congressman and senator, current chair of the California Democratic Party and primary author of the 1976 Point Reyes Wilderness Act said one intention when writing the bill for Point Reyes National Seashore was to keep the oyster farm as part of the wilderness area. “Established private rights of landholders and lease holders will continue to be respected and protected. The existing agricultural and aquacultural uses can continue,” write the authors of the bill. Bob Bagley, a former Republican assemblyman who authored the 1965 legislation ceding state tidelands and water bottoms to Point Reyes National Seashore said he retained in the bill the “absolute right to fish” which he says includes oysters. Fishing rights are part of the public trust embedded in the California Constitution.”

Andrea Blum, July 21, 2011

PUBLIC STATEMENTS BY THREE legislative pioneers of California environmental law show that the decision whether to extend the oyster lease in Drakes Estero in Point Reyes National Seashore will be one of public policy. The Department of Interior after reviewing all facts of the debate on law and science will have to decide what is in the public’s best interest. It will be up to the public, however, to let elected and appointed officials know what they want.

 The latest public statements from the very people who wrote and sponsored the laws creating Point Reyes National Seashore, protecting its wilderness and granting state tide and submerged land rights in Drakes Estero to the federal government may help turn the policy tide to extend the oyster farm lease in the estero for another ten years. The triumvirate of former legislators have blown into West Marin with what appears to be the law on their side.

 John Burton, former congressman and senator, current chair of the California Democratic Party and primary author of the 1976 Point Reyes Wilderness Act said one intention when writing the bill for Point Reyes National Seashore was to keep the oyster farm as part of the wilderness area. “Established private rights of landholders and lease holders will continue to be respected and protected. The existing agricultural and aquacultural uses can continue,” write the authors of the bill. Bob Bagley, a former Republican assemblyman who authored the 1965 legislation ceding state tidelands and water bottoms to Point Reyes National Seashore said he retained in the bill the “absolute right to fish” which he says includes oysters. Fishing rights are part of the public trust embedded in the California Constitution.

 Bagley, a former Woodacre fireman said when an Inverness resident and oyster farm supporter alerted him last month of the oyster debate he immediately asked the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley to dig into its archive and fish out the papers documenting his bills. Out of that treasure trove came letters from the NPS, the Department of Justice, the Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) and the Johnsons who had owned the oyster farm since the 1930s in agreement that the state retained the fishing rights including the oyster leases and aquaculture in Drakes Estero. 

 The legislative history is chuck full of instances supporting oyster culture. “AB1024 was significant piece of legislation,” said Bagley of the 1965 bill. “It’s gold. The Feds have no authority. This is the Constitution.”

 In a letter from then director of the Department of Fish and Game W.T. Shannon in 1965 to Charlie Johnson, “It appears to us that all state laws and regulations pertaining to shellfish cultivation remain in effect since the conveyance by the legislature reserves fishery rights to the state.”

 Other letters from the Sierra Club, the National Park Service and the Department of Fish and Game expressed the same conclusions. In legal terms, it created an administrative construction or an implied interpretation of the statute that remained intact until 2004 when the NPS Field Solicitor informed the PRNS superintendent that the United States owns the tide and submerged lands and therefore has the ultimate say in any future commercial activities of the estero.

 His analysis goes on to say, “Only if the non conforming use can be eliminated,” hence the oyster farm and the date of 2012 when the federal use permit expires. After 40 years of one interpretation another began to take form. In 2006 and 2007, letters from Joseph Milton, senior counsel for the CDFG explain its renewal of a state lease for the oyster farm in Drakes Estero until 2029. He explained that the extension was contingent upon concurrent federal permit requirements—a reservation of use—issued by the PRNS to expire in 2012. “However, invalidation of the [federal] lease due to failure of such a condition does not necessarily mean that the aquaculture operation must cease, nor does it require the state of California to compel such cessation,” wrote Milton in a 2006 letter. “However, the reservation of the right to fish cannot be construed as extending to aquaculture operations,” he said referring to Bagley’s 1965 statute.

 Pete McCloskey, former Republican congressmen who ran against Nixon, coauthored the Endangered Species Act, cosponsored John Burton’s 1976 Wilderness Bill and helped acquire $35 million to purchase 20,000 plus acres of land for the creation of the National Seashore is the last of the three elder statesmen to come forward. McCloskey, who the Sierra Club has named an environmental hero, has for the last seven weeks privately interviewed and gathered information from all sides of the oyster story to help make a personal recommendation to the Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar. He got involved after West Marin ranch owner Nan McEvoy asked him to look into the issue. The two are friends and are both olive growers. 

 McCloskey’s blitz on the issue covering both science and law helped him form an opinion that the oyster farm can legally stay for reasons of legislative history and for its environmental record—one that shows little impact on the estero. He interviewed the Lunny family, Dr. Corey Goodman, and former State Director of Resources Huey Johnson, California Coastal Commission staff including Dr. John Dixon and executive director Peter Douglas as well as staff from the Marine Mammal Center. He spoke with Sierra Club Deputy Director Bruce Hamilton and exchanged emails with the former Marin Sierra Club representative, Gordon Bennett who refused to meet with him. Neil Desai of the National Parks Conservation Association also declined to meet but exchanged emails. Former Superintendent Don Neubacher did not respond to his request to meet. “I will defer any inquiry to Mr. Neubacher or the scientists until the EIS is completed,” said McCloskey.

 Currently the National Park Service is conducting an environmental review (EIS) evaluating the lease extension of the oyster farm and its related impacts on Drakes Estero. The decision of the lease extension is up to the Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar. Senator Diane Feinstein attached a rider to an appropriations bill that gave the discretionary power to the Secretary. The draft EIS will be released mid-September, NPS officials say. The document will be one of several reports from different agencies released over a four year period that have analyzed the environmental impacts, the scientific integrity of park staff, the accusations of misconduct as well as the law.

 The pristine estero on the shores of the Point Reyes has become a story larger and more complicated than anyone could have imagined. The debate in far-flung West Marin has pitted environmentalist against environmentalist neatly dividing those upholding the ideology of “wilderness” and those supporting the system of local sustainable agriculture. The two ideologies are hallmarks that define West Marin but have found a place of conflict that has caused a vicious and often ugly debate culminating a price tag to the public in the millions.

 “I’m pleased that John Burton, Pete McCloskey and Bill Bagley—each of whom played a key role in the transfer and use of this land at the time—are offering their unique understanding of this issue,” said Senator Diane Feinstein on Wednesday. “It is my hope that the National Park Service will extend the lease as soon as possible unless there is compelling evidence to not do so.”

 But even with the powerful lawmakers on its side, the oyster farm has no guaranteed future in Point Reyes National Seashore. A key detractor to the views of Bagley, Burton, and McCloskey besides Environmental Action Committee of West Marin and the Sierra Club, both wilderness supporters, is the State Lands Commission and the California Department of Fish and Game who regulate state water bottoms. Their solicitor concluded that Drake’s Estero is owned by the United States.

 Curtis Fossum, executive officer of the State Lands Commission said Bagley’s statute handed the land to the United States with unintended consequences. “The confusion is the assumption that the public right to fish or dig clams is coincident with growing oysters,” he said of oyster farming in the estero. “You have to look at the ink on the page. It’s difficult to come to any other conclusion than this land belongs to the United States.” Fossum said he interprets AB1024 to allow the public its right to fish but said, “That doesn’t include the right of the public to go and plant oysters and then sell them.” Fossum, who supports the oyster farm personally, said there are very few examples of the state handing over land to the United States. He did say the law has a caveat under the public trust doctrine. “If the United States fails to use it for public purposes, the state can get it back.”


Link to West Marin Citizen

http://www.westmarincitizen.com/
 

 

Will they listen to the experts?
(POSTED 08-08-11)


Tess Elliott, 7/21/11

Two questions lie at the heart of the Drakes Estero debate. The first is, ‘Does the law mandate the closure of the oyster farm in 2012?’ The second question, ‘Is the farm harming the environment?’, arose when the first was considered to be open to interpretation. Legislators must answer the legislative question, and scientists must answer the scientific question. They have finally done so. Now, as the National Park Service is poised to complete an environmental assessment of Drakes Bay Oyster Company—and as the Secretary of the Interior considers a renewal of the company’s permit—a third question emerges: Will our leaders listen to the experts?

It took independent scientists four years and millions of dollars to conclude that they have no evidence against the oyster farm; it took legislators but a moment. Three respected elders of California politics, John Burton, Bill Bagley and Pete McCloskey, have made it clear that the intent of the Point Reyes Wilderness Act was to allow the oyster farm to continue to operate as a pre-existing, nonconforming use in Drakes Estero. This original intent, set forth in the act (that Burton authored), was in concert with the state constitution, which recognizes the value of aquaculture, and encourages it.

Burton, Bagley and McCloskey. These are not voices of commercial interest or privatization. These are great civil servants who broke the ground in the conservation movement. They are speaking out now because the compromise they reached—balancing agriculture, aquaculture and the environment—is at risk in West Marin.

Several weeks ago, Pete McCloskey dove into the Drakes Estero debate. For those who do not know of him, Pete is a maverick Republican cum Democrat who served as a U.S. Congressman from 1967 to 1983. A California native, he opened the first law firm in the country that exclusively handled environmental cases. He ran against Nixon for the Republican nomination in 1972, in protest to the Vietnam War. He was the first congressman to publicly call for Nixon’s impeachment in 1973 after Watergate. He co-authored the Endangered Species Act and co-founded Earth Day. In 2006, he was presented the Edgar Wayburn Environmental Hero Award by the Sierra Club.

In the late 1960s, Pete wrangled $35 million from Congress through his friend, John Ehrlichman, then counsel to Nixon. That money completed the purchase of ranches within Point Reyes National Seashore. The deal would probably have fallen through without him. He could be considered the godfather of Point Reyes.

Pete launched into his own investigation of Drakes Estero—with the aim of writing a report and recommendation that he would present to Ken Salazar—and invited a dozen individuals to tell their side of the story. He met with Peter Douglas and his scientists at the California Coastal Commission, Huey Johnson of the Nature Conservancy, various Sierra Club executives and scientists from the Marine Mammal Center. He did not meet with the current or former superintendent of Point Reyes National Seashore, or the scientists who continue to publish papers asserting that the oyster farm hurts seal populations. The park service has gagged everyone on the issue,  saying it is in the middle of its environmental impact statement, and therefore cannot discuss it.

Others willfully refused to talk: Gordon Bennett, formerly of the Sierra Club; Amy Trainer, executive director of the Environmental Action Committee; Neal Desai of the National Parks Conservation Association. Silence has long been the answer to anyone asking the tough questions in this debate. Still, the EAC refusing to meet with the man who founded Earth Day and authored the Endangered Species Act? I find this to be truly bizarre. “I believe you’re asking the wrong questions,” Desai said. “Your communication has contributed to the politics of personal destruction,” Bennett declared.

Each of the scientists Pete met with confirmed that there is no evidence that the farm is in any way damaging the environment. A world-class expert and renowned environmentalist, Dr. Peter Gleick, reiterated this in a letter to him. The National Academy of Sciences said the same two years ago. And of course, it is also what Dr. Corey Goodman has been saying since the beginning.

The last pending statement on the environmental question comes from the Marine Mammal Commission, whose taxpayer-funded report was requested by Bennett and Desai when they found that their position was unsupported by the National Academy’s report.

Any week, the director of the commission, Dr. Tim Ragen, will release his report. In the past, Ragen has proven that he cares more about protecting feelings and reputations than reporting the facts. His ethics will be illumined in the forthcoming report.

The Marine Mammal Commission should do what is right, not what feels good. And the National Park Service, as well as the Interior Department, should listen to the experts.

Archived Articles Addressing Drakes Oyster Farm from  Past Postings of California Aquaculture

NEWS from the National Academies (POSTED 06-17-09)

Conflict over Oyster Farming in Drakes Estero, California (POSTED 06-17-09)

 National Academy Blasts Park Service Coastal Science. Russian River Times, by John Hulls, May 31, 2009 (POSTED 06-17-09)

 The Wages of Spin: Russian River Times, May 31, 2009. Somewhat Logically@ John Hulls 2009 (POSTED 06-17-09)

 

July 2011

NORTH AMERICAN CHAPTER WORLD STURGEON CONSERVATION SOCIETY 2011 Meeting Announcement
(POSTED 12-21-10)
4th Annual Meeting.
We invite sturgeon biologists, managers, researchers, aquaculturists, students, law enforcement, and the interested public to participate in the 4th annual meeting of the North American Chapter of the World Sturgeon Conservation Society from July 11 to 14, 2011 at the Vancouver Island University campus in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. The purpose of the meeting is to provide an annual forum of oral and poster presentations, and discussions to foster communication and exchange of information relating to the study, management, and restoration of sturgeon and paddlefish throughout their range and address existing and emerging issues.

Meeting Theme – Sturgeon Recovery. Sturgeon Recovery, will be the focus topic for this meeting. Oral and poster presentations related to sturgeon recovery planning efforts, long-term management, and the implementation of recovery methods for sturgeon will be particularly encouraged. We expect sturgeon recovery teams from around the world to participate in this meeting.

Workshops. Workshops are tentatively planned on Telemetry Methods and Data Analysis and Sturgeon Osmoregulation by species that inhabit brackish or saline waters.

Preliminary Details.
Sightseeing and other activities for spouses, guests, and meeting participants will be offered to provide opportunities to take advantage of the scenic venue of Vancouver Island and its University: See Links:

http://www.hellobc.com/en-CA/RegionsCities/VancouverIsland.htm

http://www.viu.ca/

Additional instructions for presenters, a detailed meeting agenda, and further descriptions of discussion group topics and future meeting notices will be posted on the NAC website at http://www.viu.ca/wscs-nac/ and on the World Sturgeon Conservation Society website at http://www.wscs.info

JUNE 2011

 

MEETINGS

NORTH AMERICAN CHAPTER WORLD STURGEON CONSERVATION SOCIETY 2011 Meeting Announcement
(POSTED 12-21-10)
4th Annual Meeting.
We invite sturgeon biologists, managers, researchers, aquaculturists, students, law enforcement, and the interested public to participate in the 4th annual meeting of the North American Chapter of the World Sturgeon Conservation Society from July 11 to 14, 2011 at the Vancouver Island University campus in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. The purpose of the meeting is to provide an annual forum of oral and poster presentations, and discussions to foster communication and exchange of information relating to the study, management, and restoration of sturgeon and paddlefish throughout their range and address existing and emerging issues.

Meeting Theme – Sturgeon Recovery. Sturgeon Recovery, will be the focus topic for this meeting. Oral and poster presentations related to sturgeon recovery planning efforts, long-term management, and the implementation of recovery methods for sturgeon will be particularly encouraged. We expect sturgeon recovery teams from around the world to participate in this meeting.

Workshops. Workshops are tentatively planned on Telemetry Methods and Data Analysis and Sturgeon Osmoregulation by species that inhabit brackish or saline waters.

Preliminary Details.
Sightseeing and other activities for spouses, guests, and meeting participants will be offered to provide opportunities to take advantage of the scenic venue of Vancouver Island and its University: See Links:

http://www.hellobc.com/en-CA/RegionsCities/VancouverIsland.htm

http://www.viu.ca/

Additional instructions for presenters, a detailed meeting agenda, and further descriptions of discussion group topics and future meeting notices will be posted on the NAC website at http://www.viu.ca/wscs-nac/ and on the World Sturgeon Conservation Society website at http://www.wscs.info

 

MAY 2011

Commission seeks to learn costs of fish-stocking rules

From: California Farm Bureau Federation: Ching Lee, Assistant Editor April 27, 2011
(POSTED 05-03-2011)

Lack of clarity on the precise economic impact of proposed state regulatory changes affecting fish-stocking activities in California's public and private waters has delayed adoption of those regulations.

But aquaculture farmers say threat of the new rules remains, and if the state implements them, the regulatory burdens and costs would not only cripple their businesses but also their clients, which include owners of farm and ranch ponds who want to stock fish on their property.

The new rules call for higher-level inspections and certification requirements on all aquaculture farms that stock fish in the state's waters. They also require landowners who want to stock fish on their private lakes and ponds to obtain a permit. Private stocking permits are currently not required in 37 counties.

The total economic impact of the proposed DFG rules has been difficult to pinpoint. In a meeting on March 3, the California Fish and Game Commission postponed the rulemaking process of the new regulations for 120 days and requested additional information on the true costs of the proposed changes.

Meanwhile, aquaculture producers are supporting a lawsuit filed last June by the California Association of Recreational Fishing against the California Department of Fish and Game for pursuing the proposed fish stocking regulations, which are outlined in an environmental impact report that the DFG released in January 2010.

That report was done in response to a 2006 lawsuit by environmental groups against the state's fish hatcheries. The suit said that DFG had not analyzed the potential effects of its fish stocking program on protected species. The court ordered DFG to complete the environmental review.

The DFG environmental impact report, however, expanded the scope of its regulations to cover not only the state's own facilities but privately held fish hatcheries and stockponds, said Marko Mlikotin, spokesman for the California Association for Recreational Fishing, whose members include private fish hatcheries, fishing lake operators, property owners and other businesses that rely on recreational fishing.

Not only that, but the proposed rules would require recreational fishermen to purchase a fishing license to catch privately stocked fish on private property, he added.

"By some estimates, these unprecedented regulations could cost businesses and property owners thousands of dollars annually for even the smallest body of fresh water and even more for fish hatcheries," Mlikotin said.

Tony Vaught, owner of Professional Aquaculture Services in Chico, said he's concerned the regulations will make it too burdensome and cost-prohibitive for landowners to want to stock fish in their ponds.

"What they'll do is go out and catch fish from the wild and put them in their ponds," he said, adding that such practices could have detrimental environmental effects, including spread of disease and invasive species-problems DFG said it is trying to mitigate in the first place.

Another concern is the trickle-down effect the proposed regulations would have on the State's economy, Mlikotin said. With fewer fish provided by private hatcheries and stocking ponds, recreational fishing will decline, he said, threatening California's outdoor businesses and communities that depend on recreational tourism.

Vaught also pointed out that with fewer fish-stocked ponds and fewer people fishing in the state, funding for DFG would dwindle, "because they rely on fishing licenses, so they're kind of cutting themselves off early on by not promoting youth fishing and not promoting a way to fund themselves."

Mlikotin said the lawsuit is expected to go before the court in early 2012. In the meantime, the association has asked the Fish and Game Commission to refrain from considering any new regulations pending outcome of the case.

Scott Barrow, regulations coordinator for the DFG fisheries branch said it is unclear how the commission will choose to proceed. He noted that the Department and the aquaculture producers continue to work together to provide the commission with the information regarding potential economic impact of the proposed regulations, but the process has been slow.

The problem is that there is no readily available baseline data with the aquaculture or data to even see what effect implementation of this regulation change would have on the industry, "he said. "I mean they have a lot of information talking about what they think it's going to be, but we need to know from numbers we can provide to the commission, and that is what we are waiting to hear from them."
 

Questions about the DFG environmental impact report, specifically about whether all private stocking ponds in the state require stocking permits, regardless of their size or whether they spill into public waters, will have to be addressed through the pending litigation, he said.

 

APRIL 2011
 

California Aquaculture Facebook
A California Aquaculture Facebook logo has been added to our primary page to make it easier for our users to access our Facebook pages. We encourage you to access our Facebook pages often to obtain rapid developing aquaculture news and information. Give it a try and add California Aquaculture Facebook to your LIKE Facebook pages.

  
MEETINGS

NORTH AMERICAN CHAPTER WORLD STURGEON CONSERVATION SOCIETY 2011 Meeting Announcement
(POSTED 12-21-10)
4th Annual Meeting.
We invite sturgeon biologists, managers, researchers, aquaculturists, students, law enforcement, and the interested public to participate in the 4th annual meeting of the North American Chapter of the World Sturgeon Conservation Society from July 11 to 14, 2011 at the Vancouver Island University campus in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. The purpose of the meeting is to provide an annual forum of oral and poster presentations, and discussions to foster communication and exchange of information relating to the study, management, and restoration of sturgeon and paddlefish throughout their range and address existing and emerging issues.

 Meeting Theme – Sturgeon Recovery. Sturgeon Recovery, will be the focus topic for this meeting. Oral and poster presentations related to sturgeon recovery planning efforts, long-term management, and the implementation of recovery methods for sturgeon will be particularly encouraged. We expect sturgeon recovery teams from around the world to participate in this meeting.

Workshops. Workshops are tentatively planned on Telemetry Methods and Data Analysis and Sturgeon Osmoregulation by species that inhabit brackish or saline waters.

Preliminary Details.
Sightseeing and other activities for spouses, guests, and meeting participants will be offered to provide opportunities to take advantage of the scenic venue of Vancouver Island and its University: See Links:

http://www.hellobc.com/en-CA/RegionsCities/VancouverIsland.htm

http://www.viu.ca/

Additional instructions for presenters, a detailed meeting agenda, and further descriptions of discussion group topics and future meeting notices will be posted on the NAC website at http://www.viu.ca/wscs-nac/ and on the World Sturgeon Conservation Society website at http://www.wscs.info

 

MARCH 2011
 

California Aquaculture Facebook
(POSTED 02-11-11)
A California Aquaculture Facebook logo has been added to our primary page to make it easier for our users to access our Facebook pages. We encourage you to access our Facebook pages often to obtain rapid developing aquaculture news and information. Give it a try and add California Aquaculture Facebook to your LIKE Facebook pages.

  
MEETINGS

Shellfish Growers Conference
(POSTED 02-08-11)

The 18th Conference for Shellfish Growers hosted by Washington Sea Grant, on
March 7 and 8, 2011 at the Alderbrook Resort & Spa, Union, WA. Conference topics for 2011 include Japanese Eelgrass, shellfish culture, water quality, and harmful algae blooms.

A second day workshop and work session meeting will address shellfish sanitation and the new, version 3.0 Aquarius sanitation software that is under development through a grant from the Western Regional Aquaculture Center (WRAC).

Aquarius v.2.0 and Aquarius v.3.0 Workshop/Work Session.

Objective 1: To demonstrate the power and value of the Aquarius program to growers who have not seen the program, provide refresher demonstration to growers who have seen the program before, to introduce the concepts that are included in Aquarius v.3.0 under constructed through WRAC funding, and to present why grower participation is desirable in providing tidal logistical information for the model.

Objective 2: To introduce the new analytical model, Pearl. Pearl is a new sanitation model that calculates the estimated 90th percentile of fecal coliform samples and their upper limits at the 5% confidence level. This increases analytical sensitivity by incorporating the effect of sample size and confidence level. The program plots a scattergram of data points using multiple year samples, and plots values for the estimated 90th percentile and their upper limits. The scattergram reveals three zones. The True Positive zone is when both the estimated 90th percentile and its upper limit are greater than or equal to the NSSP limit of 43 MPN/100 ml. The True Negative zone is when both the estimated 90th percentile and its upper limit are less than the NSSP limit. The third zone, which was discovered by our algorithm, is the False Negative zone, when the estimated 90th percentile is less than the NSSP limit, but its upper limit is greater than or equal to the NSSP limit. Our new model proposes that opening the shellfish beds for harvest when the estimated 90th percentile values for fecal coliform samples appear in the false negative zone, although permitted by the current NSSP standards, poses a potential risks to public health and should trigger adjusting the closure rules of the growing area. We have submitted this model for publication, and are currently responding to the reviews.

Objective 3: Relates to the addition of tidal data to the Aquarius model. Our objective at the conference is to set up the logistics and coordination to collect tidal information from individual shellfish growing areas. This involves determining the location of specific growing areas and the timing of tidal changes as those changes occur relative to the distance from the actual data collection points. This also requires cooperative efforts between personnel of the Pacific Shellfish Institute (PSI), shellfish growers, and project researchers. We plan to establish communication and cooperation.
We hope you can join us. The conference registration flyer is attached. Draft agenda available after 2/4 at www.wsg.washington.edu.

National Shellfisheries Association 103rd Annual Meeting

(POSTED 08-11-10)
The NSA will be holding its 103rd annual meeting at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center, Baltimore, MD from March 27-31, 2011. For complete information go to : www.shellfish.org or contact Sandy Shumway, at sandra.shumway@uconn.edu

NORTH AMERICAN CHAPTER WORLD STURGEON CONSERVATION SOCIETY 2011 Meeting Announcement
(POSTED 12-21-10)
4th Annual Meeting.
We invite sturgeon biologists, managers, researchers, aquaculturists, students, law enforcement, and the interested public to participate in the 4th annual meeting of the North American Chapter of the World Sturgeon Conservation Society from July 11 to 14, 2011 at the Vancouver Island University campus in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. The purpose of the meeting is to provide an annual forum of oral and poster presentations, and discussions to foster communication and exchange of information relating to the study, management, and restoration of sturgeon and paddlefish throughout their range and address existing and emerging issues.

 Meeting Theme – Sturgeon Recovery. Sturgeon Recovery, will be the focus topic for this meeting. Oral and poster presentations related to sturgeon recovery planning efforts, long-term management, and the implementation of recovery methods for sturgeon will be particularly encouraged. We expect sturgeon recovery teams from around the world to participate in this meeting.

Workshops. Workshops are tentatively planned on Telemetry Methods and Data Analysis and Sturgeon Osmoregulation by species that inhabit brackish or saline waters.

Preliminary Details.
Sightseeing and other activities for spouses, guests, and meeting participants will be offered to provide opportunities to take advantage of the scenic venue of Vancouver Island and its University: See Links:

http://www.hellobc.com/en-CA/RegionsCities/VancouverIsland.htm

http://www.viu.ca/

Additional instructions for presenters, a detailed meeting agenda, and further descriptions of discussion group topics and future meeting notices will be posted on the NAC website at http://www.viu.ca/wscs-nac/ and on the World Sturgeon Conservation Society website at http://www.wscs.info

 

 

FEBRUARY 2011
 

California Aquaculture Facebook
(POSTED 02-11-11)
A California Aquaculture Facebook logo has been added to our primary page to make it easier for our users to access our Facebook pages. We encourage you to access our Facebook pages often to obtain rapid developing aquaculture news and information. Give it a try and add California Aquaculture Facebook to your LIKE Facebook pages.

  
MEETINGS

Aquaculture America 2011
(POSTED 08-11-10)
Aquaculture America 2011 will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana from February 28th through March 3, 2011 at the New Orleans Marriott. For additional information link to https://www.was.org/Main/Default.asp at the World Aquaculture Society. Other international aquaculture conferences can also be found at that site.

Shellfish Growers Conference
(POSTED 02-08-11)

The 18th Conference for Shellfish Growers hosted by Washington Sea Grant, March 7 and 8, 2011 at the Alderbrook Resort & Spa, Union, WA. Conference topics for 2011 include Japanese Eelgrass, shellfish culture, water quality, and harmful algae blooms.

A second day workshop and work session meeting will address shellfish sanitation and the new, version 3.0 Aquarius sanitation software that is under development through a grant from the Western Regional Aquaculture Center (WRAC).

Aquarius v.2.0 and Aquarius v.3.0 Workshop/Work Session.

Objective 1: To demonstrate the power and value of the Aquarius program to growers who have not seen the program, provide refresher demonstration to growers who have seen the program before, to introduce the concepts that are included in Aquarius v.3.0 under constructed through WRAC funding, and to present why grower participation is desirable in providing tidal logistical information for the model.

Objective 2: To introduce the new analytical model, Pearl. Pearl is a new sanitation model that calculates the estimated 90th percentile of fecal coliform samples and their upper limits at the 5% confidence level. This increases analytical sensitivity by incorporating the effect of sample size and confidence level. The program plots a scattergram of data points using multiple year samples, and plots values for the estimated 90th percentile and their upper limits. The scattergram reveals three zones. The True Positive zone is when both the estimated 90th percentile and its upper limit are greater than or equal to the NSSP limit of 43 MPN/100 ml. The True Negative zone is when both the estimated 90th percentile and its upper limit are less than the NSSP limit. The third zone, which was discovered by our algorithm, is the False Negative zone, when the estimated 90th percentile is less than the NSSP limit, but its upper limit is greater than or equal to the NSSP limit. Our new model proposes that opening the shellfish beds for harvest when the estimated 90th percentile values for fecal coliform samples appear in the false negative zone, although permitted by the current NSSP standards, poses a potential risks to public health and should trigger adjusting the closure rules of the growing area. We have submitted this model for publication, and are currently responding to the reviews.

Objective 3: Relates to the addition of tidal data to the Aquarius model. Our objective at the conference is to set up the logistics and coordination to collect tidal information from individual shellfish growing areas. This involves determining the location of specific growing areas and the timing of tidal changes as those changes occur relative to the distance from the actual data collection points. This also requires cooperative efforts between personnel of the Pacific Shellfish Institute (PSI), shellfish growers, and project researchers. We plan to establish communication and cooperation.
We hope you can join us. The conference registration flyer is attached. Draft agenda available after 2/4 at www.wsg.washington.edu.

National Shellfisheries Association 103rd Annual Meeting

(POSTED 08-11-10)
The NSA will be holding its 103rd annual meeting at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center, Baltimore, MD from March 27-31, 2011. For complete information go to : www.shellfish.org or contact Sandy Shumway, at sandra.shumway@uconn.edu

NORTH AMERICAN CHAPTER WORLD STURGEON CONSERVATION SOCIETY 2011 Meeting Announcement
(POSTED 12-21-10)
4th Annual Meeting.
We invite sturgeon biologists, managers, researchers, aquaculturists, students, law enforcement, and the interested public to participate in the 4th annual meeting of the North American Chapter of the World Sturgeon Conservation Society from July 11 to 14, 2011 at the Vancouver Island University campus in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. The purpose of the meeting is to provide an annual forum of oral and poster presentations, and discussions to foster communication and exchange of information relating to the study, management, and restoration of sturgeon and paddlefish throughout their range and address existing and emerging issues.

 Meeting Theme – Sturgeon Recovery. Sturgeon Recovery, will be the focus topic for this meeting. Oral and poster presentations related to sturgeon recovery planning efforts, long-term management, and the implementation of recovery methods for sturgeon will be particularly encouraged. We expect sturgeon recovery teams from around the world to participate in this meeting.

Workshops. Workshops are tentatively planned on Telemetry Methods and Data Analysis and Sturgeon Osmoregulation by species that inhabit brackish or saline waters.

Preliminary Details.
Sightseeing and other activities for spouses, guests, and meeting participants will be offered to provide opportunities to take advantage of the scenic venue of Vancouver Island and its University: See Links:

http://www.hellobc.com/en-CA/RegionsCities/VancouverIsland.htm

http://www.viu.ca/

Additional instructions for presenters, a detailed meeting agenda, and further descriptions of discussion group topics and future meeting notices will be posted on the NAC website at http://www.viu.ca/wscs-nac/ and on the World Sturgeon Conservation Society website at http://www.wscs.info

JANUARY 2011
 

Wild and Farmed Salmon – and Sea Lice

(Posted 12-15-10)

 Open pen salmon farming is, and will remain a controversial subject. California has already established regulations that prevent commercial salmon culture in our State’s coastal waters. In other parts of the world, the debate persists, based on concerns for the environment, disease transmission, genetic pollution, and even economic impacts on those that fish salmon for a living. Although the debate persists, certain facts are apparent. The natural salmon fishery simply cannot sustain the growing international demand for salmon products. Even now, market demand can only be filled by a combination of wild and farmed salmon. Unless we address and resolve the problems associated with open ocean culture of fish, salmon, and other valued species, will eventually disappear from the worlds markets. Expansion of land-based, saline recycle systems cannot sustain the international market demand     

 

The controversy surrounding net pen farming of salmon and its impacts on wild salmon includes opinion that sea lice from farmed salmon have caused declines in wild salmon populations. Specifically, earlier studies claimed that the 2002 population crash of wild pink salmon in the Broughton Archipelago of western Canada was a result of infestations of sea lice on farmed salmon moving to populations of wild salmon that were passing through the farm sites. A new study to be published in the Journal of Science, described below, contradicts those claims (F.S. Conte).

 

University of California Davis Study: Wild salmon decline was not caused by sea lice from farmed salmon.

This current study is first to combine 10 years of farms' sea-lice counts and 60 years of wild fish counts. A new UC Davis study contradicts earlier reports that salmon farms were responsible for the 2002 population crash of wild pink salmon in the Broughton Archipelago of western Canada.

 

The Broughton crash has become a rallying event for people concerned about the potential environmental effects of open-net salmon farming, which has become a $10 billion industry worldwide, producing nearly 1.5 million tons of fish annually.

 

The new study, to be published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, does not determine what caused the crash, but it acquits the prime suspect: small skin parasites called sea lice.

 

The study's lead author is Gary Marty, a veterinary pathologist and research associate at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. An expert in fish diseases, Marty has been studying the health of pink salmon since the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

 

"For anybody concerned about the effect of farm salmon on wild salmon, this is good news," Marty said. "Sea lice from fish farms have no significant effect on wild salmon population productivity."

 

The new study is the first to analyze 20 years of fish production data and 10 years of sea-lice counts from every salmon farm in the Broughton Archipelago and compare them against 60 years of population counts of adult pink salmon.

 

The study concludes that farm fish are indeed the main source of sea lice on the area's juvenile wild pink salmon, but it found no statistical correlation between lice levels on the farms and the lifetime survival of wild pink salmon populations.

 

Pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) are the most abundant wild salmon species in the Broughton Archipelago. When they are a few months old, juvenile pink salmon leave the streams where they were born. They mature at sea, then return to their native streams to spawn and die two years after their parents.

 

Because of their two-year lifespans, the pink salmon born in odd-numbered years are genetically different from those born in even-numbered years. In the 60-year record, both lines of pink salmon have had tremendous, unexplained population swings, even before fish farms were established in the late 1980s.

 

Sea lice are natural parasites of adult pink salmon. The adult louse, about the size of a small watermelon seed, attaches itself to a fish's skin and feeds on its host. Minor lice infestations are not harmful to pink salmon, but a severe infestation can weaken or kill the smallest fish (those about the size of a paperclip). On fish farms, veterinarians treat the fish with medicated feed when lice populations become too high.

