September 26, 2018

A Closed Session of the Board will be held at 5:30PM at the
Four Points Sheraton Captain’s Room located at 1050 Schooner Drive, Ventura, CA
to discuss the items on the Attachment to Agenda-Closed Session Conference with Legal Counsel.
The Board will convene in Open Session at the Four Points Sheraton Ballroom
located at 1050 Schooner Drive, Ventura for its Regular Meeting at 7:00PM.
ADMINISTRATIVE AGENDA:
CALL TO ORDER: By Chair Everard Ashworth.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: By Chair Everard Ashworth.
ROLL CALL: By the Clerk of the Board.
ADOPTION OF AGENDA (3 minutes)
Consider and approve, by majority vote, minor revisions to agenda items and/or attachments and any item
added to, or removed/continued from the Port Commission’s agenda. Administrative Reports relating to this
agenda and materials related to an item on this agenda submitted after distribution of the agenda packet are
available for public review at the Port District’s office located at 1603 Anchors Way Drive, Ventura, CA during
business hours as well as on the District’s website – www.venturaharbor.com (Port District Business-Meetings &
Agendas). Each item on the agenda shall be deemed to include action by an appropriate motion, resolution or
ordinance to take action on any item.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES (3 minutes)
The Minutes of the September 12, 2018 Regular Meeting will be considered for approval.
PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS (3 minutes)
The Public Communications period is set aside to allow public testimony on items not on today’s agenda. Each
person may address the Commission for up to three minutes or at the discretion of the Chair.
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Ventura Port District – Regular Meeting Agenda
September 26, 2018
CLOSED SESSION REPORT (3 minutes)
Closed Sessions are not open to the public pursuant to the Brown Act. Any reportable actions taken by
the Commission during Closed Session will be announced at this time.
BOARD COMMUNICATIONS (5 minutes)
Port Commissioner’s may present brief reports on port issues, seminars, meetings and literature that
would be of interest to the public and/or Commission, as a whole. In addition, Port Commissioners should
provide a brief summary and disclose any discussions he or she may have had with any Port District
Tenants related to Port District business.
DEPARTMENTAL AND GENERAL MANAGERS REPORTS (5 minutes)
Ventura Port District Staff and General Manager will give the Commission reports on their Department
and items of general interest to the Port Commission and members of the public.
LEGAL COUNSEL REPORT (5 minutes)
CONSENT AGENDA: (5 minutes)
Matters appearing on the Consent Calendar are expected to be non-controversial and will be acted upon
by the Board at one time, without discussion, unless a member of the Board or the public requests an
opportunity to address any given item. Approval by the Board of Consent Items means that the
recommendation is approved along with the terms set forth in the applicable staff reports.
A) Approval of Out of Town Travel Requests
Recommended Action: Voice Vote.
That the Board of Port Commissioners approve the out of town travel requests for the following
employees:
A) Harbormaster, John Higgins to attend the California Harbormasters Conference; and
B) Harbor Patrolman, Ryan Sutherland to attend the Division of Boating and Waterways
Boating Accident Investigation training;
B) Approval of New Office Lease Agreement for iPowerUp
Recommended Action: Voice Vote.
That the Board of Port Commissioners approve a new Office Lease Agreement between the
Ventura Port District dba Ventura Harbor Village and Jerry Bessa dba iPowerUp for the
premises located at 1567 Spinnaker Drive #204 consisting of a total of 880 square feet for a two
(2) year term.
C) Approval of New Restaurant Lease Agreement for Le Petit Café Bakery
Recommended Action: Voice Vote.
That the Board of Port Commissioners approve a new Restaurant Lease Agreement between
the Ventura Port District dba Ventura Harbor Village and Jean-Luc and Wendy Guionnet dba Le
Petit Café Bakery for the premises located at 1591Spinnaker Drive #112 consisting of a total of
2,534 square feet (700sf patio) for a four (4) year term with one four (4) year option.
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Ventura Port District – Regular Meeting Agenda
September 26, 2018
STANDARD AGENDA:
1) Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Site Selection
Recommended Action: Voice Vote.
That the Board of Port Commissioners authorize the General Manager to:
a) 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: and,
b) Prepare and submit all other applications to local, state and federal agencies as required
for the VSE project including the California Coastal Commission; and,
c) 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; and,
d) 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.
2) Award of Bid to Bellingham Marine Industries, Inc. for the Ventura Harbor Village
Commercial Dock Replacement Project
Recommended Action: Voice Vote.
That the Board of Port Commissioners award the Ventura Harbor Village Commercial Dock
Replacement Project to Bellingham Marine Industries, Inc. in the amount of $4,317,967.
AGENDA PLANNING GUIDE AND REQUEST FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
ADJOURNMENT
This agenda was posted on Friday, September 21, 2018 by 5:00 p.m. at the Port District Office
and on the Internet – www.venturaharbor.com (Port District Business-Meetings & Agendas).

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance to participate in this
meeting, please contact the Ventura Port District at (805) 642-8538. Notification 48 hours before the
meeting will enable the District to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility.
(28 CFR 35.102.35.104 ADA Title II)
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Ventura Port District – Regular Meeting Agenda
September 26, 2018
ATTACHMENT TO PORT COMMISSION AGENDA
CLOSED SESSION CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2018
1. Conference with Real Property Negotiators – Per Government Code Section 54956.8:
a) Property:
Negotiating Parties:
Under Negotiation:
Federal Authorized Sea Bottom
Oscar Peña, Brian Pendleton, Roland Trinh,
Army Corps of Engineers
Leasing/ Permitting for VSE Aquaculture Purposes
(Verbal Report)
b) Property:
Negotiating Parties:
Proposed Lessee:
Under Negotiation:
1567 Spinnaker Drive #204
Oscar Peña, Brian Pendleton, Roland Trinh
Jerry Bessa dba iPowerUP
New Office Lease
c) Property:
Negotiating Parties:
Proposed Lessee:
Under Negotiation:
1591 Spinnaker Drive #112
Oscar Peña, Brian Pendleton, Roland Trinh
Jean-Luc and Wendy Guionnet dba Le Petit Café Bakery
New Restaurant Lease
d) Property:
Negotiating Parties:
Proposed Lessee:
Under Negotiation:
1583 Spinnaker Drive #105
Oscar Peña, Brian Pendleton, Roland Trinh
Health Minded, Corp. dba Frenchies Modern Nail Care
Proposed New Retail Lease
e) Property:
Negotiating Parties:
Proposed Lessee:
Under Negotiation:
1575 Spinnaker Drive #108
Oscar Peña, Brian Pendleton, Roland Trinh
Mahesh and Heeru Gehani dba Casa De Regalos
Proposed New Retail Lease
f) Property:
Negotiating Parties:
Proposed Lessee:
Under Negotiation:
Parcel 5 and Parcel 8
Oscar Peña, Brian Pendleton, Roland Trinh
H. Parker Hospitality
Lease Negotiations
(Verbal Report)
2. Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation: Significant exposure to
litigation pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 54956.9: Three Cases.
(Verbal Report)
4
BOARD OF PORT COMMISSIONERS
SEPTEMBER 26, 2018
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
SEPTEMBER 12, 2018
5
VENTURA PORT DISTRICT
BOARD OF PORT COMMISSIONERS
MINUTES OF SEPTEMBER 12, 2018
The Regular Meeting of the Ventura Board of Port Commissioners was
called to order by Chairman Everard Ashworth at 7:10PM at the Four
Points Sheraton Ballroom, 1050 Schooner Drive, Ventura, CA 93001.
Commissioners Present:
Everard Ashworth, Chairman
Brian Brennan, Vice Chairman
Jim Friedman, Secretary
Commissioners Absent:
Chris Stephens
Jean Getchell
Port District Staff:
Oscar Peña, General Manager
Brian Pendleton, Deputy General Manager
Robin Baer, Property Manager
John Higgins, Harbormaster
Gloria Adkins, Accounting Manager
Frank Locklear, Marina Manager
Dave Werneburg, Courtesy Patrol
Jessica Rauch, Clerk of the Board
Legal Counsel:
Timothy Gosney
AGENDA
CALL TO ORDER: By Chairman Everard Ashworth at 7:10PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE: By Commissioner Friedman.
ROLL CALL: Commissioners Stephens and Getchell were absent.
ADOPTION OF AGENDA
ACTON: Commissioner Brennen moved, seconded by Commissioner Friedman and
carried by a vote of 3-0 to adopt the September 12, 2018 agenda, with the
clarification that Standard Item 1 title and recommendation are revised as
follows:
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Ventura Port District Board of Port Commissioners
September 12, 2018 Regular Meeting Minutes
Page 2
1) Approval of Financial Statements and Checks for October January through December
2017March 2018
Recommended Action: Roll Call Vote.
That the Board of Port Commissioners adopts Resolution No. 3360 to:
a) Accept the following financial statements for the Quarter ended December March 31,
20172018; and
b) Review the payroll and regular checks for October January through December 2017March
2018.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
The Minutes of July 25, 2018 Regular Meeting and August 22, 2018 Special Meeting were considered
as follows:
ACTION: Commissioner Brennan moved, seconded by Commissioner Friedman and
carried by a vote of 3-0 to approve the minutes of the July 25, 2018 Regular
Meeting and August 22, 2018 Special Meeting.
PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS: Rochelle Cooper, owner of Ventura Boat Rentals, introduced herself
to the Board.
CLOSED SESSION REPORT: Mr. Gosney stated that the Board met in closed session; discussed
and reviewed Items 1a and 1b, all other items were not discussed. Staff was given instructions on
how to proceed as appropriate and there was no action taken that is reportable under The Brown Act.
BOARD COMMUNICATIONS: None.
STAFF COMMUNICATIONS: None.
LEGAL COUNSEL REPORT: Mr. Gosney reported that the updated Title Reports for Parcels 5 and 8
have been sent to H. Parker Hospitality.
CONSENT AGENDA:
A) Approval of Out of Town Travel Requests
Recommended Action: Voice Vote.
That the Board of Port Commissioners approve the out of town travel request for Electrician, John
Collins.
ACTION: Commissioner Brennan moved, seconded by Commissioner Friedman and carried
by a vote of 3-0 to approve the out of town travel request for Electrician, John
Collins.
B) Approval of New Restaurant Lease Agreement for Baja Bay Surf Taco
Recommended Action: Voice Vote.
That the Board of Port Commissioners approve a new Restaurant Lease Agreement between the
Ventura Port District dba Ventura Harbor Village and Baja Bay Surf Taco for the premises located at
1567 Spinnaker Drive #104 consisting of a total of 773 square feet (623 patio) for a two (2) year term.
ACTION: Commissioner Brennan moved, seconded by Commissioner Friedman and carried
by a vote of 3-0 to approve a new Restaurant Lease Agreement between the
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Ventura Port District Board of Port Commissioners
September 12, 2018 Regular Meeting Minutes
Page 3
Ventura Port District dba Ventura Harbor Village and Baja Bay Surf Taco for the
premises located at 1567 Spinnaker Drive #104 consisting of a total of 773 square
feet (623 patio) for a two (2) year term.
C) Approval of New Retail Lease Agreement for Barefoot Boutique
Recommended Action: Voice Vote.
That the Board of Port Commissioners:
a) Approve the termination of a lease agreement, dated November 16, 2015, for the premises
located at 1575 Spinnaker Drive #106 A&B, consisting of 1,545 square feet (65 square feet
storage); and
b) Approve a new retail lease agreement for the premises located at 1575 Spinnaker Drive #106
A&B, consisting of 1,545 square feet (236 square foot storage room) between the Ventura Port
District dba Ventura Harbor Village and Elizabeth Marino dba Barefoot Boutique, LLC for a
five-year term with one four-year option.
ACTION: Commissioner Brennan moved, seconded by Commissioner Friedman and carried
by a vote of 3-0 to approve the termination of a lease agreement, dated November
16, 2015, for the premises located at 1575 Spinnaker Drive #106 A&B, consisting of
1,545 square feet (65 square feet storage); and approve a new retail lease
agreement for the premises located at 1575 Spinnaker Drive #106 A&B, consisting
of 1,545 square feet (236 square foot storage room) between the Ventura Port
District dba Ventura Harbor Village and Elizabeth Marino dba Barefoot Boutique,
LLC for a five-year term with one four-year option.
D) Approval of New Office Lease for Julianne Martin, Psy.D. and Gregory Gray, M.D.
Recommended Action: Voice Vote.
That the Board of Port Commissioners approve a new Office Lease Agreement between the Ventura
Port District dba Ventura Harbor Village and Julianne Martin, Psy,D. and Gregory Gray, M.D. for the
premises located at 1575 Spinnaker Drive #207 and #208 consisting of a total of 840 square feet for a
one (1) year term with a one (1) year option.
ACTION: Commissioner Brennan moved, seconded by Commissioner Friedman and carried
by a vote of 3-0 to approve a new Office Lease Agreement between the Ventura
Port District dba Ventura Harbor Village and Julianne Martin, Psy,D. and Gregory
Gray, M.D. for the premises located at 1575 Spinnaker Drive #207 and #208
consisting of a total of 840 square feet for a one (1) year term with a one (1) year
option.
STANDARD AGENDA:
1) Approval of Financial Statements and Checks for January through March 2018
Recommended Action: Roll Call Vote.
That the Board of Port Commissioners adopts Resolution No. 3360 to:
a) Accept the following financial statements for the Quarter ended March 31, 2018; and
b) Review the payroll and regular checks for January through March 2018.
ACTION: Commissioner Friedman moved, seconded by Commissioner Brennan and carried
by a vote of 3-0 to adopt Resolution No. 3360, accepting the financial statements
for the Quarter ending March 31, 2018; and reviewing the payroll and regular
checks for January through March 2018.
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Ventura Port District Board of Port Commissioners
September 12, 2018 Regular Meeting Minutes
Page 4
2) Approval of Professional Services Agreement with White Nelson Diehl Evans
Recommended Action: Voice Vote.
That the Board of Port Commissioners:
a) Approve the three year Professional Services Agreement with White Nelson Diehl Evans LLP
to perform the District’s financial audit of the fiscal years ending June 30, 2018, June 30,
2019 and June 30, 2020; and
b) Appoint an Audit Liaison to work with staff and White Nelson Diehl Evans LLP throughout the
audit process.
ACTION: Commissioner Friedman moved, seconded by Commissioner Brennan and carried
by a vote of 3-0 to approve a three year Professional Services Agreement with
White Nelson Diehl Evans LLP to perform the District’s financial audit of the fiscal
years ending June 30, 2018, June 30, 2019 and June 30, 2020; and appoint
Commissioner Stephens as Audit Liaison to work with staff and White Nelson
Diehl Evans LLP throughout the audit process.
3) Approval of New Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Code
Recommended Action: Roll Call Vote.
That the Board of Port Commissioners adopt Resolution No. 3361 to approve the new Conflict of
Interest Code Policy and rescind Resolution No. 3317.
ACTON: Commissioner Brennan moved, seconded by Commissioner Friedman and carried
by a vote of 3-0 to adopt Resolution No. 3361 to approve the new Conflict of
Interest Code Policy and rescind Resolution No. 3317.
4) Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Site Selection
Recommended Action: Information.
That the Board of Port Commissioners receive an informational report on the VSE site selection
process with the anticipation of a final site recommendation with related permit applications, studies
and reports on September 26, 2018.
ACTION: The Board of Port Commissioners received an information report from Brian
Pendleton, Deputy General Manager of the Ventura Port District, Seth
Theuerkauf, NOAA, Laurie Monarres, Dudek, John Davis IV, Dudek and Diane
Windham, NOAA on the VSE site selection process.
Public Comment:
Terry Wilmarth, local commercial fisherman, stated that this siting area is going to impact many
different fisheries (gillnets, crab, etc), not just trawlers. This is going to impact me; will I get
reimbursed for what I lose? What about the public and their fish? There is a lot of area out there inside
three miles that unused. This is going to impact a lot of people and they’re going to hurt.
Kim Selkoe, Ph.D., Executive Director of Commercial Fisherman of Santa Barbara, stated the
organization has two issues: 1) They want to make sure this enterprise does not end up being turned
over to a single lease holder who could be a large corporate entity that could push out other buyers or
independent fisherman; until they see this, they cannot fully support this project. 2) The siting area is
also a problem. The data available is only a starting point; four years is not enough. Why not go out
ten or twelve miles to reduce fishing impacts. Should not give up on near shore and trap fisheries
because they can really provide growth and expansion over the next decade.
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Ventura Port District Board of Port Commissioners
September 12, 2018 Regular Meeting Minutes
Page 5
Justin Kemsly, a fisherman since 1981 is concerned about how the farm will stand up to the weather,
whales getting caught in the farm lines, and people getting hurt.
Chris Williams, 35 year Commercial Fisherman, would like to see the site moved because this is the
last 10% of the area to fish because there is a three mile closure, federal closures and a national park.
Independent Fisherman will never be able to go back to this area due to the permanent structures.
Also, no one has mentioned sea bass fisheries, which are quite prolific in the summer and right in the
middle of this area. This is going to push people out.
Stephanie Caldwell, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, stated on a comment card the
following: Oh behalf of the Chamber’s nearing 750 member companies representing 25,000
employees, the Board of Directors is fully supportive of this project. Based on the economic impacts
alone, this project would be a welcome addition. However, the project also meets a higher need. Not
only providing a sustainable source of protein, but doing so while supporting and maximizing
efficiencies of existing infrastructure and supply chain. Additionally, the project satisfies the need for
diversity of catch at the harbor, increasing the long-term prosperity and eliminating some of the
uncertainties that come with other types of product fished in the harbor. One additional benefit of
visibility that Ventura would receive through the branding of Ventura mussels would be consistent with
our City long-term goals. This will be a game changer for Ventura. I urge you to move this forward as
expediently as possible and commend your bold leadership in exploring this as an option.
Shaina Bhojwami, stated on a comment card the following: you suggested the Northern region of the
selected area for site selection. How do you propose to deal with area overlap with trawlers and
prevention of fish in the surrounding area (trawling area) to seek refuge in the mussel site?
Mike McCorkle, President of the Southern California Trawlers Association, asked if the lease is not
being used, can independent fisherman fish there. Also, will there be marker buoys to barricade the
leases and who will police the area? There are a lot more fisheries in this area then being discussed.
Dania Williams, wife of Fisherman Chris Williams and Secretary of the Ventura County Commercial
Fisherman’s Association, stated that her husband has fished these waters for over 35 years. 100% of
her family’s income depends on their commercial fishing business, as well as, two deckhands, their
families and industry operators, like the boatyards and fuel docks. On our fish tickets I always see
block no. 665. My husband is the top producer in this area and many of his landing receipts are from
that block area. Another item not covered today is our White Sea bass fishery, which is huge to our
income, as well as, halibut and swordfish. However, the project is of interest as it could potentially be
another type of fishing we could do.
Board Questions and Answers:
Commissioner Brennan – Did you have access to any of the fish tickets or blocks to put any of that
information in the graphs or was it all done blindly?
Seth Theuerkauf, NOAA – We worked with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to obtain the
best available spatial data to represent commercial fisheries. The data represented in the graphs was
the best data that was made available to use to use. This was a very comprehensive multi-month data
acquisition process that we underwent, but there is certainly an opportunity, if there is better available
data, to enter that into the analysis.
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Ventura Port District Board of Port Commissioners
September 12, 2018 Regular Meeting Minutes
Page 6
Commissioner Brennan – Is four years of data in the scientific community considered just barely
getting our toes in the water?
Seth Theuerkauf, NOAA – A five year period was utilized to reflect the most recent period in terms of
these fisheries. Some of these efforts are a single year fisheries data. In this case, we wanted to
utilize at least a five year period to represent water trends.
Commissioner Brennan – Was runoff and debris from coastal rivers factored into this analysis?
Seth Theuerkauf, NOAA – Those impacts may be better represented in the data itself in terms of
where trawl track lines and squid landing sites are. Others in the room may be more knowledgeable it
terms of some of this specifically.
Commissioner Brennan – I would encourage anybody in the audience that has this information to
present to staff to incorporate into the analysis.
Commissioner Brennan – Any comments on what you heard about Sea Bass nurseries and fisheries?
John Davis IV, Dudek – We are still preparing the essential fish habitat assessment and we recognize
that White Sea bass is definitely an important species that has come from being rare to being more
common. Commercial and sports fisherman target this species in June and July, which tend to be the
peak months. When we wrap it up, we will have more data included. At this point, we did not include it
due to the trawl and squid landings data, which was big.
Commissioner Brennan – How do you see the mussel farms in regard to aquaculture and its effects
on water quality?
Diane Windham, NOAA – Shellfish need clean water and they do have a filtering effect. We see that
from shellfish growing in our estuaries in Tomalas Bay, where it use to be completely devoid of sea
grass and ell grass and now the eel grass is growing right up to the edges of the shellfish beds. There
is a lot of research being done that speaks to the ecosystem services that shellfish production can
provide in the open ocean environment where you have a lot more dilution and movement of the
water. On the water quality concern side, it is lessened by being in an offshore environment where
you have active wave energy and currents. You also don’t have much in the way of natural deposition
from shellfish; they’re filter feeders so they’re not fed anything, so you’re not going to have that
deposition.
Also worth mentioning, is the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) compliance. In State
waters, shellfish growers work with the California Department of Public Health to ensure that their
shellfish meet the national shellfish sanitation program requirements. NSSP is implemented by the
FDA and the FDA and NOAA’s Seafood Inspection Program have been working together to make
available a pathway for compliance in federal waters that hadn’t previously existed because there has
been national fish growers in federal waters, both on the east and west coast. There have been a
couple of growers in federal waters who needed to be able to comply with the NSSP requirements.
There is a compliance pathway for federal waters and both the FDA and NOAA Seafood Inspection
are working closely with Coastal Marine Biolabs to be able to utilize that compliance pathway for the
VSE project if it’s permitted. They also have interest in getting their lab certified by the FDA to be able
to conduct some of the biotoxins testing themselves. The water quality is part of the testing that’s
required and water body classification; that goes into the baseline information, which is very important
to have. Appropriate monitoring requirements would be part of the permit; it’s very important that the
monitoring requirements actually be number one; that they are actually measuring things that are
meaningful so you do understand the positive effects there and also feasible monitoring can actually
be conducted without costing a lot and putting someone out of business. We the regulatory agencies
also need to be thinking about that in terms of what we require in a permit to ensure that its
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Ventura Port District Board of Port Commissioners
September 12, 2018 Regular Meeting Minutes
Page 7
meaningful, what to do with the data, understand it and apply it to management decisions, as well as,
making that data accessible to others.
Commissioner Brennan – I know we’re all worried and hesitant about losing something and maybe not
gaining anything, but I think that this would be a prime example of embracing a new technology and
science. I encourage anyone in the audience who has more information to give it to staff to put
through the filters, so we can make the right decisions.
Commissioner Friedman – Would like to know your opinion on whale entanglement.
Diane Windham, NOAA – The entanglement issue related to aquaculture gear is something NOAA
has been paying close attention to for a number of years. We actually held a protected species
aquaculture gear interactions workshop three years ago in Massachusetts in response to the
entanglement concerns on the east coast. In preparation for that workshop, literature related to
aquaculture gear and protected species interactions was globally reviewed and in a 33 year period
five notices of interactions were filed; three of which were fatal and the other two were resolved. My
point is that the gear is different. It is really appreciated hearing comments from the public because
that is how we solve problems together. Some of the comments you made about the thickness of the
ropes and the ability to entangle is much lessened and that is true. The use of breakaways is
something they have used on the east coast to help prevent this. What they are finding, however, is
that where there are instances of entanglement is with the spat lines. This project is not using spat
lines, seated lines will be brought in. I have acquired funding, which will be used for a west
coast/Southern California workshop on protected species interactions with aquaculture gear
specifically to get at these issues because a big part of it is education; to help people understand the
differences in gear types, but also we want to be able to recognize and address if there are gear types
that some species of mammals are more vulnerable to. There are several tools in development that
will be able to help us like robotic models and 3D models that simulate how different species move in
the water. Also, it comes down to the monitoring requirements where there’s an absence of data.
Commissioner Friedman – Would like your opinion on marker buoys and if people will hit them?
Diane Windham, NOAA – I am not aware of any incidents of vessels hitting buoys. The Coast Guard
does have requirements for lighting buoys. Perhaps this may be a Coast Guard or Army Corps
question.
Commissioner Ashworth – Can you explain the way in which the aid to navigation will be required and
permitted through the Coast Guard?
Laurie Monarres, Dudek – One of the permits that we will require in the future once we have the final
site determined is a private aid to navigation permit and that comes through the Coast Guard. There
are set requirements to obtain a permit when you are putting these types of buoys out there and they
have their own conditions through the Coast Guard on how they need to be marked, identified and lit.
There is actually a best management practice that we’re incorporating for navigation.
Commissioner Brennan – I want to recognize the technologies coming into this. There is certainly a lot
out there that could be a real asset and help in both monitoring and species entanglement incidents.
Technology is bringing back an industry that was very conducive to our coast lines and we can do it in
partnership.
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Ventura Port District Board of Port Commissioners
September 12, 2018 Regular Meeting Minutes
Page 8
AGENDA PLANNING GUIDE AND REQUEST FOR FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS: None.
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 9:32PM.
________________________________
Secretary
13
BOARD OF PORT COMMISSIONERS
SEPTEMBER 26, 2018
DEPARTMENTAL STAFF REPORTS
DREDGING
FEDERAL
MARINA
MARKETING
PROPERTY
TREASURERS
14
RWP DREDGING MANAGEMENT
Richard W. Parsons
2271 Los Encinos Road
Ojai, California 93023
Phone/Fax (805) 649-9759
September 26, 2018
Board of Port Commissioners
Ventura Port District
1603 Anchors Way Drive
Ventura, CA 93001
Subject: August/September 2018 Dredging Activities and Special Projects Report
The Dredging Program Manager’s activities for the August/September 2018 period are reviewed
below:
FY2019 Federal Funding
During the week of September 10, 2018, the Congress was able to complete work on a funding
package that included the FY2019 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill. The $7
billion bill includes $5,370,000 for the Corps of Engineers annual maintenance dredging of
Ventura harbor. Given the current condition of the harbor entrance channel and sand traps, the
approved funding level is expected to be adequate.
FY2019 Corps of Engineers Dredging
The Los Angeles District of the Corps of Engineers has been attempting over the past several
months to finalize a six year Environmental Assessment (EA) of their Ventura Harbor
Maintenance Dredging program. As part of that effort, sediment samples of the various areas to
be dredged were collected in June and the analytical results of those sediments became
available in August. The results in Areas B and D (see attached drawing) indicated that as much
as 90% of the sediments were fine grained material, i.e. silt and clay. That is a problem. The
deposition of fine grained material is not normally allowed in the surf zone in the manner that
has been utilized by the Corps for the past 35 years at Ventura Harbor. At an August 29, 2018
meeting of the Dredge Material Management Team (DMMT) at the Corps offices in Los Angeles,
representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicated that the deposition of
material from Areas B and D in the surf zone could not be allowed.
This situation is most unusual; the material dredged by the Corps is usually 90% coarse
grained, i.e. sand. It is theorized that because the sediment sampling occurred shortly after an
almost complete emptying of the coarse grained material in Areas B and D during the February
2018 dredging of the harbor entrance area that not enough time had passed with periods of high
wave energy to move the usual quantities of coarse grained material into the entrance area. The
Corps has now scheduled a re-sampling of Areas B & D to occur in December 2018 with the
expectation that more acceptable results will be obtained. If that does occur, deposition in the
surf zone would then be acceptable to the EPA.
During the recent CMANC meeting in Oakland I had the opportunity to discuss this situation with
a Senior Research Scientist at the Corps’ Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC)
in Vicksburg, Mississippi. The gentleman is quite knowledgeable with regard to the regulatory
requirements impacting the deposition of dredge material. His thinking at first glance is that the
15
EPA’s position is not supported by the regulatory framework. At the Los Angeles District’s
request, ERDC will now look into this matter.
In the meantime the L.A. District will proceed with the finalization of the environmental document
and the preparation of the contract bid package. Areas B & D will be treated as optional bid and
work areas.
Inner Harbor Sediment Sampling
At the August 29, 2018 meeting of the Dredge Material Management Team (DMMT) the Port
District’s Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) for sediment sampling of the various inner harbor
dredging areas was approved with a few minor adjustments to the plan. The sampling will be
conducted during the first week of October and the analytical results should be available by the
end of that month. The sample collection effort is being coordinated with a similar effort by the
City of Ventura for the Ventura Keys in order to minimize the equipment mobilization cost.
Parking Lot Pavement Repairs and Slurry Work
While Toro Enterprises has now completed the harbor wide pavement repair program at a cost
of $352,464.40, an apparent deficiency has developed with the slurry overlay. We are currently
in consultation with the project engineer, Jensen Design and Survey, to identify the likely cause
of this deficiency and expect to be in contact with Toro Enterprises in the near future. The
contract provides for a one year guarantee of the work.
Fish Pier Deck Repairs
A contract in the amount of $499,950 is now in place with Garland/DBS, Inc. for the fish pier
deck repairs. Work on the eastern half of the pier is expected to begin on September 24, 2018.
Respectfully submitted,
Richard Parsons
Dredging and Special Projects Consultant
Attachment.
16
Areas in Question: B & D ATTACHMENT 1
17
Monthly Federal Report September 2018
Fall Congressional Priorities
While Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) made good on his threat to cancel the
traditional August recess, those few extra weeks of being in session failed to make much
of a dent in the congressional workload. With the congressional calendar growing short
for this session, Congress will attempt to finish the following priorities this fall:
• Finish FY19 appropriations or at least have a Continuing Resolution in place to
maintain federal funding when the new fiscal year begins on October 1
• Confirm Brett Kavanaugh before the Supreme Court begins its new session on
October 1
• Pass the National Defense Authorization for FY19 (current law expires December
31)
• Extend or pass a new “Farm Bill” (current law expires September 30)
• Extend or pass a new FAA authorization (current extension expires September
30)
• Pass comprehensive legislation to address the opioid crisis
• Extend or pass new programs for pandemic preparedness, Children’s Hospitals
Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program, and the Animal Drug User Fee
Act of 2003 (ADUFA)
• Extend or pass a new authorization for the nation’s intelligence programs
• Pass a new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA)
There is no question that Congress, once again, has its work cut out for them. However,
in the first two weeks of September Congress has made great progress on civil works
related items and we may be on track to have an FY19 Energy & Water Appropriations
bill signed into law before the start of the new fiscal year on October 1st.
Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations
On September 12th and 13th, the first Minibus appropriations package which included
the FY19 Energy & Water Appropriations bill was approved by the Senate and House
respectively. This represents the first time in recent history that funding for the US
Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has been completed by Congress before the start of
the fiscal year. Minibus 1 is currently on its way to the President for signature.
18
For the Corps, the final bill provides $7B for civil works priorities and notably carries
forward the $5.37M for Ventura Harbor’s annual operation and maintenance dredging
that was identified in the President’s FY19 Budget Proposal back in February. Passage of
this bill also marks the start of the Corps Work Plan process and a 60-day window in
which to produce a Work Plan. In some years Ventura Harbor has required additional
funds through the Work Plan; hat is not the case for FY19.
Some highlights of the final FY19 Energy & Water Appropriations conference report
include:
• General Investigations: $125M ($3M increase over FY18 and $43M increase over
FY19 Administration’s budget proposal)
• Construction: $2.183B ($98M increase over FY18 and $43M increase over FY19
Administration’s budget proposal)
• O&M: $3.739B ($3M increase over FY18 and $1.311B increase over FY19
Administration’s budget proposal)
• Donor & Energy Ports: $50M (same as FY18, was not included in the FY19
Administration’s budget proposal)
• Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund: Meets the target established by WRRDA 2014
• Administration’s Civil Works Reorganization Proposal: Conferees are opposed
to the proposal noting “detrimental impacts for the implementation of the civil
works program” and that “notification and discussion with Members of Congress
and Committee staffs was nonexistent”. The conferees further prevent any
funds in the FY19 bill or any previously appropriated funds from being used to
implement the proposal.
• FY19 Work Plan Direction: Directs the Administration to produce a work plan
within 60-days. The work plan will select six new start feasibility studies and five
new start construction projects.
• Disposition of Completed Projects: The conference agreement includes Senate
direction which stated that “disposition studies not included in the budget
request that have a non-federal interest who has expressed interest in assuming
responsibility for a facility shall be considered eligible for additional funding
provided” in the investigations account.
• Beneficial Use of Dredged Material Pilot Program: The conference agreement
includes the House direction which called for the Corps to use CAP section 204
funds to fund the program and to brief the committee within 60-days on
enactment on the selection of the pilot projects.
• Project Inventory: Requests an inventory of all authorized Corps studies and
projects by state.
• Project Deauthorizations: Requests a list of all projects that have been
deauthorized or will be deauthorized in the next two fiscal years as a result of
the WIIN Act of 2016.
19
Water Resources Development Act of 2018
Much like the FY19 Energy & Water appropriations process, the Water Resources
Development Act of 2018 (WRDA 18) has also seen significant action in the first part of
the year. As you are aware from previous monthly updates, both the House
Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) and the Senate Environment & Public Works
(EPW) committees introduced, marked up and passed their respective bills in the early
summer months. The House WRDA also overwhelmingly passed the full House in June
by a vote of 408-3. The Senate tried, but failed, to bring WRDA to the floor under a
modified rule. Nonetheless, staff spent much of August working to pre-conference a
final WRDA 2018 bill and that agreement was released by House and Senate negotiators
on September 10th. The House swiftly took up package under the suspension calendar
on September 13th and the Senate is expected to approve the measure the week of
September 17th.
If the Senate succeeds in sending WRDA 2018 to the President for signature, it will mark
the third time in the last six years that Congress has made good on its promise to deliver
WRDA on a biennial basis.
Provisions of interest include the following:
• Calls for a study to examine moving the Corps out of the Department of Defense.
• Calls for the Corps to use five-year budgets.
• Calls for an extension of a pilot grant program for construction of Corps projects.
• Calls for a study of the benefit to cost ratio.
• Calls for District Commanders to increase the length of their service to five-years
In February, the American Association of Port Authorities reached an industry
agreement on HMT. However, that agreement failed to attract support from House or
Senate authorizing committees. Efforts to continue to modify HMT will continue for a
future WRDA 2020.
Federal Agency Reorganization Proposal
As we reported earlier this summer, on June 20th, the Administration released a
massive proposal to reorganize the federal government. The proposal, if adopted by
Congress, would impact several of the federal agencies that California’s maritime
industry does regular business. Most notably it proposed moving the Corps’ navigation
duties to the Department of Transportation (DOT) and its water infrastructure role to
the Department of the Interior (DOI).
The proposal has not gotten a lot of attention from Congress other than a hearing in the
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The hearing lasted over two
hours and while members on both sides of the aisle engaged the witness from OMB, not
20
a single member asked about the plan to move the Corps civil works responsibilities out
of the Department of Defense (DoD).
However, over the summer DoD issued an internal memo to begin evaluating a
reorganization of the Corps. The memo called for the following:
• Convening a team to commence planning for the reorganization
• Engaging with DOI and DOT to prepare transfer functions and responsibilities
• Conducting an external review to assess how the Corps can be more effective
and efficient after the reorganization
This was done without prior notification to Congress and as noted in the FY19
Appropriations section of the memo, Congress provided a sharp rebuke to the
Administration for this action.
Waters of the U.S.
The uncertainty and confusion that has plagued the definition of the “Waters of the
United States” took another turn this summer. On August 16, the U.S. District Court of
the District of South Carolina issued a decision to vacate and nationally enjoin the EPA
and the Corps’ final rule that added an applicability date to the Clean Water Rule issued
in 2015. The 2015 Rule is now in effect in 26 states, including California. EPA and the
Corps are appealing this ruling and seeking a stay of the court’s order. However, the
jumble of competing legal claims for and against both the 2015 Rule and actions taken
by EPA and the Corps over the past two years continues to bedevil a clear and coherent
policy on regulating actions in or near bodies of water. One practical effect of this latest
ruling is that the Corps “paused” for two weeks issuance of all Section 404 permits while
it considers the legal ramification of this ruling.
21
VENTURA PORT DISTRICT
DEPARTMENTAL STAFF REPORT Meeting Date: September 26, 2018
TO: Board of Port Commissioners
FROM: Frank Locklear, Marina Manager / Technology
SUBJECT: July / August 2018 Marina and Technology Report
I. Ventura Harbor Village Marina Occupancy and Squid Production
The June marina tenant slip occupancy has remained at 90%. The month of July and August
did not produce any squid landings. This is not uncommon for the summer months. A small
number of sardines were landed during these months by the squid offloading companies.
II. Technology
New EMUX installations have been completed by ATT in the electrical rooms of the 1559, 1567,
1583 and 1591 buildings. This desirable improvement enables the tenants of Ventura Harbor
Village to increase their internet business connectivity.
The Port District’s Exchange Server was replaced in July. The old server had become
increasingly unstable, required frequent reboots and limited the size of the end users email
boxes. The new server is far more stable. The size of our end users individual mail boxes on the
new server has grown from 5 gigabytes to 15 gigabytes in size. As future demands increase,
each end users mailbox can be further increased to 25 gigabytes as needed. There is no limit to
the size of District emails and attachments that can be sent. Other email services have
restrictions on email sizes that can be received or sent. If a District sent email gets rejected, it is
because the receiving party cannot accommodate it.
The new server has additional features that only a network administrator can appreciate and is
part of our new technology that will facilitate future upgrades.
22
Marketing/Promotions
Marketing Report July-August 2018
Date Range: July 1 – August 31, 2018
Press Release Distribution
Publication Distribution
Summer Advertising
Meetings
• July: Hospitality & Tourism Program Director for Cal Lu
• July/August: Ventura County Coast Board Meeting
• August: LA Tourism Outlook – Update on Tourism into the Gateway City
• August: Visit Ventura: Re-Thinking Tourism
• August: Spirit of Small Business Award Pacific Business Times to honor Island Packers
• 805 Magazine July/August Issue: SLO County to TO/Editorial featured Harbor beaches and Village
• KHAY Radio Ads: Labor Day Weekend/Rock on the Dock/Art & Street Painting Festival
• VC Star Timeout: Waterfront Wednesdays / Seaside Kids Club (July) / Rock on the Dock (August)
• Ventura Breeze Newspaper: Seaside Cool (July) / Rock on the Dock (August)
• Paid Boosted Blog with Visit Ventura: Waterfront Wednesday 28k reached / 1,800 clicks / 104 Shares
• Valley Scene Magazine: Seaside Cool (July) / Rock on the Dock (August)
• The Santa Clarita Signal: Seaside Cool (July) / Rock on the Dock (August)
• Ventura Crowne Plaza Annual Rack Brochure (25k in 160 LA Corporate Locations): Attraction Ad
• Carpinteria Magazine Summer Edition (July & August) : Ventura Harbor Attraction
• Bakersfield Life Magazine: (August): Ventura Harbor Seaside Cool
• Santa Barbara Family Life Magazine/Camarillo Acorn/VC Star/Ventura Breeze: Seaside Kids Club
• Ventura Harbor Village Map & Guide Summer Issue: 15k
• Harbor Views Summer Newsletter inserted into July issue
of Ventura Breeze/1k in Ventura Harbor
• New Commissioner Jean Getchell
• New Deputy General Manager Brian Pendleton
• Top 5 Deep Blue Deals on Tap for Waterfront Wednesdays
• Top 10 Nightlife Picks at Ventura Harbor this Summer
• Rock on the Dock Amps Up Seaside: Concert Series Line Up
23
Marketing/Promotions Continued
Marketing Report July-August 2018
Date Range: July 1 – August 31, 2018
Ventura Harbor Web Site Updates
Tenant Focus
Marketing & Media
• Corvettes of Bakersfield: Social Campaign on the road from Bakersfield to the Sea. Hosted Pop-Up
Car Show in Harbor Village for the Club
• Dive Into Summer: Promotional Campaign for Diving/Summer Wear – Social/Online/Dedicated
Link & Page on Website
• Manage photography shoots with local photographers for social / web / ad use
• Posting Harbor public events to Nextdoor Website
• Assisted with promoting coop Ventura Harbor pages for Visit Ventura Inspiration Guide
Hosted Media Visits & Itinerary Development
• Fratelli’s Restaurant: New Business Online / Social / E-newsletter / Press Release / Electronic Sign
• Ventura Comedy Festival (August): Distributed press release to media outlets / Website exposure
/ Marketing & PR assistance for the festival
• Island Packers Whale Watch & Summer Dinner Cruises : Marketing efforts to promote summer
season and cruises / Social / Online /E-newsletters / Calendars / Rack Card Distribution
• Four Points by Sheraton Summer Pop-Up Car Shows: Corvettes & Cadillacs – Photo Shoot / Social /
Calendar / Tourism Outreach
• Harbor Cove Café: Summer Entertainment Line-Up: Social / Online / Calendar
Accessible Beach Wheel Chair / Anchors
Way Drive Construction Update/ Dock
Replacement/ News Features
• KCET Show SOCAL WANDERER: Focus on Channel Islands/Ventura Harbor. Premiered on Aug 7
• Nora Tarte from San Joaquin Magazine and San Joaquin Parents & Kids Magazine visited Aug 9-11
• Molly Okamura, Media Relations Coordinator for VisitCalifornia, visited July 27-29
• Nancy Brown, Travel Writer/Blogger Assignment for Various Publications, visited in August
• Ronnie Greenberg and Joe Hilbers of Valley Scene Magazine and Senior Reporter of Orange County
visited in August
• Waterfront Wednesdays Kicks Off Today!
• Seaside Kids Club Starts July 5th!
• 5 Ways to Beat the Heat and Cool Down
Seaside at Ventura Harbor Village
• After Fair Favorites Found Seaside
• Three NEW Pop Up’s at the Seashore
• 5 Ways to have a CHILL Evening Seaside
PR Coverage
• Southern California Life Magazine / Daily Breeze / NancyDBrown.com / Conejo 365 / NBC Los
Angeles / Valley Scene Magazine / Y Travel Blog / Ventura Breeze / BC Living
• Plus 40+ editorial placements on web & newspaper publications!
Harbor E-Newsletter Topics:
24
25
26
Instagram / Web Analytics
Marketing Report July- August 2018
Date Range: July 1 – August 31, 2018 *Note two month time span
________________________________________________________________
Top Site Referrals:
• Organic Search Engines
• Visit California
• Island Packers
• Harbor Facebook
• Visit Ventura
Average Page Visits Per Session: 2.79 (up .24)
Average Session Duration: 2.79 Mins (up .52)
Average Page Visits Per Session: 1.69 ( up .03)
Average Session Duration – 1:11 Mins (up .04)
Top Site Referrals:
• Organic Search Engines
• VH Facebook
• VenturaHarbor.com
• VH Instagram
• Visit Ventura
• Central Coast Tourism
Top Page Views:
• Village Businesses
• Beaches
• Directions/Map
• Restaurants/Food
• Local Commercial
Fish Market
Top Page Views:
• Dine
• Events
• Play
• Shop
• Waterfront
Wednesdays
• Explore
• Channel Islands
National Park
• Live Entertainment
______________________________
27
Facebook / Twitter / Google
Marketing Report July-August 2018
_______________________________________________
Date Range: July 1 – August 31, 2018 *Note two month time span
Organic Visitor Ratings for Ventura Harbor Village
735 Reviews Total
4.4 Average Rating (out of 5) Ventura Harbor featured
on Visit California Twitter!
28
VENTURA PORT DISTRICT
DEPARTMENTAL STAFF REPORT Meeting Date: September 26, 2018
TO: Board of Port Commissioners
FROM: Robin Baer, Property Manager
SUBJECT: July and August 2018 Property Report
TENANT REPORT
1) Anja’s Boutique— 1559 Spinnaker Drive #103 —- This space is being leased as a new
concept in the Village — a “Pop Up” store that will offer new merchandise, provide insight
into the marketplace and operates on a month-to-month basis. This tenant will be offering
Italian made shoes, sandals, jewelry and accessories. Now open.
