California Coastal Commission to review mollusk farming project
2017-08-08 12:27:08   copyfrom:    hits:

Coast Seafoods& 39; intention is to extend its oyster and clam farming activities in the north of Humboldt Bay

 
Coast Seafoods' intention is to extend its oyster and clam farming activities in the north of Humboldt Bay. (Photo: Stockfile/FIS)

 

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Friday, August 04, 2017, 01:10 (GMT + 9)

 

The California Coastal Commission will assess whether to renew Coast Seafood Company’s existing shellfish farming operations in Humboldt Bay and will announce its decision by August 10.

Permits belonging to the company, whose parent firm is Pacific Seafood Group, are to expire the following day, August 11, if not renewed, Eureka Times-Standard reported.

Several members of the Commission recommend to extend the company’s nearly 300 acres of existing oyster and clam farming operations in northern Humboldt Bay through December 31.

The proposed extension comes after the Commission voted 6-5 to deny the company’s proposal to renew about 230 of its existing aquaculture operations and to expand by another nearly 260 acres.

The commissioners who opposed the project were concerned about the size of the project and the potential impacts to sensitive eelgrass beds in the bay and the wildlife that rely on them.

Coastal Commission senior environmental scientist Cassidy Teufel said that the time extension is to allow the company to submit a revised plan.

Earlier this year, one of the opponents to Coast Seafoods’ expansion project, Audubon California, had filed a lawsuit, challenging environmental review of the expansion.

Humboldt Baykeeper Director Jennifer Kalt said the commission’s denial was surprising due to aquaculture being a priority of the California Coastal Act and expressed her hope that Coast Seafood can polish its project further in order to meet pending concerns.

Some Commissioners recommend that on August 10 the Commission approves a proposal from Humboldt county that was presented a year and a half ago, which would open several acres of unused coastline along the Humboldt Bay to new kinds of industries. 

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