 

The Broughton fish farms raise Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in net-sided pens in the water. Wild pink salmon are separated from the farm fish only by the mesh of the net enclosures. Lice freely pass from wild fish to farm fish, and vice-versa.

 

Record high numbers of wild pink salmon returned to spawn in rivers of the Broughton Archipelago in 2000 and 2001, but only 3 percent of that number returned in 2002, and only 12 percent in 2003.

 

Also, in 2001, the first examination of Broughton juvenile pink salmon found that more than 90 percent had lice. In the next two years, when the salmon numbers plummeted, the hypothesis arose that sea lice from fish farms were to blame.

 

Calls went up for the farms to move the fish from open-net pens to closed containers. And government regulators ordered farmers to use stricter anti-lice treatments.

 

In the new study, Marty and his colleagues were able to see, year by year, how many lice were on the farms when the young pink salmon went to sea, and how many of those salmon returned to spawn. The results were surprising.

 

"The salmon that returned in such low numbers in 2002 were exposed as juveniles to fewer sea lice than were the salmon that returned in record high numbers in 2001," Marty said. "Sea lice from farm fish could not have caused the 2002 wild salmon population crash."

 

Marty's co-authors are Sonja Saksida, director of the British Columbia Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences in Campbell River, and Terrance Quinn, professor of fish population dynamics at the Juneau Center of the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Quinn is a world authority on mathematical modeling of fish populations. Saksida is a veterinarian and the first researcher given access to confidential records from all the Broughton aquaculture companies.

 

Marty is also the fish pathologist for the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and an affiliate faculty member of the University of Alaska School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

 

Marty said that even though the trio used much of the same fish and lice data used in previous studies, they reached a different conclusion for two reasons: First, the fish farmers gave Saksida their records, and second, the old and new data were analyzed using methods common in veterinary medical science that were not used in many of the previous studies.

 

"The major lesson of this study is that we cannot settle for simple explanations for wild-animal population declines. There are very complex interactions among disease, environment and animal population health. Sustainability studies must engage all the science specialties to pursue a better understanding of these relationships," Marty said.

 

Media contacts: Sylvia Wright, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-7704,

University of California - Davis

 

NOTES:

 

None of the authors received compensation from any source for this analysis. Quinn has never worked for any fish farm company. Marty has never worked for any fish farm company in Canada; in the United States, he consulted for the industry in 2000 and 2001. Since 2004, Marty has analyzed fish-farm samples for the British Columbia provincial government, which is paid a fee for those services by the farm companies. Saksida, as part of her private veterinary practice over the past 15 years, has done contract work for all three fish farm companies that operate in the study area.

 

Links: Questions and answers about the study [to be posted on Dec. 13; embargoed copies available until then from swright@ucdavis.edu]: http://faculty.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/gdmarty/default.html

 

Animal Welfare and Agricultural Activities

(POSTED 12-13-10)
Monitoring the animal welfare activities that impact terrestrial animal agriculture is of value to the aquaculture industry. Although animal welfare of aquatic species has not received the attention that terrestrial agriculture has experienced, that attention will increase in the future.  The ultimate decisions about culture protocols to be used or adopted by industry will be influenced by market response driven by public perception, attitude, and expressed through consumer spending. We have seen this scenario play out and affect markets for other animal agriculture commodities, and aquaculture may be faced with the same challenges. The following article describes some of the current issues being addressed by terrestrial agriculture (F.S. Conte).

California Department of Food and Agriculture: Animal Health Branch Newsletter, Volume 12 - December 2010, Page 8, Committee on Animal Welfare.
A USDA APHIS Animal Care (AC) update stressed that AC staff deal with animal welfare, not animal cruelty; if animal cruelty is encountered, AC staff bring the matter to the attention of the appropriate local/state authorities. AC developed a quality assurance program for pet distributors in which participating distributors avoid procurement of animals from breeders with violations of the Animal Welfare Act; names of violators of the Animal Welfare Act are posted on the USDA APHIS AC website.

 http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/content/2010/06/enforcement_actions.shtml

 An update of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board was provided. The Ohio legislature allocated a board budget of approximately $100,000, but the board is costing the state more than $500,000 to manage. Standards are being developed by priority. Development and evaluation of dairy, beef, and veal standards are underway. The board membership is diversified: to enhance understanding of commodity-related issues, the board is touring commodity areas and premises.

 An AVMA legislative update noted that approximately 190,000 bills were introduced across the US in 2009/2010. Of these bills, AVMA sent alerts of importance to respective state chapters for 2500 bills. Several states are considering legislation regarding who can legally treat animals. Approximately 90 bills dealing with various aspects of pet breeding were introduced in 30 states emphasizing the widespread interest in addressing pet breeding issues. AVMA has a model pet breeder bill posted on their website for consideration. The AVMA tracks bills state by state and posts bill tracking on their website:

 http://www.cqstatetrack.com/texis/viewrpt?report=4cdd5d679d9&sid=

 Several presentations were given by animal welfare scientists from the US and the United Kingdom. One presentation focused on if and when animal welfare should be legislated. Recent activities in the US illustrated the pros and cons of approaches though legislation, propositions, and voluntary programs. Different results for stakeholders may result from the approach taken. As an example, in response to HSUS demands, Michigan negotiated an approach through the legislature resulting in defined space requirements for poultry and civil penalties for violations. In contrast, the proposition approach in California resulted in no clear standards to attain criminal penalties for violations. Australia is currently re-evaluating their voluntary code of practice. It is clear that there is no single easy answer for the method to develop and implement welfare standards.

 Another presentation focused on developing an equation for animal welfare and defining quantitative measures for evaluation of procedures. Tail docking and dehorning procedures were examples for evaluation. Potential quantitative elements for consideration included monitoring of cortisol levels and observation of visible physical reactions during these procedures. The selection of certain practices providing optimal behavior must be weighted by the availability of pain relievers if available for use.

 A study presentation from a UK scientist on a government sponsored project compared resource-based measures and animal-based criteria. An example of resource-based monitoring is the monitoring of temperature in a poultry facility; animal-based monitoring of the poultry facility would be based on bird observations and their reaction to temperature (e.g., respiratory rate). Most welfare systems focus on resource monitoring such as available square footage of space, number of feeders, and number of watering devices, but do not capture animal behavior. It was suggested that animal-based criteria might provide greater flexibility and acceptability in practices such as animal stocking rates. The adoption of animal-based criteria would require cost absorption by producers and retailer organizations.

 In the European Union, consumer preferences for egg production method are reflected in retail stores. Buyer preferences vary in different parts of the Europe, with Northern Europe preferring and paying for free range poultry eggs, while Southern Europe prefers eggs from conventional production. The layer industry in Europe is migrating away from conventional layer caging to the larger, more spacious cages.

California Association for Recreational Fishing (YEARS UPDATE)
(POSTED 12-02-2011)
On October 22, 2010, the CARF legal team successfully defeated a challenge to CARF's lawsuit challenging the private stocking program changes proposed by CDFG. CDFG asked the Court to dismiss the entire lawsuit, claiming that it was untimely filed. CARF's lawyers rebutted these arguments, demonstrating to the Court that the lawsuit was timely filed and properly pleaded claims that the agency violated California's Administrative Procedure Act and committed an abuse of discretion in approving the private stocking mitigation measures. We also defeated an attempt by CDFG to prohibit CARF from challenging the mitigation measures that have been forwarded for action by the Fish & Commission. This victory is critical because it preserves CARF's ability to challenge the private stocking program changes proposed in the Fish Hatchery EIR.

At the same hearing, the Court agreed to allow the Council for Endangered Species Act Reliability to file a motion to intervene in support of CARF. CESAR is proposing to join the action to assist CARF in highlighting evidence that CDFG's actions exceeded the agency's authority under the Endangered Species Act. The Court's rulings allow CARF to go forward to argue the merits of the case, and gives CARF additional leverage in the on-going rulemaking proceeding before the Fish & Game Commission.

The Issue
In late 2009, DFG issued an environmental impact report (EIR) that would impose an insurmountable inspection and certification requirement for fish stocking in public and private ponds, lakes, streams, and county parks—many of which have stocked fish from state hatcheries and private aquaculture farms for more than 120 years.

Millions of Recreational Fishers—plus related industries such as boating, bait and tackle shops, tourism destinations, and others—rely almost exclusively on the sustainable process of fish stocking in these bodies of water.

The Mission
The California Association for Recreational Fishing (CARF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve fishing opportunities and increase participation in recreational angling, thereby increasing public awareness and appreciation of California's aquatic natural resources. For more details, visit http://www.savecalfishing.org/

MEETINGS

Aquaculture America 2011
(POSTED 08-11-10)
Aquaculture America 2011 will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana from February 28th through March 3, 2011 at the New Orleans Marriott. For additional information link to https://www.was.org/Main/Default.asp at the World Aquaculture Society. Other international aquaculture conferences can also be found at that site.

National Shellfisheries Association 103rd Annual Meeting
(POSTED 08-11-10)
The NSA will be holding its 103rd annual meeting at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center, Baltimore, MD from March 27-31, 2011. For complete information go to : www.shellfish.org or contact Sandy Shumway, at sandra.shumway@uconn.edu

NORTH AMERICAN CHAPTER WORLD STURGEON CONSERVATION SOCIETY 2011 Meeting Announcement
(POSTED 12-21-10)
4th Annual Meeting.
We invite sturgeon biologists, managers, researchers, aquaculturists, students, law enforcement, and the interested public to participate in the 4th annual meeting of the North American Chapter of the World Sturgeon Conservation Society from July 11 to 14, 2011 at the Vancouver Island University campus in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. The purpose of the meeting is to provide an annual forum of oral and poster presentations, and discussions to foster communication and exchange of information relating to the study, management, and restoration of sturgeon and paddlefish throughout their range and address existing and emerging issues.

 Meeting Theme – Sturgeon Recovery. Sturgeon Recovery, will be the focus topic for this meeting. Oral and poster presentations related to sturgeon recovery planning efforts, long-term management, and the implementation of recovery methods for sturgeon will be particularly encouraged. We expect sturgeon recovery teams from around the world to participate in this meeting.

Workshops. Workshops are tentatively planned on Telemetry Methods and Data Analysis and Sturgeon Osmoregulation by species that inhabit brackish or saline waters.

Preliminary Details.
Sightseeing and other activities for spouses, guests, and meeting participants will be offered to provide opportunities to take advantage of the scenic venue of Vancouver Island and its University: See Links:

http://www.hellobc.com/en-CA/RegionsCities/VancouverIsland.htm

http://www.viu.ca/

Additional instructions for presenters, a detailed meeting agenda, and further descriptions of discussion group topics and future meeting notices will be posted on the NAC website at http://www.viu.ca/wscs-nac/ and on the World Sturgeon Conservation Society website at http://www.wscs.info

 

 

DECEMBER 2010
 

Wild and Farmed Salmon – and Sea Lice

(Posted 12-15-10)

 Open pen salmon farming is, and will remain a controversial subject. California has already established regulations that prevent commercial salmon culture in our State’s coastal waters. In other parts of the world, the debate persists, based on concerns for the environment, disease transmission, genetic pollution, and even economic impacts on those that fish salmon for a living. Although the debate persists, certain facts are apparent. The natural salmon fishery simply cannot sustain the growing international demand for salmon products. Even now, market demand can only be filled by a combination of wild and farmed salmon. Unless we address and resolve the problems associated with open ocean culture of fish, salmon, and other valued species, will eventually disappear from the worlds markets. Expansion of land-based, saline recycle systems cannot sustain the international market demand     

 

The controversy surrounding net pen farming of salmon and its impacts on wild salmon includes opinion that sea lice from farmed salmon have caused declines in wild salmon populations. Specifically, earlier studies claimed that the 2002 population crash of wild pink salmon in the Broughton Archipelago of western Canada was a result of infestations of sea lice on farmed salmon moving to populations of wild salmon that were passing through the farm sites. A new study to be published in the Journal of Science, described below, contradicts those claims (F.S. Conte).

 

University of California Davis Study: Wild salmon decline was not caused by sea lice from farmed salmon.

This current study is first to combine 10 years of farms' sea-lice counts and 60 years of wild fish counts. A new UC Davis study contradicts earlier reports that salmon farms were responsible for the 2002 population crash of wild pink salmon in the Broughton Archipelago of western Canada.

 

The Broughton crash has become a rallying event for people concerned about the potential environmental effects of open-net salmon farming, which has become a $10 billion industry worldwide, producing nearly 1.5 million tons of fish annually.

 

The new study, to be published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, does not determine what caused the crash, but it acquits the prime suspect: small skin parasites called sea lice.

 

The study's lead author is Gary Marty, a veterinary pathologist and research associate at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. An expert in fish diseases, Marty has been studying the health of pink salmon since the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

 

"For anybody concerned about the effect of farm salmon on wild salmon, this is good news," Marty said. "Sea lice from fish farms have no significant effect on wild salmon population productivity."

 

The new study is the first to analyze 20 years of fish production data and 10 years of sea-lice counts from every salmon farm in the Broughton Archipelago and compare them against 60 years of population counts of adult pink salmon.

 

The study concludes that farm fish are indeed the main source of sea lice on the area's juvenile wild pink salmon, but it found no statistical correlation between lice levels on the farms and the lifetime survival of wild pink salmon populations.

 

Pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) are the most abundant wild salmon species in the Broughton Archipelago. When they are a few months old, juvenile pink salmon leave the streams where they were born. They mature at sea, then return to their native streams to spawn and die two years after their parents.

 

Because of their two-year lifespans, the pink salmon born in odd-numbered years are genetically different from those born in even-numbered years. In the 60-year record, both lines of pink salmon have had tremendous, unexplained population swings, even before fish farms were established in the late 1980s.

 

Sea lice are natural parasites of adult pink salmon. The adult louse, about the size of a small watermelon seed, attaches itself to a fish's skin and feeds on its host. Minor lice infestations are not harmful to pink salmon, but a severe infestation can weaken or kill the smallest fish (those about the size of a paperclip). On fish farms, veterinarians treat the fish with medicated feed when lice populations become too high.

 

The Broughton fish farms raise Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in net-sided pens in the water. Wild pink salmon are separated from the farm fish only by the mesh of the net enclosures. Lice freely pass from wild fish to farm fish, and vice-versa.

 

Record high numbers of wild pink salmon returned to spawn in rivers of the Broughton Archipelago in 2000 and 2001, but only 3 percent of that number returned in 2002, and only 12 percent in 2003.

 

Also, in 2001, the first examination of Broughton juvenile pink salmon found that more than 90 percent had lice. In the next two years, when the salmon numbers plummeted, the hypothesis arose that sea lice from fish farms were to blame.

 

Calls went up for the farms to move the fish from open-net pens to closed containers. And government regulators ordered farmers to use stricter anti-lice treatments.

 

In the new study, Marty and his colleagues were able to see, year by year, how many lice were on the farms when the young pink salmon went to sea, and how many of those salmon returned to spawn. The results were surprising.

 

"The salmon that returned in such low numbers in 2002 were exposed as juveniles to fewer sea lice than were the salmon that returned in record high numbers in 2001," Marty said. "Sea lice from farm fish could not have caused the 2002 wild salmon population crash."

 

Marty's co-authors are Sonja Saksida, director of the British Columbia Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences in Campbell River, and Terrance Quinn, professor of fish population dynamics at the Juneau Center of the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Quinn is a world authority on mathematical modeling of fish populations. Saksida is a veterinarian and the first researcher given access to confidential records from all the Broughton aquaculture companies.

 

Marty is also the fish pathologist for the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture and an affiliate faculty member of the University of Alaska School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

 

Marty said that even though the trio used much of the same fish and lice data used in previous studies, they reached a different conclusion for two reasons: First, the fish farmers gave Saksida their records, and second, the old and new data were analyzed using methods common in veterinary medical science that were not used in many of the previous studies.

 

"The major lesson of this study is that we cannot settle for simple explanations for wild-animal population declines. There are very complex interactions among disease, environment and animal population health. Sustainability studies must engage all the science specialties to pursue a better understanding of these relationships," Marty said.

 

Media contacts: Sylvia Wright, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-7704,

University of California - Davis

 

NOTES:

 

None of the authors received compensation from any source for this analysis. Quinn has never worked for any fish farm company. Marty has never worked for any fish farm company in Canada; in the United States, he consulted for the industry in 2000 and 2001. Since 2004, Marty has analyzed fish-farm samples for the British Columbia provincial government, which is paid a fee for those services by the farm companies. Saksida, as part of her private veterinary practice over the past 15 years, has done contract work for all three fish farm companies that operate in the study area.

 

Links: Questions and answers about the study [to be posted on Dec. 13; embargoed copies available until then from swright@ucdavis.edu]: http://faculty.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/faculty/gdmarty/default.html

 

Animal Welfare and Agricultural Activities

(POSTED 12-13-10)
Monitoring the animal welfare activities that impact terrestrial animal agriculture is of value to the aquaculture industry. Although animal welfare of aquatic species has not received the attention that terrestrial agriculture has experienced, that attention will increase in the future.  The ultimate decisions about culture protocols to be used or adopted by industry will be influenced by market response driven by public perception, attitude, and expressed through consumer spending. We have seen this scenario play out and affect markets for other animal agriculture commodities, and aquaculture may be faced with the same challenges. The following article describes some of the current issues being addressed by terrestrial agriculture (F.S. Conte).

California Department of Food and Agriculture: Animal Health Branch Newsletter, Volume 12 - December 2010, Page 8, Committee on Animal Welfare.
A USDA APHIS Animal Care (AC) update stressed that AC staff deal with animal welfare, not animal cruelty; if animal cruelty is encountered, AC staff bring the matter to the attention of the appropriate local/state authorities. AC developed a quality assurance program for pet distributors in which participating distributors avoid procurement of animals from breeders with violations of the Animal Welfare Act; names of violators of the Animal Welfare Act are posted on the USDA APHIS AC website.

 http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/content/2010/06/enforcement_actions.shtml

 An update of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board was provided. The Ohio legislature allocated a board budget of approximately $100,000, but the board is costing the state more than $500,000 to manage. Standards are being developed by priority. Development and evaluation of dairy, beef, and veal standards are underway. The board membership is diversified: to enhance understanding of commodity-related issues, the board is touring commodity areas and premises.

 An AVMA legislative update noted that approximately 190,000 bills were introduced across the US in 2009/2010. Of these bills, AVMA sent alerts of importance to respective state chapters for 2500 bills. Several states are considering legislation regarding who can legally treat animals. Approximately 90 bills dealing with various aspects of pet breeding were introduced in 30 states emphasizing the widespread interest in addressing pet breeding issues. AVMA has a model pet breeder bill posted on their website for consideration. The AVMA tracks bills state by state and posts bill tracking on their website:

 http://www.cqstatetrack.com/texis/viewrpt?report=4cdd5d679d9&sid=

 Several presentations were given by animal welfare scientists from the US and the United Kingdom. One presentation focused on if and when animal welfare should be legislated. Recent activities in the US illustrated the pros and cons of approaches though legislation, propositions, and voluntary programs. Different results for stakeholders may result from the approach taken. As an example, in response to HSUS demands, Michigan negotiated an approach through the legislature resulting in defined space requirements for poultry and civil penalties for violations. In contrast, the proposition approach in California resulted in no clear standards to attain criminal penalties for violations. Australia is currently re-evaluating their voluntary code of practice. It is clear that there is no single easy answer for the method to develop and implement welfare standards.

 Another presentation focused on developing an equation for animal welfare and defining quantitative measures for evaluation of procedures. Tail docking and dehorning procedures were examples for evaluation. Potential quantitative elements for consideration included monitoring of cortisol levels and observation of visible physical reactions during these procedures. The selection of certain practices providing optimal behavior must be weighted by the availability of pain relievers if available for use.

 A study presentation from a UK scientist on a government sponsored project compared resource-based measures and animal-based criteria. An example of resource-based monitoring is the monitoring of temperature in a poultry facility; animal-based monitoring of the poultry facility would be based on bird observations and their reaction to temperature (e.g., respiratory rate). Most welfare systems focus on resource monitoring such as available square footage of space, number of feeders, and number of watering devices, but do not capture animal behavior. It was suggested that animal-based criteria might provide greater flexibility and acceptability in practices such as animal stocking rates. The adoption of animal-based criteria would require cost absorption by producers and retailer organizations.

 In the European Union, consumer preferences for egg production method are reflected in retail stores. Buyer preferences vary in different parts of the Europe, with Northern Europe preferring and paying for free range poultry eggs, while Southern Europe prefers eggs from conventional production. The layer industry in Europe is migrating away from conventional layer caging to the larger, more spacious cages.

California Association for Recreational Fishing (YEARS UPDATE)
(POSTED 12-02-2011)
On October 22, 2010, the CARF legal team successfully defeated a challenge to CARF's lawsuit challenging the private stocking program changes proposed by CDFG. CDFG asked the Court to dismiss the entire lawsuit, claiming that it was untimely filed. CARF's lawyers rebutted these arguments, demonstrating to the Court that the lawsuit was timely filed and properly pleaded claims that the agency violated California's Administrative Procedure Act and committed an abuse of discretion in approving the private stocking mitigation measures. We also defeated an attempt by CDFG to prohibit CARF from challenging the mitigation measures that have been forwarded for action by the Fish & Commission. This victory is critical because it preserves CARF's ability to challenge the private stocking program changes proposed in the Fish Hatchery EIR.

At the same hearing, the Court agreed to allow the Council for Endangered Species Act Reliability to file a motion to intervene in support of CARF. CESAR is proposing to join the action to assist CARF in highlighting evidence that CDFG's actions exceeded the agency's authority under the Endangered Species Act. The Court's rulings allow CARF to go forward to argue the merits of the case, and gives CARF additional leverage in the on-going rulemaking proceeding before the Fish & Game Commission.

The Issue
In late 2009, DFG issued an environmental impact report (EIR) that would impose an insurmountable inspection and certification requirement for fish stocking in public and private ponds, lakes, streams, and county parks—many of which have stocked fish from state hatcheries and private aquaculture farms for more than 120 years.

Millions of Recreational Fishers—plus related industries such as boating, bait and tackle shops, tourism destinations, and others—rely almost exclusively on the sustainable process of fish stocking in these bodies of water.

The Mission
The California Association for Recreational Fishing (CARF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve fishing opportunities and increase participation in recreational angling, thereby increasing public awareness and appreciation of California's aquatic natural resources. For more details, visit http://www.savecalfishing.org/

NOVEMBER 2010

California Aquaculture Facebook (POSTED 11-10-10)
California Aquaculture Facebook is now a California Aquaculture website companion. CAF, designed for quick distribution of information related to aquaculture and aquaculture issues, was launched in late October. The content of CAF will be highly varied, and will also address somewhat more controversial issues surrounding aquaculture and fisheries in the State, nationally and internationally. To access CAF, simply establish a Facebook account, search for California Aquaculture on Facebook, and activate the button, “Add to My Page Favorites.

New Media: Making Marketing Personal Social Media for Agriculturists - Including Aquaculturists
U.C. Davis Workshop -  
(POSTED 10-21-10)
The agricultural community is changing the way it communicates — taking advantage of tools such as Facebook, Twitter, wikis, podcasts, YouTube and others — to communicate with a variety of audiences.

To help agriculturists make better use of these new tools, a workshop titled “New Media: Making Marketing Personal,” will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, in UC Davis’ Wellman Hall. The workshop is sponsored by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation, in conjunction with UC Davis’ College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Department of Animal Science.

“Many farmers and others working in production agriculture are increasingly using new media to market products, provide useful information and tell their stories about farm life,” said Annie King, an animal science professor and workshop coordinator. “Imagine a dairy producer standing in his dairy barn talking on Twitter about how he cares for his cows or a vegetable producer answering questions on Facebook about her basket of produce,” she said.

“The goal of the workshop is to help participants explore both new and established ways to promote agriculture and its issues and organizations, as well as enhance the marketability of the highest quality agricultural products,” King said.

She noted that UC Cooperative Extension specialists are among those who already are incorporating new media into their communications efforts. For example, viticulturist Matthew Fidelibus at the UC Kearney Agricultural Center uses Twitter and Facebook to disseminate information about vineyard diseases, while aquaculturist Fred Conte in UC Davis’ animal science department provides Podcasts, Flash Videos and information on his website about freshwater and marine aquaculture production: http://aqua.ucdavis.edu/ . Private agricultural consultants also are offering information to clients and other entrepreneurs via social media, such as a Million Cooks: http://www.amillioncooks.com/ .

The November workshop will include speakers from industry who are effectively using social media. They will discuss the possibilities and challenges of different types of new media, provide examples of successful efforts, delve into new terminology and introduce a primer on how to begin using social media. Afternoon breakout sessions will feature speakers who will help participants learn how to tell their stories, develop concise messages, and expand their vision of ways that technology can be used to market agriculture and its products.

The workshop also will also serve as a forum for participants to plan future workshops tailored to meet the needs of their various professional associations or commodity groups.

More information and registration for the workshop are available online at: http://agnewmedia.ucdavis.edu/about

Recreational Fishing, Property Rights and Businesses throughout California are at Risk
(POSTED 08-11-10)
The California Association for Recreational Fishing and the California Aquaculture Association have expressed concern that the greatest risk to recreational fishing and aquaculture businesses is presently being addressed in the state. Described as an ongoing struggle involving the industry, the resource agency and environmental elements can be reviewed at http://www.savecalfishing.org/ .

OCTOBER 2010

Sorting Out the Myth and Reality Of Transgenic Fish - Dr. Ursula Goodenough (POSTED 09-29-10) (See September 2010)

Recreational Fishing, Property Rights and Businesses throughout California are at Risk
(POSTED 08-11-10) (See August 2010)
The California Association for Recreational Fishing and the California Aquaculture Association have expressed concern that the greatest risk to recreational fishing and aquaculture businesses is presently being addressed in the state. Described as an ongoing struggle involving the industry, the resource agency and environmental elements can be reviewed at http://www.savecalfishing.org/ .

SEPTEMBER 2010

Sorting Out the Myth and Reality Of Transgenic Fish - Dr. Ursula Goodenough (POSTED 09-29-10)
(Editors Comment)
Transgenic aquatic animals are much in the news today. Like with other controversial issues, there are myths and realities. It is no different with transgenic fish. The Aqua Bounty transgenic salmon have dominated the news for a week, and will continue to be a source of future news. My own position on transgenic fish include a desire not see these fish in pens in the natural environment with opportunity to escape to the natural environment. California has a ban on the presence of GM fish in natural systems and I support this concept. I also support the concept that transgenic fish can be maintained safely in contained recycle systems with proper biosecurity. I also have strong feelings about labeling food products. I support that right. However, I am also disturbed with level of bad information that is circulated in the media regarding the science of transgenic animal production. I was attracted to the following article, because it addresses science and not emotion based on poor information (FSC).
    
The following article was obtained with permission from Dr. Ursula Goodenough and National Public Radio. The original article was accessed on September 29th at: http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2010/09/23/130075187/sorting-out-the-myth-and-reality-of-transgenic-fish.

Dr. Ursula Goodenough is a professor of biology at Washington University, where she teaches cell biology and molecular evolution. Goodenough also heads a lab that studies 1) the molecular basis for sexual life-cycle transitions in a green soil alga and 2) the production of triglycerides as a potential source of algal biodiesel.
She was trained at Harvard and Columbia. She has served as president of the American Society of Cell Biology and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Sorting Out the Myth and Reality Of Transgenic Fish - Dr. Ursula Goodenough
September 29, 2010


It was only hours after I’d become intrigued by Marcelo’s blog on genetically modified salmon, and had started reading up on them to write a follow-up blog, that I became aware of two earlier NPR postings on the topic here and here. So, I’ve by now also taken in hundreds of comments from the NPR community in response to this technology, most highly negative.

Is there anything left to say? I think so.

First, I was reminded yet again that many persons are pretty uninformed about basic features of the natural world, which is to the shame of our educational systems. One commenter, for example, expressed concern about what ingesting modified genes will do to humans and human children, apparently unaware that there’s DNA in all our foodstuffs and it’s fully digested in the gut. That some NPR commenters are as yet unfamiliar with such core understandings is an indication of the educational challenge before us.

I was also reminded yet again of the confusion in the minds of many between technology – which this clearly is – and the science behind it, enabling the expression of deep anti-science sentiments (a phenomenon I’ve analyzed here and
here).

But my focus this afternoon will be on the fact that when I started trying to find out what, exactly, had been done to generate this fish in the first place, the project proved to be pretty daunting, and once I was finally able to track down some information, it became clear that the fleeting bits of information presented in the “mainstream media” were often inaccurate if not flat-out wrong. Hence hundreds of commenters were angry about something that they were unlikely to have understood even if they’d been inclined to do so. A lone informed voice in this wilderness was P L (pembi), who lifted up many facts that I was able to confirm. But his comments were usually ignored in the uproar. So here’s what I came to learn in reading peer-reviewed research articles on the topic where, given that this isn’t my field, I’ll welcome corrections.

A gene encoding the fish growth hormone (GH) protein was isolated from the genome of the Pacific salmon and introduced into the genome of the closely related Atlantic salmon. The two genes are virtually identical - the Pacific gene was
used only because this allowed scientists to distinguish its expression from expression of the endogenous Atlantic gene. The fish GH has no influence on the growth of humans; indeed non-primate mammalian GH’s are not recognized as
growth-stimulating by human GH receptors, let alone fish GH.

All genes are provisioned with “switching elements,” aka promoters, that govern in which tissues, and under what conditions, the gene is expressed - for example, your hemoglobin-encoding genes are provisioned with promoters that restrict expression of hemoglobin to the precursors of your red blood cells. The native GH promoter in fish restricts expression of GH to those seasons when the fish are feeding; hence the fish fail to grow during cold seasons. This is obviously a smart adaptation for fish living in the wild, but when they are farmed, the fact that they are being fed but not growing is a waste of resources.

So, the Pacific gene was modified: its native promoter was excised and replaced by a promoter, derived from the ocean pout fish, that normally regulates expression of what’s called anti-freeze protein (AFP) that protects the pout fish from cold temperatures. Importantly, the AFP gene itself was not introduced - just the promoter - a feature garbled in several accounts. Since the AFP promoter drives gene expression in cold seasons, the modified salmon produce transgenic GH in cold seasons, and hence grow all year long, meaning that they reach market size (4-6 kg) in 18 months rather than the typical 36. It’s not like they get huge - they’re not hyped-up Barry-Bonds/Mark McGwire equivalents, where the image accompanying Marcelo’s and others’ blogs can give that erroneous impression.

A recent study (Delvin et al. 2009) makes a particularly interesting point. When an engineered GH-transgene was introduced into wild-caught salmon, growth rates were enhanced as expected, but when it was introduced into a domesticated salmon, bred since the mid-1980s (~ 12 generations) in a commercial fish farm selecting for rapid growth, there was little enhancement. Moreover, when the transgenic wild fish and the domesticated fish were compared, their physiological parameters were similarly to one another.

In other words, the standard human practice of domestication – breeding wild organisms and selecting desired traits – that has been ongoing for thousands of years has, in this case, generated much the same outcome as the modern practice
of transgenics: both act to modify similar genetic pathways. Indeed, the authors note that most domesticated species selected for size, like beef cattle, are quite unresponsive to mammalian GH-transgenes. Genetically, they’re already as
bulky as they’re going to get.

So - if one is “against GMO’s,” then one should, to be consistent, be “against domesticated animals and plants” as well, restricting food intake to wild organisms (some grasses are still OK, but no wheat or rye; no chicken eggs; etc.). While fish are currently among the few animal-based foods still extant in the wild, they are being rapidly driven to extinction by overfishing - if present trends continue, most fisheries are predicted to be depleted by 2050 -so this position raises important ecomoral issues.

And then, there’s a larger point. Evolution occurs as the result of natural selection for adaptive traits. In some cases the selective agents are non-living (wind, cold, fire, meteors, etc.) and in the remaining cases they are. Birds select for the camouflage of moths; plants and birds fine-tune the shapes of flowers and beaks; lions select for speedy zebras. We living humans are the same, albeit we use these things called minds that work at very different time scales from most evolutionary agents. As Marcelo put it in a comment: “We can’t neglect the fact that we humans are a changing force in our world. May it be used wisely as opposed to blindly.” To my mind, the transgenic salmon is a wise, indeed elegant, contribution to our blind pillaging of our waters.

Reference: Delvin et al, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 106: 3047, 2009

Source with permission, Author and NPR, accessed Sept 29, 2010 at:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2010/09/23/130075187/sorting-out-the-myth-and-reality-of-transgenic-fish

AUGUST 2010

Recreational Fishing, Property Rights and Businesses throughout California are at Risk
(POSTED 08-11-10)
The California Association for Recreational Fishing and the California Aquaculture Association have expressed concern that the greatest risk to recreational fishing and aquaculture businesses is presently being addressed in the state. Described as an ongoing struggle involving the industry, the resource agency and environmental elements can be reviewed at http://www.savecalfishing.org/ .

MEETINGS

Aquaculture America 2010
(POSTED 08-11-10)
Aquaculture America 2011 will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana from February 28th through March 3, 2011 at the New Orleans Marriott. For additional information link to https://www.was.org/Main/Default.asp at the World Aquaculture Society. Other international aquaculture conferences can also be found at that site.

National Shellfisheries Association 103rd Annual Meeting
(POSTED 08-11-10)
The NSA will be holding its 103rd annual meeting at the Sheraton Baltimore City Center, Baltimore, MD from March 27-31, 2011. For complete information go to : www.shellfish.org or contact Sandy Shumway, at sandra.shumway@uconn.edu

8th International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture
CALL for ABSTRACTS / Early Registration Now Open!
Virginia Tech is requesting abstracts for presentations at the Eighth International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture
August 20-22, 2010. In addition to publishing a 1-2 page abstract in the conference proceedings, authors of accepted abstracts will have the opportunity to share their research through an oral presentation or as a poster.