2) BS Taproom — 1591 Spinnaker Drive #115 – We have no activity or estimated completion
of project.
3) Rhumb Line — 1510 Anchors Way – We have no activity or estimated completion of project.
LEASING OUTREACH
1) Leasing Outreach
 Leasing RFP Opportunity Packet for Lighthouse Building
o Three proposals were received and are being reviewed by the Leasing
Committee. Staff will report to Board after review is completed.
 Daily exposure with our ads online via Loopnet/Costar which covers the following:
o 24 Million visitors to these sites
o 83% of all 2016 commercial real estate transactions involved these sites
o 200,000 commercial real estate professional use CoStar services
2) Motionloft – July and August 2018 Reports (see attached)
29
OCCUPANCY LEVELS AT HARBOR VILLAGE
August 2018
CATEGORY Harbor Harbor Harbor Harbor City * City *
Vacancy Vacancy Available Available Vacancy Available
Sq Ft % Sq Ft % % %
Office 0 0% 0 0% 13.9% 20.5%
Retail 0 0% 7,788 42% 8.1% 14.4%
Restaurant 0 0% 2,534 7% N/A N/A
*Based on comparable square footage
SALES REPORTS
The attached summary for July and August provides sales for three categories: restaurants,
retail and charters. The reports compare the monthly sales for 2018 and 2017. They also
include year-to-date comparisons.
The year-to-date overall sales were down .33% for July and up 13.28% for August from the
same time last year.
ATTACHMENTS
Attachment 1 – July and August 2018 Sales Summary Reports
Attachment 2 – Motionloft Reports – July and August 2018
30
Ventura Harbor Village
Tenant Sales Summary
Month of
July-2018
%
July-2018 July-2017 Change
Restaurants $ 2,021,914 $ 2,021,925 0.00%
Retail $ 631,407 $ 593,198 6.44%
Charters $ 884,480 $ 934,293 -5.33%
Total $ 3,537,801 $ 3,549,416 -0.33%
Year-to-date through July 2018
%
July-2018 July-2017 Change
Restaurants $ 9,645,503 $ 9,533,475 1.18%
Retail $ 2,717,934 $ 2,424,392 12.11%
Charters $ 3,707,950 $ 3,527,040 5.13%
Total $ 16,071,387 $ 15,484,907 3.79%
ATTACHMENT 1
31
Ventura Harbor Village
Tenant Sales Summary
Month of
August-2018
%
August-2018 August-2017 Change
Restaurants $ 1,792,494 $ 1,573,193 13.94%
Retail $ 500,707 $ 432,616 15.74%
Charters $ 842,480 $ 762,384 10.51%
Total $ 3,135,681 $ 2,768,193 13.28%
Year-to-date through August 2018
%
August-2018 August-2017 Change
Restaurants $ 11,556,513 $ 11,106,668 4.05%
Retail $ 3,218,641 $ 2,857,008 12.66%
Charters $ 4,538,102 $ 4,289,424 5.80%
Total $ 19,313,256 $ 18,253,100 5.81%
ATTACHMENT 1
32
Ventura Pedestrian Total – Visitors
Weekdays Weekends
12 AM 5 AM 10 AM 3 PM 8 PM
500
1,000
2,000
4,000
6,000
8,000
10,000
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Jul 1, 2018 – Jul 31, 2018
7,035
Typical Day
13,561
Sat, Jul 7 – Busiest Day
11,148
Saturday Average
49,457
Typical Week
56,992
Peak Week Beginning Sun, Jul 1
218,083
Total Visitors
Totals
Week beginning Sun, Jul 1 56,992
Week beginning Sun, Jul 8 48,163
Week beginning Sun, Jul 15 44,836
Week beginning Sun, Jul 22 48,061
Week beginning Sun, Jul 29 20,031
Ventura Port District
Average Daily Activity
Hours % Total
5am – 11am 11% 762
11am – 5pm 52% 3,674
5pm – 11pm 36% 2,537
11pm – 5am 1% 61
__
__
__
__
ATTACHMENT 2
33
Ventura Vehicle Total – Visitors
Weekdays Weekends
12 AM 5 AM 10 AM 3 PM 8 PM
200
400
600
800
2,000
4,000
6,000
8,000
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Jul 1, 2018 – Jul 31, 2018
7,338
Typical Day
10,250
Sat, Jul 7 – Busiest Day
9,059
Saturday Average
51,722
Typical Week
53,557
Peak Week Beginning Sun, Jul 1
227,479
Total Visitors
Totals
Week beginning Sun, Jul 1 53,557
Week beginning Sun, Jul 8 52,114
Week beginning Sun, Jul 15 49,205
Week beginning Sun, Jul 22 52,300
Week beginning Sun, Jul 29 20,303
Ventura Port District
Average Daily Activity
Hours % Total
5am – 11am 25% 1,869
11am – 5pm 51% 3,757
5pm – 11pm 22% 1,624
11pm – 5am 1% 88
__
__
__
__
ATTACHMENT 2
34
Ventura Pedestrian Total – Visitors
Weekdays Weekends
12 AM 5 AM 10 AM 3 PM 8 PM
200
400
600
800
1,000
2,000
4,000
6,000
8,000
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Aug 1, 2018 – Aug 31, 2018
5,541
Typical Day
11,456
Sat, Aug 11 – Busiest Day
9,563
Saturday Average
39,601
Typical Week
45,370
Peak Week Beginning Sun, Aug 5
171,770
Total Visitors
Totals
Week beginning Sun, Jul 29 25,996
Week beginning Sun, Aug 5 45,370
Week beginning Sun, Aug 12 40,642
Week beginning Sun, Aug 19 33,719
Week beginning Sun, Aug 26 26,043
Ventura Port District
Average Daily Activity
Hours % Total
5am – 11am 12% 672
11am – 5pm 53% 2,933
5pm – 11pm 34% 1,879
11pm – 5am 1% 58
__
__
__
__
ATTACHMENT 2
35
Ventura Vehicle Total – Visitors
Weekdays Weekends
12 AM 5 AM 10 AM 3 PM 8 PM
200
400
600
2,000
4,000
6,000
8,000
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Aug 1, 2018 – Aug 31, 2018
6,750
Typical Day
8,850
Sat, Aug 11 – Busiest Day
8,134
Saturday Average
47,234
Typical Week
51,968
Peak Week Beginning Sun, Aug 5
209,240
Total Visitors
Totals
Week beginning Sun, Jul 29 30,203
Week beginning Sun, Aug 5 51,968
Week beginning Sun, Aug 12 48,261
Week beginning Sun, Aug 19 43,213
Week beginning Sun, Aug 26 35,595
Ventura Port District
Average Daily Activity
Hours % Total
5am – 11am 26% 1,777
11am – 5pm 49% 3,302
5pm – 11pm 23% 1,581
11pm – 5am 1% 92
__
__
__
__
ATTACHMENT 2
36
37
38
JOHN CHIANG
TREASURER
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
03/13/18 1.51 1.40 177
03/14/18 1.51 1.40 176
03/15/18 1.52 1.40 176
03/16/18 1.53 1.40 176
03/17/18 1.53 1.41 176
03/18/18 1.53 1.41 176
03/19/18 1.53 1.41 176
03/20/18 1.54 1.41 175
03/21/18 1.54 1.41 174
03/22/18 1.55 1.41 178
03/23/18 1.56 1.42 180
03/24/18 1.56 1.42 180
03/25/18 1.56 1.42 180 Mar 2018 1.524
03/26/18 1.56 1.42 176 Feb 2018 1.412
03/27/18 1.57 1.42 175 Jan 2018 1.350
03/28/18 1.57 1.42 177
03/29/18 1.58 1.43 179
03/30/18 1.59 1.43 183
03/31/18 1.59 1.43 183
04/01/18 1.59 1.59 183
04/02/18 1.60 1.60 190
04/03/18 1.60 1.60 190
04/04/18 1.61 1.60 188
04/05/18 1.61 1.60 187
04/06/18 1.62 1.61 185
04/07/18 1.62 1.61 185
04/08/18 1.62 1.61 185
04/09/18 1.62 1.61 186
04/10/18 1.63 1.61 184
04/11/18 1.63 1.61 183
04/12/18 1.65 1.62 183
Based on data available as of 4/13/2018
Quarter to Date:
Average Life:
View Prior Month Daily Rates
PMIA Average Monthly
Effective Yields
1.43%
*Daily yield does not reflect capital gains or losses
183
PMIA Performance Report LAIF Performance Report
Date Daily Yield*
Quarter to
Date Yield
Average
Maturity
(in days) Apportionment Rate: 1.51%
Quarter Ending 03/31/18
0.00004135534904993
0.997538001
Earnings Ratio:
Fair Value Factor:
Daily: 1.59%
Treasuries
44.32%
Mortgages
0.04%
Agencies
17.95%
Certificates of
Deposit/Bank
Notes
20.34%
Time Deposits
6.71%
Commercial
Paper
9.68%
Loans
0.96%
Pooled Money Investment Account
Portfolio Composition
03/31/18
$75.0 billion
39
BOARD OF PORT COMMISSIONERS
SEPTEMBER 26, 2018
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM A
APPROVAL OF OUT OF
TOWN TRAVEL REQUESTS
40
VENTURA PORT DISTRICT CONSENT AGENDA ITEM A
BOARD COMMUNICATION Meeting Date: September 26, 2018
TO: Board of Port Commissioners
FROM: Oscar F. Peña, General Manager
SUBJECT: Out of Town Travel Requests
RECOMMENDATION:
That the Board of Port Commissioners approve by motion the following out of town travel requests
for:
A) Harbormaster, John Higgins to travel to Marina Del Rey, California to participate in the
California Harbormasters Conference on October 16 – 18, 2018. Attending this conference
will allow Mr. Higgins to help put on and engage in training and networking with Harbors
throughout California. Participating allows for both professional development and further
highlights how Ventura Harbor is succeeding in today’s challenging environment. Estimated
cost for the travel is as follows:
Registration $395.00
Lodging $498.21
Meals $180.00
Mileage $81.00
Misc $120.00
TOTAL $1,274.21
B) Harbor Patrolman, Ryan Sutherland to travel to Long Beach, California to participate in the
Division of Boating and Waterways Boating Accident Investigation Training on October 1 –
5, 2018. Attending this conference will allow Mr. Sutherland to properly investigate a
boating accident. Also, staff will be applying for a grant that we hope to receive to pay for
this training. Estimated cost for the travel is as follows:
Registration NA
Lodging $996.45
Meals $570.00
Mileage $82.84
Misc $150.00
TOTAL $1,799.29
41
BOARD OF PORT COMMISSIONERS
SEPTEMBER 26, 2018
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM B
APPROVAL OF NEW OFFICE LEASE
AGREEMENT FOR IPOWERUP
42
VENTURA PORT DISTRICT CONSENT AGENDA ITEM B
BOARD COMMUNICATION Meeting Date: September 26, 2018
TO: Board of Port Commissioners
FROM: Robin Baer, Property Manager
SUBJECT: Approval of New Office Lease Agreement for iPowerUp
1567 Spinnaker Drive #204
RECOMMENDATION:
That the Board of Port Commissioners approve a new Office Lease Agreement between the
Ventura Port District dba Ventura Harbor Village and Jerry Bessa dba iPowerUp for the
premises located at 1567 Spinnaker Drive #204 consisting of a total of 880 square feet for a two
(2) year term.
SUMMARY:
Staff has re-negotiated with this tenant who will now be signing a two-year term lease. No
improvements are required for this space.
BACKGROUND:
iPowerUp has been a Harbor Village tenant since 2010. iPowerUp is a designer and engineer of
electronic accessories for smart mobile devices. They bring the most innovative mobile power
accessories to consumers and business professionals. With its patented technology iPowerUp
has made its focus to provide the highest quality products in each mobile category using a
combination of their own proprietary designs and unique original design manufacturer
partnerships. They have become known by customers and mobile industry experts for its
innovative and stylish mobile charging solutions.
FISCAL IMPACT:
This new lease reflects current market rental rates for office space in the complex. The annual
occupancy cost for this tenant is approximately $20,000 for year one. For year two, the term is
adjusted by a three percent step increase.
ATTACHMENTS:
None.
43
BOARD OF PORT COMMISSIONERS
SEPTEMBER 26, 2018
CONSENT AGENDA ITEM C
APPROVAL OF NEW RESTAURANT
LEASE AGREEMENT FOR LE PETIT
CAFÉ BAKERY
44
VENTURA PORT DISTRICT CONSENT AGENDA ITEM C
BOARD COMMUNICATION Meeting Date: September 26, 2018
TO: Board of Port Commissioners
FROM: Robin Baer, Property Manager
SUBJECT: Approval of New Restaurant Lease Agreement for Le Petit Café Bakery
1591Spinnaker Drive #112
RECOMMENDATION:
That the Board of Port Commissioners approve a new Restaurant Lease Agreement between
the Ventura Port District dba Ventura Harbor Village and Jean-Luc and Wendy Guionnet dba Le
Petit Café Bakery for the premises located at 1591Spinnaker Drive #112 consisting of a total of
2,534 square feet (700sf patio) for a four (4) year term with one four (4) year option.
SUMMARY:
Le Petit Café Bakery a long term tenant has been on a month-to-month tenancy since May
2018. Staff has re-negotiated with the tenant; they will now be signing a four year term with a
four year option to extend.
BACKGROUND:
Le Petit Café Bakery has been a tenant since 1999. Mr. & Mrs. Guionnet met in the restaurant
industry and have enjoyed owning their own restaurant. Jean-Luc is the executive and pastry
chef while Wendy manages front of house and all accounting aspects of the business. This
French restaurant provides foods with the freshest and finest ingredients that are homemade on
the premises. They primarily serve lunch and dinner every day with breakfast on weekends.
They are known for their omelets, quiche and baked goods. The restaurant focus is on
European pastries, French and California cuisine.
FISCAL IMPACT:
This new lease reflects current market rental rates for restaurant space in the complex. The
annual occupancy cost for this tenant is approximately $82,000. The minimum rent over the four
year term is adjusted annually by three percent step increases.
The District will be contributing not to exceed $45,000 towards building improvements. This
includes ADA requirement upgrades for the interior restroom, bar and bakery flooring to match
interior space, ADA requirements, electrical and plumbing for the patio concrete flooring to
accommodate a trellis. The tenant will also be contributing $45,000 for new fixtures, décor and
contribution towards the cost of the trellis.
ATTACHMENTS:
None.
45
BOARD OF PORT COMMISSIONERS
SEPTEMBER26, 2018
STANDARD AGENDA ITEM 1
VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE
SITE SELECTION
46
VENTURA PORT DISTRICT STANDARD AGENDA ITEM 1
BOARD COMMUNICATION Meeting Date: September 26, 2018
TO: Board of Port Commissioners
FROM: Everard Ashworth, Chairman
Oscar Peña, General Manager
Brian Pendleton, Deputy General Manager
SUBJECT: Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Site Selection
RECOMMENDATION:
That the Board of Port Commissioners authorize the General Manager to:
1. 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: and,
2. Prepare and submit all other applications to local, state and federal agencies as required
for the VSE project including the California Coastal Commission; and,
3. 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; and,
4. 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.
SUMMARY:
The Board of Port Commissioners an informational report on the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise
(VSE) site selection process on September 12, 2018 with the anticipation of a final site
recommendation with related permit applications, studies and reports on September 26, 2018.
As a result of the Board’s actions regarding VSE project siting on November 15, 2017, the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Ocean Service (NOS)
prepared a Coastal Aquaculture Siting and Sustainability (CASS) Technical Report – Ventura
Shellfish Enterprise: Aquaculture Siting Analysis Results (Attachment 1). The CASS Report was
updated since the September 12, 2018 presentation to provide additional mapping and
information regarding collection methodology of commercial fishing data.
As stated in the CASS Report, spatial planning for aquaculture operations, wherein spatial data
representing key environmental and use conflicts are synthesized to identify areas with the
highest likelihood for compatibility with aquaculture operations, is a critical first step to ensure
environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture development. The CASS Report for
the VSE project studied an area of 20,000 acres in federal waters proximate to Ventura Harbor,
known as an Area of Interest (AOI).
On June 28, 2018, NOAA and the VSE team co-hosted an Inter-Agency Pre-Application
Meeting in Long Beach with federal and state regulatory staff. NOAA presented the preliminary
draft CASS Report and the VSE team provided information concerning the status of the project
and related studies. On July 9, 2018 and September 10, 2018 VSE team members met with the
Commercial Fishermen of Santa Barbara (CFSB) to discuss the project and status of permit
applications. The CFSB submitted a letter to the Ventura Port District at the Board meeting of
September 12, 2018 expressing concerns about project siting and opportunities for small
business participation to which Port District staff has provided a formal response.
47
As a result of the CASS Technical Report, the VSE team has identified two new alternatives,
known as CASS Report Alternative 1 and 2 (Attachment 2-3) and Dudek, the project’s
environmental consulting firm, has prepared the permit application to the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers (USACE) and an application to the California Coastal Commission (CA Coastal
Commission) (Attachment 4). These two new alternatives are consistent with the Board’s prior
site selection both in terms of size (2,000 acres) and location in federal waters. The exact GPS
coordinates of these two alternatives are included in the CASS Technical Report.
BACKGROUND:
On November 15, 2017, the Board of Port Commissioners authorized the General Manager to
prepare and submit all applications to local, state and federal agencies as required for the VSE
project and prepare all necessary surveys, studies, reports and federal environmental review
documents as directed by local, state and federal agencies. NOAA’s CASS Technical Report
has allowed the VSE team to evaluate the proposed siting and refine these permit locations and
configurations in consultation with aquaculture experts prior to submission of the permit
applications.
Project Goals and Objectives
Increasing the supply of safe, sustainably produced domestic seafood is a priority of the State
Legislature, NOAA and the U.S. Department of Commerce. The VSE project is a multi-party
initiative that seeks to permit twenty 100-acre plots for growing the Mediterranean mussel
(Mytilus galloprovincialis) via submerged long lines within the Santa Barbara Channel near
Ventura Harbor. The Ventura Port District received a substantial NOAA Sea Grant sub-award of
$300,000 in 2015 for the proposed project in support of these goals. As part of the 2015 grant,
the VSE team developed a Strategic Permitting Plan previously provided to the Board and made
available to stakeholders and the public. This Strategic Permitting Plan provides a great deal of
information about project goals, objectives and regulatory requirements and can be found online
at venturashellfishenterprises.com. The VSE project objectives include:
• To increase the supply of safe, sustainably produced, and locally-grown shellfish while
minimizing potential negative environmental impacts;
• 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 sub-permit area, 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 in achieving VSE objectives;
• To advance scientific knowledge and state of the art aquaculture practices through
research and innovation.
The proposed project goals and objectives further several of the District’s fundamental mission
and objectives, as summarized below:
• Maintaining a safe and navigable harbor;
• Diversification of commercial fishing opportunities to benefit the fishing industry and local
and regional economies;
• Continued priority (as a commercial fishing harbor) for federal funding appropriations for
annual dredging of the federal harbor entrance.
48
Public Outreach
The VSE team hosted a series of public educational workshops in 2017 regarding the proposed
project. In total, there were 10 educational and site selection workshops. Of these, three
workshops were held to engage with stakeholders to identify the location of twenty 100 acre
parcels within a broader area of interest that was identified through use of a spatial planning tool
developed by the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa
Barbara (UCSB Bren School). The focused site selection workshops were held at the Four
Points Sheraton Hotel in our Harbor on July 11th and 13th and the final workshop was held on
August 9th of 2017. While in-person participation was strongly encouraged, individuals who were
not able to attend the meetings were provided the opportunity to comment on site selection
through SeaSketch linked to venturashellfishenterprise.com. Notice of the site selection
workshops was mailed out to over 500 commercial fishing vessel owners between Goleta and
Port Hueneme; additionally, the VSE team coordinated with NOAA representatives and
commercial fishermen to encourage their attendance. The team also contacted all of the
individuals that have registered through the VSE website. This marine spatial planning
opportunity was available through Wednesday, August 9th 2017, the date of the final site
selection meeting. The venturashellfishenterprise.com website continues to be used to
communicate with interested parties who registered on the website.
During and after the site selection workshops, the Board of Port Commissioners received written
and oral reports on the site selection process at four public meetings held in 2017 on July 26th,
September 13th and 27th, and October 11th. At a fifth public meeting on November 15, the Board
authorized the General Manager to proceed with the preparation of all necessary permit
applications, surveys, studies, reports for a site in federal waters known as SeaSketch
Alternative 8.
Initial Candidate Area Considerations
The initial candidate area in state waters was selected by the VSE with the assistance of
analysis prepared by the UCSB Bren School. The selection of the initial candidate area was
detailed in the Strategic Permitting Plan; however some key considerations are summarized
here. They included suitability of the candidate growing area for mussels such as water depth
and ocean bottom; location in State waters near Ventura Harbor for product landing; avoidance
of potential pollution sources; and avoidance of conflicts with existing subsurface leases for oil
and gas pipelines, etc. Stakeholder considerations are discussed below.
Subsequent to identification of the initial candidate area, the District received information from
local halibut trawlers that the proposed State waters candidate area was located in one of two
areas statewide designated by CDFW as halibut trawl grounds. Further, additional information
was provided by aquaculture specialist Scott Lindell, associated with Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution, that the minimum depth to support the mussel growing activities
should be adjusted from 60 feet to 80 feet. This minimum depth is consistent with the only
permitted mussel farms that can sell Mediterranean Mussels in Southern California, Santa
Barbara Mariculture (which is located in 80 feet of water off Hope Ranch), and Catalina Sea
Ranch (which is located in depths between 138 and 150 feet, approximately 6.1 miles from the
shore off the coast between Long Beach and Huntington Beach). The minimum of 80’ reduces
exposure to various predator species (i.e. ducks) and potential storm surge, while the upper-end
range of approximately 115’ provides opportunities to scale operations.
49
2017 Siting Considerations and Expanded Candidate Area
With high levels of stakeholder engagement, ranging from existing users of the candidate area
to prospective grower producers and aquaculture industry experts, the VSE team, with Board
concurrence, expanded its site search to include areas in federal waters near Ventura Harbor.
Specifically, the expanded candidate area comprised 200,000 acres in both state and federal
waters in Blocks 651, 652, 664, 665, 666. To understand this scale, the proposed VSE project
represents 2,000 acres or 1% of this 5 block area.
Additionally, the VSE team established criteria on which to evaluate and prioritize each siting
alternative. As a result, the VSE team constructed a siting decision matrix to quantify the
benefits of each potential siting configuration, and assist the Board in its decision-making
process last November. The stakeholder engagement process supported the identification of
key factors upon which to assist siting configuration decision making. Each of the criteria was
assigned a weight based on perceived relative importance to achieving optimal operational
capacity and minimizing potential user conflicts and environmental impacts. Siting alternatives
were then scored using a rating system that corresponds to preferences identified by the VSE
team. These criteria include:
• Approximate water depth
• Potential adverse water pollution sources
• Potential visual effects from shore
• Potential interaction with commercial and recreational fishing interests
• Subleasing or sub-permitting complexities
• Potential overlap with subsurface leases
• Environmental review complexity
• Contiguous siting
• Distance from Harbor
Quantification of the eight siting configuration alternatives revealed significant advantages for
locating the VSE project in federal waters, and specifically for siting as was depicted and
described as SeaSketch Alternative 8 in Block 665. Additionally, the VSE analyzed fish catch
data for the 5 block area over a 5-year period. In this 200,000 acre area the data showed that
the average annual wholesale value of fish catch from 2012-2016 was approximately $2.96M.
A siting configuration in Federal waters was similar to any alternative in the original identified
candidate area in terms of water column depth and bottom substrate. However, SeaSketch
Alternative 8 maintained additional advantages over any alternative in CA state waters because
of a reduced level of interference with commercial fishermen; potential improved water and
product quality; relative proximity to Ventura Harbor; resulting minimal visual impacts to the near
shore environment; and potential to realize economies of scale. These factors led to the Board’s
decision on November 15th of last year.
The VSE team projects that use of 2,000 or 1% of that expanded area for the proposed project
at full build out and operation could generate $45M-$55M in annual wholesale value. Many
factors will ultimately determine actual revenue including project size, growing conditions,
operational interruptions, time period to full build out, market conditions, project and operational
costs, etc. In applying a factor of 50% to these preliminary estimates, the project could still
potentially generate $22.5M -$27.5M in annual wholesale value.
In identifying the appropriate location in federal waters, the VSE project team also sought to
further minimize interaction with existing commercial fisheries. Based upon the workshops and
public outreach conducted in 2017, the commercial halibut trawl fishery was identified as the
primary commercial fishery potentially affected by the project. Since that time, to determine the
50
potential impact, the VSE team reviewed actual CDFW trawl data from 2010 through 2016,
which provided the location (i.e. latitude and longitude) of where each trawl started and stopped.
• The total trawl length within the Santa Barbara Channel during that time period was
40,480 nautical miles.
• The total trawl length within the CASS Report Area of Interest was 1,508 nautical miles.
• The total trawl length within CASS Report Alternative 1 was 145 nautical miles.
Therefore, based upon CDFW trawl data, the project will require the existing commercial
trawling fishery to relocate approximately 0.4% of their total trawls within the Santa Barbara
Channel. It is speculative as to whether this relocation will have a negative or positive impact on
the overall catch for the halibut fishery but, given the small amount of existing usage, the impact
is considered to be likely negligible.
2018 NOAA CASS Technical Report
As a result of the Board’s actions regarding VSE project siting on November 15, 2017, NOAA’s
NOS prepared a Coastal Aquaculture Siting and Sustainability (CASS) Technical Report –
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise: Aquaculture Siting Analysis Results. The report is helpful to District
staff in making final recommendations to the Board about project siting, but will also be helpful
to inform federal and state regulatory agencies in conducting appropriate environmental review
under the National Environmental Policy Act and evaluating permit applications, and other
stakeholders and interested parties.
NOS obtained quantitative requirements for the project from the VSE team. These requirements
included information regarding preferred project parameters: spatial boundaries of region of
interest, preference for state or federal waters, preferred project location coordinates,
approximate proposed project size, preferred port, the maximum distance from preferred port,
species to be cultivated, acceptable depth range, acceptable seawater temperature range,
acceptable current velocity range, maximum allowable wave energy, and additional comments
or specifications. These quantitative requirements are contained in the CASS Technical Report
and the basis from which a new 20,000 acre Area of Interest (AOI) in federal waters in Blocks
664-665 was developed.
All potential environmental and use factors that could constrain the siting of the VSE project
were first plotted and mapped to compare against the identified AOI for the VSE project. These
interactions included military, industry, commercial fishing, navigation, and natural resources.
NOS determined that oil and gas, commercial fisheries, navigation, and submarine cables and
wrecks and obstructions were all uses that intersected with the AOI. This led to a final suitability
assessment, where the northern portion of the AOI was determined to have the highest
likelihood of compatibility with the proposed project and avoid/minimize interactions with the
other user groups. Based on the results of the suitability analysis, NOS identified two alternative
site configurations based on VSE parameters that maximize likelihood of compatibility with
existing uses in the region. The primary difference between the two CASS Report Alternative
sites is the configuration of the individual 100-acre cultivation areas.
Importantly, the two sites overlap with the federal waters alternative site (SeaSketch Alternative
8) identified in the UCSB Bren School spatial planning analysis and previously approved by the
Board (Attachment 5), indicating the area has been shown by two independent studies to have
the fewest conflicts with other uses and sensitive environmental resources. The permit
application to USACE and application to CA Coastal Commission has identified CASS Report
Alternative 1 as the preferred project site, given that it has greater operational flexibility, and
Alternative 2 as a project alternative.
51
Seafood Inspection Program (SIP)
At the inception of the VSE project, there was not a clear pathway for compliance with the
National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) guidelines for shellfish grown in federal waters.
However, a pathway for NSSP compliance in federal waters has been adopted through an
interim program adopted by the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference and the NSSP to
enable harvest and sale of safe and healthy shellfish products in interstate commerce. Through
a collaborative and coordinated effort with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and NOAA’s
Seafood Inspection Program (SIP) in January 2017, they developed a pathway to implement the
interim program for NSSP compliance for molluscan shellfish in federal waters. This pathway for
NSSP compliance in federal waters is now being successfully implemented by another offshore
mussel aquaculture project in southern California. The compliance pathway covers both preand
post-harvest elements of the NSSP Model Ordinance and can serve as a template for
further adaptation to the VSE project goals and needs. Such adaptations will take into
consideration the public-private nature of the VSE enterprise, the participation of multiple
grower-producers, its scale and ultimate location, and other factors. VSE team member Coastal
Marine Biolabs (CMB) is committed to establishing a centralized, federally approved, Ventura
Harbor-based testing facility to meet the testing requirements articulated in the NSSP. This
process can be initiated independently of implementing the NSSP compliant interim program for
federal waters and concurrently with the permit application process.
FISCAL IMPACT:
Staff has completed the 2015 NOAA Sea Grant and is awaiting formal announcement of two
additional grant applications from the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC) and
2018 NOAA Sea Grant to help fund the next steps of the entitlement process. Additionally the
Board approved $80,000 in FY18/19 for project related professional services. Staff will return to
the Board with any announcements regarding grant applications, related agreements and
professional services as necessary.
ATTACHMENTS:
Attachment 1 – NOAA Coastal Aquaculture Siting and Sustainability (CASS) Technical Report – Ventura
Shellfish Enterprise: Aquaculture Siting Analysis Results (Revised: September 19, 2018)
Attachment 2 – CASS Report Alternative 1
Attachment 3 – CASS Report Alternative 2
Attachment 4 – USACE, CA Coastal Commission Applications
Attachment 5 – SeaSketch Alternative 8
Attachment 6 – Responses to Comments from September 12, 2018
52
CASS Technical Report
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise:
Aquaculture Siting Analysis Results
Seth J. Theuerkauf, Ph.D.1, Virginia Crothers, M.S.1, and James A. Morris, Jr., Ph.D.2
1CSS, Inc. for NOAA NOS/NCCOS, Beaufort, NC
2NOAA NCCOS, Beaufort, NC
INTRODUCTION
Spatial planning for aquaculture operations, wherein spatial data representing key environmental and
space use conflicts are synthesized to identify areas with the highest likelihood for compatibility with
aquaculture operations, is a critical first step to ensure environmentally and economically sustainable
aquaculture industry development. Aquaculture siting analyses involve the use of geospatial analytical
tools (e.g., GIS – Geographic Information Systems) to integrate pertinent spatial data and generate
map-based products that can be used to inform policy and permitting decisions regarding where
aquaculture operations can be located.
The Ventura Shellfish Enterprise (hereafter ‘VSE’) is a multi-party initiative seeking to permit twenty
100-acre plots of ocean space for aquaculture production of the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus
galloprovincialis) via submerged long lines in federal waters within the Santa Barbara Channel,
proximate to Ventura Harbor, California, USA. The key participants in the VSE, including Coastal
Marine Biolabs, The Cultured Abalone Farm, and the Ashworth Leninger Group, have worked with
the Ventura Port District to develop a “Strategic Permitting Plan,” with a suite of other resources and
project related information and tools that can be found on the VSE website:
venturashellfishenterprise.com, or by contacting the VSE Co-Project Managers, Everard Ashworth at
EAshworth@algcorp.com or Brian Pendleton at BPendleton@venturaharbor.com.
NOAA’s Coastal Aquaculture Siting and Sustainability (CASS) Program conducted a comprehensive
and objective siting analysis for the proposed VSE project, which is the subject of this technical report.
This siting analysis utilized the best available, high-resolution spatial data to represent key potential
environmental and space use conflicts that constrain the siting of an aquaculture operation within the
Santa Barbara Channel region of interest. This siting analysis was guided by quantitative input
provided by VSE regarding specific project requirements and was iteratively developed with input
provided by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Los Angeles District, NOAA
(including the National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Ocean Service), the State of
California Aquaculture Coordinator, the California Coastal Commission, and the VSE team.
The Coastal Aquaculture Siting and Sustainability (CASS) program supports works to provide science-based
decision support tools to local, state, and federal coastal managers supporting sustainable aquaculture
development. The CASS program is located within the Marine Spatial Ecology Division of the National Centers
for Coastal Ocean Science, National Ocean Service, NOAA.
To learn more about CASS and how we are growing sustainable marine aquaculture practices visit
https://coastalscience.noaa.gov/research/marine-spatial-ecology/aquaculture/ or contact Dr. James Morris at
James.Morris@noaa.gov.
ATTACHMENT 1
53
METHODS
Data Inventory
A comprehensive spatial data inventory was developed for the Santa Barbara Channel region to inform
the VSE siting analysis. Specifically, the data inventory included data layers from the following
categories: military, industry and recreation, commercial fishing, navigation, natural resources, and
oceanographic / biophysical. We conducted an exhaustive search and survey to identify web-based
resources and contacts to obtain pertinent data resources. A broad suite of state and federal agencies
(e.g., NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, U.S. Department of Defense, Bureau of Ocean
Energy Management, California Department of Fish and Wildlife) and academic institutions (e.g.,
University of California at Santa Barbara) contributed spatial data. Data was checked for completeness
and quality to ensure that the most authoritative source was used. The complete data inventory
generated for this siting analysis can be found in Table 1.
Project Requirements
We obtained quantitative requirements for the VSE project directly from the technical coordinator for
the VSE team. These requirements included a request for the following items of information regarding
preferred project parameters: 1) spatial boundaries of region of interest, 2) preference for state or
federal waters, 3) preferred project location coordinates (if available), 4) approximate proposed project
size, 5) preferred port, 6) maximum distance from preferred port, 7) species to be cultivated, 8)
acceptable depth range, 9) acceptable seawater temperature range, 10) acceptable current velocity
range, 11) maximum allowable wave energy, and 12) additional comments or specifications. This
information was obtained from the VSE team via a Google Form. All fields were optional.
Spatial Analytical Approach
The spatial analysis for the VSE project was conducted within ArcMap 10.5 (Esri 2016), and is a type
of spatial multi-criteria analysis known as suitability analysis. Suitability analyses allow for integration
of multiple spatial data layers to identify areas of highest suitability, or areas with the highest
likelihood of compatibility. When utilized within an aquaculture spatial planning context, suitability
analyses integrate data representing environmental or space-use constraints to identify areas that
minimize potential conflicts and have the highest likelihood for compatibility with aquaculture
operations. Within a suitability analysis, each individual spatial data layer is re-scaled according to a
defined suitability relationship (e.g., locations associated with the highest vessel traffic are assigned a
score of ‘0’, locations of lowest vessel traffic are assigned a score of ‘1’). Each re-scaled spatial data
layer can be subsequently assigned a weight (all weights must sum to 100%; higher weights = more
important conflict considerations), and all data layers can be integrated within the spatial analysis to
identify locations with the highest likelihood for compatibility across all factors considered within the
analysis. It is important to note that while weights can be assigned to individual spatial data layers,
each layer can also be assigned an equivalent weight such that no individual factor has a greater
impact on the final scores and output of the spatial analysis.
Based upon the project requirements criteria defined by VSE, we established a boundary for the ‘area
of interest’ (hereafter ‘AOI;’ Figure 1). We subsequently established a uniform grid within this
boundary with a grid cell size of 10 acres (Figure 2). This grid cell size was selected based on the
spatial resolution of the available data and the proposed size of the VSE project. Utilizing the
comprehensive data inventory we had previously developed for the Santa Barbara Channel region, we
ATTACHMENT 1
54
projected each spatial data layer to visualize and assess which layers were contained within the AOI.
Spatial data layers not contained within the AOI were not considered further within the VSE suitability
analysis, but were mapped for visualization purposes within this report. Spatial data layers contained
within the AOI were subsequently converted onto the previously established grid using a custom
Python script. For example, total vessel traffic density was projected onto the established grid wherein
each grid cell was assigned a value corresponding to the vessel traffic density for a given cell’s
location. After projection of each spatial data layer onto the grid, individual grid cell values were rescaled
according to a pre-defined rule (e.g., locations associated with the highest vessel traffic are
assigned a score of ‘0’, locations of lowest vessel traffic are assigned a score of ‘1’). Re-scaling of
each spatial data layer was essential to ensure each factor was on a common scale (0 – less compatible,
to 1 – more compatible). Within GIS, the overall suitability of each cell (Sj) for siting the VSE
aquaculture operation was calculated as:
= Σ( ∙ )

=1
where Sj is the cumulative value of cell j calculated as the product of the suitability score L of cell j
and the associated weight W for factor x summed across all factors. It is important to note that within
this analysis, all factors were considered to have equivalent weighting. After calculation of overall
suitability scores using the function described above, a secondary calculation was conducted to
remove (i.e., assign a score of ‘0’) grid cells that received a score of ‘0’ for any individual factor. This
second-order calculation was necessary to ensure that grid cells associated with locations of known
incompatibility were removed from further consideration. On a scale of 0 to 1, grid cell suitability
scores for siting the VSE operation were ranked from highest (most suitable) to lowest (least suitable).
Identification of Alternative Sites
Multiple alternative sites for siting of the proposed VSE project were identified within the overall
AOI. The final suitability grid that incorporated all identified constraining factors was used to guide
the identification and delineation of two specific alternative locations and configurations for the
proposed VSE project. Specifically, the highest scoring grid cells (i.e., most compatible locations
across all criteria considered) were used to guide delineation of two alternative locations and
configurations of the twenty 100-acre parcels associated with the proposed VSE project. In addition to
the proposed project’s siting criteria (i.e., within federal waters of a suitable depth for mussel long-line
gear, see ‘Project Requirements’ below) the twenty 100-acre parcels were also configured and
delineated so that the long-lines (or the side of the parcel facing shore) run parallel to the shoreline to
maximize longshore currents.
Additional Considerations
Certain spatial criteria (e.g., cetacean density and distribution along the California coast, fishery
landings receipt data by California Department of Fish and Wildlife reporting block), while relevant to
understanding the broader regional context and setting of the proposed VSE project, were
inappropriate for inclusion within the siting analysis given the coarseness of the resolution of spatial
data representing these criteria (e.g., kilometer-scale spatial resolution). Protected cetacean species, for
example, are highly mobile and create a complex set of spatial and temporal considerations.
Commercial fishery landings by reporting block (10 minute by 10 minute scale, approximately
equivalent to 8.25 nm by 10 nm) provide insight into regional trends in fishery landings, however, as
ATTACHMENT 1
55
they represent an area in the 10,000s of acres (i.e., approximately 50,000 – 70,000 acres) range and
landings are unable to be spatially differentiated within an individual block, these data are
inappropriate for inclusion within the siting analysis. Furthermore, other available fishery data and
statistics (e.g., total landings by harbor or by species) also provide valuable regional perspective with
regards to commercial fisheries, but do not provide information at a sufficient spatial scale or
resolution to discern relative compatibility of discrete areas of ocean space (at the scale of 1’s or 10’s
of acres required within a siting analysis) with aquaculture operations or other activities. While we
describe these factors and considerations to the greatest extent possible given the best available spatial
data to represent them within the ‘Discussion’ section below, it is important to consult with regional
experts regarding these considerations prior to final site selection.
RESULTS
Project Requirements
We received the following project requirements from the VSE team. Note that all fields were optional.
1. Spatial Boundaries of Region of Interest: Santa Barbara Channel
2. Preference for State or Federal Waters: Federal Waters
3. Preferred Project Location Coordinates: empty
4. Approximate Proposed Project Size: 20 x 100-acre plots (2,000 acres total)
5. Preferred Port: Ventura Harbor
6. Maximum Distance from Preferred Port: 9 nautical miles
7. Species to be Cultivated: Mytilus galloprovincialis
8. Acceptable Depth Range: 25 – 37 m
9. Acceptable Seawater Temperature Range: 5 – 30 degC, optimal 20 degC
10. Acceptable Current Velocity Range: 0.025 – 0.1 m-s
11. Maximum Allowable Wave Energy: (depth range selected due to wave climate)
12. Additional Comments or Specifications: (communicated through email), longlines
are proposed for use for mussel cultivation
Based on the project requirements received from the VSE team, we identified an overall ‘area of
interest’ (AOI) for the VSE project of ~20,000 acres within 9 nm of the Port of Ventura within federal
waters between 25 and 37 m depth (Figure 1). A grid containing ~2,000 10-acre grid cells was
established within the AOI (Figure 2).
Spatial Analysis Development
All potential environmental and space use factors that could constrain the siting of the VSE project for
which an authoritative spatial data source was identified for (Table 1) were first plotted and mapped to
compare against the identified AOI for the VSE project.
Military Interactions – No interactions were identified between the AOI and existing military space
uses, inclusive of the Point Mugu Sea Range and existing danger zones and restricted areas (Figure 3).
Industry Interactions – An interaction was identified between the AOI and active oil and gas leases,
drilling platforms, pipelines, and submarine cables (Figure 4). Active oil and gas leases intersect the
central and southern portions of the AOI; oil and gas pipelines and submarine cables intersect the
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central and southernmost portion of the AOI; a single drilling platform is located in the southern
portion of the AOI. However, no interaction was identified between the AOI and ocean disposal sites.
Commercial Fishing Interactions – Commercial fishing, including trawl and squid fisheries,
interactions were identified with the AOI (Figure 5); these interactions were further examined at the
regional scale for trawl fisheries (Figure 6) and the squid fishery (Figure 7). Trawl fishery interactions
occur throughout the AOI (Figure 6) and were examined in more detail in the subsequent suitability
analysis. Squid fishery interactions are more prevalent in the southern and central portions of the AOI,
with some identified interactions in the northernmost portion of the AOI (Figure 7).
Navigation Interactions – Navigation space use interactions were identified within the AOI,
including vessel traffic and wrecks and obstructions interactions (Figure 8). Aids to navigation,
artificial reefs, maintained channels and designated shipping lanes do not intersect the AOI. Vessel
traffic (based on total vessel count for 2013, determined to be representative of modern vessel traffic
for the region) is most significant in the central and southern portions of the AOI. Wrecks and
obstructions are present in the southern portion of the AOI.
Natural Resource Interactions – Multiple levels of natural resource interactions for which
authoritative spatial data was available were examined. Cetacean distribution and density data was
examined, but the coarse spatial resolution of these data precluded their ability to be incorporated
(Figure 9). Hardbottom habitat and deep-sea coral distribution does not interact with the AOI, but does
occur within its proximity (Figure 10).
Interactions Incorporated within the Spatial Analysis – Based on examination of the broad suite of
potential interactions for which authoritative spatial data were available to represent, we were able to
identify which factors do not intersect the AOI and thus were not incorporated within the spatial
analysis (Figure 11), and those factors that do intersect the AOI and thus were incorporated (Figure
12). Specific interactions that were subsequently incorporated within the spatial analysis included the
following: 1) oil and gas, 2) commercial fisheries, 3) navigation, and 4) submarine cables and wrecks
and obstructions.
Spatial Analysis Output and Identification of Alternative Sites
Oil and Gas Suitability – The following rules were applied to develop the oil and gas suitability grid:
a score of ‘0’ was assigned to grid cells intersecting oil and gas drilling platforms and pipelines
(including areas within a 500-m radius of these features), a score of ‘0.5’ was assigned to grid cells
intersecting the active lease area due to the increased coordination required to site and manage the
proposed project within the active lease area, and a score of ‘1’ was assigned to grid cells outside of
leases and not intersecting oil and gas platforms or pipelines. This restricted the most suitable
locations based on oil and gas interactions to the northernmost and central-eastern portions of the AOI
(Figure 13).
Commercial Fishing Suitability: Trawl Fishery – Compatibility with trawl fisheries was determined
by assigning a relative rank from low-to-high (scores ranging from ‘0’ to ‘1’) to grid cells with low-tohigh
densities of trawl tracks. Trawl track densities for each grid cell were calculated by summing the
total number of trawl track lines that passed through a given grid cell. The highest suitability was
identified in western and central portions of the AOI, while lower suitability was identified in the
northeastern and southern portions of the AOI where higher levels of interaction with the trawl fishery
occur (Figure 14).
