Ventura Shellfish Enterprise site selection

The Board of Port Commissioners will authorize the use of 2,000 acres of sea water.

by Oscar Peña, General Manager

On September 26, 2018 at 7pm the Ventura Port District Board of Port Commissioners will convene in Open Session at the Four Point Sheraton Ballroom, 1050 Schooner Drive, for its Regular Meeting.

The Board of Port Commissioners will authorize the General Manager to:

Prepare and submit a permit application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for use of 2,000 acres of sea water bottom in federal waters near Ventura Harbor in Block 664 and 665, the area generally depicted and described as CASS Report Alternative 1 for the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise (VSE) project:

Prepare and submit all other applications to local, state and federal agencies as required for the VSE project including the California Coastal Commission;

Prepare all necessary surveys, studies, reports and federal environmental review documents as directed by local, state and federal agencies as required for the VSE project;

Return to the Board if there are any material changes to the proposed locations for federal permits for the VSE project resulting from the permitting and/or environmental review processes.

The proposed site for the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise project is in federal waters approximately 3.53 miles from shore, northwest of the Ventura Harbor in the Santa Barbara Channel.

This agenda item will be on the District’s website for your review at

Objectives of the proposed project are:

To increase the supply of safe, sustainably produced, and locally grown shellfish;

To enhance and sustain Ventura Harbor as a major west coast fishing port and support the local economy;

To provide economies of scale, pre-approved growing areas, and technical support to include small local producers who would not otherwise be able to participate in shellfish aquaculture;

To provide an entitlement and permitting template for aquaculture projects state-wide;

To enhance public knowledge and understanding of sustainable shellfish farming practices and promote community collaboration;

To advance scientific knowledge and state of the art aquaculture practices through research and innovation. VSE Organization and Governance

Ventura Port District proposes to make mussel growing areas available to a variety of grower/producers, anticipated to include existing commercial fishermen, existing commercial shellfish businesses, and startups that otherwise would be disinclined to embark on the lengthy and expensive mandatory regulatory pathway.

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