For complete details, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/abstract.html

Conference organizers have identified the following session topics:

Recirculating Aquaculture Systems in Penaeid Shrimp Culture
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems for Salmonids
Recirculating Aquaculture System Technology for Mollusk Culture
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems Process Control
Fish Health/Recirculating Aquaculture Biosecurity
Culture of Algae as an Alternative Fuel Source
Innovative Feeds for Recirculating Aquaculture Systems
Sustainable Recirculating Aquaculture Systems
 

JULY 2010

Call for Abstracts: Aquaculture America 2011 - New Orleans, Louisiana. (POSTED 07-02-10)
Call for Abstracts & Early Registration Now Open!
The Deadline for the call for abstracts for Aquaculture America 2011 is August 1, 2010. For information on submitting an abstract and early registration for the New Orleans conference go to the World Aquaculture Society website at www.was.org

JUNE 2010

8th International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture

(POSTED 01-04-10)
CALL for ABSTRACTS / Early Registration Now Open!
Virginia Tech is requesting abstracts for presentations at the Eighth International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture
August 20-22, 2010. In addition to publishing a 1-2 page abstract in the conference proceedings, authors of accepted abstracts will have the opportunity to share their research through an oral presentation or as a poster.

For complete details, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/abstract.html

Conference organizers have identified the following session topics:

Recirculating Aquaculture Systems in Penaeid Shrimp Culture
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems for Salmonids
Recirculating Aquaculture System Technology for Mollusk Culture
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems Process Control
Fish Health/Recirculating Aquaculture Biosecurity
Culture of Algae as an Alternative Fuel Source
Innovative Feeds for Recirculating Aquaculture Systems
Sustainable Recirculating Aquaculture Systems

In addition to these identified topic sessions, other sessions will be formed based upon abstracts received, hence we encourage submissions on any topic related to recirculating aquaculture.

For submission instructions, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/abstract.html

For complete details on the conference, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/icra.html

If you are considering being an exhibitor or sponsor at the Conference, you can also find complete details online. Now is the time to begin planning your attendance and participation in this important biennial event. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Terry Rakestraw by phone (540-231-6805), by fax (540-231-9293), or by e-mail (aqua@vt.edu).
 

MAY 2010

FDA Announces Minor Use/Minor Species (MUMS) Grant Program Request for Applications
(Posted 04-26-10)
The Food and Drug Administration announced on April 9 the publication of a Request for Applications for a grant program to support the development of new animal drugs intended for minor species or minor uses in major species. (Major species are horses, dogs, cats, cattle, pigs, turkeys and chickens - Also Aquaculture)

The grant program was established by the Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Health Act of 2004 and FDA has $750,000 to offer in MUMS grants for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010.

In accordance with the statute, a MUMS grant must be for the purpose of “defraying the costs of qualified safety and effectiveness testing expenses incurred in connection with the development of designated new animal drugs.” Qualified testing occurs after the date a drug is designated under Section 573 of the act and before the date on which a new animal drug application for the drug is submitted under Section 512 of the act. In addition, a study for which a grant is sought must be subject to a protocol accepted by the Center for Veterinary Medicine prior to the submission of a grant application.

Grants for total costs will be available for up to $50,000 per year for up to two years for routine studies; and up to $100,000 per year for up to two years for studies of unusual complexity, duration or size. A third year of funding may be available for long-term toxicology studies. Therefore, grants could range from under $50,000 for a routine study that could be completed in less than a year, to $200,000 for a complex study requiring two years for completion, to $300,000 for a long-term toxicology study.

The complete Request for Applications announcement is available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-FD-10-001.html1 and applications for fiscal year 2010 funding must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov at: (http://www.grants.gov/2) by May 14, 2010.

NOAA Sea Grant Aquaculture Research Program 2010
(POSTED 04-15-10)
NOAA Sea Grant will make available up to $6,000,000 for a national competition to fund aquaculture research projects for FY 2010 to FY 2011, as part of the overall plan to support the development of environmentally and economically sustainable ocean, coastal or Great Lakes aquaculture. This Federal Funding Opportunity includes information on application and criteria for aquaculture research projects requesting a total of $50,000 to $400,000 in federal funding for up to a two-year period. Matching funds are required. Given the anticipated amount of funding and the anticipated number and quality of proposals submitted, approximately 15 projects of average federal funding $400,000 are anticipated. Some projects selected in this competition may be awarded in FY 2011 and funded with FY 2011 funds.

Formal announcement of the RFP has been published in the Federal Register.

PROPOSAL DEADLINE: For applicants in California or nearby states (not represented by a Sea Grant Program), proposals are due at the California Sea Grant Office by 2pm (PDT)May 25, 2010.

For more information on this RFP and proposal submission guidelines, please visit our website at: http://www.csgc.ucsd.edu/FUNDING/APPLYING/SPEC_COMPET/AQR2010PropInst.html

or contact sgnsgoproposal@ucsd.edu

APRIL 2010

FDA Announces Minor Use/Minor Species (MUMS) Grant Program Request for Applications (Posted 04-26-10)
The Food and Drug Administration announced on April 9 the publication of a Request for Applications for a grant program to support the development of new animal drugs intended for minor species or minor uses in major species. (Major species are horses, dogs, cats, cattle, pigs, turkeys and chickens - Also Aquaculture)

The grant program was established by the Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Health Act of 2004 and FDA has $750,000 to offer in MUMS grants for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010.

In accordance with the statute, a MUMS grant must be for the purpose of “defraying the costs of qualified safety and effectiveness testing expenses incurred in connection with the development of designated new animal drugs.” Qualified testing occurs after the date a drug is designated under Section 573 of the act and before the date on which a new animal drug application for the drug is submitted under Section 512 of the act. In addition, a study for which a grant is sought must be subject to a protocol accepted by the Center for Veterinary Medicine prior to the submission of a grant application.

Grants for total costs will be available for up to $50,000 per year for up to two years for routine studies; and up to $100,000 per year for up to two years for studies of unusual complexity, duration or size. A third year of funding may be available for long-term toxicology studies. Therefore, grants could range from under $50,000 for a routine study that could be completed in less than a year, to $200,000 for a complex study requiring two years for completion, to $300,000 for a long-term toxicology study.

The complete Request for Applications announcement is available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-FD-10-001.html1 and applications for fiscal year 2010 funding must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov at: (http://www.grants.gov/2) by May 14, 2010.

NOAA Sea Grant Aquaculture Research Program 2010
(POSTED 04-15-10)
NOAA Sea Grant will make available up to $6,000,000 for a national competition to fund aquaculture research projects for FY 2010 to FY 2011, as part of the overall plan to support the development of environmentally and economically sustainable ocean, coastal or Great Lakes aquaculture. This Federal Funding Opportunity includes information on application and criteria for aquaculture research projects requesting a total of $50,000 to $400,000 in federal funding for up to a two-year period. Matching funds are required. Given the anticipated amount of funding and the anticipated number and quality of proposals submitted, approximately 15 projects of average federal funding $400,000 are anticipated. Some projects selected in this competition may be awarded in FY 2011 and funded with FY 2011 funds.

Formal announcement of the RFP has been published in the Federal Register.

PROPOSAL DEADLINE: For applicants in California or nearby states (not represented by a Sea Grant Program), proposals are due at the California Sea Grant Office by 2pm (PDT)May 25, 2010.

For more information on this RFP and proposal submission guidelines, please visit our website at: http://www.csgc.ucsd.edu/FUNDING/APPLYING/SPEC_COMPET/AQR2010PropInst.html

or contact sgnsgoproposal@ucsd.edu

Kentucky State University (Featured Website)
(POSTED 03-10-10)
Check out Bill Wurt's Aquaculture web site at Kentucky State University as our featured web site for March and April. Excellent source of aquaculture information. His link can also be found under Links on the primary page, which will take you to University Aquaculture Links.

MARCH 2010

Kentucky State University (Featured Website)
(POSTED 03-10-10)
Check out Bill Wurt's Aquaculture web site at Kentucky State University as our featured web site for March and April. Excellent source of aquaculture information. His link can also be found under Links on the primary page, which will take you to University Aquaculture Links.

8th International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture
(POSTED 01-04-10)
CALL for ABSTRACTS / Early Registration Now Open!
Virginia Tech is requesting abstracts for presentations at the Eighth International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture
August 20-22, 2010. In addition to publishing a 1-2 page abstract in the conference proceedings, authors of accepted abstracts will have the opportunity to share their research through an oral presentation or as a poster.

For complete details, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/abstract.html

Conference organizers have identified the following session topics:

Recirculating Aquaculture Systems in Penaeid Shrimp Culture
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems for Salmonids
Recirculating Aquaculture System Technology for Mollusk Culture
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems Process Control
Fish Health/Recirculating Aquaculture Biosecurity
Culture of Algae as an Alternative Fuel Source
Innovative Feeds for Recirculating Aquaculture Systems
Sustainable Recirculating Aquaculture Systems

In addition to these identified topic sessions, other sessions will be formed based upon abstracts received, hence we encourage submissions on any topic related to recirculating aquaculture.

For submission instructions, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/abstract.html

For complete details on the conference, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/icra.html

If you are considering being an exhibitor or sponsor at the Conference, you can also find complete details online. Now is the time to begin planning your attendance and participation in this important biennial event. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Terry Rakestraw by phone (540-231-6805), by fax (540-231-9293), or by e-mail (aqua@vt.edu).
 

FEBRUARY 2010

8th International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture
(POSTED 01-04-10))
CALL for ABSTRACTS / Early Registration Now Open!
Virginia Tech is requesting abstracts for presentations at the Eighth International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture
August 20-22, 2010. In addition to publishing a 1-2 page abstract in the conference proceedings, authors of accepted abstracts will have the opportunity to share their research through an oral presentation or as a poster.

For complete details, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/abstract.html

Conference organizers have identified the following session topics:

Recirculating Aquaculture Systems in Penaeid Shrimp Culture
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems for Salmonids
Recirculating Aquaculture System Technology for Mollusk Culture
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems Process Control
Fish Health/Recirculating Aquaculture Biosecurity
Culture of Algae as an Alternative Fuel Source
Innovative Feeds for Recirculating Aquaculture Systems
Sustainable Recirculating Aquaculture Systems

In addition to these identified topic sessions, other sessions will be formed based upon abstracts received, hence we encourage submissions on any topic related to recirculating aquaculture.

For submission instructions, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/abstract.html

For complete details on the conference, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/icra.html

If you are considering being an exhibitor or sponsor at the Conference, you can also find complete details online. Now is the time to begin planning your attendance and participation in this important biennial event. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Terry Rakestraw by phone (540-231-6805), by fax (540-231-9293), or by e-mail (aqua@vt.edu).

JANUARY 2010

MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES

Modern Approaches to Fish Medicine Conference: January 24, 2010. University of California Davis.
(POSTED 01-04-10)

The Wildlife and Aquatic Animal Medicine Club at the University of California, Davis. is sponsoring this upcoming conference. There is a fantastic line-up of speakers, with both lectures and a hands-on wetlab. Further information and registration can be found online at: http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/clubs/WAAM/symposium.html

You can register for both days of the conference, or just the second day (Sunday Jan 24th) which covers fish and titled, “Modern Approaches to Fish Medicine” .

January 24th, 2010 - 8:30-9:00 BREAKFAST & REGISTRATION

9:00-9:50 Dr. Scott Weber: “Getting Hooked on Fish Medicine and Surgery”, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Dept. of Veterinary Medicine and Epidemiology

10:00-10:50 Dr. Tom Waltzek: “Viral Pathogens and Reportable Diseases of Pond Fish”, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Dept. of Veterinary Medicine and Epidemiology

11:00-11:50 Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan: “Protecting Your Fish From a Dangerous World: Fish Health Management in an Era of Risks”, Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dept. of Biomedical Sciences; Hatfield Marine Science Center; Oregon Coast Aquarium

12:00-12:50 LUNCH TALK - Dr. Freeland Dunker: “The Veterinary Care Challenges in Opening a New Aquarium”, california Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium

1:00-1:50 Dr. Denise Imai: “Basic Fish Pathology: Review of Necropsy Techniques, Anatomy, and Histomorphology”, UC Davis Center of Comparative Medicine

2:00-2:50 Anthony Quintero: “Life Support System Function & Husbandry Within an Ornamental Koi Pond”, Koi Enterprises

3:00-6:00 WETLAB (3 stations): with Drs. Tim Miller-Morgan, Tom Waltzek, and Scott Weber
1. Anesthesia and Phlebotomy
2. Anatomy and Necropsy
3. Parasites and Case Discussions

AQUACULTURE 2010 - San Diego, California. March 1-5, 2010
(POSTED 01-04-10)
The Triennial is the largest aquaculture conference and tradeshow held in the world with nearly 4000 attendees from over 80 countries and even more countries areexpected to have attendees at AQUACULTURE 2010. The Triennial combines theannual meetings of the National Shellfisheries Association, Fish CultureSection of the American Fisheries Society and the World AquacultureSociety. In addition to the annual meetings of the main sponsors, look what else ishappening at AQUACULTURE 2010!

For more information, please go to: https://www.was.org/WasMeetings/meetings/Default.aspx?code=AQ2010

8th International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture
(POSTED 01-04-10))
CALL for ABSTRACTS / Early Registration Now Open!
Virginia Tech is requesting abstracts for presentations at the Eighth International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture
August 20-22, 2010. In addition to publishing a 1-2 page abstract in the conference proceedings, authors of accepted abstracts will have the opportunity to share their research through an oral presentation or as a poster.

For complete details, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/abstract.html

Conference organizers have identified the following session topics:

Recirculating Aquaculture Systems in Penaeid Shrimp Culture
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems for Salmonids
Recirculating Aquaculture System Technology for Mollusk Culture
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems Process Control
Fish Health/Recirculating Aquaculture Biosecurity
Culture of Algae as an Alternative Fuel Source
Innovative Feeds for Recirculating Aquaculture Systems
Sustainable Recirculating Aquaculture Systems

In addition to these identified topic sessions, other sessions will be formed based upon abstracts received, hence we encourage submissions on any topic related to recirculating aquaculture.

For submission instructions, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/abstract.html

For complete details on the conference, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/icra.html

If you are considering being an exhibitor or sponsor at the Conference, you can also find complete details online. Now is the time to begin planning your attendance and participation in this important biennial event. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Terry Rakestraw by phone (540-231-6805), by fax (540-231-9293), or by e-mail (aqua@vt.edu).
 

 DECEMBER 2009

USDAs Cooperative States Research Extension and Education Service (CSREES) undergoes a name change (POSTED 09-22-09)
On October 1, 2009 the USDA CSREES changed its name to the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill) called for CSREES to become the National Institute of Food and Agriculture by October 1, 2009. All current authorities administered by CSREES will be transferred to the new institute, which will be led by a presidentially-appointed director. On September 24, President Obama named Dr. Roger N. Beachy to be the first director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).


MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES

8th International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture
(POSTED 10-15-09)
CALL for ABSTRACTS / Early Registration Now Open!
Virginia Tech is requesting abstracts for presentations at the Eighth International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture
August 20-22, 2010. In addition to publishing a 1-2 page abstract in the conference proceedings, authors of accepted abstracts will have the opportunity to share their research through an oral presentation or as a poster.

For complete details, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/abstract.html

Conference organizers have identified the following session topics:

Recirculating Aquaculture Systems in Penaeid Shrimp Culture
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems for Salmonids
Recirculating Aquaculture System Technology for Mollusk Culture
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems Process Control
Fish Health/Recirculating Aquaculture Biosecurity
Culture of Algae as an Alternative Fuel Source
Innovative Feeds for Recirculating Aquaculture Systems
Sustainable Recirculating Aquaculture Systems

In addition to these identified topic sessions, other sessions will be formed based upon abstracts received, hence we encourage submissions on any topic related to recirculating aquaculture.

For submission instructions, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/abstract.html

For complete details on the conference, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/icra.html

If you are considering being an exhibitor or sponsor at the Conference, you can also find complete details online. Now is the time to begin planning your attendance and participation in this important biennial event. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Terry Rakestraw by phone (540-231-6805), by fax (540-231-9293), or by e-mail (aqua@vt.edu).
 

NOVEMBER 2009

NOAA and FDA to Combine Resources on Seafood Inspection
(POSTED 11-12-09)
NOAA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration unveiled an interagency agreement today to strengthen seafood inspection and improve seafood safety and quality.

The agreement formalizes the working arrangements between NOAA’s Fisheries Service Seafood Inspection Program and the FDA to reinforce each agency’s efforts through cooperation and information sharing in the inspection of fish, fishery products, and establishments. Inspection agents from both agencies will work together when appropriate, and NOAA will share inspection results with FDA.

“Americans are eating an average of 16 pounds of seafood a year--that’s a lot of fish,” said Jim Balsiger, acting NOAA assistant administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “This partnership will help ensure that seafood consumers—who spent nearly $70 billion on seafood last year—continue to get safe, healthy seafood through combining our resources with FDA.”

This new agreement strengthens the two agencies’ partnership and satisfies a Government Accountability Office recommendation that calls for FDA to consider the results of NOAA inspections when determining the frequency of seafood inspections and the use of limited inspection resources. The agreement formally outlines the procedures for working together at both the headquarters and the field levels, and enhances the credibility of NOAA inspections.

The FDA issues regulations concerning the safety and security of the nation’s food supply, including seafood. The NOAA Seafood Inspection Program works with the seafood industry domestically and overseas to help it comply with FDA food regulations and meet industry specifications. More than 30 percent of seafood sold in the U.S. is inspected under NOAA’s voluntary program.

NOAA seafood inspectors inspect edible products, ranging from whole fish to formulated products, as well as fish meal products used for animal foods. NOAA inspectors can be stationed on vessels and at processing plants and retail facilities.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit http://www.noaa.gov.

On the Web:NOAA’s Fisheries Service seafood inspection program: http://www.seafood.nmfs.noaa.gov/

Contact: Connie Barclay 301-713-2370

CHANGES TO HEALTH CERTIFICATES FOR FISH AND FISHERIES PRODUCTS SHIPMENTS TO EUROPEAN UNION (POSTED 11-04-09)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will no longer issue health certificates required by the EU for export of fish or fishery products to the European Union (EU) or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member countries. The U. S. Department of Commerce Seafood Inspection Program will continue to issue these certificates upon request on a fee-for-service basis. Refer to the Federal Register notice below for more full details. This action is effective June 16, 2009.

[Federal Register: June 19, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 117)]
[Notices]
[Page 29184-29185]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr19jn09-37]

SUMMARY: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Seafood
Inspection Program (NOAA SIP) will become the sole certifying agency
for all fish and fishery products for export to European Union (EU) or
European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member countries. Due to the
large volume of demand for these certificates and the need for
expedient service, SIP, through this notice, is announcing a change
from current practices, including fee structure, for providing Health
Certificates for the EU and EFTA.

MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES

8th International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture
(POSTED 10-15-09)
CALL for ABSTRACTS / Early Registration Now Open!
Virginia Tech is requesting abstracts for presentations at the Eighth International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture
August 20-22, 2010. In addition to publishing a 1-2 page abstract in the conference proceedings, authors of accepted abstracts will have the opportunity to share their research through an oral presentation or as a poster.

For complete details, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/abstract.html

Conference organizers have identified the following session topics:

Recirculating Aquaculture Systems in Penaeid Shrimp Culture
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems for Salmonids
Recirculating Aquaculture System Technology for Mollusk Culture
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems Process Control
Fish Health/Recirculating Aquaculture Biosecurity
Culture of Algae as an Alternative Fuel Source
Innovative Feeds for Recirculating Aquaculture Systems
Sustainable Recirculating Aquaculture Systems

In addition to these identified topic sessions, other sessions will be formed based upon abstracts received, hence we encourage submissions on any topic related to recirculating aquaculture.

For submission instructions, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/abstract.html

For complete details on the conference, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/icra.html

If you are considering being an exhibitor or sponsor at the Conference, you can also find complete details online. Now is the time to begin planning your attendance and participation in this important biennial event. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Terry Rakestraw by phone (540-231-6805), by fax (540-231-9293), or by e-mail (aqua@vt.edu).
 

OCTOBER 2009

USDAs Cooperative States Research Extension and Education Service (CSREES) undergoes a name change (POSTED 09-22-09)
On October 1, 2009 the USDA CSREES changed its name to the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill) called for CSREES to become the National Institute of Food and Agriculture by October 1, 2009. All current authorities administered by CSREES will be transferred to the new institute, which will be led by a presidentially-appointed director. On September 24, President Obama named Dr. Roger N. Beachy to be the first director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).


FISH AS FOOD: MYTHS AND REALITY DISCUSSED!
(POSTED 09-22-09)
Tired of the constant barrage of questionable information concerning the fish that you eat? Would you like a little more help and information about fish related to health? Finding sources of truly science-based information is difficult. The problems are multi-faceted, and compounded by interest groups on both sides of the various issues. Every source of information is criticized. Some sources are criticized as either being biased as extremists, or biased as food industry supported. A third problem is that the scientific community frequently does not step up to the plate to deliver truly definitive scientific-based information. Too many scientists that study food safety avoid entering the public debate for a variety of personal reasons.

My primary interests are the food safety issues related to fish. I also have a difficult time trying to sort through the available information. Therefore, California Aquaculture will be posting a variety of web sites that address food safety, particularly those concerned with fish. Because no single web site has risen to the top of heap as the definitive source, we will provide an assortment of web sites. In any case, buyer beware! You will have to sort through the sometimes conflicting information with the rest of us.

As a start, California Aquaculture has added three links to websites that discuss the food that we eat, including the myths and realities of fish as food. On our Primary Page, go to the link for Health & Welfare. We have added a section called FISH AS FOOD.

Included in this section will be fish as food and environmental concerns. Under that title, our first links are to the Monterey Bay Aquarium's, Seafood WATCH, the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and The Center for Consumer Freedom.

Seafood Watch
is a program on the importance of buying seafood from sustainable sources. They recommend which seafood to buy or avoid, helping consumers to become advocates for environmentally-friendly seafood and provide recommendations on seafood choices. IFIC's stated mission is to communicate science-based information on food safety and nutrition to health and nutrition professionals, educators, journalists, government officials and others providing information to consumers. The Center for Consumer Freedom's stated mission is to address food information based on science and to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choice.

MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES

8th International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture
(POSTED 10-15-09)
CALL for ABSTRACTS / Early Registration Now Open! Meetings, August 20-22, 2010.
Virginia Tech is requesting abstracts for presentations at the Eighth International Conference on Recirculating Aquaculture. In addition to publishing a 1-2 page abstract in the conference proceedings, authors of accepted abstracts will have the opportunity to share their research through an oral presentation or as a poster.

For complete details, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/abstract.html

Conference organizers have identified the following session topics:

Recirculating Aquaculture Systems in Penaeid Shrimp Culture
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems for Salmonids
Recirculating Aquaculture System Technology for Mollusk Culture
Recirculating Aquaculture Systems Process Control
Fish Health/Recirculating Aquaculture Biosecurity
Culture of Algae as an Alternative Fuel Source
Innovative Feeds for Recirculating Aquaculture Systems
Sustainable Recirculating Aquaculture Systems

In addition to these identified topic sessions, other sessions will be formed based upon abstracts received, hence we encourage submissions on any topic related to recirculating aquaculture.

For submission instructions, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/abstract.html

For complete details on the conference, go to http://www.recircaqua.com/icra.html

If you are considering being an exhibitor or sponsor at the Conference, you can also find complete details online. Now is the time to begin planning your attendance and participation in this important biennial event. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Terry Rakestraw by phone (540-231-6805), by fax (540-231-9293), or by e-mail (aqua@vt.edu).

 

SEPTEMBER 2009

PUBLIC MEETING OF THE USDA AMS National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) (posted 09-14-09)
The Livestock Committee will present their recommendations to the NOP in regards to the development of more specific standards for the improvement of animal welfare under organic management and for the development of organic aquaculture standards for bivalves.

The meeting will be held November 3-5, 2009 in Washington D.C. Public Comments are due by October 19, 2009 and requests from individuals and organizations wishing to make oral presentations at the meeting are due by the close of business on October 19, 2009

The September 9, 2009 USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Federal Register Notice is posted at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-21610.htm

Questions may be directed to Valerie Frances at 202 205 7808; fax: 202 720 3252; e-mail: Valerie.Frances@AMS.USDA.gov

Aquaculture Courses at Florida's Harbor Branch
(POSTED 08-20-09)

Fish Culture Techniques will be held at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, Fort Pierce, FL on October 19-21, 2009. This three-day beginner to intermediate workshop highlights techniques used in maturation, spawning, larvae culture, and production of fresh water and marine food fish. Students will interact with HBOI and USDA scientists at the Harbor Branch research facilities and learn techniques through laboratories and classroom presentations.
Topics covered will include site selection, facility design, live feeds, and health management. The cost of the workshop is $395, and the registration deadline is October 5, 2009. Please visit www.aquaculture-online.org <http://www.aquaculture-online.org/> for registration and travel information.

Recirculating Aquaculture Systems: Principles of Design and Operation will be held at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, Fort Pierce, FL on October 22-24, 2009. This three-day workshop provides in-depth training on the design, operation and management of recirculating systems for culturing fresh and saltwater fish. Participants will gain a fundamental knowledge of the principles influencing design decision and will acquire the skills necessary to build their own recirculating system. Instructors include Dr. James Ebling from Aquaculture Systems Technology, LLC, and Dr.
Michael Timmons from Cornell University. The cost of the workshop is $395, and the registration deadline is October 8, 2009. Please visit www.aquaculture-online.org <http://www.aquaculture-online.org/> for registration and travel information.

FISH AS FOOD: MYTHS AND REALITY DISCUSSED!
(POSTED 09-22-09)
Tired of the constant barrage of questionable information concerning the fish that you eat? Would you like a little more help and information about fish related to health? Finding sources of truly science-based information is difficult. The problems are multi-faceted, and compounded by interest groups on both sides of the various issues. Every source of information is criticized. Some sources are criticized as either being biased as extremists, or biased as food industry supported. A third problem is that the scientific community frequently does not step up to the plate to deliver truly definitive scientific-based information. Too many scientists that study food safety avoid entering the public debate for a variety of personal reasons.

My primary interests are the food safety issues related to fish. I also have a difficult time trying to sort through the available information. Therefore, California Aquaculture will be posting a variety of web sites that address food safety, particularly those concerned with fish. Because no single web site has risen to the top of heap as the definitive source, we will provide an assortment of web sites. In any case, buyer beware! You will have to sort through the sometimes conflicting information with the rest of us.

As a start, California Aquaculture has added three links to websites that discuss the food that we eat, including the myths and realities of fish as food. On our Primary Page, go to the link for Health & Welfare. We have added a section called FISH AS FOOD.

Included in this section will be fish as food and environmental concerns. Under that title, our first links are to the Monterey Bay Aquarium's, Seafood WATCH, the International Food Information Council (IFIC) and The Center for Consumer Freedom.

Seafood Watch
is a program on the importance of buying seafood from sustainable sources. They recommend which seafood to buy or avoid, helping consumers to become advocates for environmentally-friendly seafood and provide recommendations on seafood choices. IFIC's stated mission is to communicate science-based information on food safety and nutrition to health and nutrition professionals, educators, journalists, government officials and others providing information to consumers. The Center for Consumer Freedom's stated mission is to address food information based on science and to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choice.

The 2008 Farm Bill created 5 new disaster programs (POSTED 09-14-09)
One of these programs is the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP). ELAP provides emergency relief to producers of livestock, honey bees, and farm-raised fish to aid in the reduction of losses because of disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the Secretary, during the calendar year, that are not covered by the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP), and Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP).

Farm-raised fish producers who incur physical losses of farm-raised fish because of adverse weather or other conditions must provide documentation of beginning inventory on the beginning date of the adverse weather event and the ending inventory.
For more details on eligibility and other requirements see the notice below and contact your local USDA-FSA office.

For losses due to drought, qualifying drought ratings are determined using the U.S. Drought Monitor located at www.drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html .

For more information or to apply for ELAP or LFP and other USDA Farm Service Agency disaster assistance programs, please visit your FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov . (Source USDA-CSREES)

FISH FARM IN THE WORKS by Terry Rodgers, La Jolla Light, Sep 10, 2009 (POSTED 09-14-09)
San Diego-based Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute has plans to make a big splash in the ocean just a few miles off La Jolla, with floating fish pens placed about 5-miles offshore. The institute currently is pursuing government permits to build the largest offshore commercial fish farm in U.S. federal waters.

"We are currently importing over 80 percent of our seafood," said Don Kent, the institute's president and a marine biologist. "There's no reason why the U.S. shouldn't be employing our own people to make our own food."

The project is intended to spur growth of the U.S. aquaculture industry, which has lagged far behind other countries in the production of commercial seafood. Venture capitalists in the U.S. have been reluctant to invest in ocean aquaculture (also called mariculture) because of the high cost and complex process to obtain initial permits and the uncertainty that, once constructed, it will be profitable, Kent said.

"If we want an industry that can jump up and grow responsibly, we have to show them how to do it," he said.

When completed, the sea ranch off San Diego would include a network of 24 fish-rearing pens or "gravity cages" approximately five miles offshore of Mission Beach in water 100 to 300 feet deep. The project will be installed in phases, beginning with eight floating pens measuring about 11,700 cubic yards, each large enough to hold about 125,000 fish.

When built out over five years, the floating ranch will cover approximately 30 surface acres of water. Initially, the pens will be used to feed or "grow out" hatchery produced striped bass fingerlings. Eventually, the species will be expanded to include Pacific halibut, California yellowtail and white sea bass. The goal is to produce as much as 6 million pounds of fish annually, three times the amount of seafood currently brought to the docks by commercial fishermen in San Diego County.

The offshore fish farm would employ local commercial fishermen, who would monitor the partially automated facility and transport the fattened fish back to shore. Hubbs scientists intend to monitor the operation to ensure waste from the fish doesn't pollute the ocean floor or cause other problems.

Environmentalists studying the proposal have remained skeptical. They are concerned about a lack of safeguards. Some view the project as premature because Congress has yet to adopt federal regulations governing large-scale marine fish farming.

"We are not against offshore aquaculture in and of itself," said Timothy McHugh, spokesman for The Ocean Conservancy. "What we are against is moving ahead with offshore aquaculture without any national standards for national waters. We view that as a nonstarter."

Ed Parnell, a prominent marine ecologist with UCSD's Scripps Institution of Oceanography, said he has mixed feelings about the concept of mass producing fish in massive open-ocean ranches.

"The pilot project probably won't be harmful," said Parnell. "But scaling up might be. " He said he also has misgivings about the aesthetic impact of "industrializing" offshore waters that are now clear blue marine "wilderness."

Devin M. Bartley, state aquaculture coordinator for the state Department of Fish and Game in Sacramento, believes the project will advance both science and the state's coastal economy.

"There is a lot of controversy over offshore aquaculture, but not much real data," Bartley said. "This project will provide real data to help answer questions on the environmental impact of offshore farming."

Russell Moll, director of California Sea Grant based at UCSD in La Jolla, considers the project to be an important pilot project.

"I am very much in favor of having this experiment move forward for the primary reason that the instillation is experimental and will be conducted with full research rigor," Moll said. "The intent is to engage top-quality, impartial researchers to carry out studies to ascertain what impacts, if any, the facility might have."

Kent, Hubbs' president, said it will take about two years to obtain the necessary state and federal permits. Once the arduous permitting process is completed, Hubbs will be looking for private investment partners to pay for construction of the first phase, which will cost about $15 million.

PUBLIC MEETING OF THE USDA AMS National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) (posted 09-14-09)
The Livestock Committee will present their recommendations to the NOP in regards to the development of more specific standards for the improvement of animal welfare under organic management and for the development of organic aquaculture standards for bivalves.

The meeting will be held November 3-5, 2009 in Washington D.C. Public Comments are due by October 19, 2009 and requests from individuals and organizations wishing to make oral presentations at the meeting are due by the close of business on October 19, 2009

The September 9, 2009 USDA Agricultural Marketing Service Federal Register Notice is posted at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-21610.htm

Questions may be directed to Valerie Frances at 202 205 7808; fax: 202 720 3252; e-mail: Valerie.Frances@AMS.USDA.gov

MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES

Aquaculture Courses at Florida's Harbor Branch
(POSTED 08-20-09)

Fish Culture Techniques will be held at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, Fort Pierce, FL on October 19-21, 2009. This three-day beginner to intermediate workshop highlights techniques used in maturation, spawning, larvae culture, and production of fresh water and marine food fish. Students will interact with HBOI and USDA scientists at the Harbor Branch research facilities and learn techniques through laboratories and classroom presentations.
Topics covered will include site selection, facility design, live feeds, and health management. The cost of the workshop is $395, and the registration deadline is October 5, 2009. Please visit www.aquaculture-online.org <http://www.aquaculture-online.org/> for registration and travel information.

Recirculating Aquaculture Systems: Principles of Design and Operation will be held at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, Fort Pierce, FL on October 22-24, 2009. This three-day workshop provides in-depth training on the design, operation and management of recirculating systems for culturing fresh and saltwater fish. Participants will gain a fundamental knowledge of the principles influencing design decision and will acquire the skills necessary to build their own recirculating system. Instructors include Dr. James Ebling from Aquaculture Systems Technology, LLC, and Dr.
Michael Timmons from Cornell University. The cost of the workshop is $395, and the registration deadline is October 8, 2009. Please visit www.aquaculture-online.org <http://www.aquaculture-online.org/> for registration and travel information.

63rdAnnual Shellfish Conference (POSTED 07-01-09)
The Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association and National Shellfisheries Association – Pacific Coast Section are co-sponsoring the 63rd Annual Shellfish Conference in Portland, Oregon, September 29 - October 1, 2009.

September 1, 2009  - Deadline for early bird conference registration. Register for conference at www.pcsga.org or call 360-754-2744

The conference will be held at the Red Lion Hotel on the River, Jantzen Beach, in Portland OR.  Conference attendees include shellfish growers, suppliers, service providers, researchers, academicians, government agencies, environmental organizations and students.