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Commercial Fishing Suitability: Squid Fishery – Compatibility with the squid fishery was
determined by assigning a relative rank from low-to-high (‘0’ to ‘1’) to grid cells corresponding with
low-to-high total squid landings by California Department of Fish and Wildlife reporting microblock.
The highest suitability was identified in the western and central portions of the AOI, while lower
suitability scores were identified in the southern and northernmost portions of the AOI (Figure 15).
Vessel Traffic Suitability – A relative rank from low-to-high (‘0’ to ‘1’) was assigned to grid cells
based on level (low-to-high) of interaction with vessel traffic (i.e., total vessel density for 2013 based
on automatic identification system, ‘AIS,’ vessel density data for cargo, tanker, fishing, passenger and
pleasure/sailing vessels). The highest suitability was identified in the northern portions of the AOI,
while lower suitability scores were identified in the central portion of the AOI, and the lowest
suitability scores were identified in the central and southernmost portions of the AOI (Figure 16).
Submerged Cables and Wrecks and Obstructions Suitability – The following rule was applied to
develop the submerged cables and wrecks and obstructions suitability grid: a score of ‘0’ was assigned
to grid cells intersecting submarine cables or wrecks and obstructions and the areas within 500 m of
these features, a score of ‘1’ was assigned to all other grid cells outside of these areas. Application of
this rule yielded identified areas of incompatibility in the central and southern portions of the AOI.
Final Suitability Results – The final suitability grid incorporated all major identified interactions to
identify locations (grid cells) with the highest likelihood of compatibility. All identified interactions
were considered with equal weighting within the analysis. Specifically, the following weights were
assigned to individual suitability grids to calculate the final suitability grid: 1) oil and gas suitability –
33%, 2) commercial fishing suitability – 33% (16.5% for trawl fishery and squid fishery, each), 3)
vessel traffic suitability – 33%. As the submerged cables and wrecks and obstructions grid included
scores of only ‘0’ and ‘1,’ this grid was not weighted, but was included in the analysis as a binary
factor. As described within the ‘Methods’ section above, if a given grid cell was assigned a score of
‘0’ for any individual factor, it was assigned a score of ‘0’ in the overall final suitability grid.
Based on the outcome of the final suitability calculation, the areas of highest identified suitability
occur in the northern portion of the AOI (i.e., scores > 0.66; Figure 18). Areas in the southern and
central portion of the AOI were generally identified as less suitable. The maximum observed
suitability score for any given grid cell within the AOI was 0.90, meaning that all grid cells interacted
with one or more factors within the suitability analysis.
Identified Alternative Sites – The proposed alternative site configurations for the twenty 100 acre
plots (2000 acres total) were developed based on two farm configurations proposed by VSE, and were
located within the areas corresponding with the highest observed suitability. Importantly, these
alternative configurations do not change the amount of total area, gear, or the number of mussel longlines
included within each of the proposed farm parcels, but rather dictate how the long-lines would be
arranged into rows within the parcels.
The first configuration considered (Alternative #1, Figure 19) was based on the initial configuration
proposed by the VSE project team. This configuration includes 20 farm parcels of a 1,900’ by 2,300’
size that are configured and clustered based on optimized suitability scores from this analysis. The 20
parcels are divided across 2 blocks of 10 parcels each with a 600-ft wide navigational corridor
between the blocks of parcels. This configuration allows for two long lines across each row and 12
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rows (24 long lines total) per parcel, with 150’ spacing between each row. The average suitability
score within the 2,000 acres that this configuration covers was 0.813.
The second configuration considered (Alternative #2, Figure 20) was based on the alternative
configuration proposed by the VSE project team. This configuration includes 20 farm parcels of a
1,175’ by 3,707’ size that are configured and clustered based on optimized suitability scores from this
analysis. The 20 parcels are condensed within a single block with no navigational corridor needed. No
navigational corridor is needed because this configuration allows for only two rows of parcels, where
every parcel has vessel access along the perimeter of the site. This configuration allows for one
longline across each row, with 24 rows per farm parcel (24 long lines total) and 150’ spacing between
each row. The average suitability score within the 2,000 acres that this configuration covers was 0.809.
The corner coordinates associated with each alternative are depicted in map and table form in
Appendices 1-4.
Caveats – The suitability analysis described here for the proposed VSE project incorporated the best
available, authoritative spatial data as of August 2018 to represent major potential interactions based
on a thorough review of available resources (Table 1). While all efforts were made to incorporate the
best available data, it is important to recognize that for some interactions (e.g., protected species),
spatial data is unavailable or exists at an inappropriate scale for consideration within this analysis.
DISCUSSION
The siting analysis described here represents an objective, data-driven approach to identify the
locations with the highest likelihood for compatibility with the proposed Ventura Shellfish Enterprise
(VSE) project. Through mapping available modern, authoritative spatial data associated with major
identified environmental and space use interactions, this siting analysis provides essential information
needed to inform the permitting decision-making process for the proposed VSE project. The results of
this siting analysis indicate that the northern portion of the area of interest (AOI) has the highest
likelihood of compatibility given equal consideration of existing space use conflicts (Figures 18-20).
We identify and describe two alternative configurations within the northern portion of the area of
interest with the highest likelihood for compatibility given the various interactions considered within
this analysis.
Across all identified space use conflicts that were incorporated within the siting analysis, the northern
portion of the AOI has the highest likelihood of compatibility with the proposed project (Figures 18-
20). Oil and gas, vessel traffic, and submarine cables and wrecks and obstructions interactions are
minimized or non-existent within the northern portion of the AOI (Figures 13, 16, and 17).
Commercial fishing interactions are present within the northern portion of the AOI, with increased
trawl fishing interactions in the northwestern portion of the AOI in the areas nearest to the statefederal
waters boundary (Figure 14) and some interactions with the squid fishery in the northernmost
portion of the AOI (Figure 15). Importantly, as evident in the final suitability grid, the location (grid
cells) with the highest likelihood for compatibility that minimize these interactions are located in the
northwestern portion of the AOI (Figure 18). Despite minimization of potential interactions, the
highest possible score in the final suitability grid was 0.90, indicating that even the grid cell locations
with the highest likelihood for compatibility had some level of interaction with at least one factor.
Locations within the central portion of the AOI have more substantial interactions with oil and gas
(Figure 13), vessel traffic (Figure 16) and submerged cables and wrecks and obstructions (Figure 17).
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Within the southern portion of the AOI, interactions exist with oil and gas, vessel traffic, submerged
cables and wrecks and obstructions, and both the trawl and squid fisheries (Figures 14 and 15).
Importantly also, the southern portion of the AOI also borders closely to the designated shipping lane
and known areas of hardbottom habitat and deep-sea corals (Figure 11).
As shown in Figure 6, the northern portion of the AOI does interact with areas of known trawl fishery
activity. Importantly, the known area of highest trawl fishery intensity occurs in the portion of the
Santa Barbara Channel to the northwest of the AOI. For the squid fishery, the southern portion of the
AOI, and areas further south of the AOI, represent the most substantial intensity and volume of
landings. It is important to note that while these data represent the best available, authoritative data to
represent these fisheries, there remains a need for discussion with commercial fishery stakeholders
regarding spatial compatibility.
Based on the results of the suitability analysis, we identified two alternative configurations for the
proposed VSE project that maximize likelihood of compatibility with existing space uses in the region.
The first alternative (Figure 19) and second alternative (Figure 20) do not differ substantively in
average suitability score (0.813 and 0.809, respectively). Within the first alternative, the configuration
of the farm parcels requires a navigational corridor (600 feet) to allow access to the center farm
parcels. The configuration of the farm parcels within the second alternative is such that a navigational
corridor is not required to access the individual parcels. In developing the alternative sites, contiguous
sites and those with a more uniform shape were preferred over other dispersed alternatives. During the
process of obtaining criteria from the VSE project team, it was expressed that in previous stakeholder
engagements, a preference was indicated by local fishermen and other ocean users for a design that
was clustered to minimize navigational challenges.
Additional Considerations
This siting analysis serves as an authoritative resource to inform the permitting decision-making
process regarding where the proposed VSE project is most likely to be compatible from an
environmental and space-use perspective. However, additional factors should be the subject of
consideration during the permitting decision-making process that are beyond the scope of this siting
analysis, including consideration of potential protected species entanglement risks, carrying capacity
limitations, and farm design specifications. Below, we provide additional detail regarding
engagements with state and federal government agencies to obtain the best available data for protected
species for this siting analysis.
Regarding carrying capacity limitations, the environmental conditions corresponding with the
proposed VSE project’s AOI generally appear favorable for the species and gear combination
proposed. The annual average surface current velocity in relation to the AOI is generally within the
optimal range for blue mussels of 0.025 and 0.10 m/s (Appendix 1)1. Sufficient current velocity is
essential to ensure adequate food (i.e., naturally occurring phytoplankton) delivery to the cultivated
species (i.e., Mediterranean mussels), and also to ensure adequate dispersal of waste products. With
regards to chlorophyll a, which is a proxy for the availability of naturally occurring phytoplankton, the
optimal range for chlorophyll a for blue mussels of 0.5 – 40 μg/l corresponds with the annual average
1 Longdill, P.C., Healy, T.R., and Black, K.P. 2008. An integrated GIS approach for sustainable aquaculture management
area site selection. Ocean and Coastal Management 51, 612-624.
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chlorophyll a concentration for the AOI (Appendix 2)2. The mean water temperature in the area
immediately adjacent to the proposed project AOI is within the acceptable water temperature range of
3 – 29 degrees Celsius, and remains near the optimal water temperature of 20 degrees Celsius for
nearly half of the year (Appendix 3)3,4,5. Carrying capacity considerations are likely to be most
dependent upon the final farm design selected rather than environmental limitations. Furthermore,
farm design considerations are critical to minimize entanglement risks to cetaceans and sea turtles. A
recent review of documented cases of marine animal entanglements in mussel aquaculture gear
identified mussel spat collection ropes as yielding the greatest risk of entanglement.6 Careful attention
must be paid to ensure the farm design, gear, and associated activities minimize the risk of protected
species entanglement.
The best available data to represent potential protected species interactions with the proposed VSE
project were obtained from state and federal government agencies. Regarding pinniped species, spatial
data from the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center (Mark Lowry) were unavailable to represent
California sea lions and Pacific harbor seals as ongoing observation efforts are land-based.
Loggerhead sea turtle aerial survey and satellite telemetry data were cross-referenced with the
proposed project’s AOI, and no sightings or tracks as recorded by NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries
Service (Jeffrey Seminoff and Tomo Eguchi) intersected the area. In both cases, with regards to
pinnipeds and sea turtles (including monitored loggerhead, as well as green turtles and leatherbacks
that are not monitored), it was acknowledged that the lack of data representing interactions does not
preclude the potential for the proposed project’s AOI to interact with these protected species.
Habitat-based predicted density and distribution models for multiple cetacean species for the
California coast, including: beaked whales (multiple species), blue whales, dolphins (multiple species),
Dall’s porpoise, fin whales, humpback whales, and sperm whales was obtained from NOAA National
Marine Fisheries Service (Pers. Comm., Karin Forney and Elizabeth Becker). Cetacean species with
the highest likelihood for potential interaction with the proposed VSE project based on this data
include: blue whales and bottlenose dolphins (Appendix 8), long-beaked common dolphins (Appendix
9), and Rissos and short-beaked common dolphins (Appendix 10). There is a lower likelihood for
potential interaction with Baird’s beaked whales and beaked whales (Appendix 8), Dall’s porpoises
and humpback whales (Appendix 9), northern right whale dolphins and Pacific white sided dolphins
(Appendix 10), and sperm whales and striped dolphins (Appendix 11). It is important to note that these
data represent predicted distribution of these species and do not preclude the potential for interaction
with any species.
As described within ‘Methods: Additional Considerations’ above, additional commercial fishery data
beyond the trawl fishery track lines and squid landings by microblock data provided by the California
Department of Fish and Wildlife were considered for inclusion within the siting analysis, but were
determined to be incompatible for use within the analysis due to a lack of sufficient spatial resolution
to differentiate the relative compatibility of discrete areas of ocean space (at the scale of 1’s or 10’s of
2 Sara, G., Manganaro, A., Cortese, G., Pusceddu, A., and Mazzola, A. 1998. The relationship between food availability
and growth in Mytilus galloprovincialis in the open sea (southern Mediterranean). Aquaculture 167, 1-15.
3 Widdows, J. 2009. Combined effects of body size, food concentration and season on the physiology of Mytilus edulis.
Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 58, 109-124.
4 Newell, R.I.E. 1989. Species profiles: life histories and environmental requirements of coastal fishes and invertebrates
(North-Mid Atlantic): Blue Mussel. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report TR EI-82-4.
5 Almada-Villela, P.C., Davenport, J., and Gruffydd, L.D. 1982. The effects of temperature on the shell growth of young
Mytilus edulis. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 59, 275-288.
6 Young, M.O. 2015. Marine animal entanglements in mussel aquaculture gear: Documented cases from mussel farming
regions of the world including first-hand accounts from Iceland. M.S. Thesis, University of Akureyri.
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acres required within a siting analysis) for aquaculture operations or other activities. The best available
spatial data to represent commercial fisheries within the region included those provided by the
California Department of Fish and Wildlife, including: trawl fishery track lines, squid landings by
microblock, and the fishery landings receipt data by block (Appendix 12). Trawl fishery track lines
and squid landings by microblock data were incorporated within the siting analysis. However, the
fishery landings receipt data by block (represented by average total landings across all reported species
for the period of 2012-2017) is of insufficient spatial resolution for incorporation within the siting
analysis. As depicted in Appendix 12, the 1,953 grid cells that represent the ‘area of interest’ for the
siting analysis correspond with 4 reporting blocks. Other data, such as commercial fishery landings by
species for the region or by harbor provide regional perspective with regards to commercial fisheries,
but at an insufficient spatial scale for use within a siting analysis. The available data indicates that the
proposed VSE project would intersect California Department of Fish and Wildlife reporting block
#665, which is a block associated with a moderate quantity of average total landings for the period of
2012-2017 relative to the 9 adjacent blocks for which data is available. The average total landings for
block #665 for the period of 2012-2017 was 872,164 lbs, relative to the adjacent block with the lowest
total landings (block #652, furthest northwest, 155,237 lbs) and the block with the highest total
landings (block #683, furthest southeast, 5,375,358 lbs).
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TABLES
Table 1. Data layers integrated within the comprehensive data inventory developed for the Santa Barbara Channel region to inform the siting
analysis for the proposed Ventura Shellfish Enterprise (VSE) project.
Data Layer: Description: Source:
Military
Danger Zones and
Restricted Areas
These data represent the location of Danger Zones and Restricted Areas within coastal and
marine waters, as outlined by the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and the Raster
Navigational Charts (RNC). The CFR defines a Danger Zone as: “A defined water area (or
areas) used for target practice, bombing, rocket firing or other especially hazardous
operations, normally for the armed forces. The danger zones may be closed to the public
on a full-time or intermittent basis, as stated in the regulations.”
Code of Federal
Regulations (CFR) and
the Raster Navigational
Charts (RNC)
Unexploded Ordnances Unexploded ordnances are explosive weapons (bombs, bullets, shells, grenades, mines,
etc.) that did not explode when they were employed and still pose a risk of detonation,
potentially many decades after they were used or discarded. Sea disposal of munitions was
an accepted international practice until 1970, when the Department of Defense prohibited
the practice, and Congress followed up by passing the Marine Protection, Research, and
Sanctuaries Act in 1972, generally banning sea disposal.
NOAA Office of Coast
Survey (OCS)
Point Mugu Sea Range Point Mugu Sea Range is the world’s largest instrumented over-water range encompassing
up to 220,000 square miles of ocean space. It provides extensive test and training
capabilities for the U.S. Navy and allied forces and is located adjacent to the Santa Barbara
Channel.
U.S. Navy
San Pedro Channel
Operating Area
Offshore military operating area within the San Pedro Channel for the U.S. Navy and
allied forces.
U.S. Navy
Industry and Recreation
Oil and Gas Drilling
Platforms, Pipelines and
Active Leases
Infrastructure for oil and gas offshore activities including drilling platforms for extracting
minerals, particularly oil and gas, pipelines for transporting to onshore facilities, and the
active leases, which include a portion of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Lease Blocks
that are currently leased to private entities for oil and/or gas mining rights. Importantly,
active leases include those that are exploratory, non-producing, and producing.
Bureau of Ocean Energy
Management (BOEM)
NOAA Charted
Submarine Cables
These data depict the occurrence of submarine cables in and around U.S. navigable waters. NOAA Office of Coast
Survey (OCS)
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Data Layer: Description: Source:
Ocean Disposal Sites Ocean disposal sites, including both active and discontinued or historical sites. Nearly all
material ocean dumped today is dredged material (sediments) removed from the bottom of
waterbodies in order to maintain navigation channels and berthing areas.
NOAA Office of Coast
Survey (OCS)
Wind and Marine
Hydrokinetic Planning
Areas
Planning areas for renewable energy, such as wind and marine hydrokinetic (MHK)
development, as defined by the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).
Bureau of Ocean Energy
Management (BOEM)
Marine Minerals and Sand
Resource Blocks
This layer contains Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) block outlines and delineated polygons
containing sediment resources and areas of disposal.
Bureau of Ocean Energy
Management (BOEM)
Administrative Kelp Beds Kelp beds open to state-managed commercial harvest within the state waters of California. California Department of
Fish and Wildlife
Existing Aquaculture
Areas
The presence and location of aquaculture sites were derived from multiple state websites
and include only those in coastal and marine saltwater areas. The following states are
included in this layer: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, New
York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Virginia.
NOAA Office for
Coastal Management
(OCM) & other state and
federal agencies
Commercial Fishing
Trawl Fishery Track Lines Logbook-derived state-managed trawl fishery track lines; inclusive of all state-managed
trawl fisheries between 2010 and 2016 (connected line between start and stop location for
trawls).
California Department of
Fish and Wildlife
Squid Landings by Micro-
Block
Total squid landings (in short tonnes) by microblock (~700 acres) for the period of 2012-
2017.
California Department of
Fish and Wildlife
Fishery Landings Receipt
Data by Block
Total landings by fishery landings block for the period of 2012-2017, inclusive of multiple
(20+) commercial fisheries species (e.g., halibut, spiny lobster, squid, etc.).
California Department of
Fish and Wildlife
Navigation
Principal Ports Principal Ports are defined by port limits or US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
projects, these exclude non-USACE projects not authorized for publication. The
determination for the published Principal Ports is based upon the total tonnage for the port
for the particular year; therefore the top 150 list can vary from year to year.
U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers (USACE)
Shallow Draft Ports National database of shallow draft ports, or ports accessible by small commercial and/or
recreational vessels.
U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers (USACE)
Aids to Navigation Structures intended to assist a navigator to determine position or safe course, or to warn of
dangers or obstructions to navigation. This dataset includes lights, signals, buoys, day
beacons, and other aids to navigation.
U.S. Coast Guard
Environmental Sensors
and Buoys
Buoys or structures, often near the surface of the water column, intended to collect water
quality or other environmental data.
NOAA National Data
Buoy Center
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Data Layer: Description: Source:
Artificial Reefs An artificial reef is a human-made underwater structure, typically built to promote marine
life in areas with a generally featureless bottom.
NOAA Office for
Coastal Management
(OCM) & other state and
federal agencies
Wrecks and Obstructions In 1981, NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS) implemented the Automated Wreck and
Obstruction Information System (AWOIS) to assist in planning hydrographic survey
operations and to catalog and store a substantial volume of reported wrecks and
obstructions that are considered navigational hazards within U.S. coastal waters. AWOIS
is not a comprehensive record of wrecks in any particular area.
NOAA Office of Coast
Survey (OCS)
Maintained Channels This layer shows coastal channels and waterways that are maintained and surveyed by the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers (USACE)
Shipping Lanes Shipping zones delineate activities and regulations for marine vessel traffic. Traffic lanes
define specific traffic flow, while traffic separation zones assist opposing streams of
marine traffic.
NOAA Office of Coast
Survey (OCS)
AIS Vessel Count
(including total count and
by vessel type)
Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) are a navigation safety device that transmits and
monitors the location and characteristics of many vessels in U.S. and international waters
in real-time. This dataset represents vessel counts by vessel type for 2013. Vessel count
raster data layers were created by CASS Spatial team and are derived from vessel density
raster data layers generated from raw AIS data.
Bureau of Ocean Energy
Management (BOEM)
Anchorage Areas An anchorage area is a place where boats and ships can safely drop anchor. NOAA Office of Coast
Survey (OCS)
Natural Resources
Deep-Sea Corals The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Deep Sea Coral Research
and Technology Program (DSCRTP) have developed a National Database for Deep-Sea
Corals and Sponges (database).
NOAA National Centers
for Coastal Ocean
Science (NCCOS)
Hardbottom Habitat Distribution of known hardbottom habitat within the Santa Barbara Channel region.
Hardbottom habitat generally occurs in the ocean where rocks or other hard surfaces are
exposed from bottom sand or mud; this structure can serve as habitat for fish and
invertebrate species.
California Geological
Survey and Moss
Landing Marine Lab /
UC Santa Barbara
Cetacean Predicted
Density and Distribution
Habitat-based predicted density and distribution models for multiple cetacean species,
including: beaked whales (multiple species), blue whales, dolphins (multiple species),
Dall’s porpoise, fin whales, humpback whales, and sperm whales.
NOAA National Marine
Fisheries Service
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Data Layer: Description: Source:
Seagrass Aquatic vascular vegetation beds dominated by submerged, rooted, vascular species or
submerged or rooted floating freshwater tidal vascular vegetation. This is not a complete
collection of seagrasses on the seafloor, nor are the locations to be considered exact.
NOAA Office for
Coastal Management
(OCM) & other state and
federal agencies
Essential Fish Habitat /
Habitat Areas of
Particular Concern
Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) represent important habitat areas for every life stage of
federally managed species. Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPC) are discrete
subsets of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) that provide extremely important ecological
functions or are especially vulnerable to degradation.
NOAA National Marine
Fisheries Service
(NMFS)
Marine Protected Areas The MPA Inventory is a comprehensive catalog that provides detailed information for
existing marine protected areas in the United States.
NOAA National MPA
Center
Oceanographic and Biophysical
Bathymetry (water depth) High-resolution bathymetry data was obtained from NOAA’s National Geophysical Data
Center (NGDC). This bathymetric data is a composite of various sources, including
NGDC, U.S. National Ocean Service (NOS), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other federal, state, and local government
agencies, academic institutions, and private companies. DEMs are referenced to the
vertical tidal datum of Mean High Water (MHW) and horizontal datum of World Geodetic
System 1984 (WGS84).
NOAA National
Geophysical Data Center
(NGDC)
Water Temperature MODIS Global Level 3 Mapped SST (via MGET) mean/min/max climatologies for 20
year period 1997 – 2016.
NASA MODIS Aqua
Current Velocity and
Direction
Surface current velocity and direction data from HYCOM + NCODA Global 1/12 Degree
Reanalysis, experiments 19.1 (1995-2012). Directional data are represented by U and V
vector data.
HYCOM
Salinity Salinity data from HYCOM + NCODA Global 1/12 Degree Reanalysis, experiments 19.1
(1995-2012).
HYCOM
Significant Wave Height Significant wave height (SWH or Hs) is defined traditionally as the mean wave
height (trough to crest) of the highest third of waves (H1/3).
AVISO
Chlorophyll a NASA GSFC OceanColor L3 SMI (via MGET) mean/std dev climatologies for 10 yr
period 2007 – 2016.
NASA OceanColor
Administrative Boundaries
Federal / State Waters
Boundary
The Submerged Lands Act (SLA) boundary line (also known as State Seaward Boundary
or Fed State Boundary) defines the seaward limit of a state’s submerged lands and the
landward boundary of federally managed OCS lands.
Bureau of Ocean Energy
Management (BOEM)
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Data Layer: Description: Source:
Channel Islands National
Marine Sanctuary
Boundary
Boundary for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. NOAA Office of
National Marine
Sanctuaries (NMS)
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FIGURES
Figure 1. Map of the ‘area of interest’ for the proposed Ventura Shellfish Enterprise (VSE) project based on project requirements provided by
VSE. The primary constraining criteria defined by VSE included: 1) federal waters only, 2) maximum 9 nautical mile distance from the Port of
Ventura, and 3) a required depth range of 25 – 37 meters for the proposed Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) cultivation gear.
The defined ‘area of interest’ is represented by the light green polygon denoted as ‘Acceptable Depth’ in the map legend. Note that the VSE
project is seeking 2,000 acres within the ~20,000 acres within the overall ‘area of interest’.
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Figure 2. Grid established within the proposed Ventura Shellfish Enterprise (VSE) ‘area of interest’ for use in the siting analysis. A grid cell
size of 10 acres was determined to be appropriate for use in the spatial analysis. The grid contains 1,953 grid cells, equivalent to 19,530 acres
total. Note that the VSE project is seeking 2,000 acres within the ~20,000 acres within the overall ‘area of interest’ described by the grid.
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Figure 3. Military space use within the Santa Barbara Channel region in relation to the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise (VSE) ‘area of interest’. No
military interactions occur within the ‘area of interest’.
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Figure 4. Industry space use within the Santa Barbara Channel region in relation to the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise (VSE) ‘area of interest’.
Oil and gas infrastructure (active leases, drilling platforms, and pipelines) and submarine cables interactions occur within the ‘area of interest’.
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Figure 5. Commercial fishery space use within the Santa Barbara Channel region in relation to the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise (VSE) ‘area of
interest’. Commercial trawl and squid fishery interactions occur within the ‘area of interest’.
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Figure 6. Regional perspective of commercial trawl fisheries within the Santa Barbara Channel region. Note that trawl fishery interactions
occur within the ‘area of interest,’ however, the highest density of trawl fishery activity occurs northwest of the ‘area of interest’.
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Figure 7. Regional perspective of the commercial squid fishery within the Santa Barbara Channel region. Note that trawl fishery interactions
occur within the ‘area of interest,’ however, the highest density of trawl fishery activity occurs northwest of the ‘area of interest’.
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Figure 8. Navigation space use within the Santa Barbara Channel region in relation to the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise (VSE) ‘area of interest’.
Vessel traffic and wrecks and obstructions interactions occur within the ‘area of interest’.
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Figure 9. Cetacean (i.e., humpback whale) predicted density in relation to the VSE ‘area of interest. Note that due to the coarse spatial
resolution of this data, it was inappropriate for use within the VSE suitability analysis. The inset map (upper right) shows the large-scale,
regional trends of cetacean (i.e., humpback whale) distribution.
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Figure 10. Distribution of hardbottom habitat and deep-sea corals in relation to the VSE ‘area of interest’. Note that records of deep-sea corals
and hardbottom habitat occur within proximity of the VSE ‘area of interest,’ but not within it.
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Figure 11. Distribution of all major spatial data layers representing potential space-use conflicts (e.g., military, navigation, natural resources)
that were considered, but do not intersect the VSE ‘area of interest’ and were thus not incorporated within the suitability analysis.
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Figure 12. Distribution of all major spatial data layers representing potential space-use conflicts that intersect the VSE ‘area of interest’ and
were incorporated within the suitability analysis. These include: (1) oil and gas leases, drilling platforms, and pipelines, (2) submarine cables,
(3) commercial trawl and squid fisheries, (4) wrecks and obstructions, and (5) vessel traffic.
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Figure 13. Oil and gas suitability layer incorporated within the overall VSE suitability analysis. Areas within a 500 meter radius of active oil
and gas pipelines and drilling platforms were assigned a score of ‘0’ (least compatible), areas within an active oil and gas lease were assigned a
score of ‘0.5’ (moderately compatible), and those outside of active oil and gas interests were assigned a score of ‘1’ (most compatible).
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Figure 14. Commercial trawl fishery suitability layer incorporated within the overall VSE suitability analysis. Areas corresponding to the
highest density of trawl track line intersections were assigned a score of ‘0’ (least compatible) and areas of lowest density of trawl track line
intersections were assigned a score of ‘1’ (most compatible). Continuous scores between ‘0’ and ‘1’ were assigned for all other grid cells across
the low-to-high density gradient.
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Figure 15. Commercial squid fishery suitability layer incorporated within the overall VSE suitability analysis. Areas corresponding to the
highest total squid landings by microblock were assigned a score of ‘0’ (least compatible) and areas of lowest total squid landings by
microblock were assigned a score of ‘1’ (most compatible). Continuous scores between ‘0’ and ‘1’ were assigned for all other grid cells across
the low-to-high total squid landings by microblock gradient.
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Figure 16. Vessel density suitability layer incorporated within the overall VSE suitability analysis. Areas corresponding to the highest total
vessel density were assigned a score of ‘0’ (least compatible) and areas of lowest total vessel density were assigned a score of ‘1’ (most
compatible). Continuous scores between ‘0’ and ‘1’ were assigned for all other grid cells across the low-to-high density gradient.
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Figure 17. Submerged cables and wrecks and obstructions suitability layer incorporated within the overall VSE suitability analysis. Areas
within a 500-meter radius of submerged cables and wrecks and obstructions were assigned a score of ‘0’ (least compatible) while areas outside
of a 500-meter radius of submerged cables and wrecks and obstructions were assigned a score of ‘1’ (most compatible).
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Figure 18. Final suitability grid generated through integration of all individual suitability layers (i.e., oil and gas, commercial trawl fishery,
commercial squid fishery, vessel traffic, and submerged cables and wrecks and obstructions). Note that all layers were assigned equal weights
within the analysis.
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Figure 19. Alternative 1. The first alternative site for VSE was created using their initial configuration, in which the farm parcel design is a
1,900’ by 2,300’ plot. The alternative site contains 20 parcels, clustered into two blocks, with a 600’ navigational corridor between the two
blocks. The alternative site was positioned within the ‘area of interest’ based on optimizing suitability.
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Figure 20. Alternative 2. The second alternative site for VSE was created using their alternative configuration, in which the farm parcel design
is a 1,175’ by 3,707’ plot. The alternative site contains 20 parcels, clustered in one contiguous block. A navigational corridor was not needed
since all parcels can be reached on the perimeter of the site. The alternative site was positioned within the ‘area of interest’ based on optimizing
suitability.
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APPENDIX
Appendix 1. Corner points associated with Alternative #1 for the proposed VSE project. Note that the labelled points correspond with the
latitude and longitude coordinates described in Appendix 2.
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Appendix 2. Corner points and associated latitudes and longitudes for Alternative #1 for the proposed
VSE project.
Corner ID Latitude Longitude
1 34° 15′ 17.528″ N 119° 23′ 56.582″ W
2 34° 15′ 6.837″ N 119° 23′ 37.972″ W
3 34° 14′ 56.145″ N 119° 23′ 19.363″ W
4 34° 14′ 45.452″ N 119° 23′ 0.755″ W
5 34° 14′ 34.759″ N 119° 22′ 42.149″ W
6 34° 14′ 24.064″ N 119° 22′ 23.544″ W
7 34° 14′ 58.821″ N 119° 24′ 12.166″ W
8 34° 14′ 48.130″ N 119° 23′ 53.557″ W
9 34° 14′ 37.439″ N 119° 23′ 34.949″ W
10 34° 14′ 26.747″ N 119° 23′ 16.342″ W
11 34° 14′ 16.054″ N 119° 22′ 57.736″ W
12 34° 14′ 5.361″ N 119° 22′ 39.132″ W
13 34° 14′ 40.113″ N 119° 24′ 27.749″ W
14 34° 14′ 29.423″ N 119° 24′ 9.140″ W
15 34° 14′ 18.733″ N 119° 23′ 50.532″ W
16 34° 14′ 8.041″ N 119° 23′ 31.926″ W
17 34° 13′ 57.349″ N 119° 23′ 13.321″ W
18 34° 13′ 46.656″ N 119° 22′ 54.718″ W
19 34° 14′ 35.223″ N 119° 24′ 31.808″ W
20 34° 14′ 24.533″ N 119° 24′ 13.199″ W
21 34° 14′ 13.843″ N 119° 23′ 54.592″ W
22 34° 14′ 3.151″ N 119° 23′ 35.986″ W
23 34° 13′ 52.459″ N 119° 23′ 17.381″ W
24 34° 13′ 41.766″ N 119° 22′ 58.777″ W
25 34° 14′ 16.514″ N 119° 24′ 47.388″ W
26 34° 14′ 5.826″ N 119° 24′ 28.780″ W
27 34° 13′ 55.136″ N 119° 24′ 10.173″ W
28 34° 13′ 44.445″ N 119° 23′ 51.568″ W
29 34° 13′ 33.754″ N 119° 23′ 32.964″ W
30 34° 13′ 23.061″ N 119° 23′ 14.361″ W
31 34° 13′ 57.806″ N 119° 25′ 2.966″ W
32 34° 13′ 47.118″ N 119° 24′ 44.359″ W
33 34° 13′ 36.428″ N 119° 24′ 25.753″ W
34 34° 13′ 25.738″ N 119° 24′ 7.148″ W
35 34° 13′ 15.048″ N 119° 23′ 48.544″ W
36 34° 13′ 4.356″ N 119° 23′ 29.942″ W
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Appendix 3. Corner points associated with Alternative #2 for the proposed VSE project. Note that the labelled points correspond with the
latitude and longitude coordinates described in Appendix 4.
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Appendix 4. Corner points and associated latitudes and longitudes for Alternative #2 for the proposed
VSE project.
Corner ID Latitude Longitude
1 34° 15′ 21.520″ N 119° 23′ 42.518″ W
2 34° 15′ 1.105″ N 119° 23′ 5.841″ W
3 34° 14′ 40.687″ N 119° 22′ 29.169″ W
4 34° 15′ 11.867″ N 119° 23′ 50.309″ W
5 34° 14′ 51.453″ N 119° 23′ 13.633″ W
6 34° 14′ 31.035″ N 119° 22′ 36.962″ W
7 34° 15′ 2.214″ N 119° 23′ 58.101″ W
8 34° 14′ 41.801″ N 119° 23′ 21.425″ W
9 34° 14′ 21.384″ N 119° 22′ 44.755″ W
10 34° 14′ 52.561″ N 119° 24′ 5.891″ W
11 34° 14′ 32.148″ N 119° 23′ 29.217″ W
12 34° 14′ 11.731″ N 119° 22′ 52.547″ W
13 34° 14′ 42.908″ N 119° 24′ 13.682″ W
14 34° 14′ 22.495″ N 119° 23′ 37.008″ W
15 34° 14′ 2.079″ N 119° 23′ 0.339″ W
16 34° 14′ 33.254″ N 119° 24′ 21.471″ W
17 34° 14′ 12.842″ N 119° 23′ 44.798″ W
18 34° 13′ 52.427″ N 119° 23′ 8.130″ W
19 34° 14′ 23.601″ N 119° 24′ 29.261″ W
20 34° 14′ 3.189″ N 119° 23′ 52.588″ W
21 34° 13′ 42.775″ N 119° 23′ 15.921″ W
22 34° 14′ 13.947″ N 119° 24′ 37.050″ W
23 34° 13′ 53.536″ N 119° 24′ 0.378″ W
24 34° 13′ 33.122″ N 119° 23′ 23.711″ W
25 34° 14′ 4.293″ N 119° 24′ 44.838″ W
26 34° 13′ 43.883″ N 119° 24′ 8.167″ W
27 34° 13′ 23.470″ N 119° 23′ 31.501″ W
28 34° 13′ 54.639″ N 119° 24′ 52.626″ W
29 34° 13′ 34.230″ N 119° 24′ 15.956″ W
30 34° 13′ 13.817″ N 119° 23′ 39.290″ W
31 34° 13′ 44.985″ N 119° 25′ 0.413″ W
32 34° 13′ 24.576″ N 119° 24′ 23.744″ W
33 34° 13′ 4.164″ N 119° 23′ 47.079″ W
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Appendix 5. Annual average surface current velocity (m/s) in relation to the area of interest for the proposed VSE project. The optimal current
velocity range for blue mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) longlines is between 0.025 and 0.10 m/s (Longdill et al., 2008), which generally
corresponds with annual average current velocity for the area of interest.
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Appendix 6. Annual average chlorophyll a concentration (in micrograms per liter) in relation to the proposed VSE project. The optimal
chlorophyll a range for blue mussels (Mytlius galloprovincialis) is between 0.5 and 55 μg/l (Sara et al., 1998), which corresponds with the
annual average chlorophyll a concentration for the area of interest.
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Appendix 7. Mean water temperature over a 5-year period as measured by the NOAA data buoy adjacent to the proposed VSE project area of
interest. The acceptable water temperature range for blue mussels (Mytlius galloprovincialis) is between 3 and 29 degrees Celsius, with an
optimal temperature of 20 degrees Celsius (denoted by the dashed red line in the figure above; Widdows 1978, Newell 1989, and Almada-
Villela et al. 1982).
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Appendix 8. Predicted habitat-based density and distribution models for multiple cetacean species, derived from NOAA National Marine
Fisheries Service’s CetSound database. Light blue colors indicate low predicted densities whereas purple colors indicate elevated predicted
densities. Note that these maps represent predicted density, but do not necessarily correspond with actual distribution or definitive probability of
encountering these species.
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Appendix 9. Predicted habitat-based density and distribution models for multiple cetacean species, derived from NOAA National Marine
Fisheries Service’s CetSound database. Light blue colors indicate low predicted densities whereas purple colors indicate elevated predicted
densities. Note that these maps represent predicted density, but do not necessarily correspond with actual distribution or definitive probability of
encountering these species.
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Appendix 10. Predicted habitat-based density and distribution models for multiple cetacean species, derived from NOAA National Marine
Fisheries Service’s CetSound database. Light blue colors indicate low predicted densities whereas purple colors indicate elevated predicted
densities. Note that these maps represent predicted density, but do not necessarily correspond with actual distribution or definitive probability of
encountering these species.
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Appendix 11. Predicted habitat-based density and distribution models for multiple cetacean species, derived from NOAA National Marine
Fisheries Service’s CetSound database. Light blue colors indicate low predicted densities whereas purple colors indicate elevated predicted
densities. Note that these maps represent predicted density, but do not necessarily correspond with actual distribution or definitive probability of
encountering these species.
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Appendix 12. Broader perspective of commercial fishery landings by California Department of Fish and Wildlife reporting block in relation to
the VSE project ‘area of interest.’ Fishery landings represent average total landings (across all species requiring reporting by block) for the
period of 2012-2017. Note that the entirety of the ‘area of interest’ (represented by the blue outline in the map) which was further subdivided
into 1,953 grid cells within the siting analysis, overlaps with four reporting blocks rendering this data incompatible for incorporation within the
siting analysis.
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Figure 19. Alternative 1. The first alternative site for VSE was created using their initial configuration, in which the farm parcel design is a
1,900’ by 2,300’ plot. The alternative site contains 20 parcels, clustered into two blocks, with a 600’ navigational corridor between the two
blocks. The alternative site was positioned within the ‘area of interest’ based on optimizing suitability.
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Figure 20. Alternative 2. The second alternative site for VSE was created using their alternative configuration, in which the farm parcel design
is a 1,175’ by 3,707’ plot. The alternative site contains 20 parcels, clustered in one contiguous block. A navigational corridor was not needed
since all parcels can be reached on the perimeter of the site. The alternative site was positioned within the ‘area of interest’ based on optimizing
suitability.
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18. Nature of Activity
Through this application, the Ventura Port District (VPD) seeks to permit twenty 100-acre plots
of ocean space for aquaculture production of the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus
galloprovincialis) via submerged longlines in federal waters within the Santa Barbara Channel,
proximate to Ventura Harbor.1
Project Description
The project consists of twenty 100-acre plots (total of 2,000 acres) located in open federal waters
of the Santa Barbara Channel (Channel) in the Southern California Bight (SCB), northwest of
Ventura Harbor, with approximate depths at the project site ranging from 80 to 114 feet below
sea level, with an average depth of 98 feet. The plot locations are shown in Figure 1, with latitude
and longitude coordinates for the outer corners indicated. Each of the 20 plots are 2,299.5 feet
by 1,899.5 feet, for an average plot size of 100.27 acres. Each plot will contain up to 24 lines
(12 end-to-end pairs), with each line consisting of 575 feet of backbone length and 250 feet of
horizontal scope on each end. There will be a 50 foot setback on each end of the pairs (for a total
of 100 feet of spacing between lines of adjacent parcels) and 50 foot spacing between the two
center pins. Parallel lines will be spaced 150 feet apart, with a 125 foot setback at each of the
long sides (for a total of 250 feet of spacing between lines of adjacent parcels).
The sites will be used for growing the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) via
submerged long lines (see Figure 2). The mussels will be grown and harvested by
grower/producers who would sub-permit the plots from Ventura Port District, and the mussel
product will be landed at Ventura Harbor.
Site Location
The project’s twenty 100-acre plots are approximately 3.53 miles from the shore. The closest
distance from the plots to the 3-mile nautical line is a minimum of 2,900 feet, with an average
closest distance of over 3,000 feet. The closest distance from the growing area to the City of
Ventura city limit is 4.5 miles. Ventura Harbor is 4.1 miles from the closest plot (8 miles from
the most distant plot). The sub-permit sites are located on sandy bottom habitat outside of any
1 The VPD also acknowledges the critical assistance of its other key participants who have contributed time, resources,
and information to assist with this application, including the Cultured Abalone Farm, Coastal Marine Biolabs, and
Ashworth Leininger Group, as well as other participants including Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of
California San Diego, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries West Coast Region,
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and Marine Science
Institute, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California Santa Barbara.
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rocky reef habitat, as evaluated in Gentry et al. 2017 and illustrated by NOAA United States
West Coast nautical charts (NOAA 2017a).
Site Selection
The project was initially proposed to be located in waters of the State of California, i.e., within the
3-mile limit. The VPD, in collaboration with its key participants (collectively the “VSE”)
undertook extensive site selection public outreach that culminated in the decision to instead locate
the project in federal waters so as to minimize conflicts with commercial halibut trawlers based in
Ventura and Santa Barbara Harbors.
Site Selection Process Summary
The VSE team hosted a series of seven public educational workshops regarding the proposed
project. (See http://venturashellfishenterprise.com/index.html – About VSE, scroll down to “Get
Involved” and click on “Workshop Archive.”)
After these introductory workshops, VSE hosted three site selection workshops to engage with
stakeholders to identify the location of the twenty 100-acre parcels within a broader area of interest
identified through use of a spatial planning tool developed by researchers at University of
California, Santa Barbara, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management (UCSB Bren
School). While in-person workshop participation was strongly encouraged, individuals who were
not able to attend the meetings were provided the opportunity to comment on site selection through
a UCSB Bren School SeaSketch digital mapping and communication portal linked to the VSE
website. Notice of the site selection workshops was mailed out to a list of over 500 commercial
fishing vessel owners between Goleta and Port Hueneme identified by the California Department
of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW); additionally, VSE coordinated with NOAA representatives and
commercial fishermen to encourage their attendance. VSE also contacted all of the individuals
who registered interest in the proposed project through the VSE website. During and after the site
selection workshops the VPD Board of Port Commissioners received written and oral reports on
the site selection process at four public meetings held in summer and fall of 2017.
The initial candidate area in state waters was selected by VSE based on marine spatial planning
analysis prepared by the UCSB Bren School (Gentry et al., 2017). The site selection analysis
included numerous factors related to the suitability of the candidate growing area for mussels;
location in State waters near Ventura Harbor for product landing; avoidance of potential pollution
sources; and avoidance of conflicts with existing subsurface leases for oil and gas pipelines, etc.
Through the stakeholder engagement process and consultation with its aquaculture specialist, Scott
Lindell of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, it became clear that location of the project in
State waters posed certain issues. Most importantly, VPD received information from local halibut
trawlers that the proposed State waters candidate area was located in one of two areas statewide
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designated by CDFW as halibut trawl grounds. Further, Mr. Lindell advised that a minimum 80’
bottom depth (versus the initial criterion of 60’ bottom depth) would reduce exposure to various
mussel predator species (e.g., diving ducks) and potential storm surge. Following a November
2017 public hearing, the VPD Board of Commissioners selected a federal waters alternative
location, which was identified based on further refinement of the spatial planning analysis by the
UCSB Bren School.
