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Lease Granted For First Deep Ocean Site

Husbandry Environment +1 more

US - The Board of Land and Natural Resources of the State of Hawaii, in a unanimous vote has granted an application from Hawaii Oceanic Technology, Inc. for a 35 year lease on the companys 247 acre (one square kilometer) deep open ocean aquaculture site, permitted by the same board in October 2009.

“This is a historic precedent for Hawaii and the United States,” says Bill Spencer, CEO. "The US lags behind the rest of the world in open ocean aquaculture because of the lack of a regulatory infrastructure to farm seafood in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Hawaii is the only state with a law on the books that allows open ocean aquaculture and has a comprehensive legal framework for leasing an ocean column to companies that want to farm the sea.

"We are happy to have been held to and met the highest possible environmental standards Hawaii can impose, and are glad to be moving forward with the unanimous support of the land board," Mr Spencer said.

“What is different about our site is that while we are in State territorial waters, it is very deep, 1,320 feet which allows us to grow large volumes of seafood in a small foot print. The ocean water at the site is abundant and will quickly mineralise effluents making for healthy fish and a healthy ocean environment,” Mr Spencer said.

The company’s goal is to demonstrate egg-to-plate tuna aquaculture using a suite of proven technologies combined to make deep ocean aquaculture environmentally responsible, efficient and economically sustainable.

The company also hopes to make a major contribution to the Big Island economy and the State of Hawaii with 60 direct and indirect jobs, tax revenues and the stimulus needed to create a host of support businesses that can service a growing aquaculture industry.