Session Topics

Ocean Conditions:  Climate change, ocean chemistry, acidification
Marine Pathogens:  HABs, Vibrios, Viruses
Down on the Farm:  Shellfish growers trials, tribulations, achievements, failures
Resource User Conflicts - and Solutions
Permitting and Regulatory Issues
Offshore Aquaculture:  Progress, Permitting Issues, Potential
Carbon Trading and Shellfish:  Bivalves for Clean Water
Marketing Issues: i.e.  Branding, Sustainability, Certification, Emerging Markets
Restoration and Protection Efforts (Species and Habitat)
Estuarine Habitat and Shellfish Culture Interactions
Invasive and Exotic Marine Species
Genetics, Brood Stock Development
Shellfish Disease and Mortality
Cultivation Techniques, Biology, Management
Dismal Failures:  Projects That Didn’t Work
Resource Assessment and Management
Crustaceans:  Biology and Management

AUGUST 2009

Publications Section has been Restored!!
(POSTED 08-24-09)
Many of you may have noticed that the publications section of the California Aquaculture Website has been off-line for several months. Although we have not experienced successful computer hacking of the departmental servers, which our server is linked, the University and the Department has been under a number of assaults by hackers. To protect the systems, our IT personnel have been installing safeguards and other programs to prevent successful assaults on the computer systems. This required that our publication search programs be made compatible with the new security systems. My colleague, Abbas Ahmadi, has rewritten the program's codes and the publications section with its search engines is now up and running! Thank you for your patience.   

Aquaculture Courses at Florida's Harbor Branch
(POSTED 08-20-09)

Fish Culture Techniques will be held at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, Fort Pierce, FL on October 19-21, 2009. This three-day beginner to intermediate workshop highlights techniques used in maturation, spawning, larvae culture, and production of fresh water and marine food fish. Students will interact with HBOI and USDA scientists at the Harbor Branch research facilities and learn techniques through laboratories and classroom presentations.
Topics covered will include site selection, facility design, live feeds, and health management. The cost of the workshop is $395, and the registration deadline is October 5, 2009. Please visit www.aquaculture-online.org <http://www.aquaculture-online.org/> for registration and travel information.

Recirculating Aquaculture Systems: Principles of Design and Operation will be held at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, Fort Pierce, FL on October 22-24, 2009. This three-day workshop provides in-depth training on the design, operation and management of recirculating systems for culturing fresh and saltwater fish. Participants will gain a fundamental knowledge of the principles influencing design decision and will acquire the skills necessary to build their own recirculating system. Instructors include Dr. James Ebling from Aquaculture Systems Technology, LLC, and Dr.
Michael Timmons from Cornell University. The cost of the workshop is $395, and the registration deadline is October 8, 2009. Please visit www.aquaculture-online.org <http://www.aquaculture-online.org/> for registration and travel information.

Podcasts
(posted 08-20-09)

The Podcast series, “Aquaculture Podcasts from the University of California have been revised to provide a shorter introduction, and the series expanded to include additional podcasts addressing oyster biology and oyster aquaculture. The series is available on this web site, by pressing the Podcasts link on the primary page. The series is also available on the iTunes website (iTunes.com) under the title, “Aquaculture Podcasts from the University of California Davis”.


The series now contains:
 

Introduction and Phytoplankton I (Revised 2009), 01-California-Aquaculture.mp3. 4 min: 18 sec. Short introduction to the California Aquaculture podcast series from the University of California Davis, and with a first presentation on phytoplankton covering the relationship with phytoplankton with oxygen balance in the water, photosynthesis and dark phase respiration, and the effects of water temperature, salinity and elevation on oxygen saturation.  

Phytoplankton II (Revised 2009), 02-California-Aquaculture.mp3. 23 min: 13 sec. Phytoplankton II covers concepts such as temperature stratification in ponds and lakes, and pond and lake "turnover", an event that can cause oxygen depletion. Also covered are problems caused by a lack of an algal bloom, and excessive blooms; and the oxygen concentrations that support a good fish population. Methods for monitoring algal blooms in bodies of water are presented, including steps taken when oxygen depletion occurs.

Oyster Anatomy and Functional Morphology
. 03-California-Aquaculture.mp3. 25 min: 08 sec. This podcast a descriptive anatomy of oysters and explains how the oyster’s morphology operates during pumping and filtering water, feeding, growth, respiration and even how the oyster defends itself from environment attacks and predators. It also describes how knowledge of the same anatomical structures and how they function are used by growers in all aspects of culturing, including marketing their product.

Oyster Sexuality and Sexual Expression
. 04-California-Aquaculture.mp3. 21 min: 52 sec. This podcast describes the various sexual expressions exhibited by oysters and other shellfish. It discusses the various hermaphroditic conditions of the various species and the ability of shellfish to change sex, all influenced by genetics, environmental conditions, abundance of food and other biological cues. It introduces several commercial species, their sexual expression and ability to change sex, and how these characteristics affect commercial shellfish hatcheries.

Eastern Oyster and Natural Reproduction. 05-California-Aquaculture.mp3. 14 min: 37 sec. This podcast covers the history of the eastern oyster fishery, its transition to an aquaculture industry, and natural spawning of the species. The industry is traced through its growth compared to other meat industries and the great production bays of the East coast and Gulf of Mexico.

Historical West Coast Oyster Industry
. 06-California-Aquaculture.mp3. 22 min: 22 sec. The historical California Oyster industry is described from its roots based on the Native oyster. It is then traced through the development of the transported native oysters from the Shoalwater Bay oyster trade in the 1860s, and second transition with the establishment of the transcontinental railroad. It describes the San Francisco Bay oyster industry’s rise and decline, and the reasons for its eventual termination in 1939.

JULY 2009

63rdAnnual Shellfish Conference
(POSTED 07-01-09)
The Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association and National Shellfisheries Association – Pacific Coast Section are co-sponsoring the 63rd Annual Shellfish Conference in Portland, Oregon, September 29 - October 1, 2009.

September 1, 2009  - Deadline for early bird conference registration. Register for conference at www.pcsga.org or call 360-754-2744

The conference will be held at the Red Lion Hotel on the River, Jantzen Beach, in Portland OR.  Conference attendees include shellfish growers, suppliers, service providers, researchers, academicians, government agencies, environmental organizations and students.

Session Topics

Ocean Conditions:  Climate change, ocean chemistry, acidification
Marine Pathogens:  HABs, Vibrios, Viruses
Down on the Farm:  Shellfish growers trials, tribulations, achievements, failures
Resource User Conflicts - and Solutions
Permitting and Regulatory Issues
Offshore Aquaculture:  Progress, Permitting Issues, Potential
Carbon Trading and Shellfish:  Bivalves for Clean Water
Marketing Issues: i.e.  Branding, Sustainability, Certification, Emerging Markets
Restoration and Protection Efforts (Species and Habitat)
Estuarine Habitat and Shellfish Culture Interactions
Invasive and Exotic Marine Species
Genetics, Brood Stock Development
Shellfish Disease and Mortality
Cultivation Techniques, Biology, Management
Dismal Failures:  Projects That Didn’t Work
Resource Assessment and Management
Crustaceans:  Biology and Management

Conflict over Oyster Farming in Drakes Estero, California
(POSTED 06-17-09)
For several years, it has been reported that the oyster operation in Drakes Estero, California has had adverse impacts on the biological environment of the flora and fauna of Drakes Estero located North of San Francisco California. Most recent events include the release of a peer reviewed report by the National Parks Service (NPS) that administers to the national park. The NPS report presents the argument that the oyster operation has had negative impacts on the environment and its operation should be terminated when the lease expires in 2012. The NPS report came to the attention of congressional representatives when it was challenged by the oyster operation’s owner and other scientists; and eventually led to a review conducted by the National Academy of Science.

I have had repeated requests to provide information about the conflict.  Because of the time-consuming nature of providing available information about the conflict, and having to constantly defend sustainable shellfish practices, I have chosen, with permission, to post two articles printed in the Russian River Times, and information about the  report of the National Academy of Science. The conflict is not presently resolved. When it is, the company will be either expelled from the Estero, or it will continue to operate. In the meantime, due to the pressure for information, while I can I will continue to report findings. Fred S. Conte, California Aquaculture.     

National Academy Blasts Park Service Coastal Science. Russian River Times, by John Hulls, May 31, 2009 (POSTED 06-17-09)
“The ongoing battle over the fate of the Drake’s Bay Oyster Company (DBOC) first reached the public’s attention in early 2007, after the National Park Service (NPS) broke off negotiations with the new owner, Kevin Lunny, over terms of permits required to remove a ‘cease and desist order’ placed on the previous owners by the California Coastal Commission.   Lunny claims that the Park Service was holding up the necessary permissions and trying to force him to sign away his rights under the renewable provisions of his lease and vacate in 2012.  At the same time, the NPS had told Marin Supervisor Steve Kinsey that they were breaking off negotiations with Lunny because they had sufficient evidence of environmental harm to bring criminal and civil charges against him.   The recently released National Academy of Science Report shows that the NPS had absolutely no basis for their claims of civil and criminal misconduct.

It was the dispute over the permits and the cease and desist order that caused the Marin Board of Supervisors to request that Senator Diane Feinstein intercede to help resolve the matter.  This lead to a meeting in July of that year with senior NPS and local officials and DBOC wherein Feinstein requested the commission an independent review of the science behind the NPS claims.  The report of that review, conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, was released on 5 May, 2009.  It stated that there was no strong scientific evidence that the oyster company was causing any environmental harm to Drake’s Estero.  Feinstein’s comments on the report are telling.

On 5 May 2007, Senator Feinstein, after reviewing the results of National Academy of Sciences Oceans Science Board (OSB), wrote to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who is responsible for the National Park Service noting that the NAS panel had made the finding that the National Park Service “selectively presented, over-interpreted, or misrepresented the available scientific information on potential impacts of the oyster mariculture operation”.  She commented, “I find it troubling and unacceptable that the National Park Service exaggerated the effects of the oyster population on the Estero ecosystem.”

One of the main charges of the OSB panel was to investigate if the NPS had properly evaluated the science and presented it to the public in writing multiple versions of a report entitled, Drake’s Estero: A Sheltered Wilderness Estuary, which had been removed from the website at Senator Feinstein’s request after a meeting which she called in Olema in July 2007.  They summarize: “Scientific conclusions presented in Drakes Estero: A Sheltered Wilderness Estuary change in successive versions from late 2006 through 2007, with some notable deletions of earlier material and a few additions. However, Drakes Estero: A Sheltered Wilderness Estuary never achieved a rigorous and balanced synthesis of the mariculture impacts.”  It was this report that prompted Dr. Corey Goodman to submit an ethics complaint against scientific misconduct by the Park Service to senior NPS officials who were present at the meeting with Feinstein, including then-NPS Director Mary Bomar and Western Regional Director Jon Jarvis.

The NPS position that environmental law justified the removal of DBOC eroded under local press coverage, and has now been fully discredited by the NAS report.  Local opponents of the oyster company’s continued existence have focused more on their earlier claims that Lunny signed an agreement under which he would cease operations in 2012.  No such document exists. While it is true that he was informed by the local NPS Superintendent that he was under no obligation to extend the lease, reference to Lunny’s existing lease documents show that it envisions an extension concurrent with the State Fish and Game lease of the Estero to DBOC.

The present NPS position on oyster cultivation significantly contradicts its earlier positions about the oyster farm.  Up until recently, the NPS has managed the oyster farm consistent with the legislation. In the 1980 General Management Plan for Point Reyes National Seashore makes no assumption that oyster cultivation will be terminated in 2012, and indeed states that the potential wilderness area will be managed as wilderness “to the extent possible” and specifically states a goal, “To monitor and improve mariculture operations, in particular the oyster farm operation in Drake’s Estero, in cooperation with the California Department of Fish and Game.”  Likewise, in a 1998 Environmental Assessment for a complete upgrade of the oyster farm buildings, including retail store and educational facilities, NPS rejected the option of elimination of the oyster farm, stating,  “The existing GMP calls for the continuation of oyster operations in the park.”  As part of the Environmental Assessment, NPS filed federal and state declarations of no environmental impact under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI) provisions of the state law, a position completely in keeping with the recent NAS findings.  Even though the project was completed through final design, Johnson’s Oysters, the previous owners, ran into family financial difficulties and were unable to proceed.

As far as the NPS current interpretation of the Wilderness Act, there is significant disagreement from within the environmental and legal community.  Despite the claims of the Save Drake’s Bay Coalition (SDB Coalition) that the legislation and regulations mandate removal by 2012, review of the legislation and regulations by others paints an entirely different picture.  Bill Wigert, a lawyer who is a member of the both the local Environmental Action Committee (EAC) and a long term member of the Sierra Club who did major pro-bono work for them in their suit against California Air Resources board to eliminate lead in gasoline in California as well as preserving public access to the California coast, has examined the issues.  He points out that many of the comments on legal issues by Neal Desai on the SBD Coalition website are simply false.

Wigert states that there are many reasons that their position is wrong.  In the first place, there are no specifics within the 1978 Wilderness Act, or NPS rules or regulations that require removal of the oyster farm in 2012.  Secondly, the presence of the oyster farm has previously been considered as a legal pre-existing non-conforming use.  It is only one impediment to full wilderness status, the most significant other impediment being the fact that the State of California retains the mineral and fishing rights, which can only be surrendered by an act of the legislature, signed by the Governor.  In addition the claims that Lunny has asked Senator Feinstein to make a change in Wilderness legislation is simply untrue and is also unnecessary.

Wigert points out that the Secretary of the Interior has the right to grant the extension of Lunny’s lease as a pre-existing non conforming use and that there is nothing in the Wilderness Act that changes this authority.  Indeed, the section of the law cited by the SDB Coalition is only found in the markup version of the bill (Where the House and Senate versions are reconciled) and the only specific mention of impediments to be removed are the power lines in Muddy Hollow, (near Drake’s Estero) as required by the park management policy, which will not allow areas with power lines or a plan to remove them to be considered for wilderness protection.  Senator Burton, the author of the legislation, has publicly that he was not aware of this provision, as it was probably put there by a Committee staff member to bring the bill into compliance with regulations. As Wigert bluntly puts it, “All of the claims that extending the lease will violate the Wilderness Act are simply scare tactics by Desai and his Coalition designed to enlist support from groups and individuals who are not aware of the true regulatory and legal situation.”

The RR Times contacted Kevin Lunny to ask him his opinion of the report.  He said he is "gratified that the NAS found that the NPS charges against his stewardship of the Estero were groundless.  I really like the panel’s suggestion that the Estero would be an ideal place for future research and public education.  Good science, good rules, good education and protecting our environment will only grow more important if we want to preserve the nature and economics and sustainable food production of our coastal communities.   I hope to continue to play a part, as my family has done in Point Reyes for the past three generations.”  

The Wages of Spin: Russian River Times, May 31, 2009. Somewhat Logically@ John Hulls 2009
(POSTED 06-17-09)

 “The quality of science used to make decisions about our unique coastal environment matters to us all. The debate over the historic oyster farm in Point Reyes National Seashore has become a poster child for the National Park Service’s (NPS) substitution of spin for sound science. Science misconduct used to be like pornography: everyone knew it when they saw it but couldn’t define it legally. That changed when the White House adopted the recommendations of the National Academy of Science’s (NAS) Committee on Science, Education and Public Policy (COSEPUP) as the Federal Policy on Research Misconduct, published in the Federal Register on December 6, 2000. Federal policy required all agencies to implement the policy within one year.

Thanks to a scientific ethics complaint filed first against the NPS in July, 2007, we can see how the Federal policy, rules and regulations have been followed, or not followed. Despite the requirement that all such allegations be investigated, the trail of correspondence shows that the complaint passed through virtually all the layers of NPS administration, then was sent to the NAS. On 3 February 2009, after further allegations of scientific misconduct arose during their investigation, NAS punted the issue to just-appointed Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. He will appoint the new NPS Director. Jon Jarvis, NPS Western regional director, under consideration for the post, is enmeshed in the issue.

The complaint was filed first by Dr. Corey Goodman, an internationally known scientist, NAS member, former Chair of their Life Sciences panel and West Marin resident. He raised the issues at a July 2007 meeting called by Senator Feinstein, who had been asked to intercede in the dispute between NPS and the oyster company by the Marin County Board of Supervisors. Attending were NPS Director Mary Bomar, NPS Western Region Chief Jon Jarvis, Kevin Lunny of Drake’s Bay Oyster Company and local officials as well as legal representation from Department of the Interior. Records and correspondence indicate that Bomar assigned Jarvis to deal with all matters relating to the oyster farm, including complying with Feinstein’s request for an independent scientific evaluation.  A Department of the Interior Inspector General investigation was already underway.

In the nearly two-year period that the Park Service has avoided responding to the specifics of Dr. Goodman’s complaint, the Inspector General and the NAS have released their respective reports. The IG’s 23 July 2008 report limited its coverage of science to procedural scientific misconduct, leaving evaluation of the science itself to the independent scientific investigation requested by Senator Feinstein, yet still took 31 pages to cover the misconduct, from suppression and deliberate misquotes of existing science to exaggerated statements and misrepresentation. The 5 May 2009 NAS report mirrors the IG findings in stating that the NPS “selectively presented, over-interpreted or misrepresented the available scientific information….” but fails to address Dr. Goodman’s allegations, though the NAS itself had asked him to present them at their first public meeting held in Mill Valley in September, 2008. He has also received no response from NPS since Director Bomar notified him, in an e-mail dated 4 January 2008, that she had reassigned the responsibility to Deputy Director Dan Wenk, currently NPS interim director.

Throughout the process, a local environmental lobbying group, the ‘Save Drake’s Bay Coalition,’ has backed the NPS with a veritable Greek chorus of doom for wilderness should the oyster farm be allowed to stay. They’ve abandoned their commitment to science-based decisions and public education to indulge in unsubstantiated scare tactics about undermining wilderness legislation.  In an NPCA Press release attributed to Gordon Bennett of the local Sierra Club, Fred Smith of the West Marin Environmental Action Committee and Neal Desai, a local NPCA staffer, the group claims the NAS report as a victory, much as with the IG report, despite its findings of scientific misconduct. But they sent it out indiscriminately: in a private letter, one nationally prominent environmentalist, scientist and McArthur Fellow whom they had previously tried to enlist in their cause responded with a blistering critique.

“I’m stunned,” he wrote. “You should hang your head in shame for the embarrassment you are causing true environmentalists everywhere. To claim that the NAS report supports the Coalition’s position requires a1984-esque manipulation of the language.” He concluded: “I guess it is politically better to declare victory when handed a clear defeat. After all, the only victim is the truth. This is how the environmental movement, of which I’m a proud part, loses friends and builds enemies.” Perhaps they have passed this letter to NPCA president Tom Kiernan, Sierra Club president Carl Pope and the other national environmental organizations that they have attempted to involve in their jihad against the oyster company, but I doubt it.

Salazar must now filter the spin, not only from environmental community factions but from Director candidate Jarvis and NPS. However, since the NAS referred Dr. Goodman’s complaint to Salazar as head of the responsible agency, federal policy requires that he respond to the specifics.  He must also honor President Obama’s recently stated position on scientific integrity and transparency. Or he could try to duck the issue and allow business as usual at the Department of the Interior, diving into the ethical cesspool left by the previous administration.

One point remains that I hope Salazar will not overlook. He, like Kevin Lunny, comes from a family with a long ranching tradition. Both, in their respective ways, have done much for environmental protection while preserving agriculture and food production.  I feel that if Lunny and Salzar were just to sit down together, they could reach a solution serving both our local needs and national environmental interests.” 

NEWS from the National Academies (POSTED 06-17-09)
Date:  May 5, 2009
Contacts:  Jennifer Walsh, Media Relations Officer
Luwam Yeibio, Media Relations Assistant
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail news@nas.edu 

News Release Found At:
http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=12667

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Current Level of Oyster Farming Unlikely to Have Substantial Impact On Drakes Estero Ecosystem 

“WASHINGTON -- A new report from the National Research Council finds a lack of strong scientific evidence that the present level of oyster farming operations by Drakes Bay Oyster Co. (DBOC) has major adverse effects on the ecosystem of Drakes Estero, a body of water north of San Francisco within Point Reyes National Seashore, which is owned by the National Park Service.  The report adds that the adverse or beneficial effects of oyster farming cannot be fully understood given the existing data and analyses.  Furthermore, the National Park Service report "Drakes Estero: A Sheltered Wilderness Estuary" in some instances selectively presented, overinterpreted, or misrepresented the available scientific information on DBOC operations by exaggerating the negative and overlooking potentially beneficial effects.

In 1976 when a commercial shellfish operation existed in Drakes Estero, Congress designated it as a potential wilderness area.  The Department of the Interior, which oversees NPS, has indicated that the oyster farm now located on Drakes Estero conflicts with full wilderness status, and upon the termination of the farm's lease in 2012, NPS should proceed with converting the area to wilderness.  Recently, various versions of the NPS' Drakes Estero report have stimulated public debate over whether scientific information justifies closing DBOC after the lease expires.  The debate led to the request for a Research Council study to help clarify the environmental issues connected with oyster farming in Drakes Estero and assess the scientific basis for the NPS presentations, reports, revisions, and a clarification document.  The study was not an inquiry into potential scientific misconduct and made no such determinations.

While examining the impacts of oyster farming, the committee that wrote the report affirmed that effects on the estero are derived from two sources: the presence and biological processes of the oysters and the activities of the oyster farmers.  As in other bodies of water, the magnitude and significance of the ecological impacts from oyster farming vary with the intensity of operations.  Oysters filter materials from the water as well as excrete materials that sink to the bottom.  To some extent, the oysters in Drakes Estero replace the filtering and material processing that was lost more than a hundred years ago when the native Olympia oysters were overharvested, but insufficient information is available to know how many oysters and how much biomass existed under these historical baseline conditions.

The committee found that oyster farm activities are likely to have some influence on animal and plant life in the estero.  For example, oyster boats may disturb harbor seals during the breeding season, but a lack of information exists on how disturbances from various sources affect the seals.  Drakes Estero is a significant breeding location for harbor seals – about 20 percent of the mainland California population comes ashore on sandbanks during the season they give birth.  To date, no studies have determined whether seals' short-term responses to disturbances have long-term consequences on the population.  But, if seal behavior during the breeding season is affected, a precautionary approach would minimize disturbances to avoid potential effects on their population, the report says.

The committee also examined the ecological impacts of shellfish farming on eelgrass, fish, and birds in the estero.  Eelgrass beds approximately doubled in area from 1991 to 2007 but are absent directly underneath the oyster culture racks, which represent a small fraction of the total acreage.  Propeller scar damage from DBOC boats also affect the eelgrass, but damaged eelgrass can regenerate quickly, limiting the long-term impacts.  Definitive conclusions about potential effects of oyster farming activities on fish could not be reached, and a study of impacts of oyster bags on shorebirds in an area near Drakes Estero indicated modest effects, some negative and others positive.

Past practices of importing oysters from Japan and other regions resulted in the introduction of several nonnative species, including a parasite that infects oysters.  DBOC's current practices -- in which they import larvae from domestic hatcheries and voluntarily participate in a set of industry guidelines called the High Health Program -- minimize the risk of introducing disease pathogens and external "hitchhiker" species.

Regarding the assessment of scientific information by NPS, the committee found that none of the versions of "Drakes Estero: A Sheltered Wilderness Estuary" achieved a rigorous and balanced synthesis of the impacts from oyster farm operations.  The last document, "National Park Service Clarification of Law, Policy, and Science on Drakes Estero," which was intended to correct and clarify previous statements made by the NPS, provided the agency's most accurate release of science relating to shellfish farming impacts.  The reinterpretations of science prompted by outside criticism appeared to have influenced the NPS decision to prepare and release the Acknowledgment of Corrections and Clarification documents.

In addition, the final NPS clarification document does not fully reflect the conclusions of the Research Council committee in two areas.  First, NPS did not acknowledge the changing ecological baseline of Drakes Estero, where native Olympia oysters probably played an important role in structuring the ecosystem until they were functionally eliminated.  Second, NPS selectively presented harbor seal survey data and overinterpreted the seal disturbance data, which are incomplete and nonrepresentative of the full spectrum of activities that could potentially disturb seals in the area.  The oyster farm's potential negative effects on the harbor seal population represent the most serious concern and cannot be thoroughly evaluated because the effects have not been fully investigated.

The committee emphasized that the decision to extend the lease hinges on the legal interpretation of the legislative mandate rather than on scientific analysis.  As such, more scientific study of DBOC operations and Drakes Estero may not affect National Park Service decisions about the future of oyster farming in the estero.  The ultimate decision to permit or prohibit a particular activity -- such as oyster farming -- in any location requires value judgments and tradeoffs that can be informed, but not resolved, by science, the committee noted.  Similar to other zoning and land-use questions, this issue will be settled by policymakers charged with weighing the conflicting views and priorities of society as part of the decision-making process.

A webcast public briefing on the report's findings and recommendations will take place Thursday, May 7, at 11:30 a.m. PT.  The webcast and an e-mail form to submit questions will be available at http://national-academies.org.

The report was sponsored by the National Park Service.  The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies.  They are independent, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under an 1863 congressional charter.  Committee members, who serve pro bono as volunteers, are chosen by the Academies for each study based on their expertise and experience and must satisfy the Academies' conflict-of-interest standards.  The resulting consensus reports undergo external peer review before completion.  For more information, visit http://national-academies.org/studycommitteprocess.pdf. A committee roster follows.

Copies of Shellfish Mariculture in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California are available from the National Academies Press; tel. 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242 or on the Internet at http://www.nap.edu. Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above).” 

This news release and report are available at http://national-academies.org

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Division on Earth and Life Studies
Ocean Studies Board

Committee on Best Practices for Shellfish Mariculture and the Effects of Commercial Activities in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Charles H. Peterson (chair)
Alumni Distinguished Professor
Institute of Marine Sciences
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Morehead City

Barry A. Costa-Pierce
Director, Rhode Island Sea Grant College Program
Graduate School of Oceanography
University of Rhode Island
Narragansett

Brett R. Dumbauld
Ecologist
Hatfield Marine Science Center
Agricultural Research Service
Newport, Ore.

Carolyn Friedman
Associate Professor
School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
University of Washington
Seattle

Eileen E. Hofmann, Professor
Department of Oceanography
Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Va.

Hauke Kite-Powell, Research Specialist
Marine Policy Center
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, Mass.

Donal T. Manahan
Professor of Biological Sciences
College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
University of Southern California
Los Angeles

Francis O'Beirn
Benthos Ecology Team Leader
Marine Institute
Rinville, Oranmore
Galway, Ireland

Robert T. Paine *
Professor Emeritus
Department of Biology
University of Washington
Seattle

Paul Thompson
Professor of Zoology
Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Aberdeen
Cromarty, Scotland

Robert Whitlatch
Professor
Department of Marine Sciences
University of Connecticut
Groton

RESEARCH COUNCIL STAFF
Susan Roberts, Study Director

* Member, National Academy of Sciences

JUNE 2009

Conflict over Oyster Farming in Drakes Estero, California

(POSTED 06-17-09)

For several years, it has been reported that the oyster operation in Drakes Estero, California has had adverse impacts on the biological environment of the flora and fauna of Drakes Estero located North of San Francisco California. Most recent events include the release of a peer reviewed report by the National Parks Service (NPS) that administers to the national park. The NPS report presents the argument that the oyster operation has had negative impacts on the environment and its operation should be terminated when the lease expires in 2012. The NPS report came to the attention of congressional representatives when it was challenged by the oyster operation’s owner and other scientists; and eventually led to a review conducted by the National Academy of Science.

I have had repeated requests to provide information about the conflict.  Because of the time-consuming nature of providing available information about the conflict, and having to constantly defend sustainable shellfish practices, I have chosen, with permission, to post two articles printed in the Russian River Times, and information about the  report of the National Academy of Science. The conflict is not presently resolved. When it is, the company will be either expelled from the Estero, or it will continue to operate. In the meantime, due to the pressure for information, while I can I will continue to report findings. Fred S. Conte, California Aquaculture.     

National Academy Blasts Park Service Coastal Science. Russian River Times, by John Hulls, May 31, 2009 (POSTED 06-17-09)
“The ongoing battle over the fate of the Drake’s Bay Oyster Company (DBOC) first reached the public’s attention in early 2007, after the National Park Service (NPS) broke off negotiations with the new owner, Kevin Lunny, over terms of permits required to remove a ‘cease and desist order’ placed on the previous owners by the California Coastal Commission.   Lunny claims that the Park Service was holding up the necessary permissions and trying to force him to sign away his rights under the renewable provisions of his lease and vacate in 2012.  At the same time, the NPS had told Marin Supervisor Steve Kinsey that they were breaking off negotiations with Lunny because they had sufficient evidence of environmental harm to bring criminal and civil charges against him.   The recently released National Academy of Science Report shows that the NPS had absolutely no basis for their claims of civil and criminal misconduct.

It was the dispute over the permits and the cease and desist order that caused the Marin Board of Supervisors to request that Senator Diane Feinstein intercede to help resolve the matter.  This lead to a meeting in July of that year with senior NPS and local officials and DBOC wherein Feinstein requested the commission an independent review of the science behind the NPS claims.  The report of that review, conducted by the National Academy of Sciences, was released on 5 May, 2009.  It stated that there was no strong scientific evidence that the oyster company was causing any environmental harm to Drake’s Estero.  Feinstein’s comments on the report are telling.

On 5 May 2007, Senator Feinstein, after reviewing the results of National Academy of Sciences Oceans Science Board (OSB), wrote to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who is responsible for the National Park Service noting that the NAS panel had made the finding that the National Park Service “selectively presented, over-interpreted, or misrepresented the available scientific information on potential impacts of the oyster mariculture operation”.  She commented, “I find it troubling and unacceptable that the National Park Service exaggerated the effects of the oyster population on the Estero ecosystem.”

One of the main charges of the OSB panel was to investigate if the NPS had properly evaluated the science and presented it to the public in writing multiple versions of a report entitled, Drake’s Estero: A Sheltered Wilderness Estuary, which had been removed from the website at Senator Feinstein’s request after a meeting which she called in Olema in July 2007.  They summarize: “Scientific conclusions presented in Drakes Estero: A Sheltered Wilderness Estuary change in successive versions from late 2006 through 2007, with some notable deletions of earlier material and a few additions. However, Drakes Estero: A Sheltered Wilderness Estuary never achieved a rigorous and balanced synthesis of the mariculture impacts.”  It was this report that prompted Dr. Corey Goodman to submit an ethics complaint against scientific misconduct by the Park Service to senior NPS officials who were present at the meeting with Feinstein, including then-NPS Director Mary Bomar and Western Regional Director Jon Jarvis.

The NPS position that environmental law justified the removal of DBOC eroded under local press coverage, and has now been fully discredited by the NAS report.  Local opponents of the oyster company’s continued existence have focused more on their earlier claims that Lunny signed an agreement under which he would cease operations in 2012.  No such document exists. While it is true that he was informed by the local NPS Superintendent that he was under no obligation to extend the lease, reference to Lunny’s existing lease documents show that it envisions an extension concurrent with the State Fish and Game lease of the Estero to DBOC.

The present NPS position on oyster cultivation significantly contradicts its earlier positions about the oyster farm.  Up until recently, the NPS has managed the oyster farm consistent with the legislation. In the 1980 General Management Plan for Point Reyes National Seashore makes no assumption that oyster cultivation will be terminated in 2012, and indeed states that the potential wilderness area will be managed as wilderness “to the extent possible” and specifically states a goal, “To monitor and improve mariculture operations, in particular the oyster farm operation in Drake’s Estero, in cooperation with the California Department of Fish and Game.”  Likewise, in a 1998 Environmental Assessment for a complete upgrade of the oyster farm buildings, including retail store and educational facilities, NPS rejected the option of elimination of the oyster farm, stating,  “The existing GMP calls for the continuation of oyster operations in the park.”  As part of the Environmental Assessment, NPS filed federal and state declarations of no environmental impact under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI) provisions of the state law, a position completely in keeping with the recent NAS findings.  Even though the project was completed through final design, Johnson’s Oysters, the previous owners, ran into family financial difficulties and were unable to proceed.

As far as the NPS current interpretation of the Wilderness Act, there is significant disagreement from within the environmental and legal community.  Despite the claims of the Save Drake’s Bay Coalition (SDB Coalition) that the legislation and regulations mandate removal by 2012, review of the legislation and regulations by others paints an entirely different picture.  Bill Wigert, a lawyer who is a member of the both the local Environmental Action Committee (EAC) and a long term member of the Sierra Club who did major pro-bono work for them in their suit against California Air Resources board to eliminate lead in gasoline in California as well as preserving public access to the California coast, has examined the issues.  He points out that many of the comments on legal issues by Neal Desai on the SBD Coalition website are simply false.

Wigert states that there are many reasons that their position is wrong.  In the first place, there are no specifics within the 1978 Wilderness Act, or NPS rules or regulations that require removal of the oyster farm in 2012.  Secondly, the presence of the oyster farm has previously been considered as a legal pre-existing non-conforming use.  It is only one impediment to full wilderness status, the most significant other impediment being the fact that the State of California retains the mineral and fishing rights, which can only be surrendered by an act of the legislature, signed by the Governor.  In addition the claims that Lunny has asked Senator Feinstein to make a change in Wilderness legislation is simply untrue and is also unnecessary.

Wigert points out that the Secretary of the Interior has the right to grant the extension of Lunny’s lease as a pre-existing non conforming use and that there is nothing in the Wilderness Act that changes this authority.  Indeed, the section of the law cited by the SDB Coalition is only found in the markup version of the bill (Where the House and Senate versions are reconciled) and the only specific mention of impediments to be removed are the power lines in Muddy Hollow, (near Drake’s Estero) as required by the park management policy, which will not allow areas with power lines or a plan to remove them to be considered for wilderness protection.  Senator Burton, the author of the legislation, has publicly that he was not aware of this provision, as it was probably put there by a Committee staff member to bring the bill into compliance with regulations. As Wigert bluntly puts it, “All of the claims that extending the lease will violate the Wilderness Act are simply scare tactics by Desai and his Coalition designed to enlist support from groups and individuals who are not aware of the true regulatory and legal situation.”