Subsequently, NOAA Fisheries Southwest District Aquaculture Coordinator, Diane Windham,
connected VSE with NOAA’s National Ocean Service staff, which undertook a second siting study
focused on federal waters proximate to Ventura Harbor. (See “Coastal Aquaculture Siting and
Sustainability Technical Report, Ventura Shellfish Enterprise: Aquaculture Siting Analysis
Results” prepared by Coastal Aquaculture Siting and Sustainability Program, within the Marine
Spatial Ecology Division of the National Centers for Coastal and Ocean Science, National Ocean
Service, NOAA, dated September 6, 2018, copy attached.) The siting analysis represents an
objective, data-driven approach to identify the locations within federal waters with the highest
compatibility with the proposed project. The results of this siting analysis identify two alternative
sites (CASS Report Alternatives 1 and 2) proximate to Ventura Harbor given equal consideration
of existing use conflicts, including:
Existing vessel traffic corridors,
Oil and gas production,
Commercial fishing (specifically trawl and squid fisheries), and
Obstructions, including submerged cables and wrecks.
The two CASS Report Alternatives are both situated in the northern portion of the siting analysis
study area, which was determined to have the smallest potential overlap with conflicting uses.
The primary difference between the two CASS Report Alternative sites is the configuration of
sub-permit areas (Figures 3 and 4). Importantly, the two sites overlap with the federal waters
alternative site identified in the UCSB Bren School spatial planning analysis, indicating the area
has been shown by two independent studies to have the fewest conflicts with other uses and
sensitive environmental resources (Figure 5). Following a public hearing in September 2018, it is
anticipated the VPD Board of Commissioners approved CASS Report Alternative 1)(also shown
in Figure 1) as the preferred project site. CASS Report Alternative 2 (shown in Figure 4) is
shown as an alternate site location.
Project Construction
Installation of anchors, longlines, and buoys will be performed by grower/producers in compliance
with all permit requirements and VPD sub-permit conditions which will incorporate approved best
management practices (BMPs). Submerged longlines consist of a horizontal structural header line,
or “backbone,” that is attached to the seafloor by helical screw anchors drilled into the sandy
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bottom at each end and is marked and supported by a series of buoys along the central horizontal
section, as shown in Figure 2. Helical screw anchors have been shown to exhibit superior holding
power as compared to other anchoring systems and can be removed or cut below the surface at
project decommissioning. Helical screw anchors for mussel farms in open ocean habitats have
been installed all over the world, including offshore of Catalina Island, California. Helical screw
anchors will be installed by a hydraulic drill with a drill head that operates from a rig lowered to
the ocean floor. The helical screw anchors will be screwed approximately 10 to 20 feet deep into
the sandy bottom ocean floor. Each 100-acre plot will contain up to 48 anchors for a total of 960
anchors at full project build out.
It is anticipated that the potential noise impacts from the installation of the sand screw anchors
using a hydraulic drill will be minimal. The screw anchors are drilled into the seabed using a
hydraulic auger controlled at the surface. The drill is submersible and is lowered with the anchor.
Noise levels are very low in the water, with a relatively small (50 hp) hydraulic power pack on the
installation vessel (Fielder Marine Services, New Zealand, pers.comm.). Rotation speeds are very
low, which minimizes entanglement of marine species. The anchor installation disturbs less than
1 square meter of seabed on installation and once installed no rope or chain touches the sea floor,
which also minimizes seabed disturbance (Fielder Marine Services, New Zealand, pers.comm.).
Marine wildlife, especially cetaceans, is known to be sensitive to noise effects (e.g., NMFS 2007a).
However, construction noise levels will be well within acceptable thresholds for both marine
mammals and fish (ICF Jones & Stokes and Illingworth and Rodkin, Inc. 2009; NMFS 2007a).
Due to the minimal noise level and area of disturbance on the sea floor, an action area of 100 feet
is sufficient.
Buoys marking the corners of each parcel will identify the cultivation area for navigational safety
and will comply with all regulations for height, illumination, and visibility, including radar
reflection. As shown in Figure 2, permanent surface buoys for each longline will consist of two
16-inch surface corner buoys (one corner buoy supporting and marking either end of the
backbone), as well as one 16-inch buoy supporting and marking the center pickup line, for a total
of three surface buoys per longline. Simulated views of parcel arrays at the surface and underwater
are provided in Figures 6 through 9. All surface buoys will be marked with the grower/producer
name and phone number. Buoys attached to the central horizontal portion of the backbone line
support the line, provide a means of lifting the backbone line to access the cultivation ropes, and
determine the depth of the submerged backbone, which will vary seasonally from 15 to 45 feet
below the surface. Additionally, a combination of surface and submerged buoys attached to the
backbone line will be used during the mussel production cycle to maintain tension on the structural
backbone line as the weight of the mussel crop increases. These will consist of 24-inch (or
equivalent, with greater than 200 L buoyancy) buoys attached at required intervals along the
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surface and connecting to the backbone line, in combination with smaller submerged buoys affixed
directly to the backbone line. The combination of surface and submerged buoyancy is designed to
create a tensioned but flexible structure that is capable of responding dynamically to surface waves
and storms.
The longlines that will be utilized are thick (1-inch diameter), tensioned (to approximately 800
pounds) rope that is not conducive to wrapping around or entangling protected species. The
longline configuration produces a fairly rigid tensioned structure from which the cultivation ropes,
or “fuzzy ropes” are attached. Fuzzy ropes are characterized by extra filaments that provide
settlement substrate for mussels to attach. Fuzzy ropes may be attached to and suspended from the
backbone rope either as individual lengths or as a continuous looping single length that drapes up
and down over the backbone. The length of each section or loop of fuzzy rope will be
approximately 20 feet but the actual length depends on the lifting capacity of the servicing vessel.
The length of the central horizontal section of backbone line will be approximately 575 feet, which
will support approximately 8,000 feet of fuzzy cultivation line.
The shape of each 100-acre cultivation parcel will be a function of the geometry of the submerged
backbone lines and anchoring system. Each horizontal section of the longline will be
approximately 575 feet and will require an anchor scope of approximately 2.5 times depth.
Therefore, in 100 feet of water depth, scope from the horizontal section of backbone to the helical
screw anchor will require 250 feet on each end of the line, making a total length of 1,075 feet from
anchor screw to anchor screw. A 100-acre parcel with rectangular dimensions of 1,899.5 feet by
2,299.5 feet will therefore accommodate up to 24 individual longlines (Figures 10 and 11). The
submerged longline growing gear configuration will be specifically engineered for open ocean
conditions with respect to size and strength of all lines, anchoring, hardware, and buoyancy.
Construction in each individual growing plot will take place only after VPD approval of a subpermits
(or other form of agreement) with the individual grower/producer. While project
development is dependent on market demand, VPD estimates that full build out would occur within
three to five years after project approval.
Project Operation/Cultivation Methods
The mussels will be grown and harvested by grower/producers under individual sub-permits (or
other form of agreement) with VPD that incorporate all project permit conditions and BMPs. All
grower/producers will be required to land their mussels at Ventura Harbor. Spat will be purchased
from onshore hatcheries certified by CDFW. At the hatcheries, spat are settled on the fuzzy ropes,
which is rope woven with additional loops of fiber to create additional settlement substrate and is
standard industry practice. When the spat are firmly settled to the ropes, the ropes are covered with
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cotton socking material to protect them from shaking off the ropes during transport to the offshore
growing site and deployment. The socks hold the spat next to the rope while the mussels naturally
attach with their byssal threads, by which time the cotton material naturally degrades. These ropes
are then attached to the longlines and buoys, either as single sections of line or as a continuous
looping strand attached in intervals.
The mussel grow-out ropes will grow to be stiff with attached mussels encasing the rope core, thus
making them very unlikely sources of entanglement. As an additional precaution against
entanglement, grow ropes will be attached to the head rope with a low-breaking-strength line,
which will facilitate rapid detachment in the unlikely event of any interaction with the longline.
To further minimize entanglement potential, a breakaway link will be installed between the surface
buoys and vertical lines, similar to strategies used to mitigate potential entanglement in trap
fisheries in the northeastern United States (NOAA 2008). Buoy lines between the surface and head
rope are generally under tension partially equivalent to their full buoyancy and breakaway link
ratings will be specific to buoy size.
Cultivated mussels grow by filtering naturally occurring phytoplankton from the ocean. Juvenile
mussels will grow on lines until an intermediate size where the density of mussels on the fuzzy
rope becomes limiting to further growth. At this point, a servicing vessel will lift the backbone line
in order to access the fuzzy rope stocked with juvenile mussels and pull the fuzzy rope through
vessel-based equipment designed to strip the mussels from the fuzzy rope, and then clean, separate,
and grade the juvenile mussels by size. Juvenile mussels then will be restocked to clean fuzzy rope
and covered with naturally-dissolving cotton socking at a reduced density for their second stage of
grow out to market size. All these intermediate mussel-tending steps take place on the servicing
vessel.
Maintenance and inspection of the longlines will be carried out at least on a monthly basis and
consist of lifting the longlines out of the water and adding additional buoys as necessary to account
for increased mussel weight. Inspections of the anchor ropes, anchors, and connecting ropes will
be carried out monthly for the first two years following deployment, and in the event there are no
marine wildlife entanglements within the first two years, may be reduced to quarterly inspections
thereafter. Inspections can include a variety of techniques: recordings by depth/fish finder;
remotely operated vehicle (ROV) surveys of lines; and/or monitoring performed by SCUBA
divers.
Gear and planted ropes will be inspected regularly as part of a comprehensive monitoring plan,
but generally the planted ropes will only be manipulated during initial stocking, intermediate
harvest and restocking, and final harvest. Inspection will involve monitoring the all hardware and
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rigging and surface buoys and their tension, and checking for escaped gear and potential
entanglements. Examples of possible observations that would trigger concern and further
investigation are (1) gaps or tangling of dropper ropes detected on depth finder or other structural
anomalies, (2) fouling by objects or other marine debris detected in support buoys or buoy
deployment lines, and (3) loss of function or damage to devices related to navigational safety.
Harvesting involves separating the mussels from the ropes, followed by cleaning, sorting, and
bagging. When the mussels reach market size, which is expected to occur after about one year of
total production time, the submerged backbone lines again will be lifted in order to access the
fuzzy cultivation ropes, and mussels again will be stripped from the line, cleaned, and separated,
and this time size-graded and bagged for landing at the Ventura Harbor as market-ready product.
The bagged mussels will be transported to Ventura Harbor for offloading, sale, and distribution.
All husbandry activities related to harvesting, grading, and restocking of mussels to cultivation
lines will occur onboard the servicing vessel using specialized equipment for that purpose.
Watercraft used for planting, inspections, and harvesting will be home ported at Ventura Harbor.
At full project build out 20 to 40 vessels will be traveling to the specific sub-permit sites to conduct
these activities. The maximum distance traveled between the harbor and the farthest potential subpermit
area will be approximately 8 miles. Once constructed, it is projected that each sub-permit
site will generate an estimated 150 trips per year to accomplish the tasks outlined above.
Landed product will comply with all testing and labeling regulations as part of the California
Department of Public Health (CDPH) Shellfish Sanitation Plan and the National Shellfish
Sanitation Program (NSSP) guidelines for shellfish grown in federal waters. NOAA-Seafood
Inspection Program (NOAA-SIP), in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA), recently began the process of developing NSSP-compliant sanitation protocols for bivalve
shellfish cultivated in federal waters.
Organization and Governance
VPD proposes to make mussel growing area sub-permits 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. As a requirement of their participation, grower/
producers will be obligated to operate under robust environmental monitoring guidelines and
BMPs incorporated into the proposed project’s entitlements. While all grower/producers will be
held accountable for compliance with these requirements, VPD is ultimately responsible for
compliance with all permit conditions and required BMPs. All grower/producer responsibilities
would be spelled out as conditions in grower/producer sub-permits with VPD, thus establishing
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VPD enforcement authority for those conditions. VPD anticipates further discussions with the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) concerning the proposed sub-permitting process once the
USACE has had an opportunity to review the application.
Project Decommissioning
The project will include a decommissioning plan, which will provide for the removal of all
equipment and structures in each sub-permit area associated with project activities when activities
in that sub-permit are terminated. The decommissioning plan will be a requirement of each subpermit.
Financial assurances to guarantee implementation of the decommissioning plan will be
required of each grower/producer and reviewed periodically.
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19. Project Purpose
Objectives of the proposed project are:
1. To increase the supply of safe, sustainably produced, and locally grown shellfish while
minimizing potential negative environmental impacts;
2. To enhance and sustain Ventura Harbor as a major west coast fishing port and support the
local economy;
3. To provide economies of scale, pre-approved sub-permit area, and technical support to
include small local producers who would not otherwise be able to participate in shellfish
aquaculture;
4. To provide an entitlement and permitting template for aquaculture projects state-wide;
5. To enhance public knowledge and understanding of sustainable shellfish farming practices
and promote community collaboration in achieving VSE objectives;
6. To advance scientific knowledge and state of the art aquaculture practices through research
and innovation.
1. To increase the supply of safe, sustainably-produced, and locally-grown shellfish while
minimizing potential negative environmental impacts
The proposed project will serve to diversify the catch and stabilize the commercial fishing fleet
home-ported at Ventura Harbor. The proposed project also will provide a locally cultivated,
sustainably raised food source, and significantly advance state and national goals and objectives for
increased domestic aquaculture and a secure food supply. The proposed project is supported, in part,
through the NOAA Sea Grant program, the goal of which is to contribute to “a safe, secure and
sustainable supply of seafood to meet public demand.”
Ventura Harbor is home to one of the top fisheries off-loading harbors in the state. One of the core
goals of the VSE project is to enhance the Ventura Harbor working waterfront with a sustainable
and dependable seafood harvest. The project will help meet state and federal goals for the growth
of domestic shellfish aquaculture to better serve the U.S. population demands for new, sustainably
grown protein sources. This is consistent with the VPD’s goal of upgrading infrastructure,
equipment and facilities for a modernized, efficient and safe working harbor. A 2007 California
Sea Grant Extension Program report titled “Commercial Fisheries of the Santa Barbara Channel
and Associated Infrastructure Needs” noted that diversification of fishing operations through the
development of new fisheries could provide new business opportunities.
The proposed project offers a number of other benefits related to food supply, because at present
the mussel market in the United States and locally is dominated by imports from Canada, Chile,
New Zealand, and Europe. California is the third-largest consumer of shellfish in the United
States, and current state production lags far behind demand. Shortfalls are met by importation,
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which contributes to the state and national seafood deficit and increases our carbon footprint by
the need to transport shellfish into the state from around the world.
This project will supply a locally grown mussel product to an established market with the
potential for expansion. Mussels provide a high-protein, low-fat source of human nutrition.
Compared with other cultivated protein sources (e.g., beef, pork, chicken), mussels are a more
environmentally sustainable food source, require no added feed or water, have significantly
lower associated greenhouse gas emissions, and use ocean areas rather than land for production
(see Table 1). The proposed project at build out would produce 9,000 to 11,000 tons of mussels
for market per year. Further, by serving as a template for additional offshore shellfish-growing
projects, this proposed project aims to increase the efficiency of shellfish permitting and thus
provide a template to promote additional shellfish growing operations offshore of California.
Table 1
Comparison of Sustainability Indicators among Animal Production Systems
Animal
Type
Food
Conversion
(kg feed/kg
edible
weight)
Protein
Efficiency
(%)
Nitrogen
Emissions
(kg/ton
protein
produced)
Phosphorous
Emissions
(kg/ton
protein
produced)
Land
(tons
edible
product
per HA)
Consumptive
Freshwater
Use
(m3/ton)
Beef 31.7 5 1,200 180 0.24–
0.37
15,497
Chicken 4.2 25 300 40 1.0–1.20 3,918
Pork 10.7 13 800 120 0.83–
1.10
4,856
Finfish
(average)
2.3 30 360 48 0.15–
3.70
5,000*
Bivalve
mollusks
Not fed Not fed -27 -29 0.28–20 0
Source: Aquaculture Workshop 2015.
Notes: kg = kilogram; HA = hectare; m3/ton = cubic meters per ton.
* Consumptive water use is difficult to compare across finfish aquaculture production systems
because of variability in feed sources and depending on whether the system is freshwater or
saltwater.
To minimize conflicts with other ocean uses and ensure location away from pollution sources, the
proposed location was selected after multiple stakeholder workshops and consultations, noticed public
meetings of the Ventura Port Commission, and utilization of two different marine spatial planning
tools. (See “18. Nature of Activity” discussion.)
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The proposed project is consistent with California’s Aquaculture Development Act (California
Public Resources Code, Sections 826–828), which encourages the practice of aquaculture to
augment food supplies, expand employment, promote economic activity and protect and better
use the land and water resources of the state, and Assembly Joint Resolution 43 (2014), wherein
the State Legislature states its support “to protect existing shellfish beds and access to additional
acreage for shellfish farming and restoration.” The proposed project is also consistent with
NOAA’s National Shellfish Initiative (NOAA 2013) and National Marine Aquaculture Policy
(NOAA 2011), which seek to increase populations of bivalves in coastal waters through
commercial aquaculture production and acknowledge the multiple benefits of shellfish
aquaculture, including providing new jobs and business opportunities, meeting the growing
demand for seafood, and providing habitat for important species. Finally, the proposed project
furthers the goals of the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan (National Ocean Council
2013), one of which is to increase efficiencies in the permitting process and encourage agency
coordination to facilitate additional marine aquaculture development.
2. To enhance and sustain Ventura Harbor as a major west coast fishing port and support the
local economy
The proposed project is very important to the future of Ventura Harbor. The harbor’s status as a
robust commercial fishing port is vital to VPD qualifying for USACE harbor dredging funds since
the harbor is not a deep water port and does not house a U.S. Coast Guard station. Absent USACE
dredging funds the harbor will silt up and close.
Integral to the VPD’s mission is to provide a safe and navigable harbor that benefits fisherman.
Included amongst the VPD’s goals is to maintain and enhance a safe and navigable harbor by:
Securing federal funding to support the USACE operation and maintenance program at the
harbor federal entrance;
Dredging the Inner Harbor and preserving infrastructure;
Providing superior Harbor Patrol, Maintenance, and related Port District services;
Upgrading infrastructure, equipment and facilities for a modernized, efficient and safe working
harbor
To meet its mission and goals the VPD allocates annual revenues to operations, maintenance and
capital improvements. In FY18-19 operating revenues were approximately $10 million and operating
expenses were approximately $8.7 million. However capital improvements totaled $5.2M, causing the
VPD to utilize approximately $3.9 million in unrestricted reserve funds. Due to VPD reserve fund
policies, this is not sustainable at this level annually. This means that some combination of increased
revenues or revenue sources and alternative methods to finance some capital infrastructure projects is
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necessary. Specific to the commercial fishing industry, the VSE project can play a vital role in VPD
annual revenue generation that can be leveraged for the financing of commercial fishing infrastructure
while creating other positive economic impacts and maintaining dredging priorities as discussed
further below.
The VPD, which is an independent special district, receives approximately 88-90% of its revenues
from commercial leases, boat slip fees and fish off-loading charges. The remaining funds are local
property tax revenues accounting for approximately 10-12% of revenues. These property tax revenues
have consistently been allocated to public safety for Harbor Patrol but do not cover these operational
costs. Additionally, the VPDis expanding Harbor Patrol operations to “24-7” due to increased demand
for services which further increases annual operating expenses for public safety functions.
Dredging
The VPD is completely dependent upon the USACE for the annual maintenance of the harbor’s federal
entrance system, and the unloading of commercially harvested seafood at the harbor is a primary
justification for this federal support. Without diversified fisheries delivering consistent fish offloading
necessary to justify federal funding to USACE for Ventura Harbor dredging, the Harbor risks future
entrance closures.
The entrance system includes the following components:
1. A 1,750 foot entrance channel
2. A 600,000 cubic yard sand trap
3. A 1,800 foot offshore breakwater
4. A 1,550 foot north jetty
5. A 250 foot middle jetty
6. A 600 foot south beach groin
The annual maintenance dredging of the entrance channel and sand trap currently require between
$5,000,000 and $7,000,000 per year. The cost of maintaining the rock structures (i.e. breakwater, jetties
and groin), while not occurring on an annual basis, has nonetheless averaged about $1,280,000 per
year over the last 15 years. Were it not for the federal assumption of these maintenance needs, the
harbor’s federal entrance channel would simply shoal to closure, and all of the maritime interests in
the harbor, both commercial and recreational would lose ocean access.
In order to avoid that possibility, in March 2012, when federal funding was inadequate for the USACE
to complete the necessary dredging of the harbor entrance area, the VPD was compelled to utilize
$1,500,000 of its limited reserves to finish the dredging. It was only possible for the VPD to take that
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action, however, because the USACE had already absorbed the contractor’s $1,000,000 equipment
mobilization cost. Even under such limited conditions, it is simply not sustainable for the VPD to
financially support the federal dredging program.
Infrastructure
One of the core goals of the VSE project is to enhance the Ventura Harbor working waterfront with a
sustainable and dependable seafood harvest. This is consistent with the VPD’s goal of upgrading
infrastructure, equipment and facilities for a modernized, efficient and safe working harbor. The
existing commercial fishing businesses generate direct revenue to the VPD in the form of commercial
boat slips and fish offloading fees. These fees generate approximately $1.2M in annual revenue that
supports marina operations and some infrastructure needs. The commercial boat slip fees are highly
dependent upon a stable commercial fishing fleet, which depends largely upon the ongoing success of
the California Market Squid industry along with other smaller fisheries. This industry has proven
resilient but unpredictable from year to year due to a variety of impacts from weather, water
temperatures, and market forces, including more recently imposed tariffs on international seafood
products. For example, the VPD has had years where 60 million pounds or more in squid was offloaded
at the Harbor while other years the VPD has had less than 20 million pounds offloaded at the Harbor.
The VPD’s off-loading fees are generated largely by the squid industry; however, these fees only
represent 10% of the $1.2M in total revenue identified above (approximately $120,000 annually).
The VPD, as part of its annual budget, prepares a 5-year capital improvement plan (CIP) which
anticipates large scale projects that are necessary to maintain a modernized, efficient and safe working
harbor. These needs are particularly pressing given the harbor’s age, with many facilities 35-55 years
in age. The scale of these projects necessitates capital financing, since annual revenues are largely
utilized for ongoing operations and pay just a portion of capital improvements.
For example, a current project receiving capital financing is the Village Commercial dock replacement.
This $4.6 million project seeks to replace the dilapidated dock system, which is used primarily by 42
purse seiners and related commercial fishing vessels such as 20 light boats for the California Market
Squid fleet. The project financing requires that ongoing annual VPD revenues be used to support the
debt service.
In the next five to ten years, the VPD will need to finance a substantial amount of new infrastructure
construction and likely dredge the inner harbor for commercial fishing boat needs and revetment
maintenance, neither of which is a USACE-funded activity because it is not part of the Harbor’s federal
entrance. Other projects may include future replacement of an older fisheries building, reconstruction
of a fish pier, replacement or addition of fish offloading cranes, modernization of fish handling
facilities, worksite improvements, fish equipment storage and fleet parking needs. It is conceivable that
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the VPD could finance $20M or more in commercial fishing infrastructure costs to support ongoing
operational needs. This is in addition to the $4.6 million in debt discussed above. For illustrative
purposes only, if the VPD were to borrow $20 million over 30 years at current interest rates, the annual
debt service costs to the VPD for this debt would be approximately $1.2 million.
The VPD is subject to significant due diligence and financial “tests” in order to borrow capital project
funds. While the VPD continues to meet these borrowing requirements, and maintains a strong
financial position, it is clear that the VPD must seek to diversify its fisheries to support commercial
fishing operational and infrastructure costs. Annual boat slip and offloading fees are used to fund
ongoing fisheries and marina operations but do not provide the necessary funding to complete largescale
capital projects. Thus, the implementation of new fisheries and resulting revenues is of major
importance to the VPD.
The VSE project anticipates wholesale market values of $2.76M per 100-acre parcel or $55.2M at full
build-out of 20, 100-acre parcels. Many factors will ultimately determine actual revenue, with the most
critical factor being the size of the approved project, as well as growing conditions, operational
interruptions, time period to full build out, market conditions, project and operational costs, etc.
However, in utilizing these initial projections the VPD is evaluating potential revenue sharing models
as discussed below.
The VPD is evaluating a new revenue approach with the VSE project. The VPD will be the project
permittee. As such, the VPD may consider implementing a participation fee (e.g. 3-5% of gross
wholesale value) for future private grower producers, rather than just rely on fish offloading and slip
fees to help fund infrastructure needs. For example, an operating fee of 3% of the gross wholesale
value at full build-out as described above could generate annual revenues to the VPD of approximately
$1.65M. These funds generated will be used to support the VPD’s project administration costs and
could help support future debt issued for commercial fishing infrastructure (e.g. $1.2M annual debt
service as described above). A project of a lesser scale would directly impact future VPD annual
revenues that can be used in part to support the financing of ongoing commercial fishing infrastructure
and harbor needs.
3. To provide economies of scale, pre-approved sub-permit area, and technical support to
include small producers who would not otherwise be able to participate in shellfish
aquaculture
Designed economies of scale will maximize the previously described direct and indirect secondary
benefits of the proposed project. Significant expenses are associated with permitting,
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environmental review, compliance with shellfish health regulations, and environmental
monitoring; therefore, leasing and permitting the proposed project as one will provide economies
of scale and eliminate a significant impediment to market diversification and participation by small
shellfish companies or new investors. By permitting all the growing areas as a single proposed
project, individual grower/producers benefit from the collective upfront permitting efforts of VPD.
As a specific example of a regulatory economy of scale, monitoring requirements such as
implementation of a sediment quality monitoring plan are more efficiently handled at the VPD
project scale as opposed to separate efforts by individual grower/producers. VPD, acting as the
responsible party for BMP compliance, can use collective funds to monitor sediment conditions
within the larger project area, offering technical sampling and reporting consistency, along with
facilitating collection of a larger data set, which will offer greater opportunities to track overall
project impacts. Collective sampling and reporting will also yield efficiencies in compliance
review for the agencies, as VPD can act as a clearinghouse for information, handling the initial
screening and vetting of information before it is transmitted to the appropriate regulatory agencies.
Project grower/producers will have access to a pooled, centralized and comprehensive monitoring
and reporting program for all the growing plots. All necessary permits and entitlements will
already have been obtained by VPD, making participation by the grower/producer “turn-key.” The
costs to the grower/producer associated with ongoing water quality sampling and monitoring will
be reduced by the efficiency of a centralized pooled program, which will in turn reduce operating
costs and increase the direct benefit to the grower/producer.
Further, grower/producers will also have access to technical expertise and the accepted BMPs
developed through the permitting process and described below. Similarly, grower/producers will
enjoy access to centralized marketing and branding of a Ventura-specific premium seafood product
grown and harvested in the proposed area.
Each of these elements of the project design contributes cumulatively to a total package, which in
turn contributes positively, and materially to the ongoing operational health and vitality of the
Ventura Harbor community. The costs associated with the proposed project (i.e. permitting and
monitoring) would be too high for a small operation. In order for the sub-permits to be affordable
for individual grower/producers, the proposed project must be a large scale project.
4. To provide an entitlement and permitting template for aquaculture projects state-wide
A major goal of the proposed project is delineation of a streamlined strategic permitting pathway
that will not only facilitate the establishment of a Ventura Harbor-based shellfish operation
promoting sustainable economic development, but that will more generally serve as a model to
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help other entities address regulatory barriers and planning challenges that currently create
impediments to the expansion of the shellfish aquaculture industry in California.
The proposed project is a unique approach to developing environmentally and economically
sustainable shellfish commerce with product landed at the Ventura Harbor. This initiative is novel
in several ways.
The project proposes to produce bivalve shellfish in the offshore marine environment using
cultivation practices that, although well-established worldwide, are in their infancy in the
United States, particularly on the West Coast.
The proposed project is a cooperative and collaborative effort taking place in an opensource
format with state and federal regulators to establish a template for additional future
shellfish growing operations in California.
The proposal to permit a group of twenty 100-acre growing plots allows for participation
by potential grower/producers who might otherwise be precluded from participation in
aquaculture because of the significant regulatory burden of obtaining the required
government approvals.
The scale of the proposed project allows the individual grower/producers to benefit from
centralized environmental monitoring, product safety testing, and product marketing.
This proposed project as it is scaled will bolster the working waterfront in Ventura Harbor,
providing economic benefits to VPD, its tenants, and the community.
The proposed project seeks to significantly improve the interagency review and permitting process
for offshore shellfish aquaculture and create a comprehensive and efficient permitting process that
is cost effective for both review agencies and applicant alike. In doing so, the overarching objective
is to establish a viable and replicable permitting pathway model that satisfies the requirements of
the review and permitting agencies and may be used by any prospective shellfish grower/producers
to facilitate project design and aid in the evaluation of future offshore aquaculture proposals.
5. To enhance public knowledge and understanding of sustainable shellfish farming practices
and promote community collaboration in achieving VSE objectives
Realizing the vision of an improved permitting process requires coordinated planning among all
stakeholders to attain the full environmental and economic benefits. VPD and key VSE
participants are committed to transparency, open communication, and comprehensive public
education and outreach efforts. To this end, VPD and key VSE participants hosted an ongoing
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series of informational public meetings to discuss the social, economic, environmental, scientific,
and technological variables encompassed by the proposed project. These interactive, workshopstyle
meetings provided a forum for open dialog among all interested members of the general
public, state and federal agency representatives, shellfish industry leaders, and environmental and
scientific leaders to discuss the policy, planning, and scientific issues surrounding the
establishment of a Ventura Harbor-based offshore shellfish aquaculture operation. This was a
critical first step toward productive collaboration and ultimately, overall project success.
6. To advance scientific knowledge and state of the art aquaculture practices through research
and innovation
The project is envisioned to include both research and education components. The project includes
as additional participants, researchers and educators with the following institutions:
UCSB Bren School
University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region
The project will serve an in situ working laboratory for improving shellfish aquaculture techniques
and will be used as an open-water classroom. Qualified researchers affiliated with universities (i.e.,
UCSB Bren School, or University of Southern California, etc.), or qualified marine research
institutes (i.e., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, etc.)
will have access to aquaculture plots to conduct research and monitoring approved by the VPD;
however, access may be limited in certain circumstances to respect grower/producer proprietary
data or technology or to accommodate a grower/producer’s operational and logistical needs in
operating the farm. VPD will review and approve research projects in consultation with USACE,
NMFS, NOAA, and any affected grower/producers. Grower/producers will be fairly compensated
for the use of their vessels, equipment, and fair market value of any mussels produced or generated
as part of approved research projects.
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23. Description of Avoidance, Minimization, and Compensation
Avoidance of User Conflicts
As described previously, the size of the proposed project was determined based on needing to meet
the project objectives, primarily Objectives 2 and 3:
2. To enhance and sustain Ventura Harbor as a major west coast fishing port and support
the local economy;
3. To provide economies of scale, pre-approved sub-permit area, and technical support to
include small local producers who would not otherwise be able to participate in shellfish
aquaculture.
To meet its mission and goals the VPD allocates annual revenues to operations, maintenance and
capital improvements. As stated in Section 19, Project Purpose, the VPD had a negative cash flow
of approximately $3.9 million in FY18-19, which was funded by use of unrestricted reserves, but
is not sustainable at this level annually. As such, a combination of increased revenues or revenue
sources and alternative methods to finance some capital infrastructure projects is necessary.
Specific to the commercial fishing industry, the VSE project can play a vital role in VPD’s annual
revenue generation that can be leveraged for the financing of commercial fishing infrastructure
while creating other positive economic impacts and maintaining dredging priorities. See Section
19 for further discussion of these issues.
There is a strong nexus between the continued receipt of federal support and the vitality of the
harbor’s commercial fishing operations and landings. In order to ensure that dredging continues,
the harbor needs to increase the tonnage landed at Ventura Harbor in a sustainable manner. As
other forms of commercial fishing are not currently a viable or sustainable option, the proposed
project will significantly increase and diversify the catch landed at Ventura Harbor. A smaller
scale fishery is unlikely to provide enough tonnage to ensure dredging continues.
Similarly, it is not feasible to provide economies of scale to small, local producers without a large
scale operation. The operation costs, such as monitoring, permitting, and technical support, would
be far too high with a smaller size. In order to have a sustainable fishing operation with a
recognizable product, the proposed project needs to be a larger operation.
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Siting Analysis
Once the size of the proposed project was determined, spatial planning guided the VPD in
determining which area was most suitable for longline mussel cultivation with the lowest impact
on existing marine uses. The initial candidate area in state waters was selected by VSE with the
assistance of analysis prepared by the UCSB Bren School (using SeaSketch software), and focused
on the Southern California Bight. The factors evaluated in the analysis included suitability of the
candidate growing area for mussels considering water depth and ocean bottom; location in State
waters near Ventura Harbor for product landing; avoidance of potential pollution sources; and
avoidance of conflicts with existing subsurface leases for oil and gas pipelines, etc. The report
identified areas where conflicts with or impacts by aquaculture development had to potential to
affect stakeholders, the environmental health of the marine benthos, quality of ocean views, and
the risk of disease spread among fish farms. Thousands of spatial plans were considered. The
spatial plans indicated that for various locations within the Southern California Bight, mussel
aquaculture can achieve considerable value while minimizing impacts to the existing sectors (0-
5% impact). As a result of the UCSB Bren School spatial planning analysis, eight SeaSketch
alternatives were identified, including an alternative in federal waters.
SeaSketch Alternative 1 – 20 lease sites located along the 80’ contour at 45-degree angle
SeaSketch Alternative 2 – 20 lease sites along 80’ contour with contiguous straight-line
outer edge
SeaSketch Alternative 3 – 20 lease sites along 80’ contour with 2X2 configuration
extending toward the middle of candidate area
SeaSketch Alternative 4 – 20 lease sites along 3nm State waters line, six sites south of Pitas
Pt. extended towards the middle of the candidate area
SeaSketch Alternative 5 – 20 lease sites that follows 3 nm line intuitively
SeaSketch Alternative 6 – 20 lease sites at 3nm line arranged in a 2X2 configuration
SeaSketch Alternative 7 – 20 lease sites intuitively following the 3nm State waters line in
a 2X2 configuration
SeaSketch Alternative 8 – 20 lease sites outside of the 3nm State waters line, in Federal
waters, arranged in two, ten parcel 2X2 configurations slightly offset.
The VSE team established criteria on which to evaluate and prioritize each siting alternative. As a
result, the VSE team constructed a siting decision matrix to quantify the benefits of each potential
siting configuration, and assist the VPD Board of Commissioners in its decision-making process.
The stakeholder engagement process supported the identification of key factors upon which to
assist siting configuration decision-making. Each of the criteria was assigned a weight based on
perceived relative importance to achieving optimal operational capacity and minimizing potential
user conflicts and environmental impacts. Siting alternatives were then scored using a rating
system that corresponds to preferences identified by the VSE team. These criteria included:
Approximate water depth
Potential adverse water pollution sources
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Potential visual effects from shore
Potential interaction with commercial and recreational fishing interests
Subleasing or sub-permitting complexities
Potential overlap with subsurface leases
Environmental review complexity
Contiguous siting
Distance from Harbor
Through the stakeholder engagement process and consultation with its aquaculture specialist, Scott
Lindell of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, it became clear that location of the project in
State waters posed certain issues. Most importantly, VSE received information from local halibut
trawlers that the proposed State waters candidate area was located in one of two areas statewide
designated by CDFW as halibut trawl grounds. Further, Mr. Lindell advised that a minimum 80’
bottom depth (versus the initial criterion of 60’ bottom depth) would reduce exposure to various
mussel predator species (e.g., diving ducks) and potential storm surge. Following a November
2017 public hearing, the VPD Board of Commissioners selected a federal waters alternative
(SeaSketch Alternative 8) location.
Subsequently, NOAA Fisheries Southwest District Aquaculture Coordinator, Diane Windham,
connected VSE with NOAA’s National Ocean Service staff, which undertook a second siting study
focused on federal waters proximate to Ventura Harbor. (See “Coastal Aquaculture Siting and
Sustainability Technical Report, Ventura Shellfish Enterprise: Aquaculture Siting Analysis
Results” prepared by Coastal Aquaculture Siting and Sustainability Program, within the Marine
Spatial Ecology Division of the National Centers for Coastal and Ocean Science, National Ocean
Service, NOAA, dated September 19, 2018, copy attached.) The siting analysis represents an
objective, data-driven approach to identify the locations within federal waters with the highest
compatibility with the proposed project. The results of this siting analysis identify two alternative
sites proximate to Ventura Harbor given equal consideration of existing use conflicts, including:
Designated shipping fairways,
Areas of high vessel density and wrecks and obstructions,
Sensitive habitats,
Military uses,
Existing vessel traffic corridors,
Oil and gas production,
Commercial fishing (specifically trawl and squid fisheries), and
Obstructions, including submerged cables and wrecks.
Other important considerations were the distance from Ventura Harbor and depth (25-37m).
Slightly less influential parameters included wind speed and direction, wave height, surface
current, and chlorophyll a.
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The two CASS Report Alternatives are both situated in the northern portion of the siting analysis
study area, which was determined to have the smallest potential overlap with conflicting uses. The
primary difference between the two sites is the configuration of sub-permit areas (Figures 3 and
4). In CASS Report Alternative 1, each sub-permit area has two shorter lines in parallel, and is
represented in Figure 3. CASS Report Alternative 2, shown in Figure 4, was designed as a longer
“stack” of single lines within each sub-permit area, which was found to be less flexible. Since
varying oceanic patterns may necessitate more design flexibility, CASS Report Alternative 1 was
determined to be the most compatible configuration. CASS Report Alternative 1 will have 20 plots,
each with a dimension of 2,299.5 feet by 1,899.5 feet, and an average water depth of 98 feet.
Importantly, the two CASS Report Alternative sites overlap with the federal waters alternative site
(SeaSketch Alternative 8) identified in the UCSB Bren School spatial planning analysis, indicating
the area has been shown by two independent studies to have the fewest conflicts with other uses
and sensitive environmental resources (Figure 5). Following a public hearing in September 2018,
it is anticipated the VPD Board of Commissioners approved CASS Report Alternative 1)(also
shown in Figure 1) as the preferred project site. CASS Report Alternative 2 (shown in Figure 4) is
shown as an alternate site location.
Measures to minimize impacts to the waters of the U.S.
The proposed project has been designed to minimize direct and indirect impacts to waters of the
U.S. to the maximum extent practicable through implementation of the following measures. Please
see Table 2 for details of the BMPs, the responsible party, and the enforcing agency of each
measure.
Measures to minimize debris and impacts to water quality
1. Sediment Quality Monitoring Plan. A Sediment Quality Monitoring Plan shall be
developed requiring monitoring of sediment conditions within the project area, including
monitoring the quantity, type, and distribution of biological materials (such as shellfish,
shell material, and fouling organisms) that accumulate on the seafloor. Monitoring will
also include an evaluation of any changes to oxygen demand of benthic infaunal and
epifaunal communities, and changes to the chemical and biochemical conditions of
seafloor sediments along with a description of performance standards to meet.
If performance standards are not met, corrective actions will be outlined. The Plan will
include reporting requirements, including annual report submittals to NOAA and NMFS
for review. If performance standards are met for a period of time, the plan will provide for
appropriately scaling down monitoring and intervals over time.
2. Spill Prevention and Response. Discharges of feed, pesticides, or chemicals (including
antibiotics and hormones) in ocean waters are prohibited. Fuel, lubricants and chemicals
must be labeled, stored and disposed of in a safe and responsible manner, and marked with
warning signs. Precautions shall be taken to prevent spills, fires and explosions, and
procedures and supplies shall be readily available to manage chemical and fuel spills or
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leaks. Each grower/producer shall comply with the Spill Prevention and Response Plan
(SPRP) for vessels and work barges that will be used during project construction and
operations. Each grower/producer operating in the project area shall be trained in, and
adhere to, the emergency procedures and spill prevention and response measures specified
in the SPRP during all project operations. The SPRP shall provide for emergency response
and spill control procedures to be taken to stop or control the source of the spill and to
contain and clean up the spill. The SPRP shall include, at a minimum: (a) identification of
potential spill sources and quantity estimates of a project specific reasonable worst case
spill; (b) identification of prevention and response equipment and measures/procedures that
will be taken to prevent potential spills and to protect marine and shoreline resources in the
event of a spill. Spill prevention and response equipment shall be kept onboard project
vessels at all times; (c) a prohibition on at-sea vessel or equipment fueling/refueling
activities; and (d) emergency response and notification procedures, including a list of
contacts to call in the event of a spill; (e) assurance that all hydraulic fluid to be used for
installation, maintenance, planting, and harvesting activities shall be vegetable based.
3. Aquaculture Gear Monitoring and Escapement Plan. Include in overall management plan
an aquaculture gear monitoring and escapement plan. Any farm gear that has broken loose
from the farm location shall be retrieved. The farm site shall be visited at minimum twice
per month to examine the aquaculture gear for potential loss or non-compliant deployment,
including inspections for fouling organisms. Any organisms that have a potential to cover
the sea floor will be removed and disposed of at an identified upland facility. A Marine
Debris Management Plan shall also be prepared that includes (a) a plan for permanently
marking all lines, ropes, buoys, and other facility infrastructure and floating equipment
with the name and contact information of the grower/producer; (b) a description of the
extent and frequency of maintenance operations necessary to minimize the loss of materials
and equipment to the marine environment resulting from breakages and structural failures;
and (c) a description of the search and cleanup measures that would be implemented if loss
of shellfish cultivation facility materials, equipment, and/or infrastructure occurs.
4. Decommissioning Plan. A decommissioning plan for the timely removal of all shellfish,
structures, anchoring devices, equipment, and materials associated with the shellfish
cultivation facility and documentation of completion of removal activities will be a
requirement of each permit or sub-permit. Financial assurances to guarantee
implementation of the plan will be in place and reviewed periodically.
Measures to prevent spread of invasive species
1. Cultivation of Spat Offsite. Only hatchery-reared mussel spat grown at a facility certified
by CDFW will be used in order to ensure that spat are free of introduced invasive species,
parasites, and pathogens; however, natural mussel spat collected on farm grown-out lines
and buoys may also be harvested and cultivated.
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2. Invasive Species. Grower/producers operating in the project area shall be required to
receive training from NMFS to identify potential invasive species and how to properly
dispose of such invasive species if discovered.
Measures to prevent navigational impacts
1. Update NOAA Charts. VPD to submit to the NOAA Office of Coast Survey: (a) the
geographical coordinates of the facility boundaries obtained using a different geographic
position unit or comparable navigational equipment; (b) as-built plans of the facility and
associated buoys and anchors; (c) each grower/producer’s point of contact and telephone
number; and (d) any other information required by the NOAA Office of Coast Survey to
accurately portray the location of the shellfish cultivation facility on navigational charts.
2. Notice to Mariners. No less than 15-days prior to the start of in-water activities associated
with the installation phase of the project, VPD shall submit to (a) the U.S. Coast Guard (for
publication in a Notice to Mariners); and (b) the harbormasters (for posting in their offices
of public noticeboards), notices containing the anticipated start date of installation, the
anticipated installation schedule, and the coordinates of the installation sites. During
installation, VPD shall also make radio broadcast announcements to the local fishers’
emergency radio frequency that provide the current installation location and a phone
number that can be called for additional information.
Measures to prevent impacts to threatened or endangered species
The enclosed Biological Assessment evaluates the potential effects of the VSE project on
federally protected species. In addition to the BMPs identified below, the Biological Assessment
identifies certain design features that minimize potential impacts, including marine mammal
entanglement. With the incorporation of appropriate avoidance and minimization measures, a
preliminary determination has been made that the project may affect, but is not likely to
adversely affect any federally-listed threatened or endangered species, or cause adverse
modification to federally designated critical habitat.
