The Ventura Shellfish Enterprise (VSE), a collaborative group seeking to grow sustainably-cultivated mussels in the Santa Barbara Channel will hold the first of a series of public information workshops at 7 p.m. on February 16. The workshop, in coordination with the Ventura Port District, will provide an introduction to the benefits of shellfish aquaculture; how this crop is grown worldwide; and the specifics of this exciting new project proposed for Ventura.
The workshop is free and open to the public. No RSVP is required. It will be held at the Channel Islands National Park Visitors Center, 1901 Spinnaker Drive, in the Ventura Harbor. Attendees may sign up at venturashellfishenterprise.com (click on the “Get Involved” link) or email [email protected] to be added to the mailing list or register for a workshop.
Supported by a $300,000 grant to the Ventura Port District from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through the National Sea Grant College Program, it is anticipated that the Ventura Port District, as a member of VSE, will obtain all the permits and entitlements needed to cultivate mussels on leases that will be farmed by commercial fisherman and landed at existing fish off-loading facilities in the Ventura Harbor.
The project has generated considerable interest in the harbor community. “The aquaculture effort will bolster commercial fishing activity in the harbor and stimulate the local economy,” said Ventura Port District General Manager Oscar Peña.