The RR Times contacted Kevin Lunny to ask him his opinion of the report.  He said he is "gratified that the NAS found that the NPS charges against his stewardship of the Estero were groundless.  I really like the panel’s suggestion that the Estero would be an ideal place for future research and public education.  Good science, good rules, good education and protecting our environment will only grow more important if we want to preserve the nature and economics and sustainable food production of our coastal communities.   I hope to continue to play a part, as my family has done in Point Reyes for the past three generations.”  

The Wages of Spin: Russian River Times, May 31, 2009. Somewhat Logically@ John Hulls 2009 (POSTED 06-17-09)
 “The quality of science used to make decisions about our unique coastal environment matters to us all. The debate over the historic oyster farm in Point Reyes National Seashore has become a poster child for the National Park Service’s (NPS) substitution of spin for sound science. Science misconduct used to be like pornography: everyone knew it when they saw it but couldn’t define it legally. That changed when the White House adopted the recommendations of the National Academy of Science’s (NAS) Committee on Science, Education and Public Policy (COSEPUP) as the Federal Policy on Research Misconduct, published in the Federal Register on December 6, 2000. Federal policy required all agencies to implement the policy within one year.

Thanks to a scientific ethics complaint filed first against the NPS in July, 2007, we can see how the Federal policy, rules and regulations have been followed, or not followed. Despite the requirement that all such allegations be investigated, the trail of correspondence shows that the complaint passed through virtually all the layers of NPS administration, then was sent to the NAS. On 3 February 2009, after further allegations of scientific misconduct arose during their investigation, NAS punted the issue to just-appointed Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. He will appoint the new NPS Director. Jon Jarvis, NPS Western regional director, under consideration for the post, is enmeshed in the issue.

The complaint was filed first by Dr. Corey Goodman, an internationally known scientist, NAS member, former Chair of their Life Sciences panel and West Marin resident. He raised the issues at a July 2007 meeting called by Senator Feinstein, who had been asked to intercede in the dispute between NPS and the oyster company by the Marin County Board of Supervisors. Attending were NPS Director Mary Bomar, NPS Western Region Chief Jon Jarvis, Kevin Lunny of Drake’s Bay Oyster Company and local officials as well as legal representation from Department of the Interior. Records and correspondence indicate that Bomar assigned Jarvis to deal with all matters relating to the oyster farm, including complying with Feinstein’s request for an independent scientific evaluation.  A Department of the Interior Inspector General investigation was already underway.

In the nearly two-year period that the Park Service has avoided responding to the specifics of Dr. Goodman’s complaint, the Inspector General and the NAS have released their respective reports. The IG’s 23 July 2008 report limited its coverage of science to procedural scientific misconduct, leaving evaluation of the science itself to the independent scientific investigation requested by Senator Feinstein, yet still took 31 pages to cover the misconduct, from suppression and deliberate misquotes of existing science to exaggerated statements and misrepresentation. The 5 May 2009 NAS report mirrors the IG findings in stating that the NPS “selectively presented, over-interpreted or misrepresented the available scientific information….” but fails to address Dr. Goodman’s allegations, though the NAS itself had asked him to present them at their first public meeting held in Mill Valley in September, 2008. He has also received no response from NPS since Director Bomar notified him, in an e-mail dated 4 January 2008, that she had reassigned the responsibility to Deputy Director Dan Wenk, currently NPS interim director.

Throughout the process, a local environmental lobbying group, the ‘Save Drake’s Bay Coalition,’ has backed the NPS with a veritable Greek chorus of doom for wilderness should the oyster farm be allowed to stay. They’ve abandoned their commitment to science-based decisions and public education to indulge in unsubstantiated scare tactics about undermining wilderness legislation.  In an NPCA Press release attributed to Gordon Bennett of the local Sierra Club, Fred Smith of the West Marin Environmental Action Committee and Neal Desai, a local NPCA staffer, the group claims the NAS report as a victory, much as with the IG report, despite its findings of scientific misconduct. But they sent it out indiscriminately: in a private letter, one nationally prominent environmentalist, scientist and McArthur Fellow whom they had previously tried to enlist in their cause responded with a blistering critique.

“I’m stunned,” he wrote. “You should hang your head in shame for the embarrassment you are causing true environmentalists everywhere. To claim that the NAS report supports the Coalition’s position requires a1984-esque manipulation of the language.” He concluded: “I guess it is politically better to declare victory when handed a clear defeat. After all, the only victim is the truth. This is how the environmental movement, of which I’m a proud part, loses friends and builds enemies.” Perhaps they have passed this letter to NPCA president Tom Kiernan, Sierra Club president Carl Pope and the other national environmental organizations that they have attempted to involve in their jihad against the oyster company, but I doubt it.

Salazar must now filter the spin, not only from environmental community factions but from Director candidate Jarvis and NPS. However, since the NAS referred Dr. Goodman’s complaint to Salazar as head of the responsible agency, federal policy requires that he respond to the specifics.  He must also honor President Obama’s recently stated position on scientific integrity and transparency. Or he could try to duck the issue and allow business as usual at the Department of the Interior, diving into the ethical cesspool left by the previous administration.

One point remains that I hope Salazar will not overlook. He, like Kevin Lunny, comes from a family with a long ranching tradition. Both, in their respective ways, have done much for environmental protection while preserving agriculture and food production.  I feel that if Lunny and Salzar were just to sit down together, they could reach a solution serving both our local needs and national environmental interests.” 

NEWS from the National Academies (POSTED 06-17-09)
Date:  May 5, 2009
Contacts:  Jennifer Walsh, Media Relations Officer
Luwam Yeibio, Media Relations Assistant
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail news@nas.edu 

News Release Found At:
http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=12667

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Current Level of Oyster Farming Unlikely to Have Substantial Impact On Drakes Estero Ecosystem 

“WASHINGTON -- A new report from the National Research Council finds a lack of strong scientific evidence that the present level of oyster farming operations by Drakes Bay Oyster Co. (DBOC) has major adverse effects on the ecosystem of Drakes Estero, a body of water north of San Francisco within Point Reyes National Seashore, which is owned by the National Park Service.  The report adds that the adverse or beneficial effects of oyster farming cannot be fully understood given the existing data and analyses.  Furthermore, the National Park Service report "Drakes Estero: A Sheltered Wilderness Estuary" in some instances selectively presented, overinterpreted, or misrepresented the available scientific information on DBOC operations by exaggerating the negative and overlooking potentially beneficial effects.

In 1976 when a commercial shellfish operation existed in Drakes Estero, Congress designated it as a potential wilderness area.  The Department of the Interior, which oversees NPS, has indicated that the oyster farm now located on Drakes Estero conflicts with full wilderness status, and upon the termination of the farm's lease in 2012, NPS should proceed with converting the area to wilderness.  Recently, various versions of the NPS' Drakes Estero report have stimulated public debate over whether scientific information justifies closing DBOC after the lease expires.  The debate led to the request for a Research Council study to help clarify the environmental issues connected with oyster farming in Drakes Estero and assess the scientific basis for the NPS presentations, reports, revisions, and a clarification document.  The study was not an inquiry into potential scientific misconduct and made no such determinations.

While examining the impacts of oyster farming, the committee that wrote the report affirmed that effects on the estero are derived from two sources: the presence and biological processes of the oysters and the activities of the oyster farmers.  As in other bodies of water, the magnitude and significance of the ecological impacts from oyster farming vary with the intensity of operations.  Oysters filter materials from the water as well as excrete materials that sink to the bottom.  To some extent, the oysters in Drakes Estero replace the filtering and material processing that was lost more than a hundred years ago when the native Olympia oysters were overharvested, but insufficient information is available to know how many oysters and how much biomass existed under these historical baseline conditions.

The committee found that oyster farm activities are likely to have some influence on animal and plant life in the estero.  For example, oyster boats may disturb harbor seals during the breeding season, but a lack of information exists on how disturbances from various sources affect the seals.  Drakes Estero is a significant breeding location for harbor seals – about 20 percent of the mainland California population comes ashore on sandbanks during the season they give birth.  To date, no studies have determined whether seals' short-term responses to disturbances have long-term consequences on the population.  But, if seal behavior during the breeding season is affected, a precautionary approach would minimize disturbances to avoid potential effects on their population, the report says.

The committee also examined the ecological impacts of shellfish farming on eelgrass, fish, and birds in the estero.  Eelgrass beds approximately doubled in area from 1991 to 2007 but are absent directly underneath the oyster culture racks, which represent a small fraction of the total acreage.  Propeller scar damage from DBOC boats also affect the eelgrass, but damaged eelgrass can regenerate quickly, limiting the long-term impacts.  Definitive conclusions about potential effects of oyster farming activities on fish could not be reached, and a study of impacts of oyster bags on shorebirds in an area near Drakes Estero indicated modest effects, some negative and others positive.

Past practices of importing oysters from Japan and other regions resulted in the introduction of several nonnative species, including a parasite that infects oysters.  DBOC's current practices -- in which they import larvae from domestic hatcheries and voluntarily participate in a set of industry guidelines called the High Health Program -- minimize the risk of introducing disease pathogens and external "hitchhiker" species.

Regarding the assessment of scientific information by NPS, the committee found that none of the versions of "Drakes Estero: A Sheltered Wilderness Estuary" achieved a rigorous and balanced synthesis of the impacts from oyster farm operations.  The last document, "National Park Service Clarification of Law, Policy, and Science on Drakes Estero," which was intended to correct and clarify previous statements made by the NPS, provided the agency's most accurate release of science relating to shellfish farming impacts.  The reinterpretations of science prompted by outside criticism appeared to have influenced the NPS decision to prepare and release the Acknowledgment of Corrections and Clarification documents.

In addition, the final NPS clarification document does not fully reflect the conclusions of the Research Council committee in two areas.  First, NPS did not acknowledge the changing ecological baseline of Drakes Estero, where native Olympia oysters probably played an important role in structuring the ecosystem until they were functionally eliminated.  Second, NPS selectively presented harbor seal survey data and overinterpreted the seal disturbance data, which are incomplete and nonrepresentative of the full spectrum of activities that could potentially disturb seals in the area.  The oyster farm's potential negative effects on the harbor seal population represent the most serious concern and cannot be thoroughly evaluated because the effects have not been fully investigated.

The committee emphasized that the decision to extend the lease hinges on the legal interpretation of the legislative mandate rather than on scientific analysis.  As such, more scientific study of DBOC operations and Drakes Estero may not affect National Park Service decisions about the future of oyster farming in the estero.  The ultimate decision to permit or prohibit a particular activity -- such as oyster farming -- in any location requires value judgments and tradeoffs that can be informed, but not resolved, by science, the committee noted.  Similar to other zoning and land-use questions, this issue will be settled by policymakers charged with weighing the conflicting views and priorities of society as part of the decision-making process.

A webcast public briefing on the report's findings and recommendations will take place Thursday, May 7, at 11:30 a.m. PT.  The webcast and an e-mail form to submit questions will be available at http://national-academies.org.

The report was sponsored by the National Park Service.  The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies.  They are independent, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under an 1863 congressional charter.  Committee members, who serve pro bono as volunteers, are chosen by the Academies for each study based on their expertise and experience and must satisfy the Academies' conflict-of-interest standards.  The resulting consensus reports undergo external peer review before completion.  For more information, visit http://national-academies.org/studycommitteprocess.pdf. A committee roster follows.

Copies of Shellfish Mariculture in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California are available from the National Academies Press; tel. 202-334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242 or on the Internet at http://www.nap.edu. Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information (contacts listed above).” 

This news release and report are available at http://national-academies.org

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Division on Earth and Life Studies
Ocean Studies Board

Committee on Best Practices for Shellfish Mariculture and the Effects of Commercial Activities in Drakes Estero, Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Charles H. Peterson (chair)
Alumni Distinguished Professor
Institute of Marine Sciences
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Morehead City

Barry A. Costa-Pierce
Director, Rhode Island Sea Grant College Program
Graduate School of Oceanography
University of Rhode Island
Narragansett

Brett R. Dumbauld
Ecologist
Hatfield Marine Science Center
Agricultural Research Service
Newport, Ore.

Carolyn Friedman
Associate Professor
School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
University of Washington
Seattle

Eileen E. Hofmann, Professor
Department of Oceanography
Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, Va.

Hauke Kite-Powell, Research Specialist
Marine Policy Center
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, Mass.

Donal T. Manahan
Professor of Biological Sciences
College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
University of Southern California
Los Angeles

Francis O'Beirn
Benthos Ecology Team Leader
Marine Institute
Rinville, Oranmore
Galway, Ireland

Robert T. Paine *
Professor Emeritus
Department of Biology
University of Washington
Seattle

Paul Thompson
Professor of Zoology
Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Aberdeen
Cromarty, Scotland

Robert Whitlatch
Professor
Department of Marine Sciences
University of Connecticut
Groton

RESEARCH COUNCIL STAFF
Susan Roberts, Study Director

* Member, National Academy of Sciences

Shellfish Sanitation Workshop at Bodega Marine Laboratory
June 4, 2009
(POSTED 05-08-09)
A shellfish sanitation workshop sponsored by the Western Regional Aquaculture Center, and co-hosted by the California Sea Grant Program and the California Aquaculture Association will be held at the Bodega Marine Laboratory, Bodega Bay California on June 4, 2009 from 9:30 am to about 3:30 pm. There is no registration fee, but pre-registration is required. Workshop shellfish grower participation limited to about 32. There will be a free catered lunch provide.

Workshop presenters include Fred Conte and Abbas Ahmadi, University of California Davis; and Gregg Langlois and Peter Krottje, California Department of Public Health.
Program topics include Aquarius v. 2.0, a new release of a simulation software program designed to evaluate rainfall and water quality related closure regulations in conditionally approved shellfish harvest areas, and based on the NSSP; the California Department of Public Health’s new web site link that provides hourly accumulated rainfall data for California’s shellfish growing areas, which is a cooperative program between the CDPH and UCD.

Also included will be a session discussing shellfish grower research priorities moderated by Paul Olin, Director of the Sea Grant Extension Program and Fred Conte, Board of Directors of the Western Regional Aquaculture Center.

Registration Information: Go to Archives for May for Registration information.

Bodega Marine Laboratory Workshop Follow-up
(POSTED 06-09-09)
The WRAC/Sea Grant/CAA sponsored shellfish sanitation workshop at the BML was a success, with producer representation from Northern and Central California, the California Department of Fish and Game, and private enterprises. In addition to a workshop on the Aquarius 2.0 program, discussions were held on research priorities for the Western Regional Aquaculture Center and the California Sea Grant program. A special afternoon session was conducted to discuss the State water bottom lease structure that will be heard by the Fish and Game Commission at future meetings.

During the Shellfish Sanitation Workshop, draft hard copies of the Aquarius 2.0 Manual of Operations were distributed to the participants. We still have about five copies remaining and are available on a first-serve basis. If you are interested, please send an e-mail to fsconte@ucdavis.edu. Once the hard copies have been distributed, .pdf copies of the draft manual will be available on request. The final draft will be produced in .pdf format in about a month.

Aquarius 2.0 Shellfish Sanitation Simulator and Analytical Software Released (POSTED 05-08-09)
In 2004, Aquarius version 1.0 was presented at the Pacific Rim Shellfish Sanitation Conference in San Francisco. During and following the conference, discussions were held with State and Federal health  service agencies that resulted in a 12 point  “wish list” of improvements to the software so that it could be used as a more refined and accurate assessment tool by the regulatory agencies and industry.

In 2005, the Western Regional Aquaculture Center provided a research grant to complete a multi-year, cooperative effort with state and federal shellfish regulatory agencies to construct a version 2.0 of the Aquarius software. Version 2.0 was completed in late November 2008. The 12 additions to the program were completed, in addition to two additional statistical modules to determine Type II error, Non-parametric testing and two modules to determine adequate sample size. Version 2.0 has been beta-tested by personnel of the California Department of Public Health, Shellfish Sanitation Program, and is now fully operational.

Aquarius v. 2.0 is written in the Visual FoxPro programming language and runs under the Windows operating system. The software consists of three components. The first is the input interface, which consists of rainfall (hourly precipitation over numerous years), fecal coliform samples (three- or five-tube samples), region and closure rules (primary and secondary rules), and dialog boxes by which the user enters all the input data. The second component is the simulation engine, which applies the hypothetical closure rules to the actual rainfall data and actual fecal coliform sampling data, and performs a parametric analysis of the data. The third component is the output interface, which consists of a series of statistical reports that are generated from the output of the simulation engine.

During the creation of Aquarius, two major concepts were revealed. The first was the application of T-test statistics to determine if there were any statistically significant differences between an existing rainfall closure rule and a new hypothetical rule. The second was the identification of the critical period in which water samples must be taken and coliform analysis run to determine if there are significant statistical differences between the existing rule and the hypothetical new rule.

Emerging Issues in the U.S. Organic Industry. (POSTED 06-09-09) USDA ERS has released a report, Emerging Issues in the U.S. Organic Industry, which examines recent economic research on the adoption of organic farming systems, organic production costs and returns, and market conditions.

Abstract: Consumer demand for organic products has widened over the last decade. While new producers have emerged to help meet demand, market participants report that a supply squeeze is constraining growth for both individual firms and the organic sector overall. Partly in response to shortages in organic supply, Congress in 2008 included provisions in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (2008 Farm Act) that, for the first time, provide direct financial support to farmers to convert to organic production. This report examines recent economic research on the adoption of organic farming systems, organic production costs and returns, and market conditions to gain a better understanding of the organic supply squeeze and other emerging issues in this rapidly changing industry.

Reference: Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-55) 36 pp, June 2009
To access the report go to: http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/EIB55/
(Source USDA-CSREES)

MAY 2009

Shellfish Sanitation Workshop at Bodega Marine Laboratory
June 4, 2009
(POSTED 05-08-09)
A shellfish sanitation workshop sponsored by the Western Regional Aquaculture Center, and co-hosted by the California Sea Grant Program and the California Aquaculture Association will be held at the Bodega Marine Laboratory, Bodega Bay California on June 4, 2009 from 9:30 am to about 3:30 pm. There is no registration fee, but pre-registration is required. Workshop shellfish grower participation limited to about 32. There will be a free catered lunch provide.

Workshop presenters include Fred Conte and Abbas Ahmadi, University of California Davis; and Gregg Langlois and Peter Krottje, California Department of Public Health.
Program topics include Aquarius v. 2.0, a new release of a simulation software program designed to evaluate rainfall and water quality related closure regulations in conditionally approved shellfish harvest areas, and based on the NSSP; the California Department of Public Health’s new web site link that provides hourly accumulated rainfall data for California’s shellfish growing areas, which is a cooperative program between the CDPH and UCD.

Also included will be a session discussing shellfish grower research priorities moderated by Paul Olin, Director of the Sea Grant Extension Program and Fred Conte, Board of Directors of the Western Regional Aquaculture Center.

Registration Information:

COMPANY: ___________________________________________________

NAME 1: ______________________ NAME 2: ______________________

ADDITIONAL NAMES IF SPACE IS AVAILABLE:

3: ____________________________ 4. _____________________________

Best Address: _____________________________________

TELEPHONE: __________________

E-MAIL: _______________________

You can respond or inquire by e-mail, or by regular mail at the following:

Fred S. Conte, Ph.D.
Department of Animal Science
University of California Davis
Davis, CA 95616
(530) 752-7689
fsconte@ucdavis.edu

Aquarius 2.0 Shellfish Sanitation Simulator and Analytical Software Released (POSTED 05-08-09)

In 2004, Aquarius version 1.0 was presented at the Pacific Rim Shellfish Sanitation Conference in San Francisco. During and following the conference, discussions were held with State and Federal health  service agencies that resulted in a 12 point  “wish list” of improvements to the software so that it could be used as a more refined and accurate assessment tool by the regulatory agencies and industry.

In 2005, the Western Regional Aquaculture Center provided a research grant to complete a multi-year, cooperative effort with state and federal shellfish regulatory agencies to construct a version 2.0 of the Aquarius software. Version 2.0 was completed in late November 2008. The 12 additions to the program were completed, in addition to two additional statistical modules to determine Type II error, Non-parametric testing and two modules to determine adequate sample size. Version 2.0 has been beta-tested by personnel of the California Department of Public Health, Shellfish Sanitation Program, and is now fully operational.

Aquarius v. 2.0 is written in the Visual FoxPro programming language and runs under the Windows operating system. The software consists of three components. The first is the input interface, which consists of rainfall (hourly precipitation over numerous years), fecal coliform samples (three- or five-tube samples), region and closure rules (primary and secondary rules), and dialog boxes by which the user enters all the input data. The second component is the simulation engine, which applies the hypothetical closure rules to the actual rainfall data and actual fecal coliform sampling data, and performs a parametric analysis of the data. The third component is the output interface, which consists of a series of statistical reports that are generated from the output of the simulation engine.

During the creation of Aquarius, two major concepts were revealed. The first was the application of T-test statistics to determine if there were any statistically significant differences between an existing rainfall closure rule and a new hypothetical rule. The second was the identification of the critical period in which water samples must be taken and coliform analysis run to determine if there are significant statistical differences between the existing rule and the hypothetical new rule.

Publications Section Off-line Indefinitely (POSTED 05-22-09)
Many of you may have noticed that the publication section of the California Aquaculture Website has been off-line for several months. Although we have not experienced successful computer hacking of the departmental servers, which our server is linked, the University and the Department has been under a number of assaults by hackers. To protect the systems, our IT personnel have been installing safeguards and other programs to prevent successful assaults on the computer systems. This requires that our publication search program be made compatible with the new security systems. To date, the final designs of the security systems have not been established, which prevents us from reinitiating the publications section of the California Aquaculture website. As soon as the IT personnel have secured the Departmental system, we will be able to reestablish the publication section of the website. We apologize for the inconvenience.   

APRIL 2009

Pacific Rim Shellfish Sanitation Conference Olympia, WA
April 7-9, 2009
(POSTED 02-10-09)
(One of the best PacRim Meetings)
The Pacific Rim Shellfish Sanitation Association held the 2009 Pac Rim Annual Conference at the Phoenix Inn in Olympia, Washington. The program will include sessions on:

- Biotoxins session including field based detection methods; Water quality including discussions on viral risks, water quality evaluation methods; a successful water quality restoration projects; a retail food study  by FDA; The latest research on V.p.
;
Aquarius version 2.0;
and discussions on proposed changes to the ISSC Model Ordinance to prepare for the  2009 ISSC in October.

The hotel room rate at the Phoenix Inn $98.00 per night for a King or $119 per night for a Queen Double. This small hotel is very nice and is conveniently located near good restaurants and Olympia’s waterfront.  Reservations may be made by calling (360) 570-0555 or (877) 570-0555.  To guarantee this Pac Rim conference rate, mention “PAC RIM” and reserve your room by March 6, 2009.

Enclosed is the registration form.  The registration fee is $90 if paid by March 6, 2009, and $110 after that date.  The fee includes admittance to all sessions; morning coffee service, afternoon refreshments and the evening reception on Wednesday, April 8th.  Reduced rates are available if you want to attend for just one day.

Please call Bob Woolrich, Conference Chair at (360) 236-3329 should you have any questions, or to receive a registration form. It was a great meeting, and now you have to wait until next year.

MARCH 2009       

Implementation of COOL Law Announced
(POSTED 03-09-09)

US - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that the final rule for the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) program will go into effect as scheduled on 16 March.

He also released a letter inviting stakeholders to follow additional voluntary labeling practices. The rule, published in the Federal Register on 15 January 2009, has been under regulatory review by USDA pursuant to a 20 January 2009, memorandum from the President’s Chief of Staff.

"I strongly support Country of Origin labeling – it’s a critical step toward providing consumers with additional information about the origin of their food," said Vilsack. “The Department of Agriculture will be closely reviewing industry compliance with the rule and will evaluate the practicality of the suggestions for voluntary action in my letter.”

During the regulatory review process, Secretary Vilsack determined that allowing the rule to go into effect and carefully monitoring implementation and compliance by retailers and their suppliers would provide the best avenue to evaluate the program. This evaluation period will inform the Secretary’s consideration of whether additional rulemaking may be necessary to provide consumers with adequate information.

The COOL regulation requires country of origin labeling for muscle cuts and ground beef (including veal), pork, lamb, goat, and chicken; wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; peanuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, and ginseng sold by designated retailers. These commodities must be labeled at retail to indicate the country of origin.

The final rule outlines requirements for labeling covered commodities and the recordkeeping requirements for retailers and suppliers. The rule prescribes specific criteria that must be met for a commodity to bear a "United States Country of Origin" declaration. The rule also contains provisions for labeling covered commodities of foreign origin. (Source CSREES)


Pacific Rim Shellfish Sanitation Conference Olympia, WA, April 7-9, 2009
(POSTED 02-10-02)

The Pacific Rim Shellfish Sanitation Association will hold the 2009 Pac Rim Annual Conference at the Phoenix Inn in Olympia, Washington. The program will include sessions on:

- Biotoxins session including field based detection methods; Water quality including discussions on viral risks, water quality evaluation methods; a successful water quality restoration projects; a retail food study  by FDA; The latest research on V.p.
;
Aquarius version 2.0;
and discussions on proposed changes to the ISSC Model Ordinance to prepare for the  2009 ISSC in October.

The hotel room rate at the Phoenix Inn $98.00 per night for a King or $119 per night for a Queen Double. This small hotel is very nice and is conveniently located near good restaurants and Olympia’s waterfront.  Reservations may be made by calling (360) 570-0555 or (877) 570-0555.  To guarantee this Pac Rim conference rate, mention “PAC RIM” and reserve your room by March 6, 2009.

Enclosed is the registration form.  The registration fee is $90 if paid by March 6, 2009, and $110 after that date.  The fee includes admittance to all sessions; morning coffee service, afternoon refreshments and the evening reception on Wednesday, April 8th.  Reduced rates are available if you want to attend for just one day.

Please call Bob Woolrich, Conference Chair at (360) 236-3329 should you have any questions, or to receive a registration form.

Shellfish Growers Conference Union, WA
March 2-3, 2009
(POSTED 02-10-02)

The 17th Conference of the Shellfish Growers will be held at the Alderbrook Resort & Spa in Union Washington. This years conference will focus on shellfish and marine vegetation issues and feature presentations on natural shellfish resources, culture and harvest techniques.

A special session will showcase Aquarius 2.0, the new version of the computer software used to evaluate closure rules for the shellfish industry by simulating a series of hypothetical scenarios for various changes within a growing area.

For hotel reservations call 360-898.2145. For registration and program information, e-mail  Teri King guatemal@washington.edu


FEBRUARY 2009

Shellfish Growers Conference Union, WA
March 2-3, 2009
(POSTED 02-10-02)

The 17th Conference of the Shellfish Growers will be held at the Alderbrook Resort & Spa in Union Washington. This years conference will focus on shellfish and marine vegetation issues and feature presentations on natural shellfish resources, culture and harvest techniques.

A special session will showcase Aquarius 2.0, the new version of the computer software used to evaluate closure rules for the shellfish industry by simulating a series of hypothetical scenarios for various changes within a growing area.

For hotel reservations call 360-898.2145. For registration and program information, e-mail  Teri King guatemal@washington.edu

Pacific Rim Shellfish Sanitation Conference Olympia, WA
April 7-9, 2009
(POSTED 02-10-02)

The Pacific Rim Shellfish Sanitation Association will hold the 2009 Pac Rim Annual Conference at the Phoenix Inn in Olympia, Washington. The program will include sessions on:

- Biotoxins session including field based detection methods; Water quality including discussions on viral risks, water quality evaluation methods; a successful water quality restoration projects; a retail food study  by FDA; The latest research on V.p.
;
Aquarius version 2.0;
and discussions on proposed changes to the ISSC Model Ordinance to prepare for the  2009 ISSC in October.

The hotel room rate at the Phoenix Inn $98.00 per night for a King or $119 per night for a Queen Double. This small hotel is very nice and is conveniently located near good restaurants and Olympia’s waterfront.  Reservations may be made by calling (360) 570-0555 or (877) 570-0555.  To guarantee this Pac Rim conference rate, mention “PAC RIM” and reserve your room by March 6, 2009.

Enclosed is the registration form.  The registration fee is $90 if paid by March 6, 2009, and $110 after that date.  The fee includes admittance to all sessions; morning coffee service, afternoon refreshments and the evening reception on Wednesday, April 8th.  Reduced rates are available if you want to attend for just one day.

Please call Bob Woolrich, Conference Chair at (360) 236-3329 should you have any questions, or to receive a registration form.

AQUACULTURE AMERICA 09 (POSTED 12-03-08)
Aquaculture America 09 will be held in Seattle Washington February 15 - 18th.
For additional information and registration details, go to link:
https://www.was.org/WasMeetings/meetings/Default.aspx?code=AA2009


JANUARY 2009

North American Chapter of World Sturgeon Conservation Society (POSTED 12-30-08)
 
The World Sturgeon Conservation Society (WSCS) is proud to announce the North American Chapter (NAC) of the WSCS officially being launched at the American Fisheries Society Meetings in Ottawa, 2008. The objectives of the NAC are identical to those of the WSCS except the focus will be on North American populations. One of the first priorities of the NAC will be to create a formal network to facilitate communication between North American Sturgeon researchers, biologists, and managers. The WSCS NAC  will also promote other member services including regular (annual/biannual) meetings, and hosting the 7th International Symposium on Sturgeon in North America in 2013. NAC members will automatically become members of the WSCS and experience all the benefits offered by the parent society. This chapter will provide North America with a stronger, coordinated voice when dealing with issues pertaining to the preservation and restoration of North American Sturgeon populations.

Further information on the World Sturgeon Conservation Society an be obtained from: www.wscs.info

World Wildlife FUND to HELP fund creation of aquaculture stewardship council (POSTED 12-30-08)
New Entity Will Manage Sustainable Seafood Farming Standards Under Development by the Aquaculture Dialogues

WASHINGTON, DC – Global standards for responsible seafood farming, which are under development by the Aquaculture Dialogue roundtables, will be managed by a new entity to be co-founded by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The new Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) will be responsible for hiring independent, third party auditors to certify farms that are in compliance with the standards. WWF is fully funding the business development phase for the ASC and the business strategy for this new venture, which is expected to be in operation within two years. WWF also will help fund the implementation of the strategy.

More than 2,000 farmers, conservationists, government officials and others participate in the open Aquaculture Dialogue meetings – making this the world’s most inclusive and transparent process for creating measurable, performance-based standards for aquaculture. WWF, which coordinates the Dialogues, is one of the stakeholder groups engaged in the process.

“This is an unprecedented effort to ensure that future aquaculture is environmentally sustainable, and well-positioned to meet the growing demand for seafood worldwide,” said WWF-International Director General James P. Leape. “These new standards will raise the bar in the industry, giving consumers assurance that their food purchases are good for the environment.”

Added WWF-US President Carter Roberts, “This investment aligns perfectly with WWF’s goal of protecting the world’s oceans and coastal habitats while providing innovative paths for feeding the world more efficiently and sustainably. With a credible entity in place for certifying farmed seafood, the seafood industry can continue to grow but in a way that is environmentally responsible.”

Over the next year, draft standards for minimizing the key environmental and social impacts associated with aquaculture will be completed for 11 aquaculture species that have the greatest impact on the environment, highest market value and/or the heaviest trading in the global market. They are salmon, shrimp, trout, pangasius, abalone, mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, cobia and Seriola. Draft standards for tilapia were posted for public comment in September 2008 and final standards for tilapia are expected to be completed this spring.

A key component of the ASC business strategy will be following the International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labeling (ISEAL) Alliance’s guidelines for certification programs – the world’s most reputable guidelines for addressing social and environmental issues. None of the existing aquaculture certification schemes have governance structures that are in compliance with ISEAL. The Marine Stewardship Council and Forestry Stewardship Council, also co-founded by WWF, are ISEAL compliant.

For more than 45 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The largest multinational conservation organization in the world, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level, from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature. Go to worldwildlife.org to learn more.

For more information about the Aquaculture Dialogues, go to www.worldwildlife.org/aquadialogues

(Source: USDA-CSREES)

DECEMBER 2008

AQUACULTURE AMERICA 09 (POSTED 12-03-08)
Aquaculture America 09 will be held in Seattle Washington February 15 - 18th.
For additional information and registration details, go to link:
https://www.was.org/WasMeetings/meetings/Default.aspx?code=AA2009

PRODUCTION FIGURES FOR U.S. TROUT AND CATFISH PRODUCTION (posted: 11-22-08).
usda,
Economic Research Service has posted the most recent figures for trout and channel catfish production in the United States. These data can be accessed at: http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/Aquaculture/

NOVEMBER 2008

National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) INPUT ON the use of fish feed and open net pens; AND organic aquaculture standards for bivalves. (posted: 09-25-08)
NOSB will receive recommendations from the Livestock Committee  on the use of fish feed and open net pens in regards to the development of organic aquaculture standards for finfish, and will also present recommendations in regards to development of organic standards for bivalves. 

MEETING DATES:
Monday, November 17, 2008, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and
Wednesday, November 19, 2008, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

ADDRESS:
Savoy Suites Hotel, 2505 Wisconsin Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20007.

Requests from individuals and organizations wishing to make oral presentations at the meeting are due by the close of business on November 3, 2008.

The NOSB meeting agenda and proposed recommendations may also be viewed at http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop.

Comments on proposed NOSB recommendations may be submitted by November 3, 2008 in writing to Ms. Frances at either the postal address above or via the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov only.

The comments should identify Docket No. AMS-AMS-08-0083.

It is their intention to have all comments to this notice whether they are submitted by mail or the Internet available for viewing on the website http://www.regulations.gov

Requests to make an oral presentation at the meeting may also be sent by November 3, 2008 to Ms. Valerie Frances at the postal address above, by e-mail at valerie.frances@usda.gov, via facsimile at(202) 205-7808, or phone at (202) 720-3252.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Valerie Frances, Executive Director, NOSB, National Organic Program (NOP), (202) 720-3252, or visit the NOP Web site at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop

Recirculating Aquaculture Technology Workshop
(posted: 11-22-08)
For those of you that want top quality information on recirculation systems and are willing to do a bit of travel, North Carolina State University will be conducting a Recirculating Aquaculture Technology Short Course in Raleigh, NC. The two day workshop will be held on Friday, December. 05, 2008 through Saturday, December 06, 2008. The activities will be held at the NCSU, Lake Wheeler Field Laboratories, 3720 Lake Wheeler Rd.