1. Marine Wildlife Entanglement Plan. No less than once per month, each grower/producer
operating on a VPD lease shall visually inspect all ropes, and equipment via depth/fish
finders to determine if any entanglement of a marine mammal has occurred and to ensure
that (a) no lines have been broken, lost or removed; (b) all longlines, anchor lines, and buoy
lines remain taught and in good working condition; and (c) any derelict fishing gear or
marine debris that collects in the growing gear is removed and disposed of at an identified
onshore facility. All equipment and materials accidentally released or found to be missing
from the facility during monthly inspections, including buoys, floats, lines, ropes, chains,
cultivation trays, wires, fasteners, and clasps, shall be searched for, collected, properly
disposed of onshore, and documented in the annual inspection report. Monitoring shall
occur monthly for the first two years following deployment and, in the event that there are
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no marine wildlife entanglements within the first two years, may be reduced to quarterly
inspections thereafter.
Inspections shall include recordings by depth/fish finder or ROV surveys of lines and/or
monitoring performed by SCUBA divers. Recorded video shall be provided along with the
annual report described above. Any maintenance issues including wear, loosening, or
fatigue of materials shall be remedied as soon as possible. All incidents of observed whale
entanglement shall be immediately reported to SOS WHALe. Any other marine wildlife
(i.e., other marine mammals, turtles) observed to be entangled will be immediately reported
to NOAA Fisheries Marine Mammal Stranding Network Coordinator, West Coast Region,
Long Beach Office. Only personnel who have been authorized by NOAA Fisheries and
who have training, experience, equipment, and support will attempt to disentangle marine
wildlife. If possible, the grower/producer shall document and photograph entangled
wildlife and the entangling gear material.
2. Predator Control. Potential predator species will be identified. Specified humane methods
of predator deterrence will be utilized, favoring non-lethal methods. No controls, other than
non-lethal exclusion, shall be applied to species that are listed as threatened or endangered.
3. Marine Wildlife Observer. A Marine Wildlife Observer shall be present on each project
construction vessel during all construction activities, including the installation of long lines
and anchoring systems. The observer shall monitor and record the presence of all marine
wildlife (marine mammals and sea turtles) within 100 yards of the work area. The observer
shall have the authority to halt operations if marine wildlife are observed or anticipated to
be near a work area and construction activities have the potential to result in injury or
entanglement of marine wildlife. In addition, all work (including vessel motors) will be
halted if a cetacean is observed within the monitoring area or if a pinniped or sea turtle is
observed within 50 yards of the work area. Work may commence after the observed
individuals have moved out of the monitoring area.
Observers’ reports on marine mammal monitoring during construction activities shall be
prepared and submitted to NOAA Fisheries on a monthly basis. Reports shall include such
information as the (1) number, type, and location of marine mammals observed; (2) the
behavior of marine mammals in the area of potential sound effects during construction; (3)
dates and times when observations and in-water project construction activities were
conducted; and (4) dates and times when in-water construction activities were suspended
because of marine mammals.
VPD shall prepare a list of qualified marine wildlife observers who meet the following
minimum qualifications: visual acuity in both eyes (correction is permissible) sufficient to
discern moving targets at the water’s surface with ability to estimate target size and
distance; (2) use of binoculars or spotting scope may be necessary to correctly identify the
target; (3) advanced education in biological science, wildlife management, mammalogy,
or related fields (bachelor’s degree or higher is preferred); (4) experience and ability to
conduct field observations and collect data according to assigned protocols (this may
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include academic experience); (5) experience or training in the field identification of
marine mammals (cetaceans and pinnipeds) and sea turtles; and (6) ability to communicate
orally, by radio or in person, with project personnel to provide real time information on
marine wildlife observed in the area, as needed.
4. Entanglement Prevention. Grow-ropes will be attached to the head rope with a lowbreaking-
strength twine (4-millimeter (0.16-inch) diameter; <1,000 pounds), which will
facilitate rapid detachment in the unlikely event of any interaction with the longline. A
1,100-pound breakaway link will be installed between the surface marking buoys and the
vertical lines.
5. Marine Wildlife Education. Each grower/producer will be required to provide bi-annual
(twice per year) marine wildlife education to its employees regarding proper procedures
relating to marine wildlife. The training curriculum will include identifying the presence
of specified marine wildlife and procedures for avoiding impacts to marine wildlife during
operations. These procedures will include (1) reducing speed and observing the distances
from marine life specified in Wildlife-7; (2) providing a safe path of travel for marine
mammals that avoids encirclement or entrapment of the animal(s) between the vessel and
growing apparatus; (3) if approached by a marine mammal, reducing speed, placing the
vessel in neutral and waiting until the animal is observed clear of the vessel before making
way; (4) avoiding sudden direction or speed changes when near marine mammals; (5)
refraining from approaching, touching or feeding a marine mammal; and (6) immediately
contacting their supervisor and other identified parties/agencies identified in Wildlife-1
should an employee observe an injured marine mammal.
6. Lighting. All growing area operations shall be completed during daylight hours. No
growing area operations will be conducted at night and no permanent artificial lighting of
the shellfish cultivation facility shall occur, except for that associated with the use of
navigational safety buoys required by the U.S. Coast Guard.
7. Vessel Management. Vessels in transit to and from the growing area shall maintain a
distance of 100 yards from any observed cetacean and 50 yards between any observed
pinniped or sea turtle. If cetaceans are observed within 100 yards or pinnipeds or sea turtles
observed within 50 yards, the vessel shall reduce speeds to 12 knots or less until it is the
appropriate distance (as required by this condition) from the particular marine life. If a
cetacean is heading into the direct path of the vessel (i.e., approaching a moving vessel
directly into the bow), the vessel shall shut off the engine until the cetacean is no longer
approaching the bow and until a greater separation distance is observed. If small cetaceans
are observed bow-riding, and the vessel is operating at speeds of 12 knots or less, the vessel
shall remain parallel to the animal’s course and avoid abrupt changes in direction until the
cetaceans have left the area.
Each sighting of a federally listed threatened or endangered whale or turtle shall be
recorded and the following information shall be provided:
a. Date, time, coordinates of vessel
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b. Visibility, weather, sea state
c. Vector of sighting (distance, bearing)
d. Duration of sighting
e. Species and number of animals
f. Observed behaviors (feeding, diving, breaching, etc.)
g. Description of interaction with aquaculture facility
Table 2: Ventura Shellfish Enterprise
Proposed Best Management Practices to Mitigate Potential Adverse Project Impacts
Measure Description of Measure Responsible Party Enforcing Agency
Seed supply
– 1
Cultivation of Spat Offsite. Only hatchery-reared mussel
spat grown at a facility certified by CDFW will be used in
order to ensure that spat are free of introduced invasive
species, parasites, and pathogens; however, natural
mussel spat collected on farm grow-out lines and buoys
may also be harvested and cultivated.
Grower/Producer2 Ventura Port District
(VPD) and CDFW
Sediment
quality – 1
Sediment Quality Monitoring Plan. A Sediment Quality
Monitoring Plan shall be developed requiring monitoring of
sediment conditions within the project area, including
monitoring the quantity, type, and distribution of biological
materials (such as shellfish, shell material, and fouling
organisms) that accumulate on the seafloor. Monitoring
will also include an evaluation of any changes oxygen
demand of benthic infaunal and epifaunal communities,
and changes to the chemical and biochemical conditions
of seafloor sediments along with a description of
performance standards to meet.
If performance standards are not met, corrective actions
will be outlined. The Plan will include reporting
requirements, including annual report submittals to NOAA
and NMFS for review. If performance standards are met
for a period of time, the plan will provide for appropriately
scaling down monitoring and intervals over time.
VPD to prepare plan
Third-party consultant hired
by VPD to conduct
monitoring
NOAA and NMFS
Wildlife – 1 Marine Wildlife Entanglement Plan. No less than once
per month, each grower/producer operating on a VPD
lease shall visually inspect all ropes, cables, and
equipment via depth/fish finders to determine if any
entanglement of a marine mammal has occurred and to
ensure that (a) no lines have been broken, lost or
removed; (b) all longlines, anchor lines, and buoy lines
remain taught and in good working condition; and (c) any
Grower/Producer to inspect
and respond
VPD to identify disposal
facility
VPD and NOAA
Fisheries
2 Note that all Grower/Producer responsibilities will be spelled out as conditions in grower/producer sub-permits with VPD, thus
establishing VPD enforcement authority for those conditions.
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derelict fishing gear or marine debris that collects in the
growing gear is removed and disposed of at an identified
onshore facility. All equipment and materials accidentally
released or found to be missing from the facility during
monthly inspections, including buoys, floats, lines, ropes,
chains, cultivation trays, wires, fasteners, and clasps, shall
be searched for, collected, properly disposed of onshore,
and documented in the annual inspection report.
Monitoring shall occur monthly for the first two years
following deployment and, in the event that there are no
marine wildlife entanglements within the first two years,
may be reduced to quarterly inspections thereafter.
Inspections shall include recordings by depth/fish finder or
ROV surveys of lines and/or monitoring performed by
SCUBA divers. Recorded video shall be provided along
with the annual report described above. Any maintenance
issues including wear, loosening, or fatigue of materials
shall be remedied as soon as possible. All incidents of
observed whale entanglement shall be immediately
reported to SOS WHALe. Any other marine wildlife (i.e.,
other marine mammals, turtles) observed to be entangled
will be immediately reported to NOAA Fisheries Marine
Mammal Stranding Network Coordinator, West Coast
Region, Long Beach Office. Only personnel who have
been authorized by NOAA Fisheries and who have
training, experience, equipment, and support will attempt
to disentangle marine wildlife. If possible, the
grower/producer shall document and photograph
entangled wildlife and the entangling gear material.
Wildlife – 2 Predator Control. Potential predator species will be
identified. Specified humane methods of predator
deterrence will be utilized, favoring non-lethal methods. No
controls, other than non-lethal exclusion, shall be applied
to species that are listed as threatened or endangered.
VPD to identify potential
predator species and
deterrence methods
Grower/Producer to
implement identified methods
as necessary
Any methods of
predator control are
subject to prior
approval of VPD,
U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, and
NOAA Fisheries
Wildlife – 3 Marine Wildlife Observer. A Marine Wildlife Observer
shall be present on each project construction vessel during
all construction activities, including the installation of long
lines and anchoring systems. The observer shall monitor
and record the presence of all marine wildlife (marine
mammals and sea turtles) within 100 yards of the work
area. The observer shall have the authority to halt
operations if marine wildlife are observed or anticipated to
be near a work area and construction activities have the
potential to result in injury or entanglement of marine
wildlife. In addition, all work (including vessel motors) will
be halted if a cetacean is observed within the monitoring
area or if a pinniped or sea turtle is observed within 50
yards of the work area. Work may commence after the
observed individuals have moved out of the monitoring
area.
VPD to identify qualified
Marine Wildlife Observers
and submit monthly
observers’ reports
Growers/Producers to assure
a qualified observer is
present during construction
activities and that observers’
directives are heeded
VPD and NOAA
Fisheries
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Observers’ reports on marine mammal monitoring during
construction activities shall be prepared and submitted to
NOAA Fisheries on a monthly basis. Reports shall include
such information as the (1) number, type, and location of
marine mammals observed; (2) the behavior of marine
mammals in the area of potential sound effects during
construction; (3) dates and times when observations and
in-water project construction activities were conducted;
and (4) dates and times when in-water construction
activities were suspended because of marine mammals.
VPD shall prepare a list of qualified marine wildlife
observers who meet the following minimum qualifications:
visual acuity in both eyes (correction is permissible)
sufficient to discern moving targets at the water’s surface
with ability to estimate target size and distance; (2) use of
binoculars or spotting scope may be necessary to correctly
identify the target; (3) advanced education in biological
science, wildlife management, mammalogy, or related
fields (bachelor’s degree or higher is preferred); (4)
experience and ability to conduct field observations and
collect data according to assigned protocols (this may
include academic experience); (5) experience or training in
the field identification of marine mammals (cetaceans and
pinnipeds) and sea turtles; and (6) ability to communicate
orally, by radio or in person, with project personnel to
provide real time information on marine wildlife observed
in the area, as needed.
Wildlife – 4 Entanglement Prevention. Grow-ropes will be attached
to the head rope with a low-breaking-strength twine (4-
millimeter (0.16-inch) diameter; <1,000 pounds), which will facilitate rapid detachment in the unlikely event of any interaction with the longline. A 1,100-pound breakaway link will be installed between surface marking buoys and the vertical lines. Grower/Producer VPD Wildlife – 5 Marine Wildlife Education. Each grower/producer will be required to provide bi-annual (twice per year) marine wildlife education to its employees regarding proper procedures relating to marine wildlife. The training curriculum will include identifying the presence of specified marine wildlife and procedures for avoiding impacts to marine wildlife during operations. These procedures will include (1) reducing speed and observing the distances from marine life specified in Wildlife-7; (2) providing a safe path of travel for marine mammals that avoids encirclement or entrapment of the animal(s) between the vessel and growing apparatus; (3) if approached by a marine mammal, reducing speed, placing the vessel in neutral and waiting until the animal is observed clear of the vessel before making way; (4) avoiding sudden direction or speed changes when near marine mammals; (5) refraining from approaching, touching or feeding a marine VPD to prepare training curriculum Grower/Producer to provide training VPD and NOAA Fisheries ATTACHMENT 4 133 9250 29 DUDEK AUGUST 2018 mammal; and (6) immediately contacting their supervisor and other identified parties/agencies identified in Wildlife-1 should an employee observe an injured marine mammal. Wildlife – 6 Lighting. All growing area operations shall be completed during daylight hours. No growing area operations will be conducted at night and no permanent artificial lighting of the shellfish cultivation facility shall occur, except for that associated with the use of navigational safety buoys required by the U.S. Coast Guard. Grower/Producer VPD and U.S. Coast Guard Wildlife – 7 Vessel Management. Vessels in transit to and from the growing area shall maintain a distance of 100 yards from any observed cetacean and 50 yards between any observed pinniped or sea turtle. If cetaceans are observed within 100 yards or pinnipeds or sea turtles observed within 50 yards, the vessel shall reduce speeds to 12 knots or less until it is the appropriate distance (as required by this condition) from the particular marine life. If a cetacean is heading into the direct path of the vessel (i.e., approaching a moving vessel directly into the bow), the vessel shall shut off the engine until the cetacean is no longer approaching the bow and until a greater separation distance is observed. If small cetaceans are observed bow-riding, and the vessel is operating at speeds of 12 knots or less, the vessel shall remain parallel to the animal’s course and avoid abrupt changes in direction until the cetaceans have left the area. Each sighting of a federally listed threatened or endangered whale or turtle shall be recorded and the following information shall be provided: a. Date, time, coordinates of vessel b. Visibility, weather, sea state c. Vector of sighting (distance, bearing) d. Duration of sighting e. Species and number of animals f. Observed behaviors (feeding, diving, breaching, etc.) g. Description of interaction with aquaculture facility Grower/Producer U.S. Coast Guard Wildlife – 8 Invasive Species. Grower/producers operating in the project area shall be required to receive training from NMFS to identify potential invasive species and how to properly dispose of such invasive species if discovered. Grower/Producer NMFS or entity delegated by NMFS to conduct training ATTACHMENT 4 134 9250 30 DUDEK AUGUST 2018 Storage and disposal of supplies – 1 Spill Prevention and Response. Discharges of feed, pesticides, or chemicals (including antibiotics and hormones) in ocean waters are prohibited. Fuel, lubricants and chemicals must be labeled, stored and disposed of in a safe and responsible manner, and marked with warning signs. Precautions shall be taken to prevent spills, fires and explosions, and procedures and supplies shall be readily available to manage chemical and fuel spills or leaks. Each grower/producer shall comply with the Spill Prevention and Response Plan (SPRP) for vessels and work barges that will be used during project construction and operations. Each grower/producer operating in the project area shall be trained in, and adhere to, the emergency procedures and spill prevention and response measures specified in the SPRP during all project operations. The SPRP shall provide for emergency response and spill control procedures to be taken to stop or control the source of the spill and to contain and clean up the spill. The SPRP shall include, at a minimum: (a) identification of potential spill sources and quantity estimates of a project specific reasonable worst case spill; (b) identification of prevention and response equipment and measures/procedures that will be taken to prevent potential spills and to protect marine and shoreline resources in the event of a spill. Spill prevention and response equipment shall be kept onboard project vessels at all times; (c) a prohibition on at-sea vessel or equipment fueling/refueling activities; and (d) emergency response and notification procedures, including a list of contacts to call in the event of a spill; (e) assurance that all hydraulic fluid to be used for installation, maintenance, planting, and harvesting activities shall be vegetable based. VPD to prepare SPRP and provide training to growers/producers Growers/Producers to implement VPD-prepared SPRP U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, California Office of Emergency Services Storage and disposal of supplies – 2 Aquaculture Gear Monitoring and Escapement Plan. Include in overall management plan an aquaculture gear monitoring and escapement plan. Any farm gear that has broken loose from the farm location shall be retrieved. The farm site shall be visited at minimum twice per month to examine the aquaculture gear for potential loss or noncompliant deployment, including inspections for fouling organisms. Any organisms that have a potential to cover the sea floor will be removed and disposed of at an identified upland facility. A Marine Debris Management Plan shall also be prepared that includes (a) a plan for permanently marking all lines, ropes, buoys, and other facility infrastructure and floating equipment with the name and contact information of the grower/producer; (b) a description of the extent and frequency of maintenance operations necessary to minimize the loss of materials and equipment to the marine environment resulting from breakages and structural failures; and (c) a description of the search and cleanup measures that would be implemented if loss of shellfish cultivation facility materials, equipment, and/or infrastructure occurs. VPD to prepare plan Growers/Producers to implement plan VPD and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ATTACHMENT 4 135 9250 31 DUDEK AUGUST 2018 Storage and disposal of supplies -3 Decommissioning Plan. A decommissioning plan for the timely removal of all shellfish, structures, anchoring devices, equipment, and materials associated with the shellfish cultivation facility and documentation completion of removal activities will be a requirement of each permit or sub-permit. Financial assurances to guarantee implementation of the plan will be in place and reviewed periodically. Grower/Producer to prepare and implement approved plan VPD to approve plan U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Navigation – 1 Update NOAA Charts. VPD to submit to the NOAA Office of Coast Survey: (a) the geographical coordinates of the facility boundaries obtained using a different geographic position unit or comparable navigational equipment; (b) asbuilt plans of the facility and associated buoys and anchors; (c) each grower/producer’s point of contact and telephone number; and (d) any other information required by the NOAA Office of Coast Survey to accurately portray the location of the shellfish cultivation facility on navigational charts. VPD NOAA Navigation – 2 Notice to Mariners. No less than 15-days prior to the start of in-water activities associated with the installation phase of the project, VPD shall submit to (a) the U.S. Coast Guard (for publication in a Notice to Mariners); and (b) the harbormasters (for posting in their offices of public noticeboards), notices containing the anticipated start date of installation, the anticipated installation schedule, and the coordinates of the installation sites. During installation, VPD shall also make radio broadcast announcements to the local fishers’ emergency radio frequency that provide the current installation location and a phone number that can be called for additional information. VPD U.S. Coast Guard Monitoring Plans Conditions within the project area will be monitored throughout the proposed project’s implementation to ensure compliance with all permit requirements and to evaluate all effects, including beneficial effects, of the growing areas. Monitoring will be conducted according to a robust monitoring programs designed to evaluate the proposed project’s potential effects on the following factors: The seafloor and benthic environment beneath and in the vicinity of the facilities, including biological, physical, and chemical conditions Wildlife interactions including marine mammals, sea turtles, fish, and seabirds Marine debris, including lost and broken gear As noted in Table 2, a sediment quality monitoring plan, aquaculture gear monitoring and escapement plan, and a decommissioning plan will be developed in conjunction with the permit ATTACHMENT 4 136 9250 32 DUDEK AUGUST 2018 review process. These plans will be developed through iterative review with the appropriate regulatory agencies. ATTACHMENT 4 137 9250 33 DUDEK AUGUST 2018 Figures Figure 1- Project Location Figure 2- Detailed Plan for Shellfish Longlines Figure 3- CASS Report Alternative 1 Figure 4- CASS Report Alternative 2 Figure 5- CASS Report Alternative 1 Overlaid with SeaSketch Alternative 8 Figure 6- Simulated View of Parcel Array at the Surface: 100-Acre Plot Figure 7- Simulated View of Parcel Array at the Surface Figure 8- Simulated View of the Parcel Array Underwater Figure 9- Simulated View of Parcel Array Underwater with Anchor Line Figure 10- Parcel Array Overview Figure 11- Parcel Array Overview Backbone Details Attachments Biological Assessment Essential Fish Habitat Assessment NOAA CASS Study References Dudek. 2017a. Draft Initial Study Checklist for the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project. Prepared by Dudek. Prepared for Ventura Port District. September Dudek. 2017b. Draft Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Environmental Impact Report. Prepared by Dudek. Prepared for Ventura Port District. May. Dudek. 2017c. Ventura Shellfish Enterprise: Strategic Permitting Initiative to Substantially Increase Shellfish farming in Southern California. 2017 NOAA Sea Grant Aquaculture Extension and Technology Transfer. Task 1 Deliverable: Strategic Permitting Plan. Prepared by Dudek. May 26. ATTACHMENT 4 138 9250 34 DUDEK AUGUST 2018 Dudek. 2018a. Biological Assessment Report for the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise. Prepared by Dudek. Prepared for Ventura Port District. Dudek. 2018b. Essential Fish Habitat Assessment Report for the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise. Prepared by Dudek. Prepared for Ventura Port District Gentry R.R., H.E. Froehlich, D. Grimm, P. Kareiva, M. Parke, M. Rust, S.D. Gaines, and B.S. Halpern. 2017. “Mapping the Global Potential for Marine Aquaculture.” Nature Ecology & Evolution. 1:1317-1324. https://doni.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0257-9 NOAA. 2011. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Aquaculture Policy. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/noaa-aquaculture-policies NOAA. 2013. National Shellfish Initiative. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/content/nationalshellfish- initiative NOAA. 2018. “Coastal Aquaculture Siting and Sustainability Technical Report, Ventura Shellfish Enterprise: Aquaculture Siting Analysis Results.” Prepared by Coastal Aquaculture Siting and Sustainability Program, within the Marine Spatial Ecology Division of the National Centers for Coastal and Ocean Science, National Ocean Service, NOAA. September 19. ATTACHMENT 4 139 Ventura Harbor Carpinteria Oxnard Ventura Ojai 101 101 33 224 232 1 150 126 1 192 33 150 34.254869, -119.399051 34.240018, -119.373207 34.232724, -119.41749 34.217877, -119.391651 Project Location Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project SOURCE: NAIP 2016 Date: 8/30/2018 – Last saved by: kzecher – Path: Z:\Projects\j925000\MAPDOC\Permit Application\Figure 1_Project Location.mxd Project Sites (20 100-Acre Sites) Three Nautical Mile Line FIGURE 1 V E N T U R A COU N T Y Huntington Beach Santa Ana Anaheim Brea Long Beach Compton Santa Fe Springs Whittier Culver City Malibu Industry El Monte Covina Calabasas Arcadia Pasadena Glendale San Fernando Santa Clarita Palmdale Lancaster Palos Verdes Estates Burbank Hermosa Beach Avalon Newport Beach Carpinteria Goleta Santa Barbara Port Hueneme Oxnard Ventura Moorpark Fillmore Ojai Solvang Buellton Simi Valley Los Angeles S a n t a K e r n C o u n t y B a r b a r a C o u n t y L o s A n g e l e s C o u n t y Project Site 0 6,250 12,500 Feet ATTACHMENT 4 140 16” surface corner buoy (or larger pencil buoy) GENERAL OBSERVATIONS: • Anchor lines should have 2.5:1 slope from anchor to submerged corner bouy • Submerged buoyancy keeps lines tight despite surface waves and storms Center pickup line and 16” buoy (or larger) 15 L buoys (n=100) GRAPHIC NOT TO SCALE ~475 ft of 32 cm polysteel cable run between anchors 1,075 ft 4 m screw anchors spaced 50 ft apart >33 ft
depth
10-16 ft
Mussel growing socks
suspended every 1 m
Anchor line to
next longline
Two 24” submergedcorner buoys
or equivalentwith >200 L buoyancy
SEA FLOOR (Sand Bottom)
15-45 ft
depth
General Plan for Submerged Longlines
FIGURE 2
Detailed Plan for Shellfish Longlines
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
S:ECRUO
PAth – Z:\Projects\j925000\MAPS\Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project Initial Study ATTACHMENT 4
141
Figure 1. Corner points associated with Alternative #1 for the proposed VSE project. Note that the labelled points correspond with the latitud
nd longitude coordinates described in Table 1. Proposed Project (CASS Report Alternative 1)
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
FIGURE 3 SOURCE: NOAA 2018
Z:\Projects\j925000\DATA\DATA_WKG\IMG ATTACHMENT 4
142
Appendix 3. Corner points associated with Alternative #2 for the proposed VSE project. Note that the labelled points correspond with the
latitude and longitude coordinates described in Appendix 4. Proposed Alternative (CASS Report Alternative 2)
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
FIGURE 4 SOURCE: NOAA 2018
Z:\Projects\j925000\DATA\DATA_WKG\IMG ATTACHMENT 4
143
Ventura
Harbor
Oxnard
Ventura
101
33
1
CASS Report Alternative 1 Overlaid with SeaSketch Alternative 8
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
SOURCE: NAIP 2016
Date: 8/30/2018 – Last saved by: kzecher – Path: Z:\Projects\j925000\MAPDOC\Permit Application\Figure 5_CASS Report Alternative 1 Overlaid with SeaSketch Alternative 8.mxd
Project Site Alternatives
(20 100-Acre Sites)
CASS Report Alternative 1
SeaSketch Alternative 8
Three Nautical Mile Line
FIGURE 5
0 3,600 7,200
Feet
ATTACHMENT 4 144
FIGURE
Simulated View of Parcel Array at the Surface: 100 Acre Plot
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
SOURCE:
PAth – Z:\Projects\j925000\MAPS\Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project Initial Study ATTACHMENT 4
145

Simulated View of Parcel Array at the Surface
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
Date: 1/11/2018 – Last asaved by jsteffey Path: Z:\Projects\j925000\MAPDOC\Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project\Figure2_ParcelArrayOverview.ai
Surface Corner Buoy
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Simulated View of Parcel Array Underwater
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
Date: 1/11/2018 – Last asaved by jsteffey Path: Z:\Projects\j925000\MAPDOC\Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project\Figure2_ParcelArrayOverview.ai
Surface Corner Buoy
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FIGURE
Simulated View of Parcel Array Underwater with Anchor Line
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
SOURCE:
PAth – Z:\Projects\j925000\MAPS\Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project Initial Study ATTACHMENT 4
148
125′ SETBACK
1900′
50′ SETBACK
2300′
125′ SETBACK
150′ SPACING BETWEENROWS
50′ SETBACK
100′ WATER DEPTH
1
1
PARCEL ARRAY
SCALE: 1:10000
BEND
A A
B B
4
4
3
3
UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED:
TWO PLACE DECIMAL
THREE PLACE DECIMAL
OVERVIEW
DO NOT SCALE DRAWING
Parcel_v2
SHEET 1 OF 2
8/28/18
2
DRAWN OK
DB
ENG APPR.
CHECKED
MFG APPR.
PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL
2
DWG. NO. REV BSIZE
TITLE:
NAME DATE VENTRURA SHELLFISH COMPANY
COMMENTS:
Q.A.
DIMENSIONS ARE IN FEET
TOLERANCES: +-0.5FT
FRACTIONAL
ANGULAR: MACH
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS
DRAWING IS THE SOLE PROPERTY OF
VENTURA SHELLFISH COMPANY. ANY
REPRODUCTION IN PART OR AS A WHOLE
WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS
PROHIBITED.
0 250 500
Feet
Parcel Array Overview
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
FIGURE 10 SOURCE: VSE 2018
DATE OF PREPARATION: 9/19/18
Z:\Projects\j925000\MAPS\Permit Application ATTACHMENT 4
149
LOOPING DROP LINES
WITH SUBMERGED BUOYANCY FLOATS
575′
PARCEL EDGE
2300′
50′
TO
SETBACK
50′ 50′
SETBACK
TO
PARCEL EDGE
250′
100
2.5:1 SCOPE
250′
20
TITLE:
BACKBONE DETAILS
Parcel_v2
SHEET 2 OF 2
UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED:
DWG. NO. REV
B
SIZE
DIMENSIONS ARE IN FEET
HELICAL SCREW ANCHORS
PENCIL BUOYS W
RADAR REFLECTOS
CORNER BUOYS LIGHTED
Backbone Details
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
FIGURE 11 SOURCE: VSE 2018
Z:\Projects\j925000\DATA\DATA_WKG\IMG ATTACHMENT 4
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DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018
September 27, 2018
Mark Delaplaine
Energy, Ocean Resources, and Federal Consistency
California Coastal Commission
45 Fremont Street, Suite 2000
San Francisco, CA 94105-2219
SUBJECT: Coastal Consistency Certification – Ventura Shellfish Enterprise
Dear Mr. Delaplaine,
The Ventura Port District (VPD) is requesting a Coastal Consistency Certification for Ventura
Shellfish Enterprise project. The proposed project would establish a commercial offshore bivalve
aquaculture operation based from the Ventura Harbor. The project consists of twenty 100-acre
plots in federal waters of the Santa Barbara Channel in sandy bottom areas located northwest of
Ventura Harbor. The sites would be used for growing the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus
galloprovincialis) via submerged long lines. The mussels would be grown and harvested by project
growers/producers and landed at Ventura Harbor. The VPD is seeking a permit from the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 to permit the
installation of structures in waters of the United States.
Detailed information regarding the project and its purpose, potential impacts, avoidance and
minimization measures, and consistency with the California Coastal Act is provided in the attached
documents.
Enclosed with this letter is a Coastal Consistency Certification analysis and associated information
including a description of the project and its associated impacts, project figures depicting proposed
work in federal waters, and measures to avoid project impacts. The Corps application, a Biological
Assessment, and Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Assessment prepared for the proposed project are
also included.
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Thank you in advance for your review of this request for authorization. Please contact me at 805-642-
8538 or opena@venturaharbor.com as well as our authorized agent, Melis Okter, at 510-601-2516 or
mokter@dudek.com if you have any questions or require additional information.
Sincerely,
Oscar Peña, Ventura Port District
Attachments: Consistency Certification Analysis
Figures 1-11
Application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Biological Assessment, dated September 2018
EFH Assessment, dated September 2018
NOAA Siting Analysis, dated September 2018
cc: Mr. Brian Pendleton, Ventura Port District
Cassidy Teufel, California Coastal Commission
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Coastal Consistency Certification
1. REQUEST
The applicant, the Ventura Port District (VPD), hereby submits this consistency certification for
approval by the California Coastal Commission pursuant to 15 C.F.R. § 930.57, to evaluate the
effects of the proposed mussel aquaculture project, to be located in federal waters, consistent with
its request for a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), issued pursuant to
Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899.
2. AUTHORITY
This coastal consistency certification is submitted in compliance with Section 930.57 of the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Federal Consistency Regulations
(15 C.F.R. § 930.57), which provides that “all applicants for required federal licenses or permits
subject to State agency review shall provide in the application to the federal licensing or permitting
agency a certification that the proposed activity complies with and will be conducted in a manner
consistent with” the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). General legal authority for CZMA
consistency certifications is found at 16 U.S.C. § 1456 and 15 C.F.R. Part 930 Subpart D. The
authority of the California Coastal Management Program is defined in the California Coastal Act.
As defined in California Coastal Act Section 30103, the coastal zone extends seaward from the
shoreline to the State of California’s outer limit of jurisdiction (3 nautical miles), including all
offshore islands. Federally controlled lands are not part of the coastal zone (15 C.F.R. § 923.33);
however, projects must still comply with consistency requirements when federal actions have
spillover impacts that may affect land or water use or natural resources within the coastal zone. In
addition to this consistency certification and its USACE permit application, the VPD has also
prepared a biological assessment (BA) and essential fish habitat (EFH) analysis to determine
whether any federally protected species or habitats are likely to be adversely affected by the
project. Pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and its implementing
regulations (16 U.S.C. § 1536; 50 C.F.R. Part 402), the BA and EFH analysis have been prepared
to support consultation between the USACE, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National
Marine Fisheries Service. A copy has been included with this consistency certification.
3. CERTIFICATION
As required by 15 C.F.R. 930.57(b), based upon the analysis contained herein, as well as the
supplemental analysis provided in the documents submitted with this consistency certification, it
has been determined that the project as proposed complies with the California Coastal Act and its
enforceable policies (California Public Resources Code 30210 et seq.), and will be conducted in a
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manner consistent with the program. We request that the California Coastal Commission (CCC)
concur with our certification of consistency.
4. PROJECT PURPOSE AND DESCRIPTION
PROJECT OVERVIEW
Through this application, the Ventura Port District (VPD) seeks to permit twenty 100-acre plots
of ocean space for aquaculture production of the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus
galloprovincialis) via submerged longlines in federal waters within the Santa Barbara Channel,
proximate to Ventura Harbor.1
PROJECT PURPOSE
Objectives of the proposed project are:
1. To increase the supply of safe, sustainably produced, and locally grown shellfish while
minimizing potential negative environmental impacts;
2. To enhance and sustain Ventura Harbor as a major west coast fishing port and support the
local economy;
3. To provide economies of scale, pre-approved sub-permit area, and technical support to
include small local producers who would not otherwise be able to participate in shellfish
aquaculture;
4. To provide an entitlement and permitting template for aquaculture projects state-wide;
5. To enhance public knowledge and understanding of sustainable shellfish farming practices
and promote community collaboration in achieving VSE objectives;
6. To advance scientific knowledge and state of the art aquaculture practices through research
and innovation.
1. To increase the supply of safe, sustainably-produced, and locally-grown shellfish while
minimizing potential negative environmental impacts
The proposed project will serve to diversify the catch and stabilize the commercial fishing fleet
home-ported at Ventura Harbor. The proposed project also will provide a locally cultivated,
sustainably raised food source, and significantly advance state and national goals and objectives for
increased domestic aquaculture and a secure food supply. The proposed project is supported, in part,
1The VPD also acknowledges the critical assistance of its other key participants who have contributed time, resources,
and information to assist with this application, including the Cultured Abalone Farm, Coastal Marine Biolabs, and
Ashworth Leininger Group, as well as other participants including Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of
California San Diego, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries West Coast Region,
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and Marine Science
Institute, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California Santa Barbara.
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through the NOAA Sea Grant program, the goal of which is to contribute to “a safe, secure and
sustainable supply of seafood to meet public demand.”
Ventura Harbor is home to one of the top fisheries off-loading harbors in the state. One of the core
goals of the VSE project is to enhance the Ventura Harbor working waterfront with a sustainable
and dependable seafood harvest. The project will help meet state and federal goals for the growth
of domestic shellfish aquaculture to better serve the U.S. population demands for new, sustainably
grown protein sources. This is consistent with the VPD’s goal of upgrading infrastructure,
equipment and facilities for a modernized, efficient and safe working harbor. A 2007 California
Sea Grant Extension Program report titled “Commercial Fisheries of the Santa Barbara Channel
and Associated Infrastructure Needs” noted that diversification of fishing operations through the
development of new fisheries could provide new business opportunities.
The proposed project offers a number of other benefits related to food supply, because at present
the mussel market in the United States and locally is dominated by imports from Canada, Chile,
New Zealand, and Europe. California is the third-largest consumer of shellfish in the United
States, and current state production lags far behind demand. Shortfalls are met by importation,
which contributes to the state and national seafood deficit and increases our carbon footprint by
the need to transport shellfish into the state from around the world.
This project will supply a locally grown mussel product to an established market with the
potential for expansion. Mussels provide a high-protein, low-fat source of human nutrition.
Compared with other cultivated protein sources (e.g., beef, pork, chicken), mussels are a more
environmentally sustainable food source, require no added feed or water, have significantly
lower associated greenhouse gas emissions, and use ocean areas rather than land for production
(see Table 1). The proposed project at build out would produce 9,000 to 11,000 tons of mussels
for market per year. Further, by serving as a template for additional offshore shellfish-growing
projects, this proposed project aims to increase the efficiency of shellfish permitting and thus
provide a template to promote additional shellfish growing operations offshore of California.
Table 1
Comparison of Sustainability Indicators among Animal Production Systems
Animal
Type
Food
Conversion
(kg feed/kg
edible
weight)
Protein
Efficiency
(%)
Nitrogen
Emissions
(kg/ton
protein
produced)
Phosphorous
Emissions
(kg/ton
protein
produced)
Land
(tons
edible
product
per HA)
Consumptive
Freshwater
Use
(m3/ton)
Beef 31.7 5 1,200 180 0.24–
0.37
15,497
Chicken 4.2 25 300 40 1.0–1.20 3,918
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Table 1
Comparison of Sustainability Indicators among Animal Production Systems
Animal
Type
Food
Conversion
(kg feed/kg
edible
weight)
Protein
Efficiency
(%)
Nitrogen
Emissions
(kg/ton
protein
produced)
Phosphorous
Emissions
(kg/ton
protein
produced)
Land
(tons
edible
product
per HA)
Consumptive
Freshwater
Use
(m3/ton)
Pork 10.7 13 800 120 0.83–
1.10
4,856
Finfish
(average)
2.3 30 360 48 0.15–
3.70
5,000*
Bivalve
mollusks
Not fed Not fed -27 -29 0.28–20 0
Source: Aquaculture Workshop 2015.
Notes: kg = kilogram; HA = hectare; m3/ton = cubic meters per ton.
* Consumptive water use is difficult to compare across finfish aquaculture production systems
because of variability in feed sources and depending on whether the system is freshwater or
saltwater.
To minimize conflicts with other ocean uses and ensure location away from pollution sources, the
proposed location was selected after multiple stakeholder workshops and consultations, noticed public
meetings of the Ventura Port Commission, and utilization of two different marine spatial planning
tools. (See “18. Nature of Activity” discussion.)
The proposed project is consistent with California’s Aquaculture Development Act (California
Public Resources Code, Sections 826–828), which encourages the practice of aquaculture to
augment food supplies, expand employment, promote economic activity and protect and better
use the land and water resources of the state, and Assembly Joint Resolution 43 (2014), wherein
the State Legislature states its support “to protect existing shellfish beds and access to additional
acreage for shellfish farming and restoration.” The proposed project is also consistent with
NOAA’s National Shellfish Initiative (NOAA 2013) and National Marine Aquaculture Policy
(NOAA 2011), which seek to increase populations of bivalves in coastal waters through
commercial aquaculture production and acknowledge the multiple benefits of shellfish
aquaculture, including providing new jobs and business opportunities, meeting the growing
demand for seafood, and providing habitat for important species. Finally, the proposed project
furthers the goals of the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan (National Ocean Council
2013), one of which is to increase efficiencies in the permitting process and encourage agency
coordination to facilitate additional marine aquaculture development.
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2. To enhance and sustain Ventura Harbor as a major west coast fishing port and support the
local economy
The proposed project is essential to the future of Ventura Harbor. The harbor’s status as a robust
commercial fishing port is vital to VPD qualifying for USACE harbor dredging funds since the
harbor is not a deep water port and does not house a U.S. Coast Guard station. Absent USACE
dredging funds the harbor will silt up and close.
Integral to the VPD’s mission is to provide a safe and navigable harbor that benefits fisherman.
Included amongst the VPD’s goals is to maintain and enhance a safe and navigable harbor by:
Securing federal funding to support the USACE operation and maintenance program at the
harbor entrance;
Dredging the Inner Harbor and preserving infrastructure;
Providing superior Harbor Patrol, Maintenance, and related Port District services;
Upgrading infrastructure, equipment and facilities for a modernized, efficient and safe working
harbor
To meet its mission and goals the VPD allocates annual revenues to operations, maintenance and
capital improvements. In FY18-19 operating revenues were approximately $10 million and operating
expenses were approximately $8.7 million. However capital improvements totaled $5.2M, creating a
negative cash flow of approximately $3.9 million. This negative cash flow was funded by use of
unrestricted reserves, but is not sustainable at this level annually. This means that some combination
of increased revenues or revenue sources and alternative methods to finance some capital infrastructure
projects is necessary. Specific to the commercial fishing industry, the VSE project can play a vital role
in VPD annual revenue generation that can be leveraged for the financing of commercial fishing
infrastructure while creating other positive economic impacts and maintaining dredging priorities as
discussed further below.
The VPD, which is an independent special district, receives approximately 88-90% of its revenues
from commercial leases, boat slip fees and fish off-loading charges. The remaining funds are local
property tax revenues accounting for approximately 10-12% of revenues. These property tax revenues
have consistently been allocated to public safety for Harbor Patrol but do not cover these operational
costs. Additionally, the VPDis expanding Harbor Patrol operations to “24-7” due to increased demand
for services which further increases annual operating expenses for public safety functions.
Dredging
The VPD is completely dependent upon the USACE for the annual federal maintenance of the harbor’s
entrance system, and the unloading of commercially harvested seafood at the harbor is a primary
justification for this federal support. Without diversified fisheries delivering consistent fish offloading
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necessary to justify federal funding to USACE for Ventura Harbor dredging, the Harbor risks future
entrance closures.
The entrance system includes the following components:
1. A 1,750 foot entrance channel
2. A 600,000 cubic yard sand trap
3. A 1,800 foot offshore breakwater
4. A 1,550 foot north jetty
5. A 250 foot middle jetty
6. A 600 foot south beach groin
The annual maintenance dredging of the entrance channel and sand trap currently require between
$5,000,000 and $7,000,000 per year. The cost of maintaining the rock structures (i.e. breakwater, jetties
and groin), while not occurring on an annual basis, has nonetheless averaged about $1,280,000 per
year over the last 15 years. Were it not for the federal assumption of these maintenance needs, the
harbor’s entrance channel would simply shoal to closure, and all of the maritime interests in the harbor,
both commercial and recreational would lose ocean access.
In order to avoid that possibility, in March 2012, when federal funding was inadequate for the USACE
to complete the necessary dredging of the harbor entrance area, the VPD was compelled to utilize
$1,500,000 of its limited reserves to finish the dredging. It was only possible for the VPD to take that
action, however, because the USACE had already absorbed the contractor’s $1,000,000 equipment
mobilization cost. Even under such limited conditions, it is simply not sustainable for the VPD to
financially support the Federal dredging program.
Infrastructure
One of the core goals of the VSE project is to enhance the Ventura Harbor working waterfront with a
sustainable and dependable seafood harvest. This is consistent with the VPD’s goal of upgrading
infrastructure, equipment and facilities for a modernized, efficient and safe working harbor. The
existing commercial fishing businesses generate direct revenue to the VPD in the form of commercial
boat slips and fish offloading fees. These fees generate approximately $1.2 million in annual revenue
that supports marina operations and some infrastructure needs. The commercial boat slip fees are
highly dependent upon a stable commercial fishing fleet, which depends largely upon the ongoing
success of the California Market Squid industry along with other smaller fisheries. This industry has
proven resilient but unpredictable from year to year due to a variety of impacts from weather, water
temperatures, and market forces, including more recently imposed tariffs on international seafood
products. For example, the VPD has had years where 60 million pounds or more in squid was offloaded
while other years the VPD has had less than 20 million pounds offloaded. The VPD’s off-loading fees
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are generated largely by the same industry; however, these fees only represent 10%of the total revenue
identified above (approximately $120,000 annually).
The VPD, as part of its annual budget, prepares a 5-year capital improvement plan (CIP) which
anticipates large scale projects that are necessary to maintain a modernized, efficient and safe working
harbor. These needs are particularly pressing given the harbor’s age, with many facilities 35-55 years
in age. The scale of these projects necessitates capital financing, since annual revenues are largely
utilized for ongoing operations and pay just a portion of capital improvements.
For example, a current project receiving capital financing is the Village Commercial dock replacement.
This $4.6 million project seeks to replace the dilapidated dock system, which is used primarily by 42
purse seiners and related commercial fishing vessels such as 20 light boats for the California Market
Squid fleet. The project financing requires that ongoing annual VPD revenues be used to support the
debt service.
