NOAA will host an Aquaculture Opportunity Area and Aquaculture Atlas update from 1:00-2:00pm ET on January 18, 2021. Stakeholders can register for the meeting via the internet or join by phone. Slides are available online for those joining on the phone that may wish to download the slides in advance.
Just before Thanksgiving, the National Ocean Service National Centers for Coastal and Ocean Science (NCCOS) published Aquaculture Atlases identifying 19 areas (500 to 2,000 acres), or “options”, that may be suitable for marine aquaculture across the Gulf of Mexico and Southern California Bight. These Atlases are powerful tools that will help to inform the identification of AOAs in both regions. The Atlases provide the most comprehensive marine spatial analyses ever developed for any U.S. ocean space. The Atlases do not establish AOAs, but provide peer-reviewed spatial mapping and data analyses that contribute to and inform the selection process.
During the public meeting NOAA staff will provide an overview of the contents of these Atlases, discuss next steps as the agency works toward the development of the programmatic EISs for the two AOAs, and answer AOA related questions from the public. These public meetings ensure that the development of AOAs is an inclusive and transparent process and we encourage stakeholders to explore the AOA information available at www.fisheries.noaa.gov/national/aquaculture/aquaculture-opportunity-areas.