For online registration and information, please see the link at:
www.ncaquaculture.org

Please note that USDA ERS has released its latest data on domestically grown catfish and trout and U.S. imports and exports of fish and shellfish.

PRODUCTION FIGURES FOR U.S. TROUT AND CATFISH PRODUCTION (posted: 11-22-08).
usda,
Economic Research Service has posted the most recent figures for trout and channel catfish production in the United States. These data can be accessed at: http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/Aquaculture/

OCTOBER 2008

National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) INPUT ON the use of fish feed and open net pens; AND organic aquaculture standards for bivalves.
(posted: 09-25-08)
NOSB will receive recommendations from the Livestock Committee  on the use of fish feed and open net pens in regards to the development of organic aquaculture standards for finfish, and will also present recommendations in regards to development of organic standards for bivalves. 

MEETING DATES:
Monday, November 17, 2008, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and
Wednesday, November 19, 2008, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

ADDRESS:
Savoy Suites Hotel, 2505 Wisconsin Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20007.

Requests from individuals and organizations wishing to make oral presentations at the meeting are due by the close of business on November 3, 2008.

The NOSB meeting agenda and proposed recommendations may also be viewed at http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop.

Comments on proposed NOSB recommendations may be submitted by November 3, 2008 in writing to Ms. Frances at either the postal address above or via the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov only.

The comments should identify Docket No. AMS-AMS-08-0083.

It is their intention to have all comments to this notice whether they are submitted by mail or the Internet available for viewing on the website http://www.regulations.gov

Requests to make an oral presentation at the meeting may also be sent by November 3, 2008 to Ms. Valerie Frances at the postal address above, by e-mail at valerie.frances@usda.gov, via facsimile at(202) 205-7808, or phone at (202) 720-3252.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Valerie Frances, Executive Director, NOSB, National Organic Program (NOP), (202) 720-3252, or visit the NOP Web site at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop

SEPTEMBER 2008

National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) INPUT ON the use of fish feed and open net pens; AND organic aquaculture standards for bivalves. (posted: 09-25-08)
NOSB will receive recommendations from the Livestock Committee  on the use of fish feed and open net pens in regards to the development of organic aquaculture standards for finfish, and will also present recommendations in regards to development of organic standards for bivalves. 

MEETING DATES:
Monday, November 17, 2008, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and
Wednesday, November 19, 2008, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

ADDRESS:
Savoy Suites Hotel, 2505 Wisconsin Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20007.

Requests from individuals and organizations wishing to make oral presentations at the meeting are due by the close of business on November 3, 2008.

The NOSB meeting agenda and proposed recommendations may also be viewed at http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop.

Comments on proposed NOSB recommendations may be submitted by November 3, 2008 in writing to Ms. Frances at either the postal address above or via the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov only.

The comments should identify Docket No. AMS-AMS-08-0083.

It is their intention to have all comments to this notice whether they are submitted by mail or the Internet available for viewing on the website http://www.regulations.gov

Requests to make an oral presentation at the meeting may also be sent by November 3, 2008 to Ms. Valerie Frances at the postal address above, by e-mail at valerie.frances@usda.gov, via facsimile at(202) 205-7808, or phone at (202) 720-3252.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Valerie Frances, Executive Director, NOSB, National Organic Program (NOP), (202) 720-3252, or visit the NOP Web site at: http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop

Farm-Raised Fish included in New USDA Supplemental Agriculture Disaster Assistance Program. (POSTED 09-09-08)
On June 18, 2008, the 2008 Farm Bill was enacted into Public Law 110-246.  In the process, five new disaster programs were developed, referred to as Supplemental Agriculture Disaster Assistance programs.  These are: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-Raised Fish (ELAP), Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), Livestock Indemnity Program* (LIP), Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) Program, and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP).  The US Department of Agriculture has produced a Fact Sheet, which states:

“To be eligible for these programs, producers must purchase at least catastrophic risk protection (CAT) level of crop insurance for all insurable crops and/or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage for non-insurable crops. Therefore, for the 2008 crop year only, producers who were eligible to obtain at least CAT level crop insurance or NAP, but did not, can “buy-in” to be eligible to participate in the applicable Supplemental Agriculture Disaster Assistance programs by paying the administrative fee that would have been applicable if the producer had timely applied for CAT or NAP.”

Those that wish to be eligible for these programs in 2008 must meet the buy-in deadline of September 16, 2008.

For more information about these programs and a more complete explanation of buy-in fees, see the Fact Sheet at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/buyinwaiver08.pdf

Chloramine-T for Control of Bacterial Gill Disease in Freshwater-Reared Salmonids (Posted 09-09-08)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the  availability of effectiveness and target animal safety data that may be  used in support of a new animal drug application (NADA) or supplemental  NADA for use of chloramine-T by immersion for the control of mortality  in freshwater-reared salmonids due to bacterial gill disease. The data,  contained in Public Master File (PMF) 5893, were compiled by the U.S.  Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Aquatic  Animal Drug Approval Partnership Program.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Donald A. Prater, Center for  Veterinary Medicine (HFV-130), Food and Drug Administration, 7500  Standish Pl., Rockville, MD 20855, 240-276-8343, e-mail:  donald.prater@fda.hhs.gov.

62 Annual Shellfish Growers Conference (POSTED 08-28-08)
This is an early posting for the 62 Annual Shellfish Growers Conference to be held at Campbell's Resort in Chelan Washington from September 30 through October 3, 2008. For detailed information and to register on line, go to the PCSGA website at http://www.pcsga.org/.

FDA Publishes Final Rule in Federal Registry on New Animal Drugs For Use in Animal Feeds for Oxytetracycline
.
(Posted 08-10-08)
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is amending the animal drug registration to reflect approval of a supplemental new animal drug application (NADA) filed by Phibro Animal Health. The supplemental NADA provides for use of oxytetracycline dihydrate in Type C medicated feeds for the control of mortality of freshwater-reared salmonids due to coldwater disease and for the control of mortalities in freshwater-reared Oncorhynchus mykiss due to columnaris disease. The full text may be seen at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/E8-18129.htm . For farther information, Donald A Prater, Center for Veterinary Medicine, FDA at donald.prater@fda.hhs.gov .


MEETINGS

62 Annual Shellfish Growers Conference (POSTED 09-01-08)
This is an early posting for the 62 Annual Shellfish Growers Conference to be held at Campbell's Resort in Chelan Washington from September 30 through October 3, 2008. For detailed information and to register on line, go to the PCSGA website at http://www.pcsga.org/.

AUGUST 2008

FDA Publishes Final Rule in Federal Registry on New Animal Drugs For Use in Animal Feeds for Oxytetracycline. (Posted 08-10-08)
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is amending the animal drug registration to reflect approval of a supplemental new animal drug application (NADA) filed by Phibro Animal Health. The supplemental NADA provides for use of oxytetracycline dihydrate in Type C medicated feeds for the control of mortality of freshwater-reared salmonids due to coldwater disease and for the control of mortalities in freshwater-reared Oncorhynchus mykiss due to columnaris disease. The full text may be seen at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/E8-18129.htm . For farther information, Donald A Prater, Center for Veterinary Medicine, FDA at donald.prater@fda.hhs.gov .

JULY 2008

CONTE ON SABBATICAL (Posted 01-01-08))
I will be taking a sabbatical to work on selected special projects, beginning January 2, 2008 through December 2008. My special projects are posted under December 2007 in the Archives. The following is how to obtain aquaculture assistance while I am on sabbatical.


How to Obtain Aquaculture Assistance After January 1, 2008

During my sabbatical most of my attention will be on the sabbatical’s objectives. Request for assistance with aquaculture will be redirected to the Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture (CABA) located on the U.C. Davis campus. The CABA program has a number of aquaculture-affiliated faculty that can answer questions, or direct the request to an appropriate source of information. The CABA office management and faculty can also recommend specific sections of the California Aquaculture website that are designed to provide aquaculture assistance. The contact information for CABA is as follows:

Center for Aquatic Biology & Aquaculture (CABA)
(Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 8 am-noon)
3032 Bainer Hall
University of California

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
Phone: 530-752-7601

While on sabbatical
I will be checking my e-mail on a regular basis, but will respond to request for assistance about once a week, or redirect the request to another appropriate source.

Fred Conte

MEETINGS

WATER REUSE FOR INTENSIVE FISH CULTURE
July 28th - August 1, 2008, Shepherdstown, WV  USA
A four and a half day course presented by The Conservation Fund Freshwater Institute, which will cover the fundamentals of design and management of water reuse systems applicable for production aquaculture. Lectures will be held at the USFWS, National Conservation Training Center, and laboratory sessions at The Freshwater Institute. Curriculum will cover carrying capacities, culture tank design, solids control, ozonation and UV, design case studies, partial reuse and full-recycle systems gas conditioning, biofiltration, fish health and biosecurity, and system management. Registration deadline is June 6, 2008 (limited enrollment). Tuition $750 ($850 after June 6). Please visit http://www.conservationfund.org/node/665 . For more information contact: Margarita Carey (304) 867-7924 or mcarey@conservationfund.org .


JUNE 2008

FDA Approval of New Animal Drugs for Minor Uses and for Minor Species (Posted June 7, 2008)

The following announcement from USDA was released in May, but should be reviewed.. It concerns new USFDA regulations on drugs. These regulations will affect drug use in aquaculture.

The full document, Guidance for Industry- FDA Approval of New Animal Drugs for Minor Uses and for Minor Species (82 pg) is available at http://www.fda.gov/cvm/Guidance/minorgde.pdf.

This new Guidance Document supersedes GUIDELINE 26, "Guidelines for the Preparation of Data to Satisfy the Requirements of Section 512 of the Act Regarding Minor Use of Animal Drugs." This version of the guidance replaces the version that was made available on April 15, 1999. This document has been revised to update the contact information, Part 1- Section XI (Other Guides), and minor formatting changes.

For questions regarding this document, contact Meg Oeller, Center for Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration, Office of Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Drug Development, HFV-50, 7500 Standish Place, Rockville, MD 20855, 240-276-9005, email: margaret.oeller@fda.hhs.gov.

Additional or updated copies of this guidance document may be requested from the Communications Staff (HFV-12), Center for Veterinary Medicine, 7519 Standish Place, Rockville, MD 20855 and may be viewed on the internet at http://www.fda.gov/cvm.

Rerlease U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine May, 2008.

FARM BILL 2008 (Posted June 7, 2008)

Want to look at the 2008 Farm Bill? Go to the following link.

http://agriculture.house.gov/inside/FarmBill.html

 

MAY 2008

LOOK FOR, OR ADVERTISING, FOR A POSITION IN THE AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY? (Posted 04-13-08)

We have added a link under LINKS, COMMERCIAL LINKS that will assist you with aquaculture employment. AquacultureConnections.com is an international career center resource for the aquaculture industry. It has daily additions of new jobs and employer profiles, as well as updated industry news

The site seeks to provide career services to all the professionals affiliated with the aquaculture industry including farm managers, biologists, sales professionals, as well as government employees. Go to California Aquacultures link page and see the listing under Commercial Aquaculture Links - Services & Consulting.
 

APRIL 2008

Western Regional Aquaculture Center Seeks Committee Nominations

(Posted 04-03-08)

The Western Regional Aquaculture Center (WRAC) is currently soliciting nominations for individuals to serve as representatives on the Industry Advisory Council (IAC) and as members of the Technical Committee’s (TC) Research Subcommittee. Nominations are invited from all sectors of the aquaculture community in the twelve states of the western region.

INDUSTRY ADVISORY COUNCIL (You may nominate more than one individual)
The IAC provides input regarding the needs and priorities of the regional aquaculture industry with respect to the research, extension, and development programs of WRAC. Members are selected from all sectors of the aquaculture industry, including finfish and shellfish producers, suppliers of goods and services, and marketing and distribution personnel.

TECHNICAL COMMITTEE/RESEARCH SUBCOMMITTEE (You may nominate more than one individual). The Technical Committee provides input to the Board of Directors regarding regional research and extension needs and priorities, development and assessment of new projects, and evaluation of ongoing projects. Individuals with extensive scientific expertise in any of the following disciplines are desired:

General fish culture    General shellfish culture       Water Quality

Fish nutrition              Shellfish nutrition                 Diseases of fish

Diseases of shellfish   Broodstock management      Genetics

Engineering                Physiology                          Reproduction

Marketing                   Product quality/preservation  Economics

To submit a nomination, provide the information requested on the form below, identifying whether the nomination is for the Technical Committee or Industry Advisory Council, and specifying the nominee’s area of expertise. Please either enclose or arrange for a short curriculum vitae to be sent to the address below. Include your contact details in case further information is needed. Forward the information via:

 e-mail: dgranger@u.washington.edu

 mail:    Debbie Granger
            Program Manager, WRAC
            School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
            University of Washington, Box 355020
            Seattle, WA  98195-5020

If you have questions regarding the nomination process, contact Debbie Granger via
phone (206/685-2479) or e-mail: dgranger@u.washington.edu

THE DEADLINE FOR NOMINATIONS IS Tuesday, April 29, 2007.

Western Regional Aquaculture Center Committee Nomination Format

               ____Technical Committee                     ____ Industry Advisory Council

Name of Nominee:________________________________________________________

Address:________________________________________________________________

 Phone:______________________________ E-mail:_____________________

 Area(s) of expertise/discipline:______________________________________ 

Your Name:___________________________

Phone:_______________  E-mail:_______________

Please either include a short curriculum vitae for each nominee, or arrange for one to be sent to Debbie Granger at the contact information listed above.

INDUSTRY INPUT INTO USDA RESEARCH PROGRAMS
(Posted 03-15-08)

This is your opportunity to provide input into USDA's Stakeholders Meeting to Set 5-Year Research Priorities in person, or in written form.


On April 15-16th, USDA ARS and CSREES will be convening their aquaculture program planning workshop in Kansas City, Missouri to acquire stakeholder input to guide their aquaculture program development. The success of this workshop is dependent on strong representation from private industry and others with first-hand knowledge of critical constraints and problems. USDA urges you to register if you haven’t already. A block of discounted rooms will be held for attendees of this workshop until March 31. For more insights on the program, please refer to the draft agenda below. At this time, USDA can accommodate more attendees on a first-come basis until we reach their limit on attendees based on conference budget constraints. If you want to register and attend, contact Rosemary Callahan at 301-504-4873 (rosemary.callahan@ars.usda.gov) as soon as possible. Hotel conference is Aquaculture Program Planning Workshop, Airport Hilton Hotel, Kansas City, Missouri.

For persons unable to attend this workshop, USDA still seeks your knowledge and input. They encourage you to record your comments on critical opportunities and problems by completing a Stakeholder Input Form (Below after agenda) and returning it as directed by April 10. Your written input will be acknowledged, in addition to the output from the workshop in developing the strategic plans for our aquaculture portfolios.

WORKSHOP AGENDA

Tuesday April 15, 2008
Introductions
Presentations from ARS AND CSREES
Retrospective Review Panel Presentation

Plenary Address : Mr. Chip Morgan, Delta Council
Break Out Sessions I (2.5 hours)
Report out

Wednesday April 16, 2008
Plenary Address : Mr. George Williams, Darden Restaurants
Break Out Sessions II (2.5 hours)
Report out
Break Out Sessions III (2.5 hours)
Report out
Summarize

Thursday April 17, 2008
USDA sessions
Separate ARS-CSREES meetings (ARS Action Plan sketch session)
Discussion of Priorities and Linkages (ARS and CSREES)
Adjourn by 2:00pm

Break Out Sessions I
By Species/commodity
1. Salmonids-
2. Catfish-
3. Crustaceans-Shrimp, crawfish
4. Bivalves-(oysters, mussels, clams)
5. Non-salmonid marine fish-
6. Percids (tilapia, striped bass, yellow perch) -
7. Non-food fish-

Break Out Sessions II
By Discipline
8. Genetics/Genomics
9. Physiology (Reproduction, Growth and Stress)
10. Production Systems -
11Aquatic Animal Health-
12. Nutrition and Feeds-
13 Aquaculture Products-

Break Out Sessions III
Emerging Issues
14. Biosecurity
15. Water availability and Use-
16. Larval feeds-
17. Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Measures-
18. Aquatic Animal Welfare-
19. New aquatic species and consumer products
20. Aquatic Foods Consumption and Human Health Benefits

STAKEHOLDER RESPONSE FORM

If you cannot attend the USDA ARS/CSREES Aquaculture Program Planning Workshop for stakeholders on April 15 and 16, 2008 in Kansas City, MO, please provide your written input no later than April 10.

 If you cannot attend the workshop, we still wish to record your input. Please complete and return this Stakeholder Response Form to suggest priority research needs, technology transfer mechanisms, and opportunities and benefits for integrated research-extension approaches for any or all breakout sessions in the workshop program. Please refer to the Break Out Sessions/Topic listing below.

Break Out Sessions/Topics

Break Out Sessions I

By Species/commodity

Break Out Sessions II

By Discipline

Break Out Sessions III

Emerging Issues

1. Salmonids-   

8. Genetics/Genomics

14. Biosecurity

2. Catfish-

9. Physiology (Reproduction, Growth and Stress)

15. Water availability and Use-

3. Crustaceans-Shrimp, crawfish      

10. Production Systems -

16.  Larval feeds-

4. Bivalves-(oysters, mussels, clams)

11. Aquatic Animal Health-                         

17. Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Measures-

5. Non-salmonid marine fish-            

12. Nutrition and Feeds-

18. Aquatic Animal Welfare-

6. Percids (tilapia, striped bass, yellow perch) -

13. Aquaculture Products-

19. New aquatic species and consumer products

7. Non-food fish-

 

20. Aquatic Foods Consumption and Human Health Benefits

Please provide your input below and return the completed form by fax or email it to Rosemary Callahan at 301-504-4873 (rosemary.callahan@ars.usda.gov) no later than April 10.

Name:
Title:
Company, Organization, or University:


Email and/or telephone:

Opportunities/Problems

Please indicate species/ discipline using attached break out session agenda

Opportunities/Problems

Approach to address Opportunities/Problems

Expected outcomes (numeric if appropriate; e.g. 30% improvement)

Tech Transfer/Extension/Integrated Research Needs

Thank you for your attention and assistance (Jeff Silverstein and Gary Jensen, USDA)

MEETINGS

USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) & Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) Announces Stakeholders Meeting to Set 5-Year Research Priorities (see January Archives For Details)
ARS and CSREES announce the 2008 Aquaculture Program Planning Workshop focusing on research, technology transfer, integrated research-extension programs, and linkages with key partners. The workshop will be held in Kansas City, Missouri, from April 15-16th, 2008, for stakeholder input and interactions; April 17, 2008 will be the USDA post-workshop session devoted to action plan development.

Pacific Rim Shellfish Sanitation Conference (PacRim) to be Held in San Diego, CA April 22nd, 23rd and ˝ day on the 24th.
(Posted 03-01-08)

Location: Hacienda Hotel in Old Town San Diego, CA
Cost: Registration is $120, includes entrance for 1 to the reception on
the first night
Hotel Cost: $125/night
Additional Information, Contact:
robindowney@pcsga.org

MARCH 2008

INDUSTRY INPUT INTO USDA RESEARCH PROGRAMS
(Posted 03-15-08)

This is your opportunity to provide input into USDAs Stakeholders Meeting to Set 5-Year Research Priorities in person, or in written form.


On April 15-16th, USDA ARS and CSREES will be convening their aquaculture program planning workshop in Kansas City, Missouri to acquire stakeholder input to guide their aquaculture program development. The success of this workshop is dependent on strong representation from private industry and others with first-hand knowledge of critical constraints and problems. USDA urges you to register if you haven’t already. A block of discounted rooms will be held for attendees of this workshop until March 31. For more insights on the program, please refer to the draft agenda below. At this time, USDA can accommodate more attendees on a first-come basis until we reach their limit on attendees based on conference budget constraints. If you want to register and attend, contact Rosemary Callahan at 301-504-4873 (rosemary.callahan@ars.usda.gov) as soon as possible. Hotel conference is Aquaculture Program Planning Workshop, Airport Hilton Hotel, Kansas City, Missouri.

For persons unable to attend this workshop, USDA still seeks your knowledge and input. They encourage you to record your comments on critical opportunities and problems by completing a Stakeholder Input Form (Below after agenda) and returning it as directed by April 10. Your written input will be acknowledged, in addition to the output from the workshop in developing the strategic plans for our aquaculture portfolios.

WORKSHOP AGENDA

Tuesday April 15, 2008
Introductions
Presentations from ARS AND CSREES
Retrospective Review Panel Presentation

Plenary Address : Mr. Chip Morgan, Delta Council
Break Out Sessions I (2.5 hours)
Report out

Wednesday April 16, 2008
Plenary Address : Mr. George Williams, Darden Restaurants
Break Out Sessions II (2.5 hours)
Report out
Break Out Sessions III (2.5 hours)
Report out
Summarize

Thursday April 17, 2008
USDA sessions
Separate ARS-CSREES meetings (ARS Action Plan sketch session)
Discussion of Priorities and Linkages (ARS and CSREES)
Adjourn by 2:00pm

Break Out Sessions I
By Species/commodity
1. Salmonids-
2. Catfish-
3. Crustaceans-Shrimp, crawfish
4. Bivalves-(oysters, mussels, clams)
5. Non-salmonid marine fish-
6. Percids (tilapia, striped bass, yellow perch) -
7. Non-food fish-

Break Out Sessions II
By Discipline
8. Genetics/Genomics
9. Physiology (Reproduction, Growth and Stress)
10. Production Systems -
11Aquatic Animal Health-
12. Nutrition and Feeds-
13 Aquaculture Products-

Break Out Sessions III
Emerging Issues
14. Biosecurity
15. Water availability and Use-
16. Larval feeds-
17. Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Measures-
18. Aquatic Animal Welfare-
19. New aquatic species and consumer products
20. Aquatic Foods Consumption and Human Health Benefits

STAKEHOLDER RESPONSE FORM

If you cannot attend the USDA ARS/CSREES Aquaculture Program Planning Workshop for stakeholders on April 15 and 16, 2008 in Kansas City, MO, please provide your written input no later than April 10.

 If you cannot attend the workshop, we still wish to record your input. Please complete and return this Stakeholder Response Form to suggest priority research needs, technology transfer mechanisms, and opportunities and benefits for integrated research-extension approaches for any or all breakout sessions in the workshop program. Please refer to the Break Out Sessions/Topic listing below.

Break Out Sessions/Topics

Break Out Sessions I

By Species/commodity

Break Out Sessions II

By Discipline

Break Out Sessions III

Emerging Issues

1. Salmonids-   

8. Genetics/Genomics

14. Biosecurity

2. Catfish-

9. Physiology (Reproduction, Growth and Stress)

15. Water availability and Use-

3. Crustaceans-Shrimp, crawfish      

10. Production Systems -

16.  Larval feeds-

4. Bivalves-(oysters, mussels, clams)

11. Aquatic Animal Health-                         

17. Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Measures-

5. Non-salmonid marine fish-            

12. Nutrition and Feeds-

18. Aquatic Animal Welfare-

6. Percids (tilapia, striped bass, yellow perch) -

13. Aquaculture Products-

19. New aquatic species and consumer products

7. Non-food fish-

 

20. Aquatic Foods Consumption and Human Health Benefits

Please provide your input below and return the completed form by fax or email it to Rosemary Callahan at 301-504-4873 (rosemary.callahan@ars.usda.gov) no later than April 10.

Name:
Title:
Company, Organization, or University:


Email and/or telephone:

Opportunities/Problems

Please indicate species/ discipline using attached break out session agenda

Opportunities/Problems

Approach to address Opportunities/Problems

Expected outcomes (numeric if appropriate; e.g. 30% improvement)

Tech Transfer/Extension/Integrated Research Needs

Thank you for your attention and assistance (Jeff Silverstein and Gary Jensen, USDA)

FDA RELEASES INFORMATION ON SUPPLEMENTAL POLICIES: DRUG-PESTICIDE ISSUES (Posted 03-01-07)
CENTER FOR VETERINARY MEDICINE, PROGRAM POLICY AND PROCEDURES MANUAL 1240.4220: SUPPLEMENTAL POLICIES: DRUG-PESTICIDE ISSUES

I. Introduction: If a registered pesticide is being used properly (i.e., the labeled conditions in fact exist in the facility at the time the pesticide is used, and the compound is not misused under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)), FDA will not object to that proper use if the pesticide has purported incidental, concurrent therapeutic (drug) benefit. Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations contains the regulations under which the pesticide programs operate.

II. Registered Pesticide: If a registered pesticide is not being used properly under FIFRA and is intended for a drug use, then FDA may consider regulatory action.

A. Coordination should be effected with EPA since a FIFRA violation likely would have occurred in addition to an FD&C Act violation.

B. Regulatory action against a vendor should be considered if the vendor is (overtly/subtly) establishing an intended drug use for the pesticide. Regulatory action at the producer level should be considered only in light of the limits discussed in II.A.3. in CVM Program Policy and Procedures Manual 1240.4200.

III. Compound Not Registered as a Pesticide:

If a compound that is not registered as a pesticide (and is not exempted from registration) is promoted or used both as a pesticide and a drug, regulatory action should be considered. Coordination should be effected with EPA since a FIFRA violation would likely have occurred in addition to an FD&C Act violation.

Responsible Office: Division of Compliance
Date: 10/29/97; Updated 2/19/08 1

FEBRUARY 2008

CALIFORNIA ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF AQUACULTURE COORDINATOR FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME (Posted 02-06-08)
Dr. Devin Bartley, 54, of Oroville, and graduate of U.C. Davis, has been appointed aquaculture coordinator for the Department of Fish and Game. Since 2000, he has served as senior fishery resources officer for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Bartley has worked for the FAO since 1991 and previously held the positions of officer in charge of aquaculture and inland fishery service and fishery resource officer. Prior to that, he was an assistant researcher for the University of California , Davis from 1989 to 1991 and a private consultant for Ocean Nutrition from 1988 to 1990. Bartley is a member of the American Fisheries Society, the World Aquaculture Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This position does not require Senate confirmation.


RESEARCH TO Quantify Economic Contribution of Recreational Fish Producers For Western States, Including California, led by Colorado State University (Posted 02-01-08)
A team of researchers at Colorado State University and several other institutions has been awarded a grant by the Western Regional Aquaculture Center to document the economic contribution of the suppliers of recreational fish in the Western United States. Dr. Craig Bond, Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at CSU, will lead the effort.

Contributions of an industry to a local or regional economy are typically measured by tracing the flows of spending between the firms in an industry and the rest of the economy. The linkages between these industries, and the share of local versus non-local purchases, interact to create an overall industry contribution to regional economies. Often, these results are reported in the form of “multipliers”. For example, an output multiplier of 1.62 for an industry in a particular economy implies that for every dollar of sales, an additional $0.62 of sales is generated elsewhere in that economy.

To most accurately trace these spending flows, the research team plans to collect primary data from the supplying producers themselves using a survey. The survey will include production data by species and size, volume of production and sales, employment and wage data, and perhaps most importantly, spending on inputs (including materials, machinery, etc.). This information will be used with a regional input-output model across the twelve-state Western region to estimate total economic contributions of the industry. In accordance with Colorado State University regulations, information for individual firms will be kept private and confidential, and no results will be published that allows identification of specific operations.

The research team is currently developing the survey instrument and conducting focus groups in order to refine and improve upon the current version of the survey. A first mailing of the survey is planned for early February. As the accuracy and representativeness of the results critically depend on producer participation, the research team would like to invite producers to visit an informational website at dare.colostate.edu/wracimpact.html, and/or to contact Dr. Bond at 970-491-6951 or craig.bond@colostate.edu with any questions.

Request for Western Regional Aquaculture Center Regional Research and Outreach Project Pre-Proposals (Posted  02-01-08)
The Western Regional Aquaculture Center’s (WRAC’s) Industry Advisory Council and Technical Committee recently reviewed the status of priority needs of the aquaculture industry throughout the western region and developed problem statements for projects in the 2009 fiscal funding cycle. The Board of Directors approved the enclosed six statements for solicitation of pre-proposals. WRAC policy requests that each project include participation by two or more states located within the western region (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming). Research partnerships may be formed among all elements of federal, state, and local government, public institutions, and the private sector.

WRAC is seeking pre-proposals for the following six research areas (Problem Statements attached):

1. Alternative Species
2. Microalgae Culture in the West
3. Effect and Interaction of Alternative Ingredients in Fish Diets
4. Tilapia Nutrition for Modern Intensive Production
5. Salmonid Gamete Quality
6. Alternative and Dependable Sterilization Techniques

For details and additional instructions go to http://www.fish.washington.edu/wrac/
and click on WRAC News.

Catfish Farmers of America Annual Convention
Feb. 29-March 2, 2008
Hyatt Regency San Diego
San Diego, Calif.
For Information: email: catfishjournalth@bellsouth.net


JANUARY 2008:

USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) & Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) Announces Stakeholders Meeting to Set 5-Year Research Priorities (Posted 12-23-07)

ARS and CSREES announce the 2008 Aquaculture Program Planning Workshop focusing on research, technology transfer, integrated research-extension programs, and linkages with key partners. The workshop will be held in Kansas City, Missouri, from April 15-16th, 2008, for stakeholder input and interactions; April 17, 2008 will be the USDA post-workshop session devoted to action plan development.

This workshop is designed to provide stakeholders, customers, and partners with the opportunity to participate in planning the direction of public investments in USDA aquaculture programs for the next five years.

Aquaculture Program Planning Workshop, Airport Hilton Hotel, Kansas City, Missouri, April 15-17, 2008

April 15: Morning introductions and reports; Afternoon simultaneous breakout sessions.

April 16: Simultaneous breakout sessions continued with summaries.

April 17: USDA ARS and CSREES closed, post-workshop sessions.

Why convene the workshop:  We need public and professional input in forming the objectives and directions of our aquaculture program support of U.S. agriculture for the next five years.

Who should attend April 15-16:  Aquaculture farmers and their representatives, manufacturers of aquacultural products and technology developers, veterinarians, researchers from federal, commercial and university laboratories and experiment stations, extension specialists, and anyone having problems that can be addressed by USDA-funded aquaculture programs. This is also a great opportunity to make new professional contacts and to further understand the diversity of aquaculture programs administered by ARS and CSREES.

What is provided:  The workshop will include breakfasts, snacks, and lunches on Tuesday and Wednesday, plus a reception on Tuesday evening.  We hope you can attend and will make many new professional contacts at this meeting.

If you are interested in attending this workshop, or to request more information, please contact Rosemary Callahan at: Rosemary.Callahan@ars.usda.gov

Jeffrey Silverstein, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, National Program Leader, Aquaculture

Ornamental Fish Health Seminar (Posted 01-21-08)

The Greater Nevada Aquatic Ecology and KOI Health Academy is holding a pathology, health and pond management seminar and workshop February 23-24 in Reno Nevada. Instructors are from industries and universities. Accommodations are at the Siena Hotel, Spa & Casino at $119 and registration is $295. For additional information regarding special topics, program and registration details please contact Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan at (541) 867-0265 or at tim.miller-morgan@oregonstate.edu .


DECEMBER 2007:

CONTE TAKES A SABBATICAL (Posted 12-12-07)

Yes, and I am looking forward to it. I will be taking a sabbatical to work on selected special projects, beginning January 2, 2008 through December 2008. The primary project is to work on a sturgeon book, with the working title of, Sturgeon Culture: for Conservation, Meat and Caviar. The book will also include an update of the sturgeon hatchery manual that we published in1988. The project includes construction of a companion digital E-book, which will contain digital photography, Flash-video presentations and additional sturgeon culture information. In addition, I will participate in Sea Grant funded sturgeon research on egg development quality, and the production of a digital outreach publication and a Flash video covering the research subject.

 A second part of the sabbatical will be to work on construction of special topics and sections in the California Aquaculture web site, so the web site will continue to be updated and maintained. As some have noted, the website’s Podcast and Flash video sections have been at a standstill for the past few months, primarily due to the noise from sub-street construction in front of my office window. Since I will also be working at a second location while on sabbatical, production of the voiceover recordings will be made at the second location until the roadwork is completed.

Future Podcasts include continuation of the oyster aquaculture series and a beginning series on aquatic animal welfare, and niche marketing of aquaculture products. These Podcasts will also be added to the Aquaculture Podcasts from the University of California, free download section on the iTunes website (www.iTunes.com). Flash video presentations for our web site will include the basics of aquatic animal welfare, engineering aquatic systems for welfare, and models for best animal practices in fish live hauling and holding of live fish.

GLOBAL AQUACULTURE ALLIANCE EXPANDS BEST AQUACULTURE PRACTICES (BAP) CERTIFICATION STANDARDS. (Posted 12-07-07)

The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) is forming a new Standards Oversight Committee (SOC) to coordinate the development of its Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certification standards. Draft standards are being developed for Channel Catfish and Tilapia, and nominations for SOC membership is being sought. Channel Catfish draft guidelines and comment links may be found at www.gaalliance.org/comment2.html.

Submit your comments on Channel Catfish by December 31. Please send nominations for SOC membership to dangaelle@aol.com

 or fax to +44-0-1248-716729.

The SOC will manage public input, oversee the process of developing standards, and coordinate updates. Its members will include equal representation from nongovernmental conservation and social justice organizations, academic institutions and regulatory agencies, and industry.