In the next five to ten years, the VPD will need to finance a substantial amount of new infrastructure
construction and likely dredge the inner harbor for commercial fishing boat needs and revetment
maintenance, neither of which is a USACE-funded activity because it would be located in the inner
harbor. Other projects may include future replacement of an older fisheries building, reconstruction of
a fish pier, replacement or addition of fish offloading cranes, modernization of fish handling facilities,
worksite improvements, fish equipment storage and fleet parking needs. It is conceivable that the VPD
could finance $20M or more in commercial fishing infrastructure costs to support ongoing operational
needs. This is in addition to the $4.6 million in debt discussed above. For illustrative purposes only, if
the VPD were to borrow $20 million over 30 years at current interest rates, the annual debt service
costs to the VPD for this debt would be approximately $1.2 million.
The VPD is subject to significant due diligence and financial “tests” in order to borrow and support
capital project funds. While the VPD continues to meet these borrowing requirements, and maintains
a strong financial position, it is clear that the VPD must seek to diversify its fisheries to support
commercial fishing operational and infrastructure costs. Annual boat slip and offloading fees are used
to fund ongoing fisheries and marina operations but do not provide the necessary funding to complete
large-scale capital projects. Thus, the implementation of new fisheries and resulting revenues is of
major importance to the VPD.
The VSE project anticipates wholesale market values of $2.76 million per 100-acre parcel or $55.2
million at full build-out of 20, 100-acre parcels. Many factors will ultimately determine actual revenue,
with the most critical factor being the size of the approved project, as well as growing conditions,
operational interruptions, time period to full build out, market conditions, project and operational costs,
etc. However, in utilizing these initial projections the VPD is evaluating potential revenue sharing
models as discussed below.
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The VPD is evaluating a new revenue approach with the VSE project. The VPD will be the project
permittee. As such, the VPD may consider implementing a participation fee (e.g. 3-5% of gross
wholesale value) for future private grower producers, rather than rely on fish offloading fees to help
fund infrastructure needs. For example, an operating fee of 3% of the gross wholesale value at full
build-out as described above could generate annual revenues to the VPD of approximately $1.65
million. These funds generated will be used to support the VPD’s project administration costs and
could help support future debt issued for commercial fishing infrastructure (e.g. $1.2 million annual
debt service as described above). A project of a lesser scale would directly impact future VPD annual
revenues that can be used in part to support the financing of ongoing commercial fishing infrastructure
and harbor needs.
3. To provide economies of scale, pre-approved sub-permit area, and technical support to
include small producers who would not otherwise be able to participate in shellfish
aquaculture
Designed economies of scale will maximize the previously described direct and indirect secondary
benefits of the proposed project. Significant expenses are associated with permitting,
environmental review, compliance with shellfish health regulations, and environmental
monitoring; therefore, leasing and permitting the proposed project as one will provide economies
of scale and eliminate a significant impediment to market diversification and participation by small
shellfish companies or new investors. By permitting all the growing areas as a single proposed
project, individual grower/producers benefit from the collective upfront permitting efforts of VPD.
As a specific example of a regulatory economy of scale, monitoring requirements such as
implementation of a sediment quality monitoring plan are more efficiently handled at the VPD
project scale as opposed to separate efforts by individual grower/producers. VPD, acting as the
responsible party for BMP compliance, can use collective funds to monitor sediment conditions
within the larger project area, offering technical sampling and reporting consistency, along with
facilitating collection of a larger data set, which will offer greater opportunities to track overall
project impacts. Collective sampling and reporting will also yield efficiencies in compliance
review for the agencies, as VPD can act as a clearinghouse for information, handling the initial
screening and vetting of information before it is transmitted to the appropriate regulatory agencies.
Project grower/producers will have access to a pooled, centralized and comprehensive monitoring
and reporting program for all the growing plots. All necessary permits and entitlements will
already have been obtained by VPD, making participation by the grower/producer “turn-key.” The
costs to the grower/producer associated with ongoing water quality sampling and monitoring will
be reduced by the efficiency of a centralized pooled program, which will in turn reduce operating
costs and increase the direct benefit to the grower/producer.
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Further, grower/producers will also have access to technical expertise and the accepted BMPs
developed through the permitting process and described below. Similarly, grower/producers will
enjoy access to centralized marketing and branding of a Ventura-specific premium seafood product
grown and harvested in the proposed area.
Each of these elements of the project design contributes cumulatively to a total package, which in
turn contributes positively, and materially to the ongoing operational health and vitality of the
Ventura Harbor community. The costs associated with the proposed project (i.e. permitting and
monitoring) would be too high for a small operation. In order for the sub-permits to be affordable
for individual grower/producers, the proposed project must be a large scale project.
4. To provide an entitlement and permitting template for aquaculture projects state-wide
A major goal of the proposed project is delineation of a streamlined strategic permitting pathway
that will not only facilitate the establishment of a Ventura Harbor-based shellfish operation
promoting sustainable economic development, but that will more generally serve as a model to
help other entities address regulatory barriers and planning challenges that currently create
impediments to the expansion of the shellfish aquaculture industry in California.
The proposed project is a unique approach to developing environmentally and economically
sustainable shellfish commerce with product landed at the Ventura Harbor. This initiative is novel
in several ways.
The project proposes to produce bivalve shellfish in the offshore marine environment using
cultivation practices that, although well-established worldwide, are in their infancy in the
United States, particularly on the West Coast.
The proposed project is a cooperative and collaborative effort taking place in an opensource
format with state and federal regulators to establish a template for additional future
shellfish growing operations in California.
The proposal to permit a group of twenty 100-acre growing plots allows for participation
by potential grower/producers who might otherwise be precluded from participation in
aquaculture because of the significant regulatory burden of obtaining the required
government approvals.
The scale of the proposed project allows the individual grower/producers to benefit from
centralized environmental monitoring, product safety testing, and product marketing.
This proposed project as it is scaled will bolster the working waterfront in Ventura Harbor,
providing economic benefits to VPD, its tenants, and the community.
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The proposed project seeks to significantly improve the interagency review and permitting process
for offshore shellfish aquaculture and create a comprehensive and efficient permitting process that
is cost effective for both review agencies and applicant alike. In doing so, the overarching objective
is to establish a viable and replicable permitting pathway model that satisfies the requirements of
the review and permitting agencies and may be used by any prospective shellfish grower/producers
to facilitate project design and aid in the evaluation of future offshore aquaculture proposals.
5. To enhance public knowledge and understanding of sustainable shellfish farming practices
and promote community collaboration in achieving VSE objectives
Realizing the vision of an improved permitting process requires coordinated planning among all
stakeholders to attain the full environmental and economic benefits. VPD and other VSE partners
are committed to transparency, open communication, and comprehensive public education and
outreach efforts. To this end, VPD and other VSE partners hosted an ongoing series of
informational public meetings to discuss the social, economic, environmental, scientific, and
technological variables encompassed by the proposed project. These interactive, workshop-style
meetings provided a forum for open dialog among all interested members of the general public,
state and federal agency representatives, shellfish industry leaders, and environmental and
scientific leaders to discuss the policy, planning, and scientific issues surrounding the
establishment of a Ventura Harbor-based offshore shellfish aquaculture operation. This was a
critical first step toward productive collaboration and ultimately, overall project success.
6. To advance scientific knowledge and state of the art aquaculture practices through research
and innovation
The project is envisioned to include both research and education components. The project includes
as partners researchers and educators with the following institutions:
UCSB Bren School
University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region
The project will serve an in situ working laboratory for improving shellfish aquaculture techniques
and will be used as an open-water classroom. Qualified researchers affiliated with universities (i.e.,
UCSB Bren School, or University of Southern California, etc.), or qualified marine research
institutes (i.e., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, etc.)
will have access to aquaculture plots to conduct research and monitoring approved by the VPD;
however, access may be limited in certain circumstances to respect grower/producer proprietary
data or technology or to accommodate a grower/producer’s operational and logistical needs in
operating the farm. VPD will review and approve research projects in consultation with USACE,
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NMFS, NOAA, and any affected grower/producers. Grower/producers will be fairly compensated
for the use of their vessels, equipment, and fair market value of any mussels produced or generated
as part of approved research projects.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION
The project consists of twenty 100-acre plots (total of 2,000 acres) located in open federal waters
of the Santa Barbara Channel (Channel) in the Southern California Bight (SCB), northwest of
Ventura Harbor, with approximate depths at the project site ranging from 80 to 114 feet below
sea level, with an average depth of 98 feet. The plot locations are shown in Figure 1, with latitude
and longitude coordinates for the outer corners indicated. Each of the 20 plots are 2,299.5 feet
by 1,899.5 feet, for an average plot size of 100.27 acres. Each plot will contain up to 24 lines
(12 end-to-end pairs), with each line consisting of 575 feet of backbone length and 250 feet of
horizontal scope on each end. There will be a 50 foot setback on each end of the pairs (for a total
of 100 feet of spacing between lines of adjacent parcels) and 50 foot spacing between the two
center pins. Parallel lines will be spaced 150 feet apart, with a 125 foot setback at each of the
long sides (for a total of 250 feet of spacing between lines of adjacent parcels).
The sites will be used for growing the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) via
submerged long lines (see Figure 2). The mussels will be grown and harvested by
grower/producers who would sub-permit the plots from Ventura Port District, and the mussel
product will be landed at Ventura Harbor.
SITE LOCATION
The project’s twenty 100-acre plots are approximately 3.53 miles from the shore. The closest
distance from the plots to the 3-mile nautical line is a minimum of 2,900 feet, with an average
closest distance of over 3,000 feet. The closest distance from the growing area to the City of
Ventura city limit is 4.5 miles. Ventura Harbor is 4.1 miles from the closest plot (8 miles from
the most distant plot). The sub-permit sites are located on sandy bottom habitat outside of any
rocky reef habitat, as evaluated in Gentry et al. 2017 and illustrated by NOAA United States
West Coast nautical charts (NOAA 2017a).
SITE SELECTION
The project was initially proposed to be located in waters of the State of California, i.e., within the
3-mile limit. The VPD, in collaboration with its partners (collectively the “VSE”) undertook
extensive site selection public outreach that culminated in the decision to instead locate the project
in federal waters so as to minimize conflicts with commercial halibut trawlers based in Ventura
and Santa Barbara Harbors.
SITE SELECTION PROCESS SUMMARY
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The VSE team hosted a series of seven public educational workshops regarding the proposed
project. (See http://venturashellfishenterprise.com/index.html – About VSE, scroll down to “Get
Involved” and click on “Workshop Archive.”)
After these introductory workshops, VSE hosted three site selection workshops to engage with
stakeholders to identify the location of the twenty 100-acre parcels within a broader area of interest
identified through use of a spatial planning tool developed by researchers at University of
California, Santa Barbara, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management (UCSB Bren
School). While in-person workshop participation was strongly encouraged, individuals who were
not able to attend the meetings were provided the opportunity to comment on site selection through
a UCSB Bren School SeaSketch digital mapping and communication portal linked to the VSE
website. Notice of the site selection workshops was mailed out to a list of over 500 commercial
fishing vessel owners between Goleta and Port Hueneme identified by the California Department
of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW); additionally, VSE coordinated with NOAA representatives and
commercial fishermen to encourage their attendance. VSE also contacted all of the individuals
who registered interest in the proposed project through the VSE website. During and after the site
selection workshops the VPD Board of Port Commissioners received written and oral reports on
the site selection process at four public meetings held in summer and fall of 2017.
The initial candidate area in state waters was selected by VSE based on marine spatial planning
analysis prepared by the UCSB Bren School (Gentry et al., 2017). The site selection analysis
included numerous factors related to the suitability of the candidate growing area for mussels;
location in State waters near Ventura Harbor for product landing; avoidance of potential pollution
sources; and avoidance of conflicts with existing subsurface leases for oil and gas pipelines, etc.
Through the stakeholder engagement process and consultation with its aquaculture specialist, Scott
Lindell of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, it became clear that location of the project in
State waters posed certain issues. Most importantly, VPD received information from local halibut
trawlers that the proposed State waters candidate area was located in one of two areas statewide
designated by CDFW as halibut trawl grounds. Further, Mr. Lindell advised that a minimum 80’
bottom depth (versus the initial criterion of 60’ bottom depth) would reduce exposure to various
mussel predator species (e.g., diving ducks) and potential storm surge. Following a November
2017 public hearing, the VPD Board of Commissioners selected a federal waters alternative
location, which was identified based on further refinement of the spatial planning analysis by the
UCSB Bren School.
Subsequently, NOAA Fisheries Southwest District Aquaculture Coordinator, Diane Windham,
connected VSE with NOAA’s National Ocean Service staff, which undertook a second siting study
focused on federal waters proximate to Ventura Harbor. (See “Coastal Aquaculture Siting and
Sustainability Technical Report, Ventura Shellfish Enterprise: Aquaculture Siting Analysis
Results” prepared by Coastal Aquaculture Siting and Sustainability Program, within the Marine
Spatial Ecology Division of the National Centers for Coastal and Ocean Science, National Ocean
Service, NOAA, dated September 2018, copy attached.) The siting analysis represents an
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objective, data-driven approach to identify the locations within federal waters with the highest
compatibility with the proposed project. The results of this siting analysis identify two alternative
sites (CASS Report Alternatives 1 and 2) proximate to Ventura Harbor given equal consideration
of existing use conflicts, including:
Existing vessel traffic corridors,
Oil and gas production,
Commercial fishing (specifically trawl and squid fisheries), and
Obstructions, including submerged cables and wrecks.
The two CASS Report Alternatives are both situated in the northern portion of the siting analysis
study area, which was determined to have the smallest potential overlap with conflicting uses. The
primary difference between the two CASS Report Alternative sites is the configuration of subpermit
areas (Figures 3 and 4). Importantly, the two sites overlap with the federal waters alternative
site identified in the UCSB Bren School spatial planning analysis, indicating the area has been
shown by two independent studies to have the fewest conflicts with other uses and sensitive
environmental resources (Figure 5). Following a public hearing in September 2018, it is anticipated
the VPD Board of Commissioners approved CASS Report Alternative 1) (also shown in Figure 1)
as the preferred project site. CASS Report Alternative 2 (shown in Figure 4) is shown as an
alternate site location.
PROJECT CONSTRUCTION
Installation of anchors, longlines, and buoys will be performed by grower/producers in compliance
with all permit requirements and VPD sub-permit conditions which will incorporate approved best
management practices (BMPs). Submerged longlines consist of a horizontal structural header line,
or “backbone,” that is attached to the seafloor by helical screw anchors drilled into the sandy
bottom at each end and is marked and supported by a series of buoys along the central horizontal
section, as shown in Figure 2. Helical screw anchors have been shown to exhibit superior holding
power as compared to other anchoring systems and can be removed or cut below the surface at
project decommissioning. Helical screw anchors for mussel farms in open ocean habitats have
been installed all over the world, including offshore of Catalina Island, California. Helical screw
anchors will be installed by a hydraulic drill with a drill head that operates from a rig lowered to
the ocean floor. The helical screw anchors will be screwed approximately 10 to 20 feet deep into
the sandy bottom ocean floor. Each 100-acre plot will contain up to 48 anchors for a total of 960
anchors at full project build out.
It is anticipated that the potential noise impacts from the installation of the sand screw anchors
using a hydraulic drill will be minimal. The screw anchors are drilled into the seabed using a
hydraulic auger controlled at the surface. The drill is submersible and is lowered with the anchor.
Noise levels are very low in the water, with a relatively small (50 hp) hydraulic power pack on the
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installation vessel (Fielder Marine Services, New Zealand, pers.comm.). Rotation speeds are very
low, which minimizes entanglement of marine species. The anchor installation disturbs less than
1 square meter of seabed on installation and once installed no rope or chain touches the sea floor,
which also minimizes seabed disturbance (Fielder Marine Services, New Zealand, pers.comm.).
Marine wildlife, especially cetaceans, is known to be sensitive to noise effects (e.g., NMFS 2007a).
However, construction noise levels will be well within acceptable thresholds for both marine
mammals and fish (ICF Jones & Stokes and Illingworth and Rodkin, Inc. 2009; NMFS 2007a).
Due to the minimal noise level and area of disturbance on the sea floor, an action area of 100 feet
is sufficient.
Buoys marking the corners of each parcel will identify the cultivation area for navigational safety
and will comply with all regulations for height, illumination, and visibility, including radar
reflection. As shown in Figure 2, permanent surface buoys for each longline will consist of two
16-inch surface corner buoys (one corner buoy supporting and marking either end of the
backbone), as well as one 16-inch buoy supporting and marking the center pickup line, for a total
of three surface buoys per longline. Simulated views of parcel arrays at the surface and underwater
are provided in Figures 6 through 9. All surface buoys will be marked with the grower/producer
name and phone number. Buoys attached to the central horizontal portion of the backbone line
support the line, provide a means of lifting the backbone line to access the cultivation ropes, and
determine the depth of the submerged backbone, which will vary seasonally from 15 to 45 feet
below the surface. Additionally, a combination of surface and submerged buoys attached to the
backbone line will be used during the mussel production cycle to maintain tension on the structural
backbone line as the weight of the mussel crop increases. These will consist of 24-inch (or
equivalent, with greater than 200 L buoyancy) buoys attached at required intervals along the
surface and connecting to the backbone line, in combination with smaller submerged buoys affixed
directly to the backbone line. The combination of surface and submerged buoyancy is designed to
create a tensioned but flexible structure that is capable of responding dynamically to surface waves
and storms.
The longlines that will be utilized are thick (1-inch diameter), tensioned (to approximately 800
pounds) rope that is not conducive to wrapping around or entangling protected species. The
longline configuration produces a fairly rigid tensioned structure from which the cultivation ropes,
or “fuzzy ropes” are attached. Fuzzy ropes are characterized by extra filaments that provide
settlement substrate for mussels to attach. Fuzzy ropes may be attached to and suspended from the
backbone rope either as individual lengths or as a continuous looping single length that drapes up
and down over the backbone. The length of each section or loop of fuzzy rope will be
approximately 20 feet but the actual length depends on the lifting capacity of the servicing vessel.
The length of the central horizontal section of backbone line will be approximately 575 feet, which
will support approximately 8,000 feet of fuzzy cultivation line.
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The shape of each 100-acre cultivation parcel will be a function of the geometry of the submerged
backbone lines and anchoring system. Each horizontal section of the longline will be
approximately 575 feet and will require an anchor scope of approximately 2.5 times depth.
Therefore, in 100 feet of water depth, scope from the horizontal section of backbone to the helical
screw anchor will require 250 feet on each end of the line, making a total length of 1,075 feet from
anchor screw to anchor screw. A 100-acre parcel with rectangular dimensions of 1,899.5 feet by
2,299.5 feet will therefore accommodate up to 24 individual longlines (Figures 10 and 11). The
submerged longline growing gear configuration will be specifically engineered for open ocean
conditions with respect to size and strength of all lines, anchoring, hardware, and buoyancy.
Construction in each individual growing plot will take place only after VPD approval of a subpermits
(or other form of agreement) with the individual grower/producer. While project
development is dependent on market demand, VPD estimates that full build out would occur within
three to five years after project approval.
PROJECT OPERATION/CULTIVATION METHODS
The mussels will be grown and harvested by grower/producers under individual sub-permits (or
other form of agreement) with VPD that incorporate all project permit conditions and BMPs. All
grower/producers will be required to land their mussels at Ventura Harbor. Spat will be purchased
from onshore hatcheries certified by CDFW. At the hatcheries, spat are settled on the fuzzy ropes,
which is rope woven with additional loops of fiber to create additional settlement substrate and is
standard industry practice. When the spat are firmly settled to the ropes, the ropes are covered with
cotton socking material to protect them from shaking off the ropes during transport to the offshore
growing site and deployment. The socks hold the spat next to the rope while the mussels naturally
attach with their byssal threads, by which time the cotton material naturally degrades. These ropes
are then attached to the longlines and buoys, either as single sections of line or as a continuous
looping strand attached in intervals.
The mussel grow-out ropes will grow to be stiff with attached mussels encasing the rope core, thus
making them very unlikely sources of entanglement. As an additional precaution against
entanglement, grow ropes will be attached to the head rope with a low-breaking-strength line,
which will facilitate rapid detachment in the unlikely event of any interaction with the longline.
To further minimize entanglement potential, a breakaway link will be installed between the surface
buoys and vertical lines, similar to strategies used to mitigate potential entanglement in trap
fisheries in the northeastern United States (NOAA 2008). Buoy lines between the surface and head
rope are generally under tension partially equivalent to their full buoyancy and breakaway link
ratings will be specific to buoy size.
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Cultivated mussels grow by filtering naturally occurring phytoplankton from the ocean. Juvenile
mussels will grow on lines until an intermediate size where the density of mussels on the fuzzy
rope becomes limiting to further growth. At this point, a servicing vessel will lift the backbone line
in order to access the fuzzy rope stocked with juvenile mussels and pull the fuzzy rope through
vessel-based equipment designed to strip the mussels from the fuzzy rope, and then clean, separate,
and grade the juvenile mussels by size. Juvenile mussels then will be restocked to clean fuzzy rope
and covered with naturally-dissolving cotton socking at a reduced density for their second stage of
grow out to market size. All these intermediate mussel-tending steps take place on the servicing
vessel.
Maintenance and inspection of the longlines will be carried out at least on a monthly basis and
consist of lifting the longlines out of the water and adding additional buoys as necessary to account
for increased mussel weight. Inspections of the anchor ropes, anchors, and connecting ropes will
be carried out monthly for the first two years following deployment, and in the event there are no
marine wildlife entanglements within the first two years, may be reduced to quarterly inspections
thereafter. Inspections can include a variety of techniques: recordings by depth/fish finder; ROV
surveys of lines; and/or monitoring performed by SCUBA divers.
Gear and planted ropes will be inspected regularly as part of a comprehensive monitoring plan,
but generally the planted ropes will only be manipulated during initial stocking, intermediate
harvest and restocking, and final harvest. Inspection will involve monitoring the all hardware and
rigging and surface buoys and their tension, and checking for escaped gear and potential
entanglements. Examples of possible observations that would trigger concern and further
investigation are (1) gaps or tangling of dropper ropes detected on depth finder or other structural
anomalies, (2) fouling by objects or other marine debris detected in support buoys or buoy
deployment lines, and (3) loss of function or damage to devices related to navigational safety.
Harvesting involves separating the mussels from the ropes, followed by cleaning, sorting, and
bagging. When the mussels reach market size, which is expected to occur after about one year of
total production time, the submerged backbone lines again will be lifted in order to access the
fuzzy cultivation ropes, and mussels again will be stripped from the line, cleaned, and separated,
and this time size-graded and bagged for landing at the Ventura Harbor as market-ready product.
The bagged mussels will be transported to Ventura Harbor for offloading, sale, and distribution.
All husbandry activities related to harvesting, grading, and restocking of mussels to cultivation
lines will occur onboard the servicing vessel using specialized equipment for that purpose.
Watercraft used for planting, inspections, and harvesting will be home ported at Ventura Harbor.
At full project build out 20 to 40 vessels will be traveling to the specific sub-permit sites to conduct
these activities. The maximum distance traveled between the harbor and the farthest potential sub-
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permit area will be approximately 8 miles. Once constructed, it is projected that each sub-permit
site will generate an estimated 150 trips per year to accomplish the tasks outlined above.
Landed product will comply with all testing and labeling regulations as part of the California
Department of Public Health (CDPH) Shellfish Sanitation Plan and the National Shellfish
Sanitation Program (NSSP) guidelines for shellfish grown in federal waters. NOAA-Seafood
Inspection Program (NOAA-SIP), in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA), recently began the process of developing NSSP-compliant sanitation protocols for bivalve
shellfish cultivated in federal waters.
ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNANCE
VPD proposes to make mussel growing area sub-permits 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. As a requirement of their participation, grower/
producers will be obligated to operate under robust environmental monitoring guidelines and
BMPs incorporated into the proposed project’s entitlements. While all grower/producers will be
held accountable for compliance with these requirements, VPD is ultimately responsible for
compliance with all permit conditions and required BMPs. All grower/producer responsibilities
would be spelled out as conditions in grower/producer sub-permits with VPD, thus establishing
VPD enforcement authority for those conditions. VPD anticipates further discussions with the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) concerning the proposed sub-permitting process once the
USACE has had an opportunity to review the application.
PROJECT DECOMMISSIONING
The project will include a decommissioning plan, which will provide for the removal of all
equipment and structures in each sub-permit area associated with project activities when activities
in that sub-permit are terminated. The decommissioning plan will be a requirement of each subpermit.
Financial assurances to guarantee implementation of the decommissioning plan will be
required of each grower/producer and reviewed periodically.
BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
In addition to the design features associated with minimizing impacts, the proposed project will
incorporate a number of other resource protection measures that avoid and minimize impacts on
the aquatic environment. These resource protection measures will include BMPs listed below. As
further described in the BA, proposed project actions have the potential to adversely impact
resources as well as potentially cause navigational concerns. Absent mitigation and BMPs, project
activities may have an adverse effect on the surrounding area. However, with the incorporation of
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BMPs, these effects would be reduced to insignificant levels. Table 2 details the proposed BMPs
as well as the responsible party and enforcing agency of each measure.
Table 2: Ventura Shellfish Enterprise
Proposed Best Management Practices to Mitigate Potential Adverse Project Impacts
Measure Description of Measure Responsible Party Enforcing Agency
Seed supply
– 1
Cultivation of Spat Offsite. Only hatchery-reared mussel
spat grown at a facility certified by CDFW will be used in
order to ensure that spat are free of introduced invasive
species, parasites, and pathogens; however, natural
mussel spat collected on farm grow-out lines and buoys
may also be harvested and cultivated.
Grower/Producer2 Ventura Port District
(VPD) and CDFW
Sediment
quality – 1
Sediment Quality Monitoring Plan. A Sediment Quality
Monitoring Plan shall be developed requiring monitoring of
sediment conditions within the project area, including
monitoring the quantity, type, and distribution of biological
materials (such as shellfish, shell material, and fouling
organisms) that accumulate on the seafloor. Monitoring
will also include an evaluation of any changes oxygen
demand of benthic infaunal and epifaunal communities,
and changes to the chemical and biochemical conditions
of seafloor sediments along with a description of
performance standards to meet.
If performance standards are not met, corrective actions
will be outlined. The Plan will include reporting
requirements, including annual report submittals to NOAA
and NMFS for review. If performance standards are met
for a period of time, the plan will provide for appropriately
scaling down monitoring and intervals over time.
VPD to prepare plan
Third-party consultant hired
by VPD to conduct
monitoring
NOAA and NMFS
Wildlife – 1 Marine Wildlife Entanglement Plan. No less than once
per month, each grower/producer operating on a VPD
lease shall visually inspect all ropes, cables, and
equipment via depth/fish finders to determine if any
entanglement of a marine mammal has occurred and to
ensure that (a) no lines have been broken, lost or
removed; (b) all longlines, anchor lines, and buoy lines
remain taught and in good working condition; and (c) any
derelict fishing gear or marine debris that collects in the
growing gear is removed and disposed of at an identified
onshore facility. All equipment and materials accidentally
released or found to be missing from the facility during
monthly inspections, including buoys, floats, lines, ropes,
chains, cultivation trays, wires, fasteners, and clasps, shall
Grower/Producer to inspect
and respond
VPD to identify disposal
facility
VPD and NOAA
Fisheries
2 Note that all Grower/Producer responsibilities will be spelled out as conditions in grower/producer sub-permits with VPD, thus
establishing VPD enforcement authority for those conditions.
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be searched for, collected, properly disposed of onshore,
and documented in the annual inspection report.
Monitoring shall occur monthly for the first two years
following deployment and, in the event that there are no
marine wildlife entanglements within the first two years,
may be reduced to quarterly inspections thereafter.
Inspections shall include recordings by depth/fish finder or
ROV surveys of lines and/or monitoring performed by
SCUBA divers. Recorded video shall be provided along
with the annual report described above. Any maintenance
issues including wear, loosening, or fatigue of materials
shall be remedied as soon as possible. All incidents of
observed whale entanglement shall be immediately
reported to SOS WHALe. Any other marine wildlife (i.e.,
other marine mammals, turtles) observed to be entangled
will be immediately reported to NOAA Fisheries Marine
Mammal Stranding Network Coordinator, West Coast
Region, Long Beach Office. Only personnel who have
been authorized by NOAA Fisheries and who have
training, experience, equipment, and support will attempt
to disentangle marine wildlife. If possible, the
grower/producer shall document and photograph
entangled wildlife and the entangling gear material.
Wildlife – 2 Predator Control. Potential predator species will be
identified. Specified humane methods of predator
deterrence will be utilized, favoring non-lethal methods. No
controls, other than non-lethal exclusion, shall be applied
to species that are listed as threatened or endangered.
VPD to identify potential
predator species and
deterrence methods
Grower/Producer to
implement identified methods
as necessary
Any methods of
predator control are
subject to prior
approval of VPD,
U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, and
NOAA Fisheries
Wildlife – 3 Marine Wildlife Observer. A Marine Wildlife Observer
shall be present on each project construction vessel during
all construction activities, including the installation of long
lines and anchoring systems. The observer shall monitor
and record the presence of all marine wildlife (marine
mammals and sea turtles) within 100 yards of the work
area. The observer shall have the authority to halt
operations if marine wildlife are observed or anticipated to
be near a work area and construction activities have the
potential to result in injury or entanglement of marine
wildlife. In addition, all work (including vessel motors) will
be halted if a cetacean is observed within the monitoring
area or if a pinniped or sea turtle is observed within 50
yards of the work area. Work may commence after the
observed individuals have moved out of the monitoring
area.
Observers’ reports on marine mammal monitoring during
construction activities shall be prepared and submitted to
NOAA Fisheries on a monthly basis. Reports shall include
such information as the (1) number, type, and location of
marine mammals observed; (2) the behavior of marine
VPD to identify qualified
Marine Wildlife Observers
and submit monthly
observers’ reports
Growers/Producers to assure
a qualified observer is
present during construction
activities and that observers’
directives are heeded
VPD and NOAA
Fisheries
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mammals in the area of potential sound effects during
construction; (3) dates and times when observations and
in-water project construction activities were conducted;
and (4) dates and times when in-water construction
activities were suspended because of marine mammals.
VPD shall prepare a list of qualified marine wildlife
observers who meet the following minimum qualifications:
visual acuity in both eyes (correction is permissible)
sufficient to discern moving targets at the water’s surface
with ability to estimate target size and distance; (2) use of
binoculars or spotting scope may be necessary to correctly
identify the target; (3) advanced education in biological
science, wildlife management, mammalogy, or related
fields (bachelor’s degree or higher is preferred); (4)
experience and ability to conduct field observations and
collect data according to assigned protocols (this may
include academic experience); (5) experience or training in
the field identification of marine mammals (cetaceans and
pinnipeds) and sea turtles; and (6) ability to communicate
orally, by radio or in person, with project personnel to
provide real time information on marine wildlife observed
in the area, as needed.
Wildlife – 4 Entanglement Prevention. Grow-ropes will be attached
to the head rope with a low-breaking-strength twine (4-
millimeter (0.16-inch) diameter; <1,000 pounds), which will
facilitate rapid detachment in the unlikely event of any
interaction with the longline. A 1,100-pound breakaway
link will be installed between surface marking buoys and
the vertical lines.
Grower/Producer VPD
Wildlife – 5 Marine Wildlife Education. Each grower/producer will be
required to provide bi-annual (twice per year) marine
wildlife education to its employees regarding proper
procedures relating to marine wildlife. The training
curriculum will include identifying the presence of specified
marine wildlife and procedures for avoiding impacts to
marine wildlife during operations. These procedures will
include (1) reducing speed and observing the distances
from marine life specified in Wildlife-7; (2) providing a safe
path of travel for marine mammals that avoids
encirclement or entrapment of the animal(s) between the
vessel and growing apparatus; (3) if approached by a
marine mammal, reducing speed, placing the vessel in
neutral and waiting until the animal is observed clear of the
vessel before making way; (4) avoiding sudden direction
or speed changes when near marine mammals; (5)
refraining from approaching, touching or feeding a marine
mammal; and (6) immediately contacting their supervisor
and other identified parties/agencies identified in Wildlife-1
should an employee observe an injured marine mammal.
VPD to prepare training
curriculum
Grower/Producer to provide
training
VPD and NOAA
Fisheries
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Wildlife – 6 Lighting. All growing area operations shall be completed
during daylight hours. No growing area operations will be
conducted at night and no permanent artificial lighting of
the shellfish cultivation facility shall occur, except for that
associated with the use of navigational safety buoys
required by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Grower/Producer VPD and U.S. Coast
Guard
Wildlife – 7 Vessel Management. Vessels in transit to and from the
growing area shall maintain a distance of 100 yards from
any observed cetacean and 50 yards between any
observed pinniped or sea turtle. If cetaceans are observed
within 100 yards or pinnipeds or sea turtles observed
within 50 yards, the vessel shall reduce speeds to 12
knots or less until it is the appropriate distance (as
required by this condition) from the particular marine life. If
a cetacean is heading into the direct path of the vessel
(i.e., approaching a moving vessel directly into the bow),
the vessel shall shut off the engine until the cetacean is no
longer approaching the bow and until a greater separation
distance is observed. If small cetaceans are observed
bow-riding, and the vessel is operating at speeds of 12
knots or less, the vessel shall remain parallel to the
animal’s course and avoid abrupt changes in direction until
the cetaceans have left the area.
Each sighting of a federally listed threatened or
endangered whale or turtle shall be recorded and the
following information shall be provided:
a. Date, time, coordinates of vessel
b. Visibility, weather, sea state
c. Vector of sighting (distance, bearing)
d. Duration of sighting
e. Species and number of animals
f. Observed behaviors (feeding, diving, breaching,
etc.)
g. Description of interaction with aquaculture facility
Grower/Producer U.S. Coast Guard
Wildlife – 8 Invasive Species. Grower/producers operating in the
project area shall be required to receive training from
NMFS to identify potential invasive species and how to
properly dispose of such invasive species if discovered.
Grower/Producer NMFS or entity
delegated by NMFS
to conduct training
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Storage and
disposal of
supplies – 1
Spill Prevention and Response. Discharges of feed,
pesticides, or chemicals (including antibiotics and
hormones) in ocean waters are prohibited. Fuel, lubricants
and chemicals must be labeled, stored and disposed of in
a safe and responsible manner, and marked with warning
signs. Precautions shall be taken to prevent spills, fires
and explosions, and procedures and supplies shall be
readily available to manage chemical and fuel spills or
leaks. Each grower/producer shall comply with the Spill
Prevention and Response Plan (SPRP) for vessels and
work barges that will be used during project construction
and operations. Each grower/producer operating in the
project area shall be trained in, and adhere to, the
emergency procedures and spill prevention and response
measures specified in the SPRP during all project
operations. The SPRP shall provide for emergency
response and spill control procedures to be taken to stop
or control the source of the spill and to contain and clean
up the spill. The SPRP shall include, at a minimum: (a)
identification of potential spill sources and quantity
estimates of a project specific reasonable worst case spill;
(b) identification of prevention and response equipment
and measures/procedures that will be taken to prevent
potential spills and to protect marine and shoreline
resources in the event of a spill. Spill prevention and
response equipment shall be kept onboard project vessels
at all times; (c) a prohibition on at-sea vessel or equipment
fueling/refueling activities; and (d) emergency response
and notification procedures, including a list of contacts to
call in the event of a spill; (e) assurance that all hydraulic
fluid to be used for installation, maintenance, planting, and
harvesting activities shall be vegetable based.
VPD to prepare SPRP and
provide training to
growers/producers
Growers/Producers to
implement VPD-prepared
SPRP
U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, U.S.
Coast Guard,
California Office of
Emergency Services
Storage and
disposal of
supplies – 2
Aquaculture Gear Monitoring and Escapement Plan.
Include in overall management plan an aquaculture gear
monitoring and escapement plan. Any farm gear that has
broken loose from the farm location shall be retrieved. The
farm site shall be visited at minimum twice per month to
examine the aquaculture gear for potential loss or noncompliant
deployment, including inspections for fouling
organisms. Any organisms that have a potential to cover
the sea floor will be removed and disposed of at an
identified upland facility. A Marine Debris Management
Plan shall also be prepared that includes (a) a plan for
permanently marking all lines, ropes, buoys, and other
facility infrastructure and floating equipment with the name
and contact information of the grower/producer; (b) a
description of the extent and frequency of maintenance
operations necessary to minimize the loss of materials and
equipment to the marine environment resulting from
breakages and structural failures; and (c) a description of
the search and cleanup measures that would be
implemented if loss of shellfish cultivation facility materials,
equipment, and/or infrastructure occurs.
VPD to prepare plan
Growers/Producers to
implement plan
VPD and U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers
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Storage and
disposal of
supplies -3
Decommissioning Plan. A decommissioning plan for the
timely removal of all shellfish, structures, anchoring
devices, equipment, and materials associated with the
shellfish cultivation facility and documentation completion
of removal activities will be a requirement of each permit
or sub-permit. Financial assurances to guarantee
implementation of the plan will be in place and reviewed
periodically.
Grower/Producer to prepare
and implement approved
plan
VPD to approve plan
U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers
Navigation –
1
Update NOAA Charts. VPD to submit to the NOAA Office
of Coast Survey: (a) the geographical coordinates of the
facility boundaries obtained using a different geographic
position unit or comparable navigational equipment; (b) asbuilt
plans of the facility and associated buoys and
anchors; (c) each grower/producer’s point of contact and
telephone number; and (d) any other information required
by the NOAA Office of Coast Survey to accurately portray
the location of the shellfish cultivation facility on
navigational charts.
VPD NOAA
Navigation –
2
Notice to Mariners. No less than 15-days prior to the start
of in-water activities associated with the installation phase
of the project, VPD shall submit to (a) the U.S. Coast
Guard (for publication in a Notice to Mariners); and (b) the
harbormasters (for posting in their offices of public
noticeboards), notices containing the anticipated start date
of installation, the anticipated installation schedule, and
the coordinates of the installation sites. During installation,
VPD shall also make radio broadcast announcements to
the local fishers’ emergency radio frequency that provide
the current installation location and a phone number that
can be called for additional information.
VPD U.S. Coast Guard
Conditions within the project area will be monitored throughout the proposed project’s
implementation to ensure compliance with all permit requirements and to evaluate all effects,
including beneficial effects, of the growing areas. Monitoring will be conducted according to a
robust monitoring programs designed to evaluate the proposed project’s potential effects on the
following factors:
The seafloor and benthic environment beneath and in the vicinity of the facilities, including
biological, physical, and chemical conditions
Wildlife interactions including marine mammals, sea turtles, fish, and seabirds
Marine debris, including lost and broken gear
As noted in Table 2, a sediment quality monitoring plan, aquaculture gear monitoring and
escapement plan, and a decommissioning plan will be developed in conjunction with the permit
review process. These plans will be developed through iterative review with the appropriate
regulatory agencies.
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5. ALTERNATIVES ANALAYSIS
Avoidance of user conflicts
As described previously, the size of the proposed project was determined based on needing to meet
the project objectives, primarily Objectives 2 and 3:
2. To enhance and sustain Ventura Harbor as a major west coast fishing port and support
the local economy;
3. To provide economies of scale, pre-approved sub-permit area, and technical support to
include small local producers who would not otherwise be able to participate in shellfish
aquaculture.
To meet its mission and goals the VPD allocates annual revenues to operations, maintenance and
capital improvements. As stated in Section 19, Project Purpose, the VPD had a negative cash flow
of approximately $3.9 million in FY18-19, which was funded by use of unrestricted reserves, but
is not sustainable at this level annually. As such, a combination of increased revenues or revenue
sources and alternative methods to finance some capital infrastructure projects is necessary.
Specific to the commercial fishing industry, the VSE project can play a vital role in VPD’s annual
revenue generation that can be leveraged for the financing of commercial fishing infrastructure
while creating other positive economic impacts and maintaining dredging priorities. See Section
19 for further discussion of these issues.
There is a strong nexus between the continued receipt of federal support and the vitality of the
harbor’s commercial fishing operations and landings. In order to ensure that dredging continues,
the harbor needs to increase the tonnage landed at Ventura Harbor in a sustainable manner. As
other forms of commercial fishing are not currently a viable or sustainable option, the proposed
project will significantly increase and diversify the catch landed at Ventura Harbor. A smaller
scale fishery is unlikely to provide enough tonnage to ensure dredging continues.
Similarly, it is not feasible to provide economies of scale to small, local producers without a large
scale operation. The operation costs, such as monitoring, permitting, and technical support, would
be far too high with a smaller size. In order to have a sustainable fishing operation with a
recognizable product, the proposed project needs to be a larger operation.
Siting Analysis
Once the size of the proposed project was determined, spatial planning guided the VPD in
determining which area was most suitable for longline mussel cultivation with the lowest impact
on existing marine uses. The initial candidate area in state waters was selected by VSE with the
assistance of analysis prepared by the UCSB Bren School (using SeaSketch software), and focused
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on the Southern California Bight. The factors evaluated in the analysis included suitability of the
candidate growing area for mussels considering water depth and ocean bottom; location in State
waters near Ventura Harbor for product landing; avoidance of potential pollution sources; and
avoidance of conflicts with existing subsurface leases for oil and gas pipelines, etc. The report
identified areas where conflicts with or impacts by aquaculture development had to potential to
affect stakeholders, the environmental health of the marine benthos, quality of ocean views, and
the risk of disease spread among fish farms. Thousands of spatial plans were considered. The
spatial plans indicated that for various locations within the Southern California Bight, mussel
aquaculture can achieve considerable value while minimizing impacts to the existing sectors (0-
5% impact). As a result of the UCSB Bren School spatial planning analysis, eight SeaSketch
alternatives were identified, including an alternative in federal waters.
SeaSketch Alternative 1 – 20 lease sites located along the 80’ contour at 45-degree angle
SeaSketch Alternative 2 – 20 lease sites along 80’ contour with contiguous straight-line
outer edge
SeaSketch Alternative 3 – 20 lease sites along 80’ contour with 2X2 configuration
extending toward the middle of candidate area
SeaSketch Alternative 4 – 20 lease sites along 3nm State waters line, six sites south of Pitas
Pt. extended towards the middle of the candidate area
SeaSketch Alternative 5 – 20 lease sites that follows 3 nm line intuitively
SeaSketch Alternative 6 – 20 lease sites at 3nm line arranged in a 2X2 configuration
SeaSketch Alternative 7 – 20 lease sites intuitively following the 3nm State waters line in
a 2X2 configuration
SeaSketch Alternative 8 – 20 lease sites outside of the 3nm State waters line, in Federal
waters, arranged in two, ten parcel 2X2 configurations slightly offset.
The VSE team established criteria on which to evaluate and prioritize each siting alternative. As a
result, the VSE team constructed a siting decision matrix to quantify the benefits of each potential
siting configuration, and assist the VPD Board of Commissioners in its decision-making process.
The stakeholder engagement process supported the identification of key factors upon which to
assist siting configuration decision-making. Each of the criteria was assigned a weight based on
perceived relative importance to achieving optimal operational capacity and minimizing potential
user conflicts and environmental impacts. Siting alternatives were then scored using a rating
system that corresponds to preferences identified by the VSE team. These criteria included:
Approximate water depth
Potential adverse water pollution sources
Potential visual effects from shore
Potential interaction with commercial and recreational fishing interests
Subleasing or sub-permitting complexities
Potential overlap with subsurface leases
Environmental review complexity
Contiguous siting
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Distance from Harbor
Through the stakeholder engagement process and consultation with its aquaculture specialist, Scott
Lindell of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, it became clear that location of the project in
State waters posed certain issues. Most importantly, VSE received information from local halibut
trawlers that the proposed State waters candidate area was located in one of two areas statewide
designated by CDFW as halibut trawl grounds. Further, Mr. Lindell advised that a minimum 80’
bottom depth (versus the initial criterion of 60’ bottom depth) would reduce exposure to various
mussel predator species (e.g., diving ducks) and potential storm surge. Following a November
2017 public hearing, the VPD Board of Commissioners selected a federal waters alternative
(SeaSketch Alternative 8) location.
