Press release from Assemblyman Wes Chesbro's office:
SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill by Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro (D - North Coast) to boost California's growing aquaculture industry. AB 1886 expands the role of an industry funded aquaculture coordinator within the Department of Fish and Game (DFG).
"Aquaculture is a clean, sustainable industry that has great growth potential in California, especially on the North Coast," Chesbro said. "The coordinator program is important to the continued growth of California aquaculture, especially when it comes to helping the industry to meet high environmental standards."
"The California Aquaculture Association requested this legislation and the industry asked for an increase in licensing fees to pay for the expansion of the aquaculture coordinator's duties," Chesbro added.
Specifically AB 1886:
- Requires DFG's aquaculture coordinator to coordinate with California's Aquaculture Development Committee, which is comprised of industry representatives, state regulators and other stakeholders.
- Increases fees for first time registration and renewal of aquaculture operations and increases the base penalties for engaging in aquaculture without paying registration or renewal fees.
- Requires the DFG to apply revenue from these fees specifically to the aquaculture coordinator program and maintain an up-to-date cost accounting and provide it to the Legislature and the Aquaculture Development Committee.
Greg Dale is the Eureka-based regional manager for Coast Seafoods, which is a major producer of oysters on Humboldt Bay. He is past president of the California Aquaculture Association and currently serves on the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District.
"The aquaculture industry is pleased the governor signed Assemblymember Chesbro's bill," Dale said. "The coordinator helps the industry collaborate with the DFG on sustainable aquaculture practices and relay our successes to the public."
"The California Aquaculture Association offered to pay higher fees to expand the coordinator program and in return require the DFG to increase transparency and accountability," Dale added. "This legislation ensures revenue from these fees is applied to the aquaculture coordinator program and that an accounting of the program is provided."
Previously: The World is Yours, Oyster Farmer