Global Aquaculture Alliance -- http://www.gaalliance.org
Feeding the World Through Responsible Aquaculture
5661 Telegraph Road, Suite 3A -- St. Louis, Missouri 63129 USA
Telephone: 314-293-5500 -- Fax: 314-293-5525 -- E-mail: homeoffice@gaalliance.org

2007 EDITION OF THE BLUEBOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE

In 2003, the AFS-FHS released a new digital version of the FHS Blue Book.  In that version were many new diagnostic chapters, hundreds of color pictures, videos, and a new inspection section written jointly with the USFWS.  The latest version of the FHS Blue Book is ready for distribution and sale. This new edition contains an updated Fish Health Inspection Manual co-authored with the USFWS, many new Diagnostic Chapters, and (for the first time ever) QA/QC Guidelines for Fish Disease Laboratories. The new Diagnostic Chapters include seven shellfish disease chapters written by East and West Coast experts. These are all very up to date and lavishly illustrated Those with subscriptions to the Blue Book will be receiving their new copies very soon. Those wishing to purchase the Blue Book CD will find it by following the Bookstore links on the AFS web site or by going directly to the AFS bookstore

 
USDA-CSREES OPENS FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR INTEGRATED ORGANIC PROGRAM - AQUACULTURE ELIGIBLE (POSTED 12-04-07)(Source USDA-CSREES-Received 12-04-07))

Please note the following notice of funding opportunity to support the development of national organic standards for farmed aquatic species.  There are certainly researchable topics and educational issues associated with advancing organic certification of aquaculture products through USDA in the US. Please review the various integrated and other activities that are eligible for funding under this program and consider strategic partnerships to develop highly competitive proposals related to organic certification of farmed aquatic species.

The purpose of the Integrated Organic Program is to solve critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research, education, and extension activities in two program areas: (1) Organic Transitions Program (ORG); and (2) Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). ORG funds the development and implementation of research, extension, and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic producers and producers who are adopting organic practices. OREI funds research and extension programs that enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products. These two funding opportunities are included in the same Request for Applications. PLEASE NOTE: THIS PROGRAM DOES NOT FUND START UP BUSINESSES

Solicitation Date (Opening) November 15, 2007
Letter of Intent Due Date None
Due Date (Closing) January 9, 2008


For Details go to go to:
http://www.csrees.usda.gov/fo/integratedorganicprogramicgp.cfm

NOVEMBER 2007:

NOAA and USDA Accepting Public Comment on Aquaculture Feeds
(Posted November 20)

NOAA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are soliciting information and ideas on ways to lessen dependence on fish-based feeds in the aquaculture industry. This comment period is the first step of a broad, year-long program that will include research projects, scientific consultations and a national workshop aimed at developing new and effective ingredients for aqua-feed.

"Forty percent of the seafood consumed in the United States comes from farmed sources, so we have a keen interest in making sure that aquaculture production is efficient and environmentally responsible," said Bill Hogarth, director of NOAA Fisheries Service. "Our program will identify science needs on alternative feeds for aquaculture to guide federal research funding priorities."

Congress is considering legislation to allow NOAA to permit aquaculture operations in federal waters, three to 200 miles off U.S. coasts. If enacted, the National Offshore Aquaculture Act of 2007 also would authorize a research and development program for all marine aquaculture, which would advance the movement to find additional feed options.

 Producers feed pellets to farm-raised fish and shrimp that are made in part from ground-up herring, menhaden, anchovy, and sardines, so-called industrial fish. These small, bony species provide farmed seafood with important protein, fatty acids and essential vitamins and minerals.

The issue of feed ingredients is a challenge facing the expanding global aquaculture industry because industrial fish are under increasing pressure as a commercial fishery worldwide. The cost of fish meal has risen steeply as farming operations have increased. In 2002, 46 percent of fishmeal went to aquaculture uses, while 22 percent went to poultry and 24 percent went to pigs. The amount of available fish meal and fish oil is not likely to increase, so producers must find other sources of feed protein as the aquaculture industry continues to grow.

 In response, industry is turning to other feed ingredients such as algae and soybeans, thus reducing the use of fishmeal and fish oil. Studies are helping scientists to better understand the nutritional requirements of fish to ensure new feeds effectively grow seafood that retains nutritional benefits for humans. NOAA Fisheries Service and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service are interested in making better use of discarded fish parts from fish processing plants for feeds, in addition to using a variety of potential ingredients from agriculture, including plants.

 To submit a question, idea, or recommendation on alternative feeds for aquaculture, stakeholders should send an e-mail to: noaa.aquaculture@noaa.gov; send a fax to: 301-713-9108; or, send a letter to: NOAA Aquaculture Program, Alternative Feeds Initiative, 1315 East-West Highway, Room 13117, Silver Spring, MD 20910. The deadline for comments is February 29, 2008.

FEDERAL GRANT FUNDS AVAILABLE FOR CATFISH FEED LOSSES DUE TO NATURAL DISASTERS - EXTENDED TO NOVEMBER 27 (Received November 1, Poster November 2nd AND November20)

Application is now online. Deadline to apply is November 27, 2007

Do you raise catfish in a controlled environment in California for commercial use?

Did you suffer a catfish feed loss or damage due to a natural disaster from January 2, 2005 through February 28, 2007?

If so, you may be eligible for a reimbursement of up to $80,000 from the 2007 Catfish Feed Compensation Program, a U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency disaster assistance program that is administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Program participation criteria, application and instructions for the program are now available online at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/fflders/catfish.html. Completed, hard-copy applications must be received by the California Department of Food and Agriculture no later than November 15, 2007.

CDFA has developed a work sheet and instructions to assist California's catfish producers in calculating costs associated with lost feeding days. Under this method, catfish producer's will be able submit a claim for the livestock losses associated with the specific disaster, such as a heat loss. Please review this document carefully.

If you have already submitted you application, you may file an amended application by the extended due date of November 26, 2007. Questions can be directed to Natalie Krout, nkrout@cdfa.ca.gov, Liz Houser, ehouser@cdfa.ca.gov or by phone to 916-445-0444, or Kelsey Olson at (916) 445-0444 or kolson@cdfa.ca.gov.

EXAMPLES

2007 Catfish Feed Compensation Program
Method for calculating “Costs associated to Lost Feeding Days”
 Due to disasters (i.e. extreme heat) under Method #1.

 Average Feeding Rate per Day Method

 1.     Determine the average feeding rate per day (in pounds of food) for the months of May – September.  Use the actual feed purchased during this 150-day period based on feed mill records or receipts.  Divide the total pounds purchased by 150 to determine average daily feeding rate.

2.
     Multiply the daily feeding rate by the number of days specified in the disaster period to reach the “calculated feeding days lost”.  To determine the number of days, use the “Start Date” and “End Date” from the Counties Affected by a Designated Natural Disaster spreadsheet.  For heat losses in the same calendar year you may claim multiple dates. 

ˇ        For Example Kern County suffered excessive heat during 2 time periods in 2006; 14 days from 5/1/2006-5/15/2006 and 30 days from 7/1/2006-7/31/2006; therefore a farmer in Kern County would use 44 days for their calculation.

 3.     Once you have determined the “calculated feeding days lost” (CFDL) divide that number by the 2.0 feed conversion rate to determine the pounds of fish lost.  Multiply the calculated fish loss by the average price per pound based on your sales in the year of loss (i.e. 2006 average price per pound).

4.
     Record the resulting dollar amount on Form CDFA-CFCP-07A and use “Heat Loss Calculation” as the description.  Attached a supporting spreadsheet to show your calculations for #1-3. 

Formula for calculating loss:

 _Feed Purchased (lbs)_ X ____________        = ___________________
             150 Days               # days of disaster               (CFDL)

 CFDL  = ____pounds of fish lost    X $_________    =      $ __________________
  2.0                                                       Price/pd                  Dollar value of loss

 Example:

 A producer in Kern County purchases 250 ton of food per year.  Between May – September he historically purchases 150 ton (300,000 pounds).  This producer suffered a loss due to extreme heat in 2006.  Based on the Counties Affected by a Designated Natural Disaster spreadsheet he qualifies for 44 days of disaster designation.  His calculations under Method # 1 and Method 2 follow: 

Method #1: 

2000 pounds X 44 days = (88,000/2.0) = 44,000 pds of fish lost x $2.60 per pd. = $114,400 (Dollar Value of Loss)  

On Form CDFA-CFCP-07A this producer would record the following: 

Description of Loss:  Heat Loss Calculation

Dollar Value of Losses: $114,400

Type of substantiating documents – Feed mill receipts

Date(s) of loss: 5/1/2006-5/15/2006 and 7/1/2006-7/31/2006

Disaster Designated County: Kern

Disaster Designation Number: S2363 & S2386 

Method #2:

The producer would then calculate his loses under Method #2.  His records indicate that he purchased 250 tons of feed in 2006. 

250 tons x $26 per ton = $6500 

Since the losses under Method 2 ($6500.00) are less than the losses under Method 1 ($114,000), he would submit a claim for the $6500.00. 


MEETINGS

PROPOSED U.S. ORGANIC AQUACULTURE STANDARDS UPDATE
Upcoming Symposium Posts Papers
(Poster October 11, 2007)

The National Organic Standards (NOSB) and the National Organic Program (NOP) are hosting an Organic Aquaculture Symposium on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 in conjunction with the Fall 2007 NOSB Meeting to be held Wednesday, November 28 through Friday, November 30, 2007 in Washington, DC. The purpose of the symposium is to obtain scientific and academic input to assist the NOSB in making final recommendations to the NOP on two major unresolved issues regarding the organic standards for finfish aquaculture. The symposium is scheduled for Nov. 27 and will precede the Fall 2007 meeting of the National Organic Standards Board scheduled 28-30 Nov. in Washington, DC.

NOSB and NOP will be taking another step toward the development of national organic standards in reviewing and seeking further consultation from stakeholders on two critical topics: fish feed and fish meal/oil and open cage net pens. The six members of each panel that will address these two subjects have been selected and most of their papers have been posted in addition to details on the symposium at: 

http://www.ams.usda.gov/nosb/MeetingAgendas/Nov2007/OrganicAquacultureSymposium/11_07OrgAquaSymposiumPanelists.html

There will also be several posters presented as well. Note the international representation and perspectives that will be presented. The organic aquaculture symposium is scheduled for November 27 in Arlington Virginia the day before the next meeting of the National Organic Standards Board. George Lockwood, the chair of the NOSB Aquaculture Working Group will also make introductory comments at the outset of each panel to provide background information about recommendations from the Aquaculture Working Group. 

If you are interested in this topic, this should be a great public event that will generate much debate and discussion. The draft organic standards for bivalve shellfish have also been posted by the NOSB for public review and comment. It is anticipated that the NOSB will direct more attention to organic aquaculture standards at the 2008 spring meeting as well. The government moves slow but is in fact moving forward on this important topic to aquaculture growers, consumers and seafood retailers. (USDA CSREES)

(USDA CSREES)


OCTOBER 2007:

APHIS Makes Funding Available for Activities Related to the Control of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (Posted October 10, 2007)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is  making $1.5 million in contingency funds available for activities related to the control of viral hemorrhagic  septicemia (VHS). Such control activities include confirmatory testing, surveillance and compliance, and education and outreach efforts. These activities will help to prevent the spread of VHS into aquaculture facilities. VHS is a destructive pathogen that causes internal hemorrhaging and death in a wide range of fish species. Dead and diseased wild fish have been reported in the St. Lawrence River and in Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario and Lake St. Clair. Outbreaks of VHS have also been reported in inland lakes in Michigan, New York and Wisconsin. The disease does not pose a risk to people, but it has been found to affect many different species of fish, including several commercially farm-raised species in  the United States previously not known to be susceptible to the disease. The contingency funding that APHIS is providing will be used for surveillance and compliance activities and other VHS-related efforts. These include:  laboratory upgrades to USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories to support confirmatory testing;  and an educational campaign that promotes biosecurity efforts and addresses human-related activities  which-though not easily regulated-could spread the disease. Surveillance activities will be risk-based and focus on states in the Great Lakes watershed and those states in surrounding watersheds. APHIS will develop cooperative agreements with state departments of natural resources, state departments of agriculture, tribal agencies and other appropriate agencies for surveillance and compliance efforts. Surveillance data collected in the coming months will give APHIS more information on VHS to better target future surveillance  and regulatory actions. 

On Oct. 24, 2006, APHIS issued a Federal Order to immediately prohibit the importation of 37 susceptible species of live fish into the United States from Ontario and Quebec, Canada-the two provinces that have reported VHS outbreaks. The order also prohibited the interstate movement of the same fish species from eight states in the United States (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) that have reported incidences of VHS in wild fish or that are at immediate risk of acquiring the disease because they share watershed areas with states in which the disease has been detected.  APHIS amended the order on Nov. 14, 2006, to allow for movement and importation of susceptible fish species under conditions that mitigate the risk of spreading VHS; and on May 4, 2007, to allow for catch-and-release fishing activities. Restrictions under the Federal Order will continue until APHIS publishes an interim rule establishing appropriate VHS-related fish importation and interstate movement criteria. 

For additional information, please contact P. Gary Egrie by telephone at (301) 734-0695 or by e-mail at  Paul.G.Egrie@aphis.usda.gov

UPCOMING MEETINGSARE STILL POSTED UNDER CURRENT MONTH

SEPTEMBER 2007:

PROPOSED U.S. ORGANIC AQUACULTURE STANDARDS
SUPPLEMENT TO INTERIM FINAL REPORT (Bivalve Molluscs) (Posted August 13, 2007)

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at its October 12–14, 2004, meeting recommended the formation of an aquatic animal taskforce to develop proposed production, handling, and labeling standards for food and animal feed products derived from aquatic animals. The taskforce would be divided into two working groups—one for animals that live and are harvested in the wild or open-sea (wild-caught working group) and another for animals that live and are harvested under aquaculture (aquaculture working group). (See August Archives for Greater Details)

Catfish Farmers of America Annual Convention
(Posted August 13, 2007)


Feb. 29-March 2, 2008
Hyatt Regency San Diego
San Diego, Calif.
For Information: email: catfishjournalth@bellsouth.net


61st ANNUAL PACIFIC COAST SHELLFISH GROWERS ASSOCIATION (PCSGA) & NATIONAL SHELLFISHERIES ASSOCIATION (NSA) ANNUAL SHELLFISH CONFERENCE (Posted August 13, 2007) and (August 28th, 2007)

The PCSGA and NSA events will be held October 9-12, 2007 at The Resort at the Mountain located in Welches, Oregon 97067. (See August Archives for Greater Details)

Registration for 2007 National Marine Aquaculture Summit
(Poster August 13, 2007)


Sponsored by NOAA, the summit will be held June 26-27, in Washington, D.C.

(See August Archives for Greater Details)
 

The 59th Pacific Fisheries Technologists (PFT) Meets in San Francisco (Posted August 13, 2007)

PFT will meet February 3-6, 2008 in San Francisco, California at the Hotel Whitcomb. The 2008 theme of this international meeting, “Sea to Plate by the City of the Golden Gate,” emphasizes bridging communication. (See August Archives for Greater Details)
 

AUGUST 2007 Archives:

AQUACULTURE AMERICA 08' CALL FOR ABSTRACTS (Deadline September 1, 2007)
(Posted July 12, & July & August, 2007)

Aquaculture 08' America will be held in Buena Vista, Florida (Orlando) February 9-12, 2008. Some special meetings will begin on the 8th. The call for papers and abstract deadline for presenters is August 7th, 2007 CHANGED TO SEPTEMBER 1, 2007. For full information on the conference, hotel and conference registration and abstract submissions go to: https://www.was.org/meetings/ConferenceInfo.asp?MeetingCode=AA2008
 

PROPOSED U.S. ORGANIC AQUACULTURE STANDARDS
SUPPLEMENT TO INTERIM FINAL REPORT (Bivalve Molluscs) (Posted August 13, 2007)

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at its October 12–14, 2004, meeting recommended the formation of an aquatic animal taskforce to develop proposed production, handling, and labeling standards for food and animal feed products derived from aquatic animals. The taskforce would be divided into two working groups—one for animals that live and are harvested in the wild or open-sea (wild-caught working group) and another for animals that live and are harvested under aquaculture (aquaculture working group).

In preparation for the October 2006 Meeting of the NOSB, the NOSB Livestock Committee invited further public comment on some of the questions that had arisen during its review of the proposed standards for finfish in its document entitled: Invitation for Public Comment on Aquaculture Standards, September 8, 2006 (PDF). Written and oral comments received in response to that invitation are available for viewing on the website under the October 2006 NOSB meeting.

At the March 2007 NOSB Meeting, the NOSB voted to accept the proposed finfish standards of the aquaculture working group but postponed their final vote on the sections involving the use of wild harvested fish meal and fish oil at up to 24% of the diet of finfish, open net pens in oceans, and compost in ponds. An aquaculture symposium on the use of fish meal, fish oil, and open net pens is scheduled for November 27, 2007, in Washington, DC. Abstracts are being reviewed by the Livestock Committee at this time. No recommendation on these outstanding issues will be made at the November 2007 NOSB meeting.

On July 9, 2007, the NOP received the Supplement to the Interim Final Report (Bivalve molluscs) (PDF). It has been submitted to NOSB for its review and acceptance at the November 2007 NOSB Meeting. In the meantime, the NOSB is seeking public comment on the Supplement to the Interim Final Report (Bivalve molluscs) of the aquaculture working group, until November 9, 2007.

With respect to receipt of comments by the NOSB during the comment period, the following provisions have been established to ensure that your comment will be received and reviewed by the Board:

Mail: Persons may submit comments on listed Board recommendations by mail to: Valerie Frances, Executive Director, National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), National Organic Program, 1400 and Independence Avenue, SW, Room 4008 - South Building, Washington, D.C. 20250-0001.

E-mail: Comments may be sent via internet to NOSB.Livestock@usda.gov.

Fax: Comments may be submitted by fax to (202) 205-7808.

In reviewing and commenting on the Supplement to the Interim Final Report (Bivalve molluscs) aquaculture working group’s interim final report, please consider and respond to the following criteria:

Do the recommended standards:
1. Communicate effectively?
2. Provide clear, context of scope, product coverage, and production systems?
3. Identify and address key stakeholders and their concerns and challenges?
4. Include vision and strategy for achieving consistency with organic principles demonstrated in the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and its implementing regulations?
5. Present measurable objectives which are enforceable?
6. Present a clear expectation of targets and goals?
 

To review the Supplement to the Interim Final Report (Bivalve Molluscs) go to:
http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/TaskForces/AATFShellfishFINAL7-09-07.pdf

Catfish Farmers of America Annual Convention
(Posted August 13, 2007)


Feb. 29-March 2, 2008
Hyatt Regency San Diego
San Diego, Calif.
For Information: email: catfishjournalth@bellsouth.net


61st ANNUAL PACIFIC COAST SHELLFISH GROWERS ASSOCIATION (PCSGA) & NATIONAL SHELLFISHERIES ASSOCIATION (NSA) ANNUAL SHELLFISH CONFERENCE (Posted August 13, 2007) and (August 28th, 2007)

A major event at this years combined PCSGA-NSA Conference will be to discuss standards for the certification of molluscan aquaculture products, which make up one-quarter of the world’s aquaculture production. The purpose of the meeting is to finalize the list of key environmental and social impacts of mollusks aquaculture (e.g. transfer of diseases to wild caught species and harvesting techniques, such as dredging, that harm critical habitat), establish goals and objectives for the group and create a steering committee to spearhead the group’s work.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will convene several meetings of the Mollusk Aquaculture Dialogue over the next year to develop principles, criteria, and then credible, measurable and voluntary standards geared toward minimizing or eliminating the main environmental and social impacts caused by farming clams, oysters, abalone, scallops and mussels. Once finalized, the standards will be handed off to a certification entity to manage the system.

Certification could take a number of forms, from a buyer or investment screen to a third-party eco-labeled product sold in supermarkets and restaurants. Producers participating in such a program could benefit from preferential treatment from lending agencies, retailers or chefs, as well as increased or differentiated market access, and possibly, premium prices.

The PCSGA and NSA events will be held October 9-12, 2007 at The Resort at the Mountain located in Welches, Oregon 97067

For more information access the PCSGA web site at http://www.pcsga.org/ or at the following:

PCSGA Business Office
120 State Ave. NE, #142
Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: (360) 754-2744
Fax: (360) 754-2743
pcsga@pcsga.org
 

Registration for 2007 National Marine Aquaculture Summit
(Poster August 13, 2007)


Sponsored by NOAA, the summit will be held June 26-27, in Washington, D.C. The summit will feature a broad agenda focused on the business opportunities and challenges for U.S. marine aquaculture. At the meeting, business leaders, policy experts, government officials, and researchers from across the nation will gather to exchange ideas and make recommendations on how the United States can join the global aquaculture community and accelerate the integration of domestic aquaculture into our own seafood production efforts.

Registration for the 2007 National Marine Aquaculture Summit is now available online on a first come-first serve basis. To register, go to www.Aquaculture2007.noaa.gov and follow the directions. The summit is free, but registration is required and space is limited. For more information, contact Kate.Naughten@noaa.gov.

The 59th Pacific Fisheries Technologists (PFT) Meets in San Francisco (Posted August 13, 2007)

PFT will meet February 3-6, 2008 in San Francisco, California at the Hotel Whitcomb. The 2008 theme of this international meeting, “Sea to Plate by the City of the Golden Gate,” emphasizes bridging communication.

Registration and an evening reception starts on February 3rd and the technical program starts at 8 AM on February 4th and ends by noon on February 6th. There will be oral and poster presentations. The call for papers seeks presentations in:

Aquaculture and Feeds ˇ Biochemistry ˇ Byproducts ˇ Education/Extension ˇ Engineering; Environmental Issues ˇ Fish Harvesting and Handling ˇ Marine Biology ˇ Marketing ˇ Microbiology; Processing ˇ Regulatory Issues ˇ Safety ˇ Shellfish ˇ Value-added Products ˇ Waste Management

The due date for submitting abstracts is November 30, 2007. The technical presentation committee chair is Dr. Subramaniam Sathivel (Louisiana State University). Questions regarding PFT can also be emailed at: PFT2008@gmail.com
 

JULY 2007 ARCHIVES:

SPECIFIC NOSB QUESTIONS THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED REGARDING PROPOSED U.S. ORGANIC AQUACULTURE STANDARDS (Posted July 6, 2007)

The National Organic Standards (NOSB) and the National Organic Program (NOP) are hosting an Organic Aquaculture Symposium on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 in conjunction with the Fall 2007 NOSB Meeting to be held Wednesday, November 28 through Friday, November 30, 2007 in Washington, DC.   The purpose of the symposium is to obtain scientific and academic input to assist the NOSB in making final recommendations to the NOP on two major unresolved issues regarding the organic standards for finfish aquaculture. The symposium is scheduled for Nov. 27 and will precede the Fall 2007 meeting of the National Organic Standards Board scheduled 28-30 Nov. in Washington, DC.

Current Unresolved Issue Areas: (1) Compatibility of Open Cage Net Pens with organic aquaculture standards; (2) Alternative Nutritional Technologies to Fish Oil (12%) and Fish Meal (12%) at 24% of Total Feed. 

See NOSB June 19th Posting for specifics of meetings.

SPECIFIC QUESTIONS TO BE ADDRESSED

A. Compatibility of Open Cage Net Pens with organic aquaculture standards

1. How can open cage net pens be ecologically responsible? What requirements need to be included in the proposed regulation to assure this? How can the issues of water flow and rotational locations be included? What are the other issues?

2. Sea-lice: What is the prevalence or rate of sea lice infestation in wild fish populations where there are no net pens? What are the regional variations? Are sea lice infestations inherent with open cage net pen systems? How can they be controlled without prohibited substances in an organic system?

3. Escape: What is the current rate of escape in the conventional aquaculture and the developing organic aquaculture industry? How can the issue of escape be better controlled in an organic system than in a conventional ocean-based system? Are there any implications to containment farming of fish species not indigenous to that geographic area other than cross-breeding with native species?

4. Assimilation of waste: How much can any system expect to mitigate waste in outflow and settling of waste in open pen systems? Actual data regarding the inflow and outflow of nutrients of existing operations claiming sustainable practices would be the most helpful.

5. Predators: What is the risk to and from predators in open pen systems? In relation to language in the AWG document, in what ways is the section on predators adequate, or in need of changing, etc?

6. Migratory issues: How is migration a valid issue for these fish at the stage of life when they would be housed in open net pen systems? If so, what are these issues and their implications?

B. Alternative nutritional technologies to Fish Meal (12%) & Fish Oil (12%) at 24% of Total Feed

1. What alternative nutritional technology is available, or in development, to fish meal and fish oil for fish that have a high requirement for nutrients provided in these feedstuffs? What are the prospects for research to yield new knowledge that would make it possible for fish meal and oil levels in feeds for farmed fish species to be reduced below the proportions in the diet that are considered the minimum today?

2. Would these alternatives meet the principles of organic production for allowance as a feed source?

3. Would the fish product resulting from the use of these alternative feed sources be considered nutritionally comparable for humans to fish consuming feed from their natural environment regarding such nutrients as omega-3 fatty acids?

4. What is the feed conversion rate of these different technologies compared to the traditional diets in current conventional and organic confinement systems? How would the feed conversion ratio be affected by using alternative protein and oil sources that were compatible with organic principles compared to current commercial diets containing fish meal and oil?

5. What is the state-of-the-art with regard to the minimum percentages of fish meal and oil needed in feeds for commercially important farmed fish species that currently are reared using feeds containing relatively high proportions of fish meal and oil?

6. Is utilization of wild-caught sources in organic fish farming systems feasible or acceptable to the organic community? Why or why not?

7. How can fish meal and fish oil from the waste processing stream of wild caught fish sources only coming from sustainably-fished species be separated and segregated in "the real world" from non-sustainably-fished species?

8. If wild-caught fish meal and fish oil were to be allowed as feed for organic fish, what would be a realistic time frame until organic sources of fish meal become available? Are wild caught sources feasible? What wild fish sourcing guidelines should be placed on the various potential fishery industries and what governmental agencies or NGO’s should be utilized to monitor these fisheries? Special consideration should be given to consider that many of these fisheries would be out of US waters.

9. If the farmed fish species are the source of fish meal and fish oil, what are the implications of this practice? Discuss the environmental footprint of such procedures especially related to feed supply and environmental waste.
 

JUNE 2007 ARCHIVE:

USDA REOPENS COMMENT PERIOD FOR INTERIM FINAL RULE FOR MANDATORY COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELING (COOL) OF FISH AND SHELLFISH. (Posted June 25, 2007)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that it is reopening the comment period for 60 days for the Interim Final Rule (IFR) for mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) for fish and shellfish covered commodities.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is reopening the comment period to request general comments on the IFR, which has been in effect for over two years. The comments received by USDA will be used to promulgate a final rule for mandatory COOL for fish and shellfish, and to the extent applicable, other covered commodities.

USDA published the COOL requirements for fish and shellfish as an IFR in the Oct. 5, 2004, Federal Register, with an effective date of April 4, 2005. The IFR requires designated retailers and their suppliers to notify customers of the country of origin and method of production of specified fish and shellfish products and maintain specific records to verify claims. The full text of the IFR can be found at http://www.ams.usda.gov/cool/COOLfr.pdf.

Details of the comment period reopening will be published in the June 20 issue of the Federal Register. Comments are due August 20 and should be submitted online at www.regulations.gov. Additional means of comment submission are via e-mail to cool@usda.gov; by mail to Country of Origin Labeling Program, Room 2607-S, Agricultural Marketing Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 0254, Washington, DC 2025-0254; or by fax to (202) 720 – 1112. Additional information on this and the COOL program can be found at http://www.ams.usda.gov/cool .

New Global Aquatic Vet Association Formed. (Posted: June 22, 2007)

The first Annual General Meeting of the newly formed Aquatic Veterinary Association (AqVA) will be held on July 18, 2007 in Washington DC, USA, in conjunction with the144th AVMA Annual Convention.

The mission of the Aquatic Veterinary Association will be:

"To serve the discipline of aquatic veterinary medicine in enhancing
aquatic animal health and welfare, public health, and seafood safety in
support of the veterinary profession, aquatic animal industries and
other stakeholders".

The purpose of the Association is:

* To serve aquatic veterinary medicine practitioners of many disciplines
and backgrounds by developing programs to support and sustain members
and the aquatic species industries that they serve.

* To identify, foster and strengthen professional and political
interactions among aquatic medicine practitioners and other
organizations around the world.

* To advocate for, develop guidance on, and promote the advancement of
the science, ethics and professional aspects of aquatic animal medicine
within the veterinary profession and a wider audience.

* To optimally position and advance the discipline of aquatic veterinary
medicine, and support the practice of aquatic veterinary medicine in all
countries.

Registration for 2007 National Marine Aquaculture Summit Open
(Posted June 19, 2007)

Registration for the 2007 National Marine Aquaculture Summit is now available online on a first come-first serve basis. To register, go to www.Aquaculture2007.noaa.gov and follow the directions. The summit is free, but registration is required and space is limited.

Sponsored by NOAA, the summit will be held June 26-27, in Washington, D.C. The summit will feature a broad agenda focused on the business opportunities and challenges for U.S. marine aquaculture. At the meeting, business leaders, policy experts, government officials, and researchers from across the nation will gather to exchange ideas and make recommendations on how the United States can join the global aquaculture community and accelerate the integration of domestic aquaculture into our own seafood production efforts.

For more information, contact Kate.Naughten@noaa.gov.
 

2007 NOSB Organic Aquaculture Symposium Call for Abstracts and Papers
(Posted: June 19, 2007) 

The National Organic Standards (NOSB) and the National Organic Program (NOP) are hosting an Organic Aquaculture Symposium on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 in conjunction with the Fall 2007 NOSB Meeting to be held Wednesday, November 28 through Friday, November 30, 2007 in Washington, DC.   The purpose of the symposium is to obtain scientific and academic input to assist the NOSB in making final recommendations to the NOP on two major unresolved issues regarding the organic standards for finfish aquaculture. The symposium is scheduled for Nov. 27 and will precede the Fall 2007 meeting of the National Organic Standards Board scheduled 28-30 Nov. in Washington, DC.

Current Unresolved Issue Areas: (1) Compatibility of Open Cage Net Pens with organic aquaculture standards; (2) Alternative Nutritional Technologies to Fish Oil (12%) and Fish Meal (12%) at 24% of Total Feed. 

ABSTRACT DEADLINE: July 15, 2007
FULL PAPER DEADLINE: September 30, 2007 

Go to the link for detailed information: http://www.ams.usda.gov/nosb/MeetingAgendas/Nov2007/OrganicAquacultureSymposium/CallForAbstractsPapers.html


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: to Proposed Clean Water Legislation (HR2421) to Regulate Farm Ponds, Clean Water Act Definition of "Waters of the United States"
(Posted June 14, 2007); (See June 4, 2007 posting) (Source: USDA CSREES; NAA)

EPA and the Corps of Engineers have jointly issued a legal memorandum that interprets the June 19, 2006 Supreme Court decision in the consolidated cases Rapanos v. U.S. and Carabell v. U.S. (known as the "Rapanos" decision). The guidance is being released to Corps of Engineers and EPA field offices to ensure nationwide predictability, reliability, and consistency in identifying wetlands, streams and rivers subject to the Clean Water Act (CWA). The EPA/Corps guidance reflects the agencies’ intent to provide maximum protection for the Nation's aquatic resources under the CWA as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Rapanos. To ensure such decisions are made in a timely manner, the agencies have released concurrently with the guidance a Memorandum of Agreement laying out a process with specific short timeframes, when necessary, for reaching interagency agreements on jurisdictional calls. In addition, a series of questions and answers provides additional information.

(PDF links for following documents located at fend of posting**)

June 2007 Legal Memorandum (PDF) (12 pp, 149K, About PDF) discussing Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Following the U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Rapanos v. United States & Carabell v. United States.

June 2007 Legal Memorandum (PDF) (12 pp, 149K, About PDF) discussing Clean Water Act Jurisdiction Following the U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Rapanos v. United States & Carabell v. United States.

June 2007 Memorandum of Agreement (PDF) (7 pp, 131K, About PDF) regarding Coordination on Jurisdictional Determinations under Clean Water Act Section 404 in Light of the SWANCC and Rapanos Supreme Court Decisions.

June 2007 Questions and Answers (PDF) (7 pp, 71K, About PDF). For additional information, consult the Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program

January 2003 Legal Memorandum (PDF) (4 pp, 54K, About PDF) discussing the scope of the Clean Water Act jurisdiction in light of the SWANCC ruling and related court decions.

** Check Website for listing of PDF documents and relevant studies.
URL:
http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/guidance/CWAwaters.html

Proposed Clean Water Legislation (HR2421) to Regulate Farm Ponds. (Posted June 4, 2007)

Representative James Oberstar (D-MN) has introduced legislation (HR2421), attached, which would greatly expand the regulatory reach of the Clean Water Act to the detriment of U.S. economic growth and agricultural operations, including aquaculture operations. HR2421 will move the Clean Water Act beyond protecting wetlands and waterways, and create legislation that would regulate nearly every wet area in the nation ---even if water is only present for a few days and even if it is on private land. This could include everything from ditches to farm ponds and possibly groundwater.

Under the proposed legislation, the regulatory reach of the CWA would undergo its greatest expansion since the law took effect in 1972 and grant the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers federal regulatory authority over all "intrastate waters". This proposal would potentially regulate nearly every wet area in the nation, including water on private lands. The new definition of "waters of the United States" would include farm and stock ponds to an estimated 55 million acres of prior converted cropland. (Source: NAA-National Aquaculture Association)


Melamine Contamination Additional: (Poster June 4, 2007)
Source USDA CSREES

USDA Collection Page for Adulterated Animal Feed, Pet Food Recall, Melamine
USDA: FOOD AND NUTRITION Web Site.
News Release and Transcripts
http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=pet_food_recall.xml


MAY 2007 ARCHIVE:

FDA RELEASES ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON MELAMINE CONTAMINATION: RELEASE 03-30-07 (Poster May 31, 2007)
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

FDA has also conducted an Interim Melamine and Analogues Safety/Risk Assessment that can be accessed at: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/melamra.html
for complete details. The following is the Executive Summary of this assessment.

Executive Summary
This interim melamine and analogues safety/risk assessment describes the risk to human health associated with eating pork, chicken, fish and eggs from animals that had been inadvertently fed animal feed that may have been adulterated with melamine and its analogues (cyanuric acid, ammelide and ammeline). It was prepared by the FDA in collaboration with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the USDA, and in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the EPA, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). We developed this safety/risk assessment in response to our ongoing investigation of contaminated vegetable protein products imported from China that were mislabeled as "wheat gluten" and "rice protein concentrate." Based on currently available data and information, the results of the safety/risk assessment indicate that the consumption of pork, chicken, domestic fish, and eggs from animals inadvertently fed animal feed contaminated with melamine and its analogues is very unlikely to pose a human health risk.

