A company growing kampachi in cages off the Kona coast in Hawaii has applied for permission to more than double its operation by increasing both the number and size of its pens.
Blue Ocean Mariculture is planning to boost its maximum growing volume from 24,000 cubic meters to 64,000 cubic meters and increase the number of pens from six to eight. The maximum size of each of the pens would expand from 7,000 to 8,000 cubic meters.
The farm site, which is located near Kona International Airport, off Unualoha Point, is currently permitted to grow mahi mahi, kahala, or almaco jack and amberjack, moi or Pacific threadfin, and ulua, a common name for giant trevally.
At present, kampachi marketed as premium, sashimi- grade fish, and moi are being produced.
The expansion would enable the company to ramp up its annual fish production from some 450 tonnes to around 1,100 tons by 2017, while staying within its present 90-acre lease area.
A company draft environmental assessment has been reviewed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, and released for public review for a 30-day period that ended August 7.
Jennica Lowell, biologist and research manager at Blue Ocean, told ANA early in August that so far the process is going along “all right.” Blue Ocean has been working with the local media and area residents to address issues or questions they might have. A public hearing was scheduled for late in August, with a decision expected in the fall.
The chief science officer for Cyanotech, a firm with a facility just onshore from Blue Ocean at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority farm, wrote that the farm has been in operation since 2005 and the company has “demonstrated the ability to raise a great fish while maintaining the pristine environment.”
– Quentin Dodd