Subsequently, NOAA Fisheries Southwest District Aquaculture Coordinator, Diane Windham,
connected VSE with NOAA’s National Ocean Service staff, which undertook a second siting study
focused on federal waters proximate to Ventura Harbor. (See “Coastal Aquaculture Siting and
Sustainability Technical Report, Ventura Shellfish Enterprise: Aquaculture Siting Analysis
Results” prepared by Coastal Aquaculture Siting and Sustainability Program, within the Marine
Spatial Ecology Division of the National Centers for Coastal and Ocean Science, National Ocean
Service, NOAA, dated September 6, 2018, copy attached.) The siting analysis represents an
objective, data-driven approach to identify the locations within federal waters with the highest
compatibility with the proposed project. The results of this siting analysis identify two alternative
sites proximate to Ventura Harbor given equal consideration of existing use conflicts, including:
Designated shipping fairways,
Areas of high vessel density and wrecks and obstructions,
Sensitive habitats,
Military uses,
Existing vessel traffic corridors,
Oil and gas production,
Commercial fishing (specifically trawl and squid fisheries), and
Obstructions, including submerged cables and wrecks.
Other important considerations were the distance from Ventura Harbor and depth (25-37m).
Slightly less influential parameters included wind speed and direction, wave height, surface
current, and chlorophyll a.
The two CASS Report Alternatives are both situated in the northern portion of the siting analysis
study area, which was determined to have the smallest potential overlap with conflicting uses. The
primary difference between the two sites is the configuration of sub-permit areas (Figures 3 and
4). In CASS Report Alternative 1, each sub-permit area has two shorter lines in parallel, and is
represented in Figure 3. CASS Report Alternative 2, shown in Figure 4, was designed as a longer
“stack” of single lines within each sub-permit area, which was found to be less flexible. Since
varying oceanic patterns may necessitate more design flexibility, CASS Report Alternative 1 was
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determined to be the most compatible configuration. CASS Report Alternative 1 will have 20 plots,
each with a dimension of 2,299.5 feet by 1,899.5 feet, and an average water depth of 98 feet.
Importantly, the two CASS Report Alternative sites overlap with the federal waters alternative site
(SeaSketch Alternative 8) identified in the UCSB Bren School spatial planning analysis, indicating
the area has been shown by two independent studies to have the fewest conflicts with other uses
and sensitive environmental resources (Figure 5). Following a public hearing in September 2018,
it is anticipated the VPD Board of Commissioners approved CASS Report Alternative 1)(also
shown in Figure 1) as the preferred project site. CASS Report Alternative 2 (shown in Figure 4) is
shown as an alternate site location.
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6. CONSISTENCY WITH PROVISIONS OF THE CALIFORNIA
COASTAL ACT
The project is reviewed to determine compliance with the California Coastal Act’s enforceable
policies, stated in Sections 32000 through 30265.5. The policies that are not applicable to the
project are identified and discussed in Table 3. The project is then analyzed for consistency with
applicable Coastal Act policies.
Table 3
Enforceable Policies of the California Coastal Act That Are Not Applicable to the Project
Article Section State Enforceable
Policy
Explanation
Article 2: Public
Access
30211 Development shall not
interfere with access
The project does not include any
development within the coastal zone
30212 Access from new projects The project does not include any
development within the coastal zone
30212.5 Distribution of public
facilities
The project does not include public facilities
or impact the public’s use of existing
facilities
30213 Encouragement of lower
cost visitor and
recreational facilities
The project does not include any visitor or
recreational facilities or impact any existing
facilities
30214 Implementation of
public access
The project does not include any
development within the coastal zone
Article 3:
Recreation
30221 Protection for
recreational use and
development of
oceanfront land
The project does not include the
development of oceanfront land that would
reduce available areas for public recreational
use
30222 Priority of development
purposes of private
lands
The project does not include any
development of private lands within the
coastal zone
30222.5 Priority of oceanfront
lands suitable for
aquaculture
While the project supports this policy by
significantly expanding aquaculture
opportunities in California, it does not
include the development of oceanfront lands
within the coastal zone
30223 Reservation of upland
areas
The project does not include any
development of upland areas within the
coastal zone
Article 4:
Marine
Environment
30225 Revetments,
breakwaters, etc.
The project does not propose any
construction associated with structures that
would alter the natural shoreline
30236 Waterway modification The project does not alter any rivers or
streams
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Article Section State Enforceable
Policy
Explanation
Article 5: Land
Resources
30240 Protection of
environmentally
sensitive areas
The project does not include development
within any environmentally sensitive areas
within the coastal zone
30241 Maintenance of prime
agricultural land
The project area does not include any prime
agricultural lands
30241.5 Agricultural land uses The project area does not include any
agricultural lands
30242 Conversion of lands
suitable for agricultural
use
The project does not convert any agricultural
lands
30243 Protection of the longterm
productivity of
soils and timberlands
The project area does not include any
timberlands
30244 Archaeological or
paleontological
resources
The project does not include any
development in areas of significant
archaeological or paleontological resources
within the coastal zone
Article 6:
Development
30250 Location The project does not include any
development within the coastal zone
30251 Scenic and visual
qualities of coastal areas
The project site is located over 3 miles from
the shoreline, will not be visible from the
shore, and will not impact visual qualities
within the coastal zone
30252 Enhancement and
maintenance of public
coastal access
The project does not include any
development within the coastal zone
30253 Safety, stability,
pollution, energy
conservation, visitors
The project does not include any
development within the coastal zone
30254 Public works facilities The project does not propose any public
works facilities
30254.5 Sewage treatment plant
development
The project does not propose a sewage
treatment plant
30255 Coastal-dependent
developments
The project does not include any
development within the coastal zone
Article 7:
Industrial
Development
30260 Location or expansion The project does not include any industrial
development
30261 Use of tanker facilities The project does not use any tanker facilities
30262 Development of gas and
oil
The project does not include any oil and gas
development
30263 Petrochemical facilities or
refineries
The project does not include any petrochemical
facilities or refineries
30264 Thermal electric
generating plants
The project does not include any thermal electric
generating plants
30265 Offshore oil transportation The project does not involve any offshore oil
transportation
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Article Section State Enforceable
Policy
Explanation
30265.5 Coordination of activities
concerning the transport
and refining of offshore oil
The project does not involve oil transportation or
refining
ENFORCEABLE POLICIES OF THE CALIFORNIA COASTAL ACT APPLICABLE TO
THE PROJECT
1. Article 3, Sections 30220 and Section 30224: Recreational Opportunities
Policies:
Protection of certain water-oriented activities. Coastal areas suited for water-oriented
recreational activities that cannot readily be provided at inland water areas shall be protected for
such uses.
Section 30224 Recreational boating use; encouragement; facilities. Increased recreational
boating use of coastal waters shall be encouraged, in accordance with this division, by developing
dry storage areas, increasing public launching facilities, providing additional berthing space in
existing harbors, limiting non-water-dependent land uses that congest access corridors and
preclude boating support facilities, providing harbors of refuge, and by providing for new boating
facilities in natural harbors, new protected water areas, and in areas dredged from dry land.
Consistency Analysis:
The proposed facility would have a surface footprint that has the potential to have a small impact
on water-oriented or ocean-based recreational activities such as boating and fishing. The proposed
project has the potential to adversely affect recreation by restricting water-oriented recreational
activities from occurring within the footprint of the facility due to the presence of surface and
submerged gear and the risk of possible collision or entanglement. However, given that the project
is not located within the coastal zone, any potential impacts associated with recreational uses
would likely occur outside of the coastal zone. Further, the longlines would be submerged 15-45
feet below the surface, which will not restrict the passage of most recreational vessels through the
project site and recreational vessels would be able to pass freely about the proposed structure with
little risk of collision or entanglement. Safe passage of all but the largest deep-draft commercial
vessels would be accommodated by the project design. The project will also incorporate
navigational buoys that comply with U.S. Coast Guard requirements to properly mark the project
site to avoid potential collisions. While the facility may redirect some boaters and traffic, the
proposed offshore location and size, when compared to the abundance of open water in the project
area, would limit any adverse impacts on recreational boating. In order to help ensure that those
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who may wish to avoid the area due to a desire for extra precaution, BMPs Navigation-1 and
Navigation-2 are proposed for the final location and configuration of the facilities to be marked on
navigational charts. As such, the project as proposed and with the proposed BMPs is consistent
with the Coastal Act policies 30220 and 30224.
2. Article 3, Section 30230: Marine Resources
Policy:
Marine resources shall be maintained, enhanced, and where feasible, restored. Special protection
shall be given to areas and species of special biological or economic significance. Uses of the
marine environment shall be carried out in a manner that will sustain the biological productivity
of coastal waters and that will maintain healthy populations of all species of marine organisms
adequate for long-term commercial, recreational, scientific, and educational purposes.
Consistency Analysis:
The project includes activities that may affect marine resources and have the potential to affect
marine organisms. While the project site does not contain any designated critical habitat for marine
species, the placement and operation of the proposed project has the potential to affect marine
species, habitats, and biological productivity through disturbance, loss, and alteration of benthic
habitat; interference with migration and feeding routes; construction noise; colonization by fouling
organisms; deposition of organic materials; disturbance and entanglement of marine wildlife;
release of marine debris; invasive species; and collision of vessels with marine mammals or sea
turtles.
These actions could adversely affect commercial and recreational fish stocks and protected marine
species, including whales, sea turtles, dolphins, and pinnipeds that may frequent the project area.
Specifically, protected species that are anticipated to occur in the area include gray whales
(Eschrichtius robustus), humpback whales (Megaptera noaengliaea), fin whales (Balaenoptera
physalus physalus), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta), green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas),
common minke whales (Balarnoptera acutorostrata), common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops
truncatus), long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus capensis capensis), short-beaked common
dolphin (Delphinus delphis delphis), Pacific white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens),
California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), and Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina).
Marine Wildlife Entanglement in Aquaculture Gear
The project may result in marine mammal entanglement. Mussel aquaculture utilizes various ropes
in the water column that may pose an entanglement risk to cetaceans and sea turtles. In contrast to
fishing gear, however, there are far fewer documented entanglement cases in mussel aquaculture
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gear. Interactions and entanglements with longline aquaculture gear worldwide are rare, and close
approaches by protected species are seldom documented (Price et al. 2016). West coast
entanglement summaries for 2015 and 2016 report no entanglements from mussel aquaculture
fisheries (NOAA 2017c). There have been no reported marine mammal entanglements associated
with Santa Barbara Mariculture, which has operated a 25-acre mussel aquaculture farm in the Santa
Barbara Channel, using similar cultivation techniques, for over a decade (CDFG 2018).
Reported entanglements are predominantly from crab, gillnet and spiny lobster fisheries. Fixed
fisheries gear (e.g., pot and trap gear) is the most commonly recognized and reported gear type
causing entanglements since 2000. Documented entangled animals and disentanglement efforts in
the Pacific Northwest have mostly involved gray whales and humpback whales and have involved
both gill nets and crab gear. While not as common, both fin and blue whales are sometimes
entangled in gill nets and crab gear based on a few stranded animals and scarring on live animals
(NOAA 2014). More recently, from 2014 to 2017, the majority of the whale entanglements
involved humpback whales and most of the entanglements were from commercial Californian and
Washington Dungeness crab traps, and gillnet fisheries (NOAA 2017c). Large whale species
appear to be more vulnerable to entanglement than smaller cetacean species, such as dolphins and
porpoises, which are more prone to be caught as bycatch in nets due to their smaller size
(Benjamins et al. 2014). Furthermore, juveniles are more likely to be entangled due to their
inquisitive nature and inexperience. The proposed mussel culture techniques have some significant
differences as compared to crab and fishing gear that reduce the potential for marine mammal
entanglement. As opposed to fishery gear, the mussel aquaculture gear is stationary, the lines are
larger, and the gear is not designed to catch or ensnare fish. Further, as described below, the lines
will be highly tensioned, which reduces the risk of marine mammals being caught in slack lines.
Therefore, the project design is expected to pose a much smaller risk to marine mammal
entanglement compared to longline fishing methods.
Cetaceans also have different ways in which they can perceive mussel farm lines and navigate
around them. For example, odontocetes, such as harbor porpoises, are able to use echolocation
to detect the lines (Lloyd 2003; Nielson et al. 2012), and minke whales are able to detect and
avoid ropes that are white or black (Kot et al. 2012).No entanglements have been reported for
pinnipeds with this method of mussel aquaculture (Lloyd 2003, Clement 2013).
Entanglements involving sea turtles and cetaceans have occurred in mussel aquaculture operations
in Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, South Korea and Canada (Young et al. 2015). Entanglement
risk is highest at mussel farms that employ mussel spat collecting ropes, as these ropes are thinner
and more flexible making them more conducive to entanglement (Keeley et al. 2009). The majority
of entanglements have involved these thinner mussel spat collector ropes or buoy lines connected
to them. To avoid this concern, BMP Seed Supply-1 requires all mussel spat to be provided by
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land-based hatcheries certified by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (or collected
from grow-out lines) and will prohibit spat collector ropes. The project will only utilize grow-out
ropes, which are thicker and more tightly anchored and tensioned (Lindell 2014; Moore & Wieting,
1999; Price et al. 2017).
Lines with spat or mature muscles will be freely hanging (not looping ropes), thereby allowing
wildlife to traverse through the area. These lines will likely be heavy enough and under sufficient
tension to prevent loose lines from becoming entangled and forming loops or knots along the
longline. In addition, it is anticipated that when muscles are harvested, the lines will immediately
be re-seeded with spat. Project design specifications are also proposed to minimize protected
marine mammal and sea turtle entanglement. The longlines that will be used are a thick (1-inchdiameter)
tensioned (to approximately 800 pounds) rope that is not conducive to wrapping
around or entangling protected species. The mussel grow-out ropes themselves are typically
planted with seed 3 inches thick and may grow to be stiff with byssus at diameters of 10 inches
or more at harvest, thus making them very unlikely sources of entanglement. As an additional
precaution, grow-ropes will be attached to the headrope with a low-breaking-strength twine
(4-millimeter (0.16-inch) diameter; <1,000 pounds), which will facilitate rapid detachment in the unlikely event of any marine mammal interaction with the longline (see BMP Wildlife-4). Other potential entanglement points include (1) two vertical lines to the surface buoys marking each end of the headrope and (2) one pull-up buoy line for servicing at the midpoint. To minimize these potential entanglements, a 1,100-pound breakaway link will be installed between these buoys and the vertical lines, similar to strategies used to mitigate potential entanglement in trap fisheries in the northeastern United States (NOAA 2008). Buoy lines between the surface and headrope are generally under tension partially equivalent (0 to 10 kilograms (0 to 22 pounds)) to their full buoyancy (42 kilograms (93 pounds)). Overall, the longline configuration produces a fairly rigid structure under tension, with stout lines and little slack. Other mitigation measures have been incorporated into the project to further minimize the potential for marine mammal entanglement. The project will incorporate a marine wildlife entanglement plan to regularly check equipment for evidence of marine mammal entanglement (BMP Wildlife- 1) and require a qualified marine wildlife observer to be present during construction activities that can halt activities if marine mammals are observed (BMP Wildlife-3). Further details regarding these measures are found in the BMPs provided in Section 4. After the incorporation of these BMPs and given the lack of documented marine mammal entanglement incidents associated with the proposed aquaculture cultivation method, impacts associated with marine mammal entanglement are considered insignificant. Ship Strikes ATTACHMENT 4 185 9250 36 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 Vessel strikes are known to be a hazard to a number of marine species, particularly whales. The project may result in an additional 20 to 40 small boats traveling to lease sites on an average of 3 times per week to daily and would therefore contribute to increased boat traffic in the area during both construction and regular operations. Between 1988 and 2012, there were 100 documented large whale ship strikes along the California coast (NOAA 2017b). Large whale species are vulnerable to collisions with all vessel types, classes and sizes (NOAA 2017b); however, most collisions are associated with large container and freight ships due to their mass and the speed at which they transit the shipping lanes (Silber et al. 2010). When large vessels such as container ships are involved, the crew may be unaware a strike has occurred. As such, the number of ship strikes to whales is likely under reported. Most cases where whales were known to be severely hurt or killed occurred at vessel speeds of 14 knots or more and were caused by large ships of 80 meters or more in length (Laist et al., 2001). However, collisions with smaller boats, such as those that would be used for the aquaculture operations, do have the potential to injure or kill marine wildlife, especially when travelling at high speeds (Ritter 2012). Large container or freight ships will not be used during construction of the mussel farm nor during regular maintenance. To address this concern, the project will require continuous education regarding how to properly interact with marine mammals if encountered during operations (BMP Wildlife-5) and include vessel management requirements if vessels observe marine mammals in close proximity to the vessel (BMP Wildlife-7). After incorporation of these BMPs, impacts associated with ship strikes are considered insignificant. Interference with Migration or Feeding Routes The project will result in increased human activity and the establishment of aquaculture facilities across 2,000 acres. Available habitat within Southern California Bight includes 400 miles of recessed coastline from Point Conception, Santa Barbara County to Cabo Colnet, Mexico, (SCCWRP 2016) and comprises over 6 million acres. Increased human activity and facilities during construction and operation may deter marine wildlife from using previously open and unoccupied areas for feeding or migration in different spatial and temporal ways. As a result, marine wildlife may be forced to seek feeding or open migration routes outside of the project area, thereby causing wildlife to expend time and energy seeking these resources. The project site is within the northward migration route for gray whales but it is largely unknown how many marine species perceive and respond to man-made structures in the ocean (Price et al. 2017). Habitat exclusion can range from low to high risk depending upon the location and density of mussel farms. Existing studies have demonstrated the potential for species to be excluded from foraging habitats. Lloyd (2003) describes how curtains of mussel growing lines may act as barriers and impede hunting behavior in dolphins (dusky, common, and Hector’s dolphins) by interfering with sonar signals for finding prey and communicating with other members of the pod. Dusky dolphins rarely enter mussel farms (Markowtiz et al. 2004). Whales and some dolphins tend to be more ATTACHMENT 4 186 9250 37 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 sensitive, while pinnipeds and both common and bottlenose dolphins seem attracted to the underwater arrays (Clement 2013). Dusky dolphins were observed foraging adjacent to mussel farms pointing to the suggestion that fish may be attracted to the structure (Price et al. 2017). Most studies were conducted in nearshore waters and it is uncertain how, or even if, these results pertain to offshore longline mussel farms in deep open ocean locations. However, this effect would be minimal due to the expansive open ranges that are open for marine wildlife in the greater region, and the project site is not located within critical habitat. Noise Associated with Construction Activities Disturbance to marine wildlife such as construction-related noise could occur from anchor installation and array set up. Noise effects may have a variety of indirect effects on marine wildlife species, including increased stress, weakened immune systems, altered feeding behavior, altered mother-infant relationships, displacement due to startle, degraded communication with conspecifics (e.g., masking), damaged hearing from extremely loud noises, and increased vulnerability to predators (MMC 2007; NMFS 2016c; Thomsen 2009). Another potential effect is abandonment of an area due to human disturbance which has been shown in several species (Lloyd 2003). The NOAA Fisheries criteria distinguishes between impulse sound, such as that from impact pile driving, and continuous sounds, such as that from vibratory pile driving. The Level A (injury) and Level B (disturbance) threshold levels used by NOAA Fisheries are summarized in Table 2 for cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) and pinnipeds (seals and sea lions). NOAA is developing comprehensive guidance on sound characteristics likely to cause injury and behavioral disruption in the context of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), ESA and other statutes. Until formal guidance is available, NOAA Fisheries uses conservative thresholds of received sound pressure levels from broad band sounds that may cause behavioral disturbance and injury, and the criterion levels specified in Table 4 are specific to the levels of harassment permitted under the MMPA (NMFS 2018e). The project will temporarily disturb and alter the seafloor habitat from the placement of screw anchors used to hold the lines, ropes, floats, and buoys. Construction-related noise with the installation of sand screw anchors is very low in the water, with only a 50-horsepower hydraulic power pack on the boat, stipulating that noise will not approach NOAA thresholds. Furthermore, rotation speeds are also very low, which minimizes entanglement of marine species. The anchor installation disturbs less than 1 square meter of sea bed on installation and once installed no rope or chain touches the sea floor which also minimizes seabed disturbance (Fielder Marine Services, New Zealand, Pers.comm). Marine species that are the focus of this assessment are highly mobile and have the ability to temporarily avoid the project site during construction activities. Therefore, noise impacts associated with installation of equipment are considered insignificant. ATTACHMENT 4 187 9250 38 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 Table 4 NOAA Fisheries Acoustic Thresholds Criterion Criterion Definition Threshold In-Water (Excluding Tactical Sonar and Explosives) Level A PTS (injury) conservatively based on TTS 190 dB rms3 for pinnipeds 180 dB rms for cetaceans Level B Behavioral disruption for impulsive noise (e.g. impact pile driving) 160 dB rms Level B Behavioral disruption for non-pulse noise (e.g. vibratory pile driving, drilling) 120 dB rms In-Air Level A PTS (injury) conservatively based on TTS None established Level B Behavioral disruption for harbor seals 90 dB rms Level B Behavioral disruption for non-harbor seal pinnipeds 100 dB rms Marine Debris The project has the potential to create marine debris if aquaculture gear breaks free through poor maintenance or damage from storm or wave activity. Entanglement may occur if aquaculture gear comes loose, washes away, or otherwise escapes into the environment as a result of tide, wind, or wave action. Additional risk may occur if derelict fishing gear, lines, and other materials become entangled in the longline arrays of this project, which could compromise structural integrity and/or exacerbate the risk of marine wildlife entanglements. There is also a risk that marine debris could be ingested by gray whales and sea turtles. To address this concern, BMP Storage and Disposal of Supplies-1 incorporates and aquaculture gear monitoring and escapement plan to routinely check and maintain aquaculture gear to prevent breakage and quickly retrieve any gear that breaks free. Further, BMP Storage and Disposal of Supplies-3 incorporates a decommissioning plan to require timely removal of aquaculture gear once shellfish operations cease on a parcel. Upon incorporation of the proposed BMPs, impacts associated with marine debris are considered insignificant. Invasive Species, Parasites, and Pathogens from Seed Stock Mussel aquaculture practices have the potential to introduce invasive species, parasites, and pathogens into the environment via contaminated seed stock, which could have detrimental effects on the California marine ecosystem. However, this project will use spat from hatcheries certified by CDFW to not contain invasive species, parasites or pathogens of concern or will be collected directly from grow-out lines. Seed stock, other than those obtained from grow lines, must be 3 RMS refers to the sound pressure level that is square root of the sum of the squares of the pressure contained within a defined period from the initial time to the final time. For marine mammals, the RMS pressure historically has been calculated over the period of the pulse that contains 90% of the acoustical energy. ATTACHMENT 4 188 9250 39 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 inspected and certified before planting in compliance with Sections 15201 and 15600 of the Fish and Game Code. Mediterranean mussels are a non-native, but naturalized species. In fact, this mussel is now one of the most abundant mussel species between Marin County and San Diego (Suchanek et al. 1997). Given the widespread nature of this species, the proposed mussel farm would have a negligible effect on the surrounding environment. Furthermore, benthic characteristics of the project site demonstrate a lack of available suitable substrate for any further establishment of mussels beyond the project site, as the closest substrate where mussels could establish beyond the project site is several miles away. Disturbance or Displacement of Benthic Habitat Effects on sediment quality underneath shellfish aquaculture gear could be impacted from biodeposits and changes to the benthic invertebrate species composition. The project has the potential to disturb or alter the seafloor habitat by the deposition of biological materials resulting from dislodged or discharged shells, shell fragments, and deposits from the growing operation accumulating on the seafloor beneath the aquaculture structures. Such material typically includes feces and pseudofeces from the cultivated shellfish, as well as fouling organisms such as algae, barnacles, sponges, and other invertebrates that accumulate on the project equipment and subsequently become dislodged by natural processes, or due to harvesting or cleaning operations. Cultivated shellfish or shells from can also be dislodged from the structure during growth, storm events, predation by marine wildlife, and cleaning and harvesting activities. The accumulation of material including shell fragments, intact shells, fouling organisms, and feces can alter the physical and chemical characteristics of the bottom substrate, and can affect the benthic community and sediment-dwelling organisms that may be sensitive to conditions such as substrate composition and chemistry. Accumulation of material could also attract organisms that would change the composition of the benthic community. Other potential benthic impacts can include increased loads on sediment dissolved oxygen and redox conditions, and changes to nutrient cycling resulting in a decrease in benthic species abundance and sediment porosity (Pearson and Rosenberg 1978; Wilding and Nickell 2013; Wilding 2012). The effect on benthic nitrogen cycling is determined by biogeochemical and physical variables, such as water depth, current velocities, and bottom type and composition (CFGC 2018). Shellfish are able to alter the biogeochemical process in the water column by stimulating nitrification (Souchu et al. 2001). Mussel farms that are located in areas with greater water depths and current speeds spread bio-deposits over a larger area without posing the risk of enhanced sediment nutrient release (Stadmark & Conley 2011). A local mussel farm, the Santa Barbara Mariculture Company, with thirteen years in operation, conducted benthic analysis testing. This sediment analysis testing examined grain size, and levels of benthic epifaunal and infaunal biodiversity both within the farm and outside of the farm, and found no significant benthic impact (CFGC 2018). Given the conditions at the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise project site, with the significant depth, wave action and mixing, this potential impact is ATTACHMENT 4 189 9250 40 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 unlikely to be significant and bioaccumulation is expected to be dispersed over a larger area. To confirm this conclusion, SMP Sediment Quality-1 has been incorporated, which requires monitoring of sediment quality and composition to evaluate any benthic impacts associated with the project. Installation of the anchors proposed with the project also has the potential to displace benthic invertebrates. However, the adverse impacts to epifauna and infauna would be minimal. Each anchor would only have a footprint of less than one square meter. The total habitat area that would be disturbed by the proposed project would be small and regionally insignificant when compared to the overall amount of habitat available in the area. Further, many benthic invertebrates are mobile and would quickly recolonize the area after installation of the anchors. Therefore, impacts associated with benthic disturbance are considered insignificant. Fouling Organisms and Nonnative Species The project’s submerged structures can provide hard substrate habitat for invasive “fouling organisms.” Fouling organisms, such as invasive algae, sea squirts, and mussels, can pose economic and ecological risks to the marine environment. For example, the invasive carpet sea squirt (Didemnum vexillum) reproduces rapidly and fouls marine habitats (including shellfish aquaculture operations and fishing grounds), ship’s hulls, and maritime structures. Like other fouling organisms, they are found on hard substrates that include floats, moorings and ropes, steel chain and ship hulls. They overgrow other marine organisms such as tunicates, sponges, macro algae, hydroids, anemones, bryozoans, scallops, mussels, and oysters. Where these colonies occur on the seabed, they likely cover the siphons of infaunal bivalves and serve as a barrier between demersal fish (or benthic feeding grey whales) and their prey. However, the invasive carpet sea squirt is not present in the Channel Islands area. The nearest known occurrences are in Monterey Bay and Mission Bay in San Diego (Woods Hole Science Center 2007). Further, there is a lack of available substrate within or near the project site suitable for colonization by fouling organisms, as these invasive species cannot attach themselves to the sandy bottom substrate at the project site. Essential Fish Habitat Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) is regulated under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. (MSFCMA) protecting waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity. An EFH Assessment (Attachment 3) has been prepared to assess the effects of the proposed project actions on managed fisheries in accordance with legal requirements set forth in the MSFCMA . Implementation of the project could result in temporary impacts associated with construction activities and impacts from project operations associated with entanglement, changes in sediment composition, and potential oil spills. However, implementation of the Project’s proposed mitigation measures are expected to ATTACHMENT 4 190 9250 41 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 fully compensate for project impacts and reduce potential impacts on EFH species to negligible levels. The Project as proposed may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect EFH and will not reduce the overall value of the EFH of managed groundfish, coastal pelagic, or highly migratory species. Through project design features and the use of BMPs including the ones discussed above, the proposed project is consistent with Section 30230 of the Coastal Act. 3. Article 3, Section 30231: Biological Productivity and Water Quality Policy: The biological productivity and the quality of coastal waters, streams, wetlands, estuaries, and lakes appropriate to maintain optimum populations of marine organisms and for the protection of human health shall be maintained and, where feasible, restored through, among other means, minimizing adverse effects of waste water discharges and entrainment, controlling runoff, preventing depletion of ground water supplies and substantial interference with surface water flow, encouraging waste water reclamation, maintaining natural vegetation buffer areas that protect riparian habitats, and minimizing alteration of natural streams. Consistency Analysis: Mussels feed primarily on phytoplankton filtered from the water column. Each individual is capable of filtering over 20-gallons of seawater per day (Okumus et al 2002). Hence, in some circumstances, large concentrations of mussels found in mussel farms can remove a significant proportion of available phytoplankton from the water column in an area, causing localized phytoplankton depletion (Okumus et al 2002). Other studies suggest that nutrient regeneration in the water column within mussel farms is high, as phytoplankton consumed by the mussels results in released nutrients supporting new phytoplankton production (CFGC 2018). The project has adopted the methodology utilized by CDFW to evaluate carrying capacity impacts associated with Santa Barbara Mariculture Company’s mussel aquaculture farm, whereby the standing stock of phytoplankton biomass outside the facility is determined and compared with the filtration/consumption rate of mussels within the farm. The results of the Santa Barbara Mariculture Company study indicated that total production of the fully built-out farm would not have an adverse impact on phytoplankton in the Santa Barbara Channel (CFGC 2018). Similarly, calculations for the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise mussel farm indicate that no adverse impact on phytoplankton in the Santa Barbara Channel would occur. These calculations are provided in Appendix C to the Biological Assessment. Further, any impact is likely to be localized to the project area and not affect marine resources within the coastal zone. Because mussels are filter feeders, it is anticipated that the project will provide a minor positive impact on water quality, as ATTACHMENT 4 191 9250 42 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 mussels can remove pollutants and any excess nutrients from the water column. The project is therefore consistent with Section 30231 of the Coastal Act. 4. Article 3, Section 30232: Oil and Hazardous Substance Spills Policy: Protection against the spillage of crude oil, gas, petroleum products, or hazardous substances shall be provided in relation to any development or transportation of such materials. Effective containment and cleanup facilities and procedures shall be provided for accidental spills that do occur. Consistency Analysis: Construction and harvesting operations (and the use of any heavy equipment) could result in waterquality effects due to chemical-compound pollution (fuel, oil, lubricants, inadvertent spills, and other materials) in the event of an oil spill. As with any mechanized machinery, there is a small risk of accidental discharge of fuel, lubricants, or hydraulic fluids, which could affect marine wildlife in the area and result in injury and/or mortality to wildlife in the area of the contaminant through ingestion, physical contact that reduces survival functions (e.g., oiled wildlife), or a reduction in suitable feeding habitat. Although spills of this nature are detrimental to aquatic organisms, it is expected that the impacts would be negligible because of the limited occurrence of spills and corrective actions. BMP Storage and Disposal-1 has been incorporated to further address this concern through adopting a spill prevention and response plan. Upon incorporation of this BMP, the project is consistent with Section 30232 of the Coastal Act. 5. Article 3, Section 30233: Diking, Filing, or Dredging Impacts Policy: (a) The diking, filling, or dredging of open coastal waters, wetlands, estuaries, and lakes shall be permitted in accordance with other applicable provisions of this division, where there is no feasible less environmentally damaging alternative, and where feasible mitigation measures have been provided to minimize adverse environmental effects, and shall be limited to the following: (l) New or expanded port, energy, and coastal-dependent industrial facilities, including commercial fishing facilities. (2) Maintaining existing, or restoring previously dredged, depths in existing navigational channels, turning basins, vessel berthing and mooring areas, and boat launching ramps. ATTACHMENT 4 192 9250 43 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 (3) In open coastal waters, other than wetlands, including streams, estuaries, and lakes, new or expanded boating facilities and the placement of structural pilings for public recreational piers that provide public access and recreational opportunities. (4) Incidental public service purposes, including but not limited to, burying cables and pipes or inspection of piers and maintenance of existing intake and outfall lines. (5) Mineral extraction, including sand for restoring beaches, except in environmentally sensitive areas. (6) Restoration purposes. (7) Nature study, aquaculture, or similar resource dependent activities. (b) Dredging and spoils disposal shall be planned and carried out to avoid significant disruption to marine and wildlife habitats and water circulation. Dredge spoils suitable for beach replenishment should be transported for these purposes to appropriate beaches or into suitable longshore current systems. (c) In addition to the other provisions of this section, diking, filling, or dredging in existing estuaries and wetlands shall maintain or enhance the functional capacity of the wetland or estuary. Any alteration of coastal wetlands identified by the Department of Fish and Game, including, but not limited to, the 19 coastal wetlands identified in its report entitled, “Acquisition Priorities for the Coastal Wetlands of California”, shall be limited to very minor incidental public facilities, restorative measures, nature study, commercial fishing facilities in Bodega Bay, and development in already developed parts of south San Diego Bay, if otherwise in accordance with this division. For the purposes of this section, “commercial fishing facilities in Bodega Bay” means that not less than 80 percent of all boating facilities proposed to be developed or improved, where such improvement would create additional berths in Bodega Bay, shall be designed and used for commercial fishing activities. (d) Erosion control and flood control facilities constructed on watercourses can impede the movement of sediment and nutrients that would otherwise be carried by storm runoff into coastal waters. To facilitate the continued delivery of these sediments to the littoral zone, whenever feasible, the material removed from these facilities may be placed at appropriate points on the shoreline in accordance with other applicable provisions of this division, where feasible mitigation measures have been provided to minimize adverse environmental effects. Aspects that shall be considered before issuing a coastal development permit for these purposes are the method of placement, time of year of placement, and sensitivity of the placement area. Consistency Analysis: ATTACHMENT 4 193 9250 44 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 The project proposed placing the installation of 48 sand screw anchors per each 100 acre plot, for a total of 960 sand screw anchors upon full project build out. The anchors are considered “fill” under the Coastal Act; however, all fill will be installed outside of the coastal zone. Each anchor would occupy approximately one square meter of area; therefore, upon project buildout, the anchors would occupy approximately 10,300 square feet of area. One of the seven allowable uses of fill under section 30233(a) of the Coastal Act is aquaculture. Because the proposed anchoring devices would support a shellfish aquaculture facility, this placement of fill is consistent with the Coastal Act. No known project alternatives would meet the objective of the proposed project – to install and operate an open ocean shellfish aquaculture facility- without the placement of at least some fill material in open coastal waters. The anchors are necessary to ensure that the project structures are stable and durable and not susceptible to displacement during wave and storm activity. The anchoring devices are a minimal amount of fill and, as described above, will have little to no impact on the ocean floor. Mitigation measures, such as BMP Storage and Disposal of Supplies-1, have also been taken to minimize the adverse environmental effects associated with the placement of fill. As such, the proposed project is consistent with Coastal Act Section 30233(a). 6. Article 3, Section 30234 and Section 30234.5: Commercial Fishing and Recreational Boating Facilities Policies: Section 30234 Commercial fishing and recreational boating facilities. Facilities serving the commercial fishing and recreational boating industries shall be protected and, where feasible, upgraded. Existing commercial fishing and recreational boating harbor space shall not be reduced unless the demand for those facilities no longer exists or adequate substitute space has been provided. Proposed recreational boating facilities shall, where feasible, be designed and located in such a fashion as not to interfere with the needs of the commercial fishing industry. Section 30234.5 Economic, commercial, and recreational importance of fishing. The economic, commercial, and recreational importance of fishing activities shall be recognized and protected. Consistency Analysis: As described above in Sections 4 and 5, the VPD engaged in significant outreach to the commercial fishing industry for more than a year to determine potential impacts to commercial and recreational fishing interests and attempt to avoid or minimize such impacts. These efforts included three site selection workshops where notice of the workshops was mailed out to a list of over 500 commercial fishing vessel owners between Goleta and Port Hueneme identified by CDFW and NOAA; use of a spatial planning tool developed by the University of California, Santa Barbara, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management to identify and evaluate potential use conflicts; and a site ATTACHMENT 4 194 9250 45 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 selection analysis prepared by NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS) to evaluate potential use conflicts and identify the project area that minimizes such conflicts to the greatest extent possible. The location recommended by NOAA that would reduce these conflicts, including conflicts with commercial fisheries, to the greatest extent possible was adopted by the VPD as the proposed site location. Through the initial stakeholder outreach process, the VPD received feedback from local halibut trawlers that the initial site location proposed in State waters was located in one of two areas statewide designated by CDFW as halibut trawl grounds and there were significant concerns voiced by the trawlers that the project would significantly impact their ability to fish in the area. This was one of the primary reasons that VPD decided to relocate the proposed project site to federal waters beyond the coastal zone. Therefore, the project is not anticipated to directly impact fishing opportunities within the coastal zone. The project is also likely to have a negligible impact on commercial fishing in federal waters. Based upon the workshops and public outreach conducted in 2017, the commercial halibut fishery was identified as the primary commercial fishery potentially affected by the project. To determine the potential impact, the VPD and NOAA reviewed actual CDFW trawl data from 2010 through 2016, which provided the location (i.e. latitude and longitude) of where each trawl started and stopped. The total trawl length within the Santa Barbara Channel during that time period was 40,480 nautical miles. The total trawl length within the area of interest evaluated by NOS was 1,508 nautical miles. The total trawl length within the proposed project area was 145 nautical miles. Therefore, based upon CDFW trawl data, the project will require the existing commercial trawling fishery to relocate approximately 0.4% of their total trawls within the Santa Barbara Channel. The analysis conducted by NOS confirms that, while the proposed site location does overlap with some known halibut trawl fishery activity, it avoids the known area of highest trawl fishing activity, which is located in a portion of the Santa Barbara Channel northwest of the project site. It is speculative as to whether trawl relocation will have a negative or positive impact on the overall catch for the halibut fishery but, given the small amount of existing usage, the impact is considered to be likely negligible. For the squid fishery, the proposed site avoids the areas of significant fishing intensity and landings, which occur significantly south of the project site. Regarding recreational fishing, the longlines would be spaced 150 feet apart, which would allow recreational fishing vessels to navigate between the lines and fish within the project area if so desired. In fact, it has been noted that both commercial and recreational fishing activities utilize a ATTACHMENT 4 195 9250 46 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 similar mussel longline aquaculture operation managed by Santa Barbara Mariculture. Given that the longlines will be submerged in 15-45 feet of water, all but the largest recreational and commercial fishing boats will be able navigate over the longlines. To reduce the potential for accidental loss or entanglement of fishing gear with aquaculture gear, BMP Storage and Disposal of Supplies-2 has been incorporated to ensure that the project site is well maintained and that any aquaculture gear that becomes dislodged is quickly recovered. While the facility may redirect some small amount of commercial and recreational fishing interests, the proposed offshore location and size, when compared to the abundance of open water in the project area, would limit any adverse impacts on commercial and recreational fishing. Additionally, as mentioned in the project purposes stated in Section 4, a critical purpose of the project is to expand commercial fishing landings so that the VPD can ensure continued dredging of the harbor by the USACE. Dredging of the federal harbor entrance is critical to maintaining commercial fishing in the area. Further, the VPD plans to utilize some of the revenue it obtains from the project to finance future capital improvements, including many that would be of assistance to the existing commercial fishing fleet, including potentially replacing an older fisheries building, reconstruction of a fish pier, and/or adding fish offloading cranes. As such, the proposed project is consistent with Sections 30234 and 30234.5 of the California Coastal Act. ATTACHMENT 4 196 9250 47 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 7. FIGURES AND ATTACHMENTS Figure 1- Project Location Figure 2- Detailed Plan for Shellfish Longlines Figure 3- CASS Report Alternative 1 Figure 4- CASS Report Alternative 2 Figure 5- CASS Report Alternative 1 Overlaid with SeaSketch Alternative 8 Figure 6- Simulated View of Parcel Array at the Surface: 100-Acre Plot Figure 7- Simulated View of Parcel Array at the Surface Figure 8- Simulated View of the Parcel Array Underwater Figure 9- Simulated View of Parcel Array Underwater with Anchor Line Figure 10- Parcel Array Overview Figure 11- Parcel Array Overview Backbone Details Attachment 1- Application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Attachment 2- Biological Assessment Attachment 3- Essential Fish Habitat Attachment 4- NOAA CASS Study 8. REFERENCES Dudek. 2017a. Draft Initial Study Checklist for the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project. Prepared by Dudek. Prepared for Ventura Port District. September Dudek. 2017b. Draft Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Environmental Impact Report. Prepared by Dudek. Prepared for Ventura Port District. May. Dudek. 2017c. Ventura Shellfish Enterprise: Strategic Permitting Initiative to Substantially Increase Shellfish farming in Southern California. 2017 NOAA Sea Grant Aquaculture Extension and Technology Transfer. Task 1 Deliverable: Strategic Permitting Plan. Prepared by Dudek. May 26. ATTACHMENT 4 197 9250 48 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 Dudek. 2018a. In Preparation. Biological Assessment Report for the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise. Prepared by Dudek. Prepared for Ventura Port District. Dudek. 2018b. In Preparation. Essential Fish Habitat Assessment Report for the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise. Prepared by Dudek. Prepared for Ventura Port District Gentry R.R., H.E. Froehlich, D. Grimm, P. Kareiva, M. Parke, M. Rust, S.D. Gaines, and B.S. Halpern. 2017. “Mapping the Global Potential for Marine Aquaculture.” Nature Ecology & Evolution. 1:1317-1324. https://doni.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0257-9 NOAA. 2011. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Aquaculture Policy. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/noaa-aquaculture-policies NOAA. 2013. National Shellfish Initiative. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/content/nationalshellfish- initiative NOAA. 2018. “Coastal Aquaculture Siting and Sustainability Technical Report, Ventura Shellfish Enterprise: Aquaculture Siting Analysis Results.” Prepared by Coastal Aquaculture Siting and Sustainability Program, within the Marine Spatial Ecology Division of the National Centers for Coastal and Ocean Science, National Ocean Service, NOAA. September 19. ATTACHMENT 4 198 Ventura Harbor Carpinteria Oxnard Ventura Ojai 101 101 33 224 232 1 150 126 1 192 33 150 34.254869, -119.399051 34.240018, -119.373207 34.232724, -119.41749 34.217877, -119.391651 Project Location Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project SOURCE: NAIP 2016 Date: 8/30/2018 – Last saved by: kzecher – Path: Z:\Projects\j925000\MAPDOC\Permit Application\Figure 1_Project Location.mxd Project Sites (20 100-Acre Sites) Three Nautical Mile Line FIGURE 1 V E N T U R A COU N T Y Huntington Beach Santa Ana Anaheim Brea Long Beach Compton Santa Fe Springs Whittier Culver City Malibu Industry El Monte Covina Calabasas Arcadia Pasadena Glendale San Fernando Santa Clarita Palmdale Lancaster Palos Verdes Estates Burbank Hermosa Beach Avalon Newport Beach Carpinteria Goleta Santa Barbara Port Hueneme Oxnard Ventura Moorpark Fillmore Ojai Solvang Buellton Simi Valley Los Angeles S a n t a K e r n C o u n t y B a r b a r a C o u n t y L o s A n g e l e s C o u n t y Project Site 0 6,250 12,500 Feet ATTACHMENT 4 199 16” surface corner buoy (or larger pencil buoy) GENERAL OBSERVATIONS: • Anchor lines should have 2.5:1 slope from anchor to submerged corner bouy • Submerged buoyancy keeps lines tight despite surface waves and storms Center pickup line and 16” buoy (or larger) 15 L buoys (n=100) GRAPHIC NOT TO SCALE ~475 ft of 32 cm polysteel cable run between anchors 1,075 ft 4 m screw anchors spaced 50 ft apart >33 ft
depth
10-16 ft
Mussel growing socks
suspended every 1 m
Anchor line to
next longline
Two 24” submergedcorner buoys
or equivalentwith >200 L buoyancy
SEA FLOOR (Sand Bottom)
15-45 ft
depth
General Plan for Submerged Longlines
FIGURE 2
Detailed Plan for Shellfish Longlines
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
S:ECRUO
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Figure 1. Corner points associated with Alternative #1 for the proposed VSE project. Note that the labelled points correspond with the latitud
nd longitude coordinates described in Table 1. Proposed Project (CASS Report Alternative 1)
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
FIGURE 3 SOURCE: NOAA 2018
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Appendix 3. Corner points associated with Alternative #2 for the proposed VSE project. Note that the labelled points correspond with the
latitude and longitude coordinates described in Appendix 4. Proposed Alternative (CASS Report Alternative 2)
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
FIGURE 4 SOURCE: NOAA 2018
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Ventura
Harbor
Oxnard
Ventura
101
33
1
CASS Report Alternative 1 Overlaid with SeaSketch Alternative 8
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
SOURCE: NAIP 2016
Date: 8/30/2018 – Last saved by: kzecher – Path: Z:\Projects\j925000\MAPDOC\Permit Application\Figure 5_CASS Report Alternative 1 Overlaid with SeaSketch Alternative 8.mxd
Project Site Alternatives
(20 100-Acre Sites)
CASS Report Alternative 1
SeaSketch Alternative 8
Three Nautical Mile Line
FIGURE 5
0 3,600 7,200
Feet
ATTACHMENT 4 203
FIGURE
Simulated View of Parcel Array at the Surface: 100 Acre Plot
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
SOURCE:
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Simulated View of Parcel Array at the Surface
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
Date: 1/11/2018 – Last asaved by jsteffey Path: Z:\Projects\j925000\MAPDOC\Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project\Figure2_ParcelArrayOverview.ai
Surface Corner Buoy
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Simulated View of Parcel Array Underwater
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Date: 1/11/2018 – Last asaved by jsteffey Path: Z:\Projects\j925000\MAPDOC\Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project\Figure2_ParcelArrayOverview.ai
Surface Corner Buoy
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FIGURE
Simulated View of Parcel Array Underwater with Anchor Line
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
SOURCE:
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125′ SETBACK
1900′
50′ SETBACK
2300′
125′ SETBACK
150′ SPACING BETWEENROWS
50′ SETBACK
100′ WATER DEPTH
1
1
PARCEL ARRAY
SCALE: 1:10000
BEND
A A
B B
4
4
3
3
UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED:
TWO PLACE DECIMAL
THREE PLACE DECIMAL
OVERVIEW
DO NOT SCALE DRAWING
Parcel_v2
SHEET 1 OF 2
8/28/18
2
DRAWN OK
DB
ENG APPR.