Tembec and Uniscope Voluntary Recall Feed Ingredients: FDA Asks Feed Manufacturers to Avoid Ingredients Containing Melamine
The FDA is alerting livestock and fish/shrimp feed manufacturers about a voluntary recall of products used in feed production because several have been found to contain melamine and related compounds. The feed ingredients were made by Tembec BTLSR Inc. of Toledo, Ohio and Uniscope, Inc. of Johnstown, Colo.

Tembec, a contract manufacturer for Uniscope, makes AquaBond and Aqua-Tec II, which it distributes for Uniscope. Uniscope makes Xtra-Bond using ingredients supplied by Tembec. All of the products are binding agents that are used to make pelleted feed for cattle, sheep, and goats, or fish and shrimp. The companies have confirmed that Tempec added melamine as part of the formulation of the products to improve the binding properties of pelleted feed. Melamine is not approved as an additive for animal or fish/shrimp feed. The companies have stopped adding melamine to the feed products.

Based on the levels of melamine and related compounds in the initial ingredients, FDA estimated the probable level of melamine and related compounds in livestock feed as less than 50 parts per million (ppm) based on the recommended mix rate of two to four pounds of binding agent per ton of livestock feed. The estimated levels in fish and shrimp feed are less than 233 ppm and 465 ppm, respectively, of melamine and related compounds. The estimated levels of melamine and related compounds vary in the livestock feed and the fish and shrimp feed because of differing levels of melamine in the binding agents used for each type of feed.

FDA advises feed manufacturers and others who mix their own feed not to use these products, and to contact the manufacturers. FDA advises feed manufacturers to recall finished feed that is made from AquaBond or Aqua-Tech II due to the estimated levels of melamine and related compounds in the finished products. FDA believes that no recall is warranted of the finished feed made from Xtra-Bond based on the estimated levels of melamine and related compounds in the finished product and based on currently available data and information.

The estimated melamine levels in feed made with these binding agents are similar to the levels discussed in the interim safety/risk assessment of melamine and related compounds made available by FDA earlier this month. In that assessment, federal scientists determined that, based on currently available data and information, the consumption of pork, chicken, domestic fish, and eggs from animals inadvertently fed animal feed contaminated with melamine and its analogues is very unlikely to pose a human health risk.

The interim safety/risk assessment concludes that in the most extreme risk assessment scenario, when scientists assumed that all the solid food a person consumes in an entire day contained melamine and the melamine compound cyanuric acid in equal amounts, the potential exposure is about 250 times lower than the dose considered safe. This is a large safety margin. Translated to consumption levels, this means that a person weighing 132 pounds would have to eat more than 800 pounds per day of food containing melamine and its compounds to approach a level of consumption that would cause a health concern.

FDA is encouraging domestic feed suppliers to be vigilant in quality control in their supply chain and to monitor for any improper additives, including melamine and its analogs. The Tembec and Uniscope products also reportedly contain a urea formaldehyde resin-type ingredient, a raw ingredient used to make the binding agent in these products. FDA is investigating this use of the urea formaldehyde resin-type ingredient in the Tembec and Uniscope products, and will take appropriate regulatory action if warranted. (See Posted May 10, 2007 for initial information)


UPDATE FOR NATIONAL ORGANIC STANDARDS BOARD (ON AQUACULTURE)
(Posted May 29, 2007)

In March the National Organic Standards Board recommended to the National Organic Program of the  USDA that the proposed standards be adopted with four items withheld for further review. These are:

   - Fish meal and fish oil from wild marine resources.
   - Use of ocean net pens.
   - Use of composted manure.
   - Aquatic plants for human consumption

Proposed standards for organic bivalve molluscan shellfish are still being worked upon by the Aquaculture Working Group. They hope to have them submitted to the Livestock committee of NOSB within the next 30 days.

The present plan of NOSB is to hold a one day symposium immediately before or after the November 2007 meeting on all of these subjects.


The recommendations of NOSB last March for USDA to adopt the committees recommended standards with the above exceptions is awaiting implementation. NOP must develop and release an advanced notice for public rulemaking and also complete other work as part of the formal rulemaking process (regulatory and economic impact statement). The Aquaculture co-chairs have offered the services of AWG to assist NOP in any supportive work as deemed appropriate. They have attempted to include much useful information in the Interim Final Report (Revised) earlier this year. NOP is now considering how the aquaculture workgroup can best assist them. More work remains before comprehensive organic aquaculture regulations are law in the United States.


ROTENONE: EPA Rotenone; Re-registration Eligibility Decision; Notice of Availability.
(Posted May 29, 2007)
[Federal Register: May 23, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 99)] [Notices] [Page 28969-28971] Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of EPA's
Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for the pesticide rotenone,
and opens a public comment period on this document. The Agency's risk
assessments and other related documents also are available in the
rotenone docket. Rotenone is a restricted use pesticide applied
directly to water - primarily by Federal and state agencies - to
eliminate invasive or unwanted fish species. EPA has reviewed rotenone
through the public participation process that the Agency uses to
involve the public in developing pesticide reregistration and tolerance
reassessment decisions. Through these programs, EPA is ensuring that
all pesticides meet current health and safety standards.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before July 23, 2007.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by docket identification
(ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0494, by one of the following methods:
Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.

Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
Mail: Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) Regulatory Public
Docket (7502P), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania
Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460-0001.
Delivery: OPP Regulatory Public Docket (7502P),


DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, NOAA Schedules Two Hearings in Washington D.C. to Review and Advise NOAA on Management Policies for Living Marine Resources.
(Including Aquaculture)
(Posted May 25, 2007).

All full Committee sessions will be open to the public.

[Federal Register: May 25, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 101)]
Access wais.access.gpo.gov

DATES
June 4, 2007, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
June 5, 2007, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
June 6, 2007, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

LOCATION
Meetings will be held in the Springwood meeting room at the Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Avenue, Washington, D.C., 20001; (202) 628-2100.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laurel Bryant, MAFAC Executive Director; telephone: (301) 713-2379 x171.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
This committee advises and reviews the adequacy of living marine resource policies and programs to meet the needs of commercial and recreational fisheries, and environmental, state, consumer, academic, tribal, governmental and other national interests. The complete charter and summaries of former meetings are located online at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ocs/mafac/index.htm. 

Matters to be Considered
A brief review and discussion of advisory committee administrative policies and procedures will also be provided, with the remainder of the day dedicated to reviews and discussions of the agency's FishWatch web page project and updates and details of the implementation of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006.

June 5, 2007: The full Committee will reconvene from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. to continue discussions for a Vision 2020 project, outlining a roadmap of issues to be addressed in the next 20 years. At the conclusion of the discussion, and as determined by the members, the full Committee will break into Subcommittees and working groups to allow time for in depth discussions and work on the issues pending before the Committee, including Magnuson-Stevens reauthorization, aquaculture legislation, recreational fishing data improvement plans and Vision 2020. The work of the Subcommittees will be presented and discussed in-depth at the full Committee level the following afternoon. 

June 6, 2007 The Subcommittees will meet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The full Committee will reconvene from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. to receive, discuss, and take any final actions and votes.
 

The Coastal States Organization (CSO) & the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Announces Meeting on the Future of Coastal Management (Posted May 24, 2007)

Meeting Date: June 12, 2007. San Francisco.

Representatives of key stakeholder sectors will be have an opportunity to provide input to CSO and NOAA. A particular focus of this meeting, and the broader CSO/NOAA initiative, is the potential revision and re-authorization of the Coastal Zone Management Act.

NOAA and CSO will present their joint initiative, Envisioning the Future of Coastal Management, followed by facilitated comment sessions. They are requesting participant's success stories, best management practices, and innovative solutions for how coastal management can be better. Topics will include:

  • Coastal Issues - What are the most important challenges now and in the future?

  • Current Policies and Programs - What is working well? What can be improved?

  • Solutions - What new, innovative approaches will move coastal management forward? How can we improve the Coastal Zone Management Act?

  • What tools are needed to build strong coastal communities and healthy coasts?

  • Setting Goals and Measuring Success - Should goals be set? If so, what should they be? How can we ensure that management approaches are effective?

Attendance will be on a first-come, first-served basis until capacity is reached.

Please register at http://colamedia.com/cm/. There is no registration fee to attend and lunch will be provided. If you have any questions, please contact the contractor Resource Plus at vikram.bapat@resource-plus.com or (617) 385-5028.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, please submit comments via the web or join other stakeholder meetings in Atlanta (May 31), or Honolulu (June 7). A full meeting schedule and additional information about the Envisioning project and submitting on-line comments can be found at  http://coastalmanagement.noaa.gov/czm/czma_vision.html.


Melamine Exposure in U.S. Food and Feed Products
USDA-CSREES Release (Posted May 10, 2007)

"..... the media released news about U.S. health officials learning that some farmed fish in the U.S. were inadvertently exposed to feed contaminated by an industrial chemical (melamine) linked to the recent pet food recall. The contaminated ingredient from China led to the recent massive pet food recall. U.S. government officials from numerous agencies are in consultation on this issue and will continue to track the distribution of contaminated feed batches and assess the need for any testing of feed and/or fish.

It appears that a limited amount of fish feed reached the U.S. with some used at a state public hatchery rearing salmonid species. FDA has stated the contamination level in fish is expected to be too low to pose a danger to humans. The fish feed was manufactured in Canada. No U.S. fish feed manufacturers have been implicated in the use of this contaminated ingredient.

Fish is the third food animal in which the contaminated product was used to make commercial feed sold in the U.S. Recently, some pork and poultry were also inadvertently exposed to small amounts of contaminated feed. A risk analysis referenced below in yesterday’s government press release reached the conclusion that in the case of pork and poultry, the exposure of the contaminant posed a very low risk for human health. Quarantined animals can be released for slaughter and sale.

Also, see below several links to news media articles in addition to yesterday’s press release on subject related to pork and poultry. More information on this subject will be posted as it becomes available. The following are some news media links on the topic.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/08/AR2007050801060.html?hpid=sec-health

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2007-05-08-fda-melamine-fish_N.htm?csp=34

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18556690/

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/314891_fish09.html

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/may2007/2007-05-09-02.asp

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=2007/05/0134.xml

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (Posted May 9, 2007)
Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 529
Certain Other Dosage Form New Animal Drugs; Oxytetracycline

ACTION: Final rule: DATES: This rule is effective May 9, 2007.

SUMMARY: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is amending the animal
drug regulations to reflect approval of an abbreviated new animal drug
application (ANADA) filed by Cross Vetpharm Group Ltd. The ANADA
provides for use of oxytetracycline hydrochloride soluble powder for
skeletal marking of finfish fry and fingerlings by immersion.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John K. Harshman, Center for
Veterinary Medicine (HFV-104), Food and Drug Administration, 7500
Standish Pl., Rockville, MD 20855, 301-827-0169, e-mail:
john.harshman@fda.hhs.gov.

First FDA Conditionally Approved New Animal Drug for Columnaris Disease in Catfish, April 18, 2007 (Posted May 9, 2007)
FDA, Center for Veterinary Medicine, Communications Staff, HFV-12
Telephone: (240) 276-9300 FAX: (240) 276-9115
Internet Web Site: http://www.fda.gov/cvm


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the conditional approval of AquaflorŽ-CA1 (florfenicol) Type A medicated article for the control of mortality in catfish due to columnaris disease associated with Flavobacterium columnare. AquaflorŽ-CA1 is the first FDA conditionally approved drug for columnaris disease in catfish. AquaflorŽ-CA1 is also the first drug that FDA has conditionally approved under the Minor Use and Minor Species (MUMS) Animal Health Act. Columnaris disease is a major bacterial disease of catfish in the U.S. The disease is estimated to cause up to 25% of the disease losses in catfish annually.

The “CA1” in the product name indicates that the drug is conditionally approved (CA) and that this is the first (1) conditionally approved application for this formulation. In addition, the product labeling includes a specific statement required by the MUMS Act, “Conditionally approved by FDA pending a full demonstration of effectiveness under application number 141-259.”

The FDA reviewed extensive data to ensure the product met all necessary target animal safety, environmental safety, and human food safety standards, including with respect to antimicrobial resistance. The FDA concluded that catfish fed florfenicol are safe for human consumption when florfenicol is administered according to the label directions. FDA also concluded that the data submitted demonstrated that there is a reasonable expectation that AquaflorŽ-CA1 is effective for columnaris disease in catfish.

Conditional approval allows the sponsor to market a drug before collecting all necessary effectiveness data as long as the sponsor has demonstrated that there is a reasonable expectation that the drug is effective. The sponsor may continue marketing AquaflorŽ-CA1 for up to five years, subject to annual renewals, while collecting substantial evidence of effectiveness.

AquaflorŽ-CA1 is a veterinary feed directive drug, meaning that the medicated feed can only be fed on the order of a licensed veterinarian. The extra-label or off label use of medicated feed containing florfenicol is prohibited. AquaflorŽ-CA1 has been declared a designated new animal drug by FDA under the designation provision of the MUMS Act. This entitles AquaflorŽ-CA1 to seven years of exclusive marketing rights beginning on the date of conditional approval. AquaflorŽ-CA1 is a product of Schering-Plough Animal Health Corporation, Summit, New Jersey.

FDA CLARIFIES EXTRA-LABEL USE OF MEDICATED FEED IN MINOR SPECIES PER CPG #615.115 (Poster May 9, 2007)
CVM Update, May 4, 2007; Issued by: FDA, Center for Veterinary Medicine,
http://www.fda.gov/cvm

Source: http://www.fda.gov/cvm/CVM_Updates/CPGExtraLabelUse.htm

FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) is clarifying the Compliance Policy Guide (CPG) section 615.115 entitled, "Extra-Label Use of Medicated Feeds for Minor Species" in order to ensure proper use of medicated feed in minor species.  CVM has received a number of inquiries relative to the proper use of the CPG.  The inquiries have revealed some common points of confusion regarding the appropriate interpretation of the principles specified in the CPG.

The following conditions, in addition to all other stipulations in the CPG, have to be satisfied in order to ensure proper use of medicated feed in minor species:

* Veterinarian involvement. Any extra-label use of medicated feed in minor species per this CPG requires involvement of a licensed veterinarian within the confines of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship. The veterinarian is expected to make a written recommendation for the extra-label use of medicated feed based on a recent diagnosis of an active disease for which no other drug treatment is approved.

* Treatment only use. Medicated feed may be considered for treatment only when the health of animals is threatened and suffering or death would result from failure to treat the affected animals.

* No production use. Extra-label use of medicated feed for production purposes is not allowed.

* No feed reformulation or re-labeling. Once manufactured and labeled as approved for use in a major species, the feed cannot be either reformulated to meet nutritional needs of the intended minor species or relabeled as such.   

Comments on the CPG may be submitted any time to: FDA's Dockets Management Branch (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Comments should be identified with the full title of the CPG and Docket number 99D-2638.
 

APRIL 2007 ARCHIVE:

First FDA Conditionally Approved New Animal Drug for Columnaris Disease in Catfish. (Posted April 20, 2007)

FDA, Center for Veterinary Medicine
Internet Web Site: http://www.fda.gov/cvm

First FDA Conditionally Approved New Animal Drug for Columnaris Disease in Catfish

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing the conditional approval of AquaflorŽ-CA1 (florfenicol) Type A medicated article for the control of mortality in catfish due to columnaris disease associated with Flavobacterium columnare. AquaflorŽ-CA1 is the first FDA conditionally approved drug for columnaris disease in catfish. AquaflorŽ-CA1 is also the first drug that FDA has conditionally approved under the Minor Use and Minor Species (MUMS) Animal Health Act.

Columnaris disease is a major bacterial disease of catfish in the U.S. The disease is estimated to cause up to 25% of the disease losses in catfish annually.

The “CA1” in the product name indicates that the drug is conditionally approved (CA) and that this is the first (1) conditionally approved application for this formulation. In addition, the product labeling includes a specific statement required by the MUMS Act, “Conditionally approved by FDA pending a full demonstration of effectiveness under application number 141-259.”

The FDA reviewed extensive data to ensure the product met all necessary target animal safety, environmental safety, and human food safety standards, including with respect to antimicrobial resistance. The FDA concluded that catfish fed florfenicol are safe for human consumption when florfenicol is administered according to the label directions. FDA also concluded that the data submitted demonstrated that there is a reasonable expectation that AquaflorŽ-CA1 is effective for columnaris disease in catfish.

Conditional approval allows the sponsor to market a drug before collecting all necessary effectiveness data as long as the sponsor has demonstrated that there is a reasonable expectation that the drug is effective. The sponsor may continue marketing AquaflorŽ-CA1 for up to five years, subject to annual renewals, while collecting substantial evidence of effectiveness.

AquaflorŽ-CA1 is a veterinary feed directive drug, meaning that the medicated feed can only be fed on the order of a licensed veterinarian. The extra-label or off label use of medicated feed containing florfenicol is prohibited.

AquaflorŽ-CA1 has been declared a designated new animal drug by FDA under the designation provision of the MUMS Act. This entitles AquaflorŽ-CA1 to seven years of exclusive marketing rights beginning on the date of conditional approval.

AquaflorŽ-CA1 is a product of Schering-Plough Animal Health Corporation, Summit, New Jersey.

Advanced Technology Program Opens New Competition to Fund Industrial R&D (Posted April 10, 2007)(Aquaculture Eligible)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 4, 2007; CONTACT: Gail Porter, (301) 975-3392

The Commerce Department’s Advanced Technology Program (ATP) today opened a new competition for cost-sharing awards to support high-risk industrial research and development projects. The program offers funding for specific research projects by individual companies or industry-led joint ventures in order to accelerate the development of challenging, high-risk technologies. The ATP is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The ATP expects to have approximately $60 million for awards from this competition. Projects are selected in a competitive, peer-reviewed process. Project proposals must be submitted to the ATP by 3 p.m. Eastern time, on Monday, May 21, 2007.

The ATP provides multiyear funding on a cost-shared basis for technically challenging, high-risk research that has the potential for broad national benefit. The program encourages path-breaking research on emerging or enabling technologies that lead to revolutionary new products and industrial processes and services that address national priorities and generate large societal benefits.

As examples the ATP cites four multidisciplinary technological areas that would affect a multitude of industry sectors and applications, and represent technology frontiers with many technical challenges. These areas have been identified by multiple industrial roadmaps and policy documents and reflect well-known technology priorities for the nation:

Technologies for Advanced and Complex Systems
Challenges in Advanced Materials and Devices
21st Century Manufacturing, and
Nanotechnology
The competition, however, is open to technology research projects from any area of technology. Proposals are evaluated on the basis of detailed selection criteria reflecting scientific and technological merit and potential for broad-based economic benefits.

ATP projects typically are multiyear. A single company can receive up to a total of $2 million for R&D activities for up to three years. For single-company recipients ATP funds may only be used to pay direct costs. A joint venture can receive funds for R&D activities for up to five years with no funding limitation other than available funds.

To provide potential applicants with general information regarding the program, tips on preparing proposals, and the opportunity for questions and answers, the ATP is holding five public Proposers’ Conferences on April 13, 2007, in Gaithersburg, Md.; on April 16, 2007, in Detroit, Mich.; on April 18, 2007, in Boston, Mass., and Los Angeles, Calif.; and on April 20, 2007, in Austin, Texas. There is no registration fee, and applicants are not required to attend one of these conferences. The April 13 Proposer’s Conference in Gaithersburg, Md., will be webcast.

Full information on the 2007 Advanced Technology Program competition and the Proposers’ Conferences is available at www.atp.nist.gov/atp/helpful.htm. The Federal Funding Opportunity announcement for the 2007 ATP competition also is available at Grants.gov. (Select “Grant Search” under “Quick Links,” and enter CFDA number 11.612.) To request a copy of the April 2007 ATP Proposal Preparation Kit, submit an electronic request at www.atp.nist.gov/atp/atpform.htm or call ATP at 1-800-ATP-FUND (1-800-287-3863). To register for a Proposers’ Conference, go to http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/confpage/atp2007.htm.

MARCH 2007 ARCHIVE:

Organic Aquaculture (Posted March 29, 2007)
Today, the USDA, National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) approved the recommendation by the NOSB Livestock Committee that the National Organic Program implement rule changes to allow for the production of organic aquatic animals within the regulation. The vote was 12 for, 1 against and 2 absent. NOSB reserved two areas for further public comments and dialogue among stakeholders, to include the sections of the recommendations relative to Aquaculture Feed and Open Water Net Pens. There were several amendments approved by the NOSB to the report after receiving public comments at this meeting that are considered to be minor changes. Additional details to come when available.

WRAC Nominations (Posted March 12, 2007)
Nominations are due by April 16, 2007 
The Western Regional Aquaculture Center (WRAC) is soliciting nominations of individuals to serve as representatives on the Industry Advisory Council (IAC) and as members of the Technical Committee's (TC) Research Subcommittee. Nominations are invited from all sectors of the aquaculture community in the twelve states of the western region. WRAC invites you to distribute the attached information to any colleagues who you think may be interested in nominating individuals, including yourself.

Information and Nomination Form:
News/PDFs/WRAC Committee Nomination Request 07.pdf

Information about WRAC may be found under LINKS, then Regional Aquaculture Centers. Please contact WRAC (contact details below) if you have any questions. Nominations are due by April 16, 2007. 

Graham Young, PhD
Executive Director, Western Regional Aquaculture Center
School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences
Box 355020
University of Washington
1140 NE Boat St
Seattle WA 98195-5020
Phone: 206-543-4291
Fax: 206-685-4674
Email: GrahamY@u.washington.edu

Aquaculture Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) (Posted March 10, 2007) 

The California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), on behalf of the California Fish and Game Commission and in cooperation with the California Ocean Protection Council, will be preparing a Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) for the Coastal Marine Aquaculture program. Most important, the CDFG conducted three public scoping meetings during the week of March 5, 2007;  one in Santa Monica, the second in Monterey, and the third in Eureka. The scoping meetings presented an opportunity for the Department to introduce the program to the public and to solicit comments from the public and agencies during the early stages of program development. Comments received at the public scoping meeting are considered when making the PEIR analysis.

 

Written comments will be considered along with the information presented at the scoping sessions. Written comments should be submitted before March 26th, 2007. Comments may be sent to:

 

Attn: Becky Ota: Senior Environmental Scientist, California Department of Fish and Game,
350 Harbor Blvd., Belmont, CA 94002, (650) 631-6789, bota@dfg.ca.gov

 

Additional Information:
 

California Enacts Sustainable Oceans Act: National Sea Grant Law Center. CA_Aquaculture.pdf

California Ocean Protection Council: Staff Recommendation

COPC_Staff_Recommendations_PEIR.pdf

Program Description Summary: Coastal Marine Aquaculture Program
PEIR_Program_Description_Summary.pdf

Notice of Preparation of a Program Environmental Impact Report for the Coast Marine Aquaculture Projects:
Preparation of_ PEIR .pdf

 

FEBRUARY 2007 ARCHIVE:

Aquaculture Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR)
Scoping Meetings (February 23, 2007 Release)

 

The development of the PEIR is the most significant aquaculture process for aquaculturists and environmentally sensitive groups since the Aquaculture Development Act, which was passed in the 1980s. Funded through actions of the California State government, the PEIR document will identify and programmatically evaluate potential environmental impacts of construction and operation of marine aquaculture facilities, and will discuss thresholds of significance and mitigation measures to reduce these impacts.

 

The California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG), on behalf of the California Fish and Game Commission and in cooperation with the California Ocean Protection Council, will be preparing a Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) for the Coastal Marine Aquaculture program. Most important, the CDFG will be conducting three public scoping meetings during the week of March 5, 2007 (details below). The scoping meetings will present an opportunity for the Department to introduce the program to the public and to solicit comments from the public and agencies during the early stages of program development. Comments received at the public scoping meeting will be considered in the PEIR analysis.

 

The CEQA Notice of Preparation (NOP) and other related information can be found below, after the listing for public hearings and scoping sessions.

PUBLIC HEARINGS - SCOPING SESSIONS
 

Monday, March 5, 2007 (Completed)

Santa Monica Main Public Library

Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium

601 Santa Monica Blvd

Santa Monica, CA

6:30 - 8:30 pm

 

Tuesday, March 6, 2007 (Completed)

Monterey Beach Resort

Bayview Room

2600 Sand Dunes Drive

Monterey, CA

6:00 - 8:00 pm

 

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Wharfinger Building/Eureka Public Marina

Great Room

1 Marina Way at Waterfront Drive

Eureka, CA

6:00 - 8:00 pm

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Antimycin A Risk Assessments; Notice of Availability, and Risk Reduction Options: (February 9, 2007)
SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of EPA's risk assessments, and related documents for the pesticide Antimycin A, and opens a public comment period on these documents. FOR ADDITIONAL DETAILS GO TO THE FEDERAL REGISTER

[Federal Register: January 17, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 10)]
[Notices] [Page 1990-1992] From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:fr17ja07-40]

The public is encouraged to suggest risk management ideas or proposals to address the risks identified. EPA is developing a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for antimycin A through a modified, 4-Phase public participation process that the Agency uses to involve the public in developing pesticide reregistration and tolerance reassessment decisions. Through these programs, EPA is ensuring that all pesticides meet current health and safety standards.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-1002, by one of the following methods:
• Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before March 19, 2007.


USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (February 7, 2007)
An error was discovered with the 2005 Census of Aquaculture publication involving the average gallons per minute for flow through raceways.  This information is located on table 6 page 15 of the publication.  NASS has corrected the error and updated data are now available on the Internet. The Agricultural Statistics Service is a good source for agricultural production information, including aquaculture. http://www.nass.usda.gov/Census_of_Agriculture/2002/Aquaculture/index.asp

Center for Veterinary Medicine: Update (February 5, 2007)
FDA Approves New Therapeutant for Freshwater-Reared Finfish

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved 35% PEROX-AIDŽ, an external microbicide for the control of mortality in freshwater-reared finfish eggs due to saprolegniasis, for the control of mortality in freshwater-reared salmonids due to bacterial gill disease associated with Flavobacterium branchiophilum, and for the control of mortality in freshwater-reared coolwater finfish and channel catfish due to external columnaris disease associated with Flavobacterium columnare (Flexibacter columnaris). 35% PEROX-AIDŽ is approved (New Animal Drug Application 141-255) with over the counter marketing status.

35% PEROX-AIDŽ, a product of Eka Chemicals, Inc., Marietta, Georgia, is the first new immersion therapeutant approved for finfish in twenty years.

35% PEROX-AIDŽ for the approved indications is the second approved aquaculture drug designated under the Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Health Act. This entitles Eka Chemicals, Inc. to seven years of exclusive marketing rights for the approved indications beginning on the date of approval.

The U.S. Geological Survey Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, La Crosse, Wisconsin, generated effectiveness and target animal safety as well as the environmental assessment for the approval (Public Master File 5639).

The FDA reviewed extensive data to ensure the product met all necessary effectiveness, target animal safety, human food safety, and environmental safety standards. The FDA has concluded that fish treated with hydrogen peroxide are safe for human consumption when the fish are treated according to the approved label.

Additional information on this approval may be obtained by contacting Dr. Donald Prater, Division of Therapeutic Drugs for Food Animals, FDA, Center for Veterinary Medicine, Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation, 7500 Standish Place, HFV-131, Rockville, MD 20855, 301-827-7567, email: Donald.Prater@fda.hhs.gov.

National Aquaculture Association: (February 1, 2007)
Industry Update: EPA in Process of Re-registration of Antimycin

As announced in the Federal Register of January 17, 2007, EPA has released its preliminary risk assessments for antimycin A for a 60-day public comment period. After all comments received by March 19, 2007 are evaluated, EPA will revise the risk assessments as appropriate, issue a formal response to comments, and then issue its re-registration eligibility decision. Antimycin A has historically been used to renovate recreational fish populations and to remove scaled fish from catfish fingerling and food-fish production ponds.

You may access the documents by following the instructions below:
1) Go to http://www.regulations.gov
2) Type "antimycin" in the "Keyword or ID" field
3) Click on the Submit button
4) Click on the Docket ID link (EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-1002) to retrieve a list of documents included in the docket
5) Click on the PDF icon in the "Views" column to view the document
You may submit comments by clicking on the icon in the "Add Comments" column. Note that these comments will be posted to the docket and your comments will viewable by the public.
 

JANUARY 2007 ARCHIVE:

Tommy J. Johnson: Johnson Oyster Co., Died (January 2007).


Tom Johnson 67, died this January and will be missed by all. He lived in Petaluma, but commuted to Johnson's Oyster Co., founded in 1955 by his father, on the shores of Drake's Estero in Marin County. At one time, it was one of the largest oyster farms on the West Coast, spread over more than 1,100 acres, according to his family.

Johnson's father, Charles, was a pioneer in cultivating oysters on racks, by stringing them together, rather than raising them on the sea bed, where they are more susceptible to predators. Johnson was born in Missouri and raised on a dairy farm until he was 15 and moved to Washington. The family first had an oyster operation in Aberdeen, Wash., before relocating to Marin County. Johnson joined his father's California oyster operation in 1957, after graduating from high school in the Aberdeen area.

Before retiring two years ago and selling the company, he collaborated extensively with biologists from UC Davis on oyster biology and environmental monitoring of Drakes Estero. Johnson was a giving person who opened his Petaluma ranch home to families and children who needed a place to stay. Tom was an an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Funeral services were held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Petaluma. Burial will be in his hometown of Diamond, Mo.

National Aquaculture Association: (January 22, 2007)
Industry Update: Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act (House Bill)

H. R. 83 was introduced in the House by Mrs. Biggert on January 4 to amend section 42 of title 18, United States Code, popularly known as the Lacey Act, to add certain species of carp to the list of injurious species that are prohibited from being imported or shipped. The bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

The bill will amend section 42 of title 18, United States Code, popularly known as the Lacey Act, to add certain species of carp to the list of injurious species that are prohibited from being imported or shipped. The amendment is as follows:

Section 42(a)(1) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after `Dreissena polymorpha;' the following: `of the black carp of the species Mylopharyngodon piceus; of the bighead carp of the species Hypophthalmichthys nobilis; of the silver carp of the species Hypophthalmichthys molitrix; of the largescale silver carp of the species Hypophthalmichthys harmandi'.

ANTIMYCIN A (January 17, 2007)

EPA is seeking public comments by March 19, 2007 on risk assessment and related documents for the pesticide Antimycin A, a fish toxicant used in fisheries management and aquaculture, upon which the Agency will develop a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) - Publicly available documents are to be posted in EPA Docket Identification Number EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-1002 at http://www.regulations.gov - EPA OPPTS OPP Contact: Lance Wormell, Special Review and Reregistration Division at 703 603 0523; fax: 703 308 7070; e-mail: Wormell.Lance@EPA.gov - EPA January 17 Federal Register: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20071800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2007/E7-411.htm

NOTICE ON DRUG SURVEY OF PRIVATE AQUACULTURE SECTOR (January 17, 2007)

Rosalie (Roz) Schnick, the National Coordinator for Aquaculture New Animal Drug Applications needs responses to a confidential survey developed for the private aquaculture sector so that a determination can be made of their unmet label claim needs for all drugs. It was sent on July 26, 2006 to all the national aquaculture associations. Only 10 returns had been received as of January 15, 2007.

Roz is asking that efforts be made to gain more responses so that the private aquaculture industry can recommend what additional unmet label claims should be most actively pursued with limited resources. The responses to this survey will help collaborators focus on generating data to address the unmet label claims that are most critical to commercial aquaculture production in the United States. The survey allows the aquaculturist to identify what will be needed to meet basic medicine chest needs for (1) the species cultured, (2) the diseases to controlled, (3) the procedures needing a zero withdrawal anesthetic or sedative so fish can be released or slaughtered immediately after treatment, (4) artificial spawning procedures, (5) gender manipulation, and (6) marking.

To participate in the survey, please contact Rosalie (Roz) Schnick via e-mail (RozSchnick@centurytel.net) or regular mail (National Coordinator for Aquaculture New Animal Drug Applications, Michigan State University, 3039 Edgewater Lane, La Crosse, WI 54603-1088).

NEWS RELEASE: MAJOR AQUACULTURE DRUG APPROVAL FOR 35% PEROX-AIDŽ (January 16, 2007)

35% PEROX-AIDŽ (hydrogen peroxide) was approved on January 11, 2007 for control of mortality in (1) freshwater-reared finfish eggs due to saprolegniasis, (2) freshwater-reared salmonids due to bacterial gill disease, and (3) freshwater-reared cool water finfish and channel catfish due to external columnaris disease.

Eka Chemicals, Inc. (Marietta, Georgia), is the sponsor of 35% PEROX-AIDŽ. This is a very important approval because it is

THE FIRST new waterborne drug approved for a disease claim for any aquatic species in more than twenty years

THE SECOND aquaculture drug to gain designation under the Minor Use and Minor Species Animal Health Act which entitles Eka Chemicals, Inc. to seven years of exclusivity for marketing rights for the approved label claims

THE FIRST new aquaculture drug with an original approval covering multiple label claims for use in a variety of finfish species

For specific information, go to:
FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and search for PEROX-AID.

SITE INFORMATION (January 1, 2007)
Welcome to our new format for California Aquaculture. We invite you to visit often and provide input. There are a couple of problems we have yet to overcome, but the majority of the site is ready. (problems corrected) We activated the site because much of the materials are being used in class materials at U.C. Davis. If you experience any difficulties, or have suggestions, please use the e-mail address listed below and send your comments. Place "California Aquaculture Web Site" in the subject line.

The site is presently designed as a compromise between high speed and modem users. It takes about 48 seconds for the site to load for modem users when first accessed. In the near future, we will implement a program that detects the speed capabilities of individual users and adjusts to that digital request. For modem users it will remain much as it appears today. For high speed users, the graphics will be more complex and a few of the future applications, programs and presentations that will be offered will require a faster connection

Thank you for your visit,

 Fred Conte