CHECKED
MFG APPR.
PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL
2
DWG. NO. REV BSIZE
TITLE:
NAME DATE VENTRURA SHELLFISH COMPANY
COMMENTS:
Q.A.
DIMENSIONS ARE IN FEET
TOLERANCES: +-0.5FT
FRACTIONAL
ANGULAR: MACH
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS
DRAWING IS THE SOLE PROPERTY OF
VENTURA SHELLFISH COMPANY. ANY
REPRODUCTION IN PART OR AS A WHOLE
WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS
PROHIBITED.
0 250 500
Feet
Parcel Array Overview
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
FIGURE 10 SOURCE: VSE 2018
DATE OF PREPARATION: 9/19/18
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LOOPING DROP LINES
WITH SUBMERGED BUOYANCY FLOATS
575′
PARCEL EDGE
2300′
50′
TO
SETBACK
50′ 50′
SETBACK
TO
PARCEL EDGE
250′
100
2.5:1 SCOPE
250′
20
TITLE:
BACKBONE DETAILS
Parcel_v2
SHEET 2 OF 2
UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED:
DWG. NO. REV
B
SIZE
DIMENSIONS ARE IN FEET
HELICAL SCREW ANCHORS
PENCIL BUOYS W
RADAR REFLECTOS
CORNER BUOYS LIGHTED
Backbone Details
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
FIGURE 11 SOURCE: VSE 2018
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BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT
FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH
ENTERPRISE PROJECT
PREPARED FOR:
VENTURA PORT DISTRICT
1603 Anchors Way
Ventura, California 93001
Contact: Brian Pendleton
PREPARED BY:
DUDEK
621 Chapala Street
Santa Barbara, California 93101
Contact: John H. Davis IV, Senior Coastal Ecologist
jdavis@dudek.com
(805) 252-7996
SEPTEMBER 2018
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PRINTED ON 30% POST-CONSUMER RECYCLED MATERIAL.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
SECTION PAGE
1.0 INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 1
2.0 DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT ACTION …………………………………………………………………… 3
2.1 Project Location ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3
2.2 Project Actions ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
2.2.1 Project Construction …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
2.2.2 Project Operation …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5
2.2.3 Project Decomissioning ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7
2.3 Project Action Area ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7
3.0 REGULATORY SETTING …………………………………………………………………………………. 27
3.1 Federal Endangered Species Act (1973) …………………………………………………………………………………………… 27
3.2 Marine Mammal Protection Act (1972) ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 27
3.3 MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Magnuson-Stevens Act) ……………… 28
4.0 FEDERALLY PROTECTED SPECIES AND CRITICAL HABITAT …………………………………… 29
4.1 Federally Protected Species………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 29
4.2 Status of the Species and their Habitat in the Action Area ………………………………………………………………. 29
4.2.1 Federally-Listed Species ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 30
4.2.2 Other Non-Listed Species Protected Under the MMPA …………………………………………………….. 34
4.3 Critical Habitat …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 37
5.0 EFFECTS OF THE ACTION ………………………………………………………………………………. 38
5.1 Effects of the Project Actions ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 38
5.1.1 Federally-Listed Species ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 45
5.1.2 Other Non-Listed Species Protected Under the MMPA …………………………………………………….. 48
5.2 Mitigation Measures …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 51
5.3 Cumulative Effects …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 56
5.4 Compensatory Mitigation …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 56
6.0 CONCLUSIONS …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 58
7.0 REFERENCES ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 60
APPENDIX A ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
APPENDIX B ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2
APPENDIX C …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3
APPENDICES
A Essential Fish Habitat Assessment
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B Federally Protected Species Potential to Occur
C Phytoplankton Population Impact Analysis
FIGURES
1 Project Location ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 9
2 Detailed Plan for Shellfish Longlines …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 11
3A Parcel Array Overview …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13
3B Backbone Details …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 15
4 Simulated View of Parcel Array at the Surface: 100 Acre Plot ………………………………………………………………………. 17
5 Simulated View of Parcel Array at the Surface ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 19
6 Simulated View of Parcel Array Underwater …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 21
7 Simulated View of Parcel Array Underwater with Anchor Line ……………………………………………………………………. 23
8 Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Action Area ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 25
TABLES
1 NOAA Fisheries Acoustic Thresholds ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 42
2 Summary of Effects Determinations …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 58
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1.0 INTRODUCTION
This Biological Assessment (BA) has been prepared for the Ventura Port District (VPD, project applicant) to evaluate
the effects of the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise (VSE) Project (project) on federally protected species along with
federally designated critical habitat. The project, supported in part through the NOAA 2015 Sea Grant Aquaculture
Extension and Technology Transfer to California Sea Grant (NOAA Sea Grant Program), will establish a commercial
offshore bivalve aquaculture operation. VPD is applying for a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) authorization
under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. The Corps will act as the federal lead agency on the project. The BA
will determine whether any federally protected species or habitats are likely to be adversely affected by the project.
Pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR § 402.01 et
seq.), this BA has been prepared to support consultation between the Corps, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
(USFWS), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Marine Fisheries Service
(NMFS). Section 7 of the ESA insures that through consultation federal actions are not likely to jeopardize the
continued existence of any federally protected species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical
habitat. This BA is also intended to support of the National Environmental Quality Act (NEPA) planning process as
well as the resource agency permitting of the project. An Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) assessment has also been
prepared, which analyzes how the project would affect EFH for species regulated under a Fisheries Management Plan,
pursuant to the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, which requires
consultation with NMFS on all actions or proposed actions that may adversely affect EFH (Appendix A).
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2.0 DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT ACTION
The project will establish a commercial offshore bivalve aquaculture operation based from the Ventura Harbor in
Ventura, California, focused on the cultivation of Mediterranean mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis).
2.1 Project Location
The project will consist of twenty 100-acre plots (total of 2,000 acres) located in open federal waters of the Santa
Barbara Channel (Channel) in the Southern California Bight (SCB), northwest of Ventura Harbor (Figure 1), with
approximate depths ranging from 78 to 114 feet below sea level (13 – 19 fathoms) and an average depth of 98 feet.
The plots are 3.53 miles from the shore. Each of the 20 plots are 2,299.5 feet by 1,899.5 feet, for an average plot size
of 100.27 acres. Each plot will contain up to 24 lines (12 end-to-end pairs), with each line consisting of 575 feet of
backbone length and 250 feet of horizontal scope on each end. There will be a 50 foot setback on each end of the
pairs (for a total of 100 feet of spacing between lines of adjacent parcels) and 50 foot spacing between the two center
pins. Parallel lines will be spaced 150 feet apart, with a 125 foot setback at each of the long sides (for a total of 250
feet of spacing between lines of adjacent parcels). The closest distance to the 3-mile nautical line is 2,900 feet from the
plots, with an average closest distance of over 3,000 feet. The closest distance to the City of Ventura limit is 4.5 miles.
Ventura harbor is 4.1 miles from the closest plot (8 miles in distance to the most distant plot). The lease sites are
located on sandy bottom habitat outside of any rocky reef habitat, as evaluated in Gentry et al. 2017 and illustrated by
NOAA United States West Coast nautical charts (NOAA 2017a).
The project site is characterized by a gradually sloping sandy/soft bottom. The SCB is located along the curved coastline of
Southern California from Point Conception south to Cape Colnett in Baja California and includes the Channel Islands and
the Pacific Ocean. The habitats and biological communities of the SCB are influenced by dynamic relationships among
climate, ecology, and oceanography (e.g., currents) (Leet et al. 2001). The SCB provides essential nutrients and marine
habitats for a range of species and organisms. Submarine canyons, ridges, basins, and seamounts provide unique deep water
habitats within the region. The basins provide habitats for a significant number of mid-water and benthic deep-sea fish near
the Channel Islands, whereas nearshore areas provide habitats for kelp and seagrass communities. Nearshore geology
includes a variety of bottom types, including soft sediments and rocky bottoms. Hard-substrates environments, such as the
rocky intertidal, shallow subtidal reefs, and deep rocky reefs, are a key component of the high productivity found near the
project area. Due to linkages among ecosystems, the impacts of ecosystem dynamics contained within the project area
extend to interactions with species in the greater Eastern Pacific Ocean. The Santa Barbara Channel is located within the
SCB and extends from Point Conception to Point Mugu.
The waters of the Santa Barbara Channel form one of the most biologically productive ecosystems found on Earth. Unlike
most of coastal California, which faces due west and the open ocean, the coastal waters of the Santa Barbara Channel are on
a south-facing coast and situated between two land masses, the South Coast and the Northern Channel Islands. The project
site is 9.1 miles from the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, a Federal Marine Protected Area, and 13.5 miles from
the Channel Islands National Park boundary. The western section of the Santa Barbara Channel is a meeting place of the
cool Northern California Current and warm Southern California Countercurrent. This type of ecosystem is called a
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“transition zone.” Transition zones are known to promote large concentrations of both biomass and species diversity, as
they are the confluence between two or more ecologically distinct systems. In addition, upwelling provides unusually high
concentrations of nutrients, especially macrozooplankton, which are one of the primary driving forces behind the Santa
Barbara Channel’s biological productivity and diversity. Wind patterns around Point Conception and in the Santa Barbara
Channel create frequent seasonal upwelling, which force deep nutrient-laden ocean waters to rise up the water column into
the biologically rich euphotic zone (Santa Barbara Channelkeeper 2017). Data from last year, for the closest oceanographic
buoy to the project site (Station 46217 Anacapa Passage), shows the following average wave action conditions for the
project area: an average wave height of 1.04 feet, with a dominant wave period of 10.1 seconds, and an average wave period
of 6.49 seconds, with surface currents generally moving in a SW (249 degrees) direction and an average temperature of 16
°C (National Data Buoy Center 2017). The Ventura area is known to be an area of high swell height, particularly in the
winter (Guza and O’Reilly 2001). Wave action is focused by the large fan of sediment deposited on the shelf from the
Ventura and Santa Clara rivers. When deep water swell comes in from a WSW direction, these bathymetric features can
focus the wave energy northward into the Ventura area. Wave action is slightly less in the summer months when the
Channel Islands block southward swells (Guza and O’Reilly 2001).
2.2 Project Actions
2.2.1 PROJECT CONSTRUCTION
The proposed plots will be used for growing Mediterranean mussels via submerged longlines (Figures 2 and 3).
Installation of anchors, longlines, and other facilities will be performed by permitted shellfish companies, in compliance
with all permit requirements. Submerged longlines consist of a horizontal structural header line, or “backbone,” that is
attached to the seafloor by sand screw anchors at each end and is marked and supported by a series of buoys along the
central horizontal section. Sand screw anchors have been shown to exhibit superior holding power as compared to other
anchoring systems and are removable. Sand screw anchors will be installed by a hydraulic drill with a drill head that operates
from a rig lowered to the ocean floor. The sand screw anchors would be screwed into the sandy bottom ocean floor
approximately 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 meters) deep. Each 100-acre plot will contain up to 48 anchors for a total of 960 anchors
at full project build out.
Buoys marking the corners of each parcel will identify the cultivation area for navigational safety and will comply with
all regulations for height, illumination, and visibility, including radar reflection. As shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3,
surface buoys for each longline would consist of two 16 inch surface corner buoys (one corner buoy supporting and
marking either end of the backbone), as well as one 16 inch buoy supporting and marking the center pickup line, for a
total of three surface buoys per longline. Simulated views of parcel arrays at the surface and underwater are provided
in Figures 4 through 7. All surface buoys would be uniquely colored for each operator and marked with the
grower/producer name and phone number. Buoys attached to the central horizontal portion of the backbone line
support the line, provide a means of lifting the backbone line to access the cultivation ropes, and determine the depth
of the submerged backbone, which will vary seasonally from 15 to 45 feet below the surface. Additionally, a
combination of surface and submerged buoys attached to the backbone line will be used during the mussel production
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cycle to maintain tension on the structural backbone line as the weight of the mussel crop increases. These will consist
of 24-inch (or equivalent, with greater than 200 L buoyancy) buoys attached at required intervals along the surface and
connecting to the backbone line, in combination with smaller submerged buoys affixed directly to the backbone line.
The combination of surface and submerged buoyancy is designed to create a tensioned but flexible structure that is
capable of responding dynamically to surface waves and storms.
The longlines that will be utilized are thick (1-inch diameter), tensioned (to approximately 800 pounds) rope that is
not conducive to wrapping around or entangling protected species. The longline configuration produces a fairly rigid
tensioned structure from which the cultivation ropes, or “fuzzy ropes” are attached. Fuzzy ropes are characterized by
extra filaments that provide settlement substrate for mussels to attach. Fuzzy ropes may be attached to and suspended
from the backbone rope either as individual lengths or as a continuous looping single length that drapes up and down
over the backbone. The length of each section or loop of fuzzy rope would be approximately 20 feet but would
depend on the lifting capacity of the servicing vessel. The length of the central horizontal section of backbone line
would be 575 feet, which would support approximately 8,000 feet of fuzzy cultivation line.
The shape of each of the 100-acre cultivation parcels would be a function of the geometry of the submerged
backbone line and anchoring. Each horizontal section of the longline will be approximately 575 feet and will require
an anchor scope of approximately 2.5 times depth. Therefore, in 100 feet of water depth, scope from the horizontal
section of backbone to the helical screw anchor will require 250 feet on each end of the line, making a total length of
1,075 feet from anchor screw to anchor screw. A 100-acre parcel with rectangular dimensions of 1,899.5 feet by
2,299.5 feet will therefore accommodate up to 24 individual longlines. The submerged longline growing gear
configuration would be specifically engineered for open ocean conditions with respect to size and strength of all lines,
anchoring, hardware, and buoyancy.
Construction in each individual growing plot will take place only after VPD approval of a sub-permits with the
individual grower/producer. While project development is dependent on market demand, VPD estimates that full
build out would occur within three to five years after project approval.
2.2.2 PROJECT OPERATION
The mussels will be grown and harvested by permitted growers/producers and landed at Ventura Harbor. Initial
plantings of juvenile seed mussels, commonly referred to as spat, will be purchased from onshore hatcheries certified
by the CDFW. At the hatcheries, mussels adhere directly to special textured ropes that promote mussel attachment
and growth. When the seed are firmly settled to ropes, the ropes are covered with cotton socking material to protect
them from shaking off the ropes during transport to the offshore growing site and deployment. The socks hold the
spat next to the rope until the mussels naturally attach with their byssal threads, after which the cotton material
naturally degrades. These ropes are then attached to the longlines and buoys, as described above.
The mussel grow-out ropes themselves are typically planted with seed 3-inches thick and may grow to be stiff with
byssus at diameters of 10-inches or more at harvest, thus making them very unlikely sources of entanglement. As an
additional precaution, grow ropes will be attached to the headrope with a low-breaking-strength twine (4-millimeter
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(0.16-inch diameter), which will facilitate rapid detachment in the unlikely event of any interaction with the longline.
To further minimize entanglement potential, a 1,100 pound breakaway link will be installed between the surface buoys
and vertical lines, similar to strategies used to mitigate potential entanglement in trap fisheries in the northeastern
United States (NOAA 2008). Buoy lines between the surface and headrope are generally under tension partially
equivalent (0 to 10 kilograms (0 to 22 pounds)) to their full buoyancy (42 kilograms (93 pounds)).
Cultivated mussels grow by filtering naturally occurring phytoplankton from the ocean. Harvesting involves separating the
mussels from the ropes, followed by cleaning, sorting, and bagging. All of these activities will take place aboard the
harvesting vessel. Juvenile mussels will grow on lines until an intermediate size where the density of mussels on the fuzzy
rope becomes limiting. At this point, a servicing vessel will lift the backbone line in order to access the fuzzy rope stocked
with juvenile mussels and pull the fuzzy rope through vessel-based equipment designed to strip the mussels from the fuzzy
rope and then clean, separate, and grade the juvenile mussels by size. Juvenile mussels then will be restocked to clean fuzzy
rope at a reduced density for their second stage of grow out to market size. Maintenance and inspection of the longlines is
proposed to be carried out on a monthly basis, which consists of lifting the longlines out of the water and adding additional
buoys as necessary to account for increased mussel weight. Inspections of the anchor ropes, anchors, and connecting ropes
shall take place at a minimum of twice per month. Inspections shall include recordings by depth/fish finder or ROV
surveys of lines and/or monitoring performed by SCUBA divers.
When the mussels reach market size, which is expected to occur after about one year of total production time,
the submerged backbone lines again will be lifted in order to access the fuzzy cultivation ropes, and mussels
again will be stripped from the line, cleaned, and separated, and this time size-graded and bagged for landing at
the Ventura Harbor as market-ready product. The bagged mussels will be transported to Ventura Harbor for
offloading, sale, and distribution. All husbandry activities related to harvesting, grading, and restocking of
mussels to cultivation lines will occur onboard the servicing vessel using specialized equipment for that purpose.
Watercraft used for planting, inspections, and harvesting would be home ported at Ventura Harbor. On average,
between 20 to 40 boats would be traveling to the specific lease sites to conduct these activities on a three times per
week to daily basis. The maximum distance traveled would be between the harbor and the farthest potential lease area,
which could be up to approximately 8.7 miles. Once constructed, it is projected that each sub-permit site will generate
an estimated 150 trips per year to accomplish the tasks outlined above.
Landed product will comply with all testing and labeling regulations as part of the California Department of Public
Health (CDPH) Shellfish Sanitation plan and the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) guidelines for shellfish
grown in federal waters. NOAA-Seafood Inspection Program (NOAA-SIP), in collaboration with the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), recently began the process of developing NSSP-compliant sanitation protocols for bivalve
shellfish cultivated in Federal waters.
Qualified researchers affiliated with universities (i.e., U.C. Santa Barbara – Bren School, or University of Southern
California, etc.), or qualified marine research institutes (i.e., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Scripps Institution
of Oceanography, etc.) will have access to aquaculture plots to conduct research and monitoring approved by the
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Ventura Port District; however, access may be limited in certain circumstances to respect grower/producer
proprietary data or technology or to accommodate a grower/producer’s operational and logistical needs in operating
the farm. The Ventura Port District will review and approve research projects in consultation with USACE, NMFS,
NOAA, and any affected grower/producers. Grower/producers will be fairly compensated for the use of their
vessels, equipment, and fair market value of any mussels produced or generated as part of approved research projects.
2.2.3 PROJECT DECOMISSIONING
The project will include a decommissioning plan when activities in that lease are terminated. The decommissioning plan for
the timely removal of all shellfish, structures, anchoring devices, equipment, and materials associated with the shellfish
cultivation facility and documentation of completion of removal activities will be a requirement of each permit or subpermit.
Financial assurances to guarantee implementation of the plan will be in place and reviewed periodically.
2.2.4 PROJECT OBJECTIVES
Objectives of the proposed project are as follows:
1. To increase the supply of safe, sustainably produced, and locally grown shellfish while minimizing potential
negative environmental impacts;
2. To enhance and sustain Ventura Harbor as a major west coast fishing port and support the local economy;
3. To provide economies of scale, pre-approved sub-permit area, and technical support to include small local
producers who would not otherwise be able to participate in shellfish aquaculture;
4. To provide an entitlement and permitting template for aquaculture projects state-wide;
5. To enhance public knowledge and understanding of sustainable shellfish farming practices and promote
community collaboration in achieving VSE objectives;
6. To advance scientific knowledge and state of the art aquaculture practices through research and innovation.
2.3 Project Action Area
The Action Area for this project includes the project site (twenty 100-acre growing sites occupying a total project area
of 2,000 acres) and all areas within 100 feet of the Project Actions (Figure 8). This Action Area was defined based
upon several factors, including the project location and components, the potential noise impacts and disturbance areas
for project components, and the properties of underwater acoustics. It is anticipated that the potential noise impacts
from the initial installation of the sand screw anchors using a hydraulic drill will be minimal. Helical anchors for
mussel farms in open ocean habitats have been installed all over the world, including at Catalina Island. They are
drilled into the seabed using a hydraulic auger controlled at the surface. The drill is submersible and is lowered with
the anchor. Noise levels are very low in the water, with a 50 horsepower hydraulic power pack on the boat (Fielder
Marine Services, New Zealand, pers.comm.). Rotation speeds are very low, which minimizes entanglement of marine
species. The anchor installation disturbs less than 1 square meter of sea bed on installation and once installed no rope
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or chain touches the sea floor which also minimizes seabed disturbance (Fielder Marine Services, New Zealand,
Pers.comm). Marine wildlife, especially cetaceans, are known to be sensitive to noise effects (NMFS 2007a). However,
construction noise levels will be well within acceptable thresholds for both marine mammals and fish (ICF Jones &
Stokes and Illingworth and Rodkin, Inc. 2009; NMFS 2007a). Due to the minimal noise level and area of disturbance
on the sea floor, we believe an action area of 100 feet is sufficient.
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Figure 1 Project Location
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Figure 2 Detailed Plan for Shellfish Longlines
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Figure 3A Parcel Array Overview
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Figure 3B Backbone Details
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Figure 4 Simulated View of Parcel Array at the Surface: 100 Acre Plot
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Figure 5 Simulated View of Parcel Array at the Surface
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Figure 6 Simulated View of Parcel Array Underwater
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Figure 7 Simulated View of Parcel Array Underwater with Anchor Line
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Figure 8 Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Action Area
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3.0 REGULATORY SETTING
3.1 Federal Endangered Species Act (1973)
The federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), as amended, is administered by the
USFWS and NMFS. This legislation is intended to provide a means to conserve the ecosystems upon which
endangered and threatened species depend and provide programs for the conservation of those species, thus
preventing extinction of plants and wildlife. The ESA defines an endangered species as “any species that is in danger
of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.” A threatened species is defined as “any species that
is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its
range.” Under the provisions of Section 9(a)(1)(B) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), it is unlawful to “take” any
listed species. Take is defined in Section 3(19) of the ESA as, “harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap,
capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.” A Final Rule published in the Federal Register on
November 8, 1999 (64 FR 60727–60731), further defines “harm” as any act that kills or injures fish or wildlife, and
emphasizes that such acts may include significant habitat modification or degradation that significantly impairs
essential behavioral patterns (e.g., nesting or reproduction) of fish or wildlife. Further, the USFWS, through
regulation, has interpreted the terms “harm” and “harass” to include certain types of habitat modification that result
in injury to or death of species, which therefore are defined as forms of take. These interpretations, however, are
generally considered and applied on a case-by-case basis and often vary from species to species.
In a case where a property owner seeks permission from a federal agency for an action that could affect a federally
listed plant or wildlife species, the property owner and agency are required to consult with USFWS. Take prohibitions
in Section 9 of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) do not expressly encompass all plants. Property owners may take
listed plant species without violating the take prohibition if:
The proposed development is private and does not require federal authorization or permit.
There are no special federal regulations under Section 4(d) that prohibit take of the plant species.
There are no state laws prohibiting take of the plant species.
Section 9(a)(2) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) addresses the protections afforded to listed plants. In addition, the
ESA provides protection to invertebrate species by listing them as threatened or endangered.
3.2 Marine Mammal Protection Act (1972)
The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (MMPA), as amended, establishes a federal responsibility for the protection
and conservation of marine mammal species by prohibiting the “take” of any marine mammal. The MMPA defines “take”
as the act of hunting, killing, capture, and/or harassment of any marine mammal, or the attempt at such. The MMPA also
imposes a moratorium on the import, export, or sale of any marine mammals, parts, or products within the U.S. The
USFWS and NMFS are jointly responsible for implementation of the MMPA; USFWS is responsible for the protection of
sea otters, and NMFS is responsible for protecting pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) and cetaceans (whales and dolphins).
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Under Section 101(a)(5)(D) of the MMPA, an incidental harassment permit may be issued for activities other than
commercial fishing that may impact small numbers of marine mammals. An incidental harassment permit covers
activities that extend for periods of not more than 1 year, and that will have a negligible impact on the impacted
species. Amendments to the MMPA in 1994 statutorily defined two levels of harassment. Level A harassment is
defined as any act of pursuit, torment, or annoyance that has the potential to injure a marine mammal in the wild.
Level B harassment is defined as harassment having potential to disturb marine mammals by causing disruption of
behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing, nursing, breeding, feeding, or sheltering.
3.3 MagnusonStevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
(Magnuson-Stevens Act)
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. Sections 1801−1884) of 1976, as
amended in 1996 and reauthorized in 2007, is intended to protect fisheries resources and fishing activities within 200
miles of shore. The amended law, also known as the Sustainable Fisheries Act (Public Law 104-297), requires all
federal agencies to consult with the Secretary of Commerce on proposed projects authorized, funded, or undertaken
by that agency that may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). The main purpose of the EFH provisions is to
avoid loss of fisheries due to disturbance and degradation of the fisheries habitat. Managed fisheries found in the
project vicinity include, but are not limited to California halibut, ridgeback prawn, sea cucumber trawl, and rock crab
trawl fisheries, and set gill net for California halibut and white sea bass
Essential Fish Habitat is addressed in the Essential Fish Habitat Assessment Report for the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise.
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4.0 FEDERALLY PROTECTED SPECIES AND
CRITICAL HABITAT
4.1 Federally Protected Species
The following resources were used to determine which federally listed, proposed, or federally recognized (i.e., NMFS
Species of Concern) species had a potential to occur in the Action Area: NOAA California Species List Tools (NOAA
2018a), NOAA Find a Species Website (NMFS 2018a, filtered for West Coast Region), Channel Islands Bird Checklist
(Collins 2011), USFWS Information for Planning and Consulting (USFWS 2018a), USFWS Environmental Conservation
Online System (USFWS 2018b), the NOAA Section 6 Program Website (NOAA 2018b), NMFS Species of Concern
(NMFS 2018), Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI 2010), and California Natural Diversity Database (CNDDB; CDFW
2018). The NOAA Species List Tools (NOAA 2018a) and CNDDB (CDFW 2018) were queried for the 7.5-minute U.S.
Geological Survey quadrangle that bordered the Pacific Ocean from the Ventura County line south to Port Hueneme,
which included Pitas Point, White Ledge Peak, Ventura, Oxnard, and Oxnard OE W.
Information on species distribution, behavior, and habitat preferences was obtained from sources such as NOAA
Find a Species Website (NMFS 2018a), Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Reports (e.g., Allen and Angliss. 2014),
Marine Mammals of the World: A Comprehensive Guide to Their Identification (Jefferson et al. 2008), Point Blue
Conservation Science Whale Alert Map (PBCS 2018), Large Cetacean Analysis for the Santa Barbara Channel Region
(Cascadia 2011), Marine Mammal Commission (MMC 2007, 2018), Marine Mammal Haulouts and Rookeries (CDFW
2009), California Bird Records Committee (CBRC 2018), USFWS Recovery Plans, USFWS 5-Year Reviews and/or
Federal Registers. Additional resources are reported within the species account information.
The database searches returned a total of 68 species. Of these species, 8 cetaceans, 1 mustelid, 2 pinnipeds, 3 birds, 5
sea turtles, 2 sharks, 8 fish, and 2 invertebrates have a federal status of Endangered or Threatened. Other species that
are covered only under the MMPA (no other federal designation) include 21 cetaceans and 4 pinnipeds. Species that
are only covered under NMFS Species of Special Concern include 1 shark, 8 fish and 3 invertebrates. Although
NMFS Species of Concern designation is not protected under the ESA, this BA includes these species for a complete
analysis of species with a recognition from a federal agency.
Based on Dudek’s habitat suitability analysis, 13 species have a moderate to high potential to occur in the Action Area.
Appendix B provides Dudek’s habitat suitability analysis and an assessment of the species potential to occur in the
Action Area, including species not expected to occur or a low potential to occur. Section 4.2, below, provides species
descriptions and assessments for those species with a moderate to high potential to occur.
4.2 Status of the Species and their Habitat in the Action Are a
This section describes the status, basic life history, and potential for occurrence for federally-listed, proposed, or
federally recognized species that are identified as potentially affected by the Project Actions as described above.
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4.2.1 Federally-Listed Species
4.2.1.1 Cetaceans
Gray Whale
Gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) of the Eastern North Pacific Stock were delisted from the ESA in 1994 (59 FR
31094-31095) but are protected by the MMPA. This species occurs in coastal waters along the west coast of North
America from Mexico to Alaska, and in eastern Siberia. Gray whales usually feed along the Bering, Chukchi, and
Beaufort seas during the summer, and winter along breeding and calving areas off the coast of Baja California. Calves
are born from January to February (NMFS 2018a). During their northward migration from Baja to Alaska, cow-calf
pairs stay particularly close to shore to avoid predation by orcas (Orcinus orca) (NMFS 2014). Gray whales are bottom
feeders that consume benthic amphipods (epibenthic fauna such as mysids, amphipods, polychaete tubeworms). Since
this species is a bottom feeder, gray whales are restricted to shallow continental shelf waters (Jefferson et al. 2008).
Juvenile gray whales often are found in Santa Barbara Harbor and along the coastline and have been observed in the
surf at Ventura Point (J. Davis IV, pers. obs). In Santa Barbara, gray whales are seen during their northward migration
within 3 nautical miles from shore, frequently travelling along the kelp line within close proximity to Coal Oil Point
where surveys take place for four months beginning in February (Gray Whales Count 2018). Data shows an upward
trend for gray whales over the last five years from 736 whales in 2013 to 1,052 whales in 2017. More whales means an
increase in the chance for interaction between ships and fishing gear. Ship strikes, entanglement, habitat degradation,
whale watching harassment, low-frequency noise disturbance and impacts from commercial/industrial development
are the largest threats to gray whales (NMFS 2018c). In California, ship strikes of gray whales are the most commonly
reported followed by fin, blue, humpback, and sperm whales (NOAA 2017b).
Potential for Occurrence. High potential to occur. This species is a frequent visitor to the Ventura coastline and the
Santa Barbara Channel and is commonly observed during migration, especially during the northward migration from
Baja to Alaska. Gray whales are often observed close to shore, and there have been many regular occurrences in the
Action Area on a yearly basis (PBCS 2018). The local whale watching boat, The Condor Express, has sighted 12 gray
whales within 5 miles of the project area since the start of the 2018 gray whale season in the Santa Barbara Channel
(Condor Express 2018, PBCS 2018). Whales are traveling northward at about 2.5 miles from shore as seen for
example on the local whale watching trip in Santa Barbara Channel on March 15, 2018 (Condor Express 2018). Gray
whale migration routes overlap with the Action Area and encompass the entire Santa Barbara Channel (Calambokidis
et al. 2015; NOAA 2012; NOAA 2018e).
Humpback Whale
The humpback whale (Megaptera noaengliaea) is a federally-listed endangered species and is protected by the MMPA.
Humpback whales occur throughout the North Pacific. North Pacific breeding areas fall broadly into three regions: 1)
western Pacific (Japan and Philippines); 2) central Pacific (Hawaiian Islands); and 3) eastern Pacific (Central America
and Mexico). Along the U.S. west coast, one stock is currently recognized that includes individuals that appear to be
part of two separate feeding groups, a California and Oregon feeding group and a northern Washington and southern
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British Columbia feeding group. Humpbacks from both groups have been matched to breeding areas off Central
America, mainland Mexico, and Baja California. The population is estimated at approximately 1,918 animals for the
California/Oregon/Washington stock (NOAA 2015). Migrating individuals from the Central America Distinct
Population Segment (DPS) may migrate through the Action Area on their way to feeding grounds located off the
Pacific Northwest (NMFS 2018a). This species stays near the surface of the ocean when migrating and prefers shallow
waters when feeding and calving. This species can be seen close to shore when conditions allow for prey switching
from krill to small schooling fish, which inhabit nearshore areas. Humpbacks are commonly found feeding in the
Santa Barbara Channel during summer and fall, with some observations closer to shore in the Ventura Area. Typically,
humpback whales utilize predictable habitats offshore along the continental shelf break and slope where upwelling
occurs where they feed on krill (Yen et al. 2004). However, when conditions change and krill is not available,
humpback whales are known to prey switch and feed on small schooling fish, which occur in nearshore waters
(Fleming et al. 2016). In July 2017, a humpback found its way into Ventura Harbor (VC Star 2017). In addition, this
species is strongly associated with the 200 meter isobath (Cascadia 2011). Threats to humpback whales include ship
strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, whale watch harassment, and habitat impacts (NMFS 2018c). On the west coast
of the United States, ship strikes are an important cause of mortality for baleen whales, including humpback, blue, fin
and gray whales (Berman-Kowalewski et al. 2010).
Potential for Occurrence. Moderate to high potential to occur. Foraging and migration habitat is present in the
Action Area. Numerous observations of this species have been documented within the Santa Barbara Channel both
close to shore and near the Channel Islands (PBCS 2018). NOAA’s cetacean mapping tool indicates humpback whale
feeding habitat is close to the Action Area and is prevalent in the Santa Barbara Channel (NOAA 2018e). The project
area is situated near feeding Biologically Important Areas (BIAs) and encompasses moderate humpback whale
predicted densities for the Santa Barbara Channel (Calambokidis et al. 2015). Habitat-based density models show high
predicted density in the action area (Becker et al. 2016), and Becker et al. (2017) show a marked seasonal difference in
the area, with the highest predictions for this species in winter and spring for the Santa Barbara Channel.
Fin Whale
The fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus physalus) is a federally-listed endangered species and also is protected by the MMPA. Fin
whales occur worldwide, primarily in temperate to polar latitudes and are less common in the tropics. They are one of the
more commonly seen whales in the Northern Hemisphere. Its distribution is not well known, but it generally migrates
poleward to feed in the summer and to the subtropics to breed in the winter (Jefferson et al. 2008). The location of the
winter breeding grounds is unknown. Fin whales feed on krill, small schooling fish, copepods and squid (NOAA 2018a).
They are usually solitary or travel in pairs, but on feeding grounds there can be groups of up to 20, with 100 or more whales
loosely grouped (Carwardine et al. 1998). The California/Oregon/Washington stock has approximately 3,200 fin whales.
Fin whales prefer deeper, offshore waters and are a fast swimming species. This species is more commonly associated with
the 200 meter isobath, which is approximately 7.4 miles from the Action Area (Cascadia 2011). Threats to this species
include ship strikes, entanglement and ocean noise pollution (NOAA 2018a). On the west coast of the United States, ship
strikes are an important cause of mortality for baleen whales, including humpback, blue, fin and gray whales (Berman-
Kowalewski et al. 2010).
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Potential for Occurrence. Moderate potential to occur. This species has been observed migrating and feeding through
the Santa Barbara Channel on many occasions with one occurrence (12 individuals) noted within 1 mile of the Action
Area in 2011 (PBCS 2018; Cascadia 2011). Resources (krill, small schooling fish and squid) are likely present in the
Action Area. The project area is situated within moderate fin whale predicted densities within the Santa Barbara
Channel (Becker et al. 2016; Calambokidis et al. 2015).
4.2.1.2 SEA TURTLES
Loggerhead Sea Turtle
The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) is a federally-listed endangered species, and also is protected by the MMPA.
The North Pacific Ocean DPS occurs in tropical to temperate waters in the Pacific Ocean. Loggerhead sea turtles
migrate from nesting grounds in Japan and Australia to feeding grounds located along the west coast from central to
North America. Nesting occurs mainly on open beaches or along narrow bays having suitable sand, and often in
association with other species of sea turtles. They choose ocean beaches with high wave energy, narrow, steep slopes,
and coarse-grain sand for their nests. There are no known nesting locations that occur along the western seaboard of
the U.S. or Hawaii (NMFS and USFWS 1998a). The closest known loggerhead nesting beaches in the North Pacific
Ocean are located in Japan (NMFS and USFWS 2007). Baja California has the largest known aggregations of
loggerhead sea turtles. Migration occurs along nearshore coastal waters (neritic zone). Loggerhead sea turtles typically
feed on benthic invertebrates in hard bottom habitats, although fish and plants are occasionally consumed (NMFS
and USFWS 1998a). During ideal conditions (water temperature/break), this species is known to migrate along the
coast of California, including the Santa Barbara Channel. Sightings of this species along the U.S. west coast typically
are of juveniles measuring 20-60 centimeter shell length (NMFS and USFWS 1998a). Loggerhead sea turtles are
subject to several threats including loss of nesting habitat; disorientation of hatchlings by beachfront lighting;
degradation of foraging habitat; marine pollution and debris; ship strikes; disease; and incidental take from commercial
trawling, longline, and gill net fisheries (NMFS and USFWS 1998a).
Potential for Occurrence. High potential to migrate. Although there is no suitable feeding habitat (hard bottoms, benthic
invertebrates) within the Action Area, during migration they may enter the Action Area. This species has been observed at
San Clemente Island (NMFS and USFWS 2007). This species has stranded on Ventura beaches in 2014 and 2017 (Dan
Lawson, NMFS Protected Resources Division, 2018, pers. comm.). Loggerhead sea turtles are not expected to nest in
the Action Area. No beach habitat is present in the Action Area and the Santa Barbara Channel area is outside of nesting
range.
Green Sea Turtle
The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) is a federally-listed threatened species, and also is protected by the MMPA. The
Eastern Pacific DPS ranges from Baja California to southern Alaska. However, the green sea turtle is more common
from San Diego southward. This species forages in the open ocean when migrating as well as shallow waters of lagoons,
bays, estuaries, mangroves, eelgrass, and seaweed beds. They are herbivorous and feed primarily on seagrasses and algae.
Green sea turtles are generally found in shallow waters except when migrating. It is a regular visitor in the waters off the
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southwest coast of the United States. Residents occur in the San Gabriel River, Long Beach (NMFS and USFWS 1998b).
The closest known nesting occurrences are in Mexico (NMFS and USFWS 1998b). This species requires open beaches
with a sloping platform and minimal disturbance for nesting. Green sea turtles have strong nesting site fidelity and often
make long distance migrations between feeding grounds and nesting beaches. Threats to the green sea turtle include
commercial harvesting, loss of nesting habitat; disorientation of hatchlings by beachfront lighting; nest predation by
native and non-native predators; degradation of foraging habitat; marine pollution and debris; ship strikes; and incidental
take from commercial fishing operations (NMFS and USFWS 1998b).
Potential for Occurrence. High potential to occur. They have been captured at Sterns Wharf in Santa Barbara
harbor and at the Channel Islands. This species has stranded on Santa Barbara and Ventura beaches in 2014, 2015 and
2017 (Dan Lawson, NMFS Protected Resources Division, 2018, pers. comm.). This species may migrate and/or
forage in the Action Area. Green sea turtles are not expected to nest in the Action Area.
Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
The olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea) is a federally-listed threatened species, and also is protected by the MMPA.
Olive ridley sea turtles occur worldwide in tropical and warm temperate ocean waters. In the eastern Pacific, this
species distribution ranges from Southern California to Northern Chile. Olive Ridley sea turtles are mostly pelagic but
will also inhabit coastal areas. This species feeds on algae, lobster, crabs, tunicates, mollusks, shrimp, and fish. The
olive ridley sea turtle gets its name from the olive coloration of its heart-shaped carapace. Their nesting behavior is
called “arribada” nesting, whereby large groups gather and come ashore and nest all at once. This nesting behavior
makes the olive ridley sea turtle vulnerable to harvest of eggs and even adult turtles. The breeding populations on the
Pacific Coast of Mexico are listed as endangered and all other populations are listed as threatened under the ESA
(NOAA 2018f). Their Pacific nesting grounds include the Pacific coasts of Mexico and Central America. As a highly
migratory species, they are encountered in U.S. waters as they travel between nesting and foraging habitats (NOAA
2018f).
Potential for Occurrence. Moderate potential to occur. They have been captured at Sterns Wharf in Santa Barbara
harbor and at the Channel Islands. This species may migrate and/or forage in the Action Area. Olive ridley sea turtles
are not expected to nest in the Action Area. This species has been observed in the Los Angeles Harbor (NMFS and
USFWS 1998e). This species has stranded on Santa Barbara County beaches in 2014 and 2015 (Dan Lawson, NMFS
Protected Resources Division, 2018, pers. comm.).
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4.2.2 OTHER NON-LISTED SPECIES PROTECTED UNDER THE MMPA
4.2.2.1 Cetaceans
Common Minke Whale
The common minke whale (Balarnoptera acutorostrata) is protected by the MMPA. Minke whales are found throughout
the world in polar, temperate, and tropical waters in both coastal and offshore habitats (NMFS 2018a). They are the
smallest baleen whale in North American waters. It migrates seasonally and travels great distances. Common minke
whales are the smallest baleen whale in North American waters. Some individual minke whales are residents in
California waters. They are often solitary but sometimes travel in groups of 2-3 individuals (NMFS 2018a). This
species feeds on copepods, krill, and small schooling fish. Minke whales are a normally cryptic species but are
sometimes curious and will approach vessels (especially stationary vessels). Minke whales are subject to the following
threats including entanglement (gill nets, seine nets, herring weirs, lobster traps, driftnets, longlines, and trawls),
habitat disturbance, human interactions, noise pollution, and ship strikes (NMFS 2018a).
Potential for Occurrence. Moderate potential to occur. Foraging and migration habitat is present in the Action Area.
Minke whales feed on euphausiids, copepods and small schooling fish, which are present in the Channel. In addition,
this species has been recorded since 1988 in the Santa Barbara Channel and within 1 mile of the Action Area,
although this species is usually in slightly deeper waters (PBCS 2018). Stock reports for the
California/Oregon/Washington Stock show minke whales in close proximity to the northern Channel Islands, within
the Santa Barbara Channel (NMFS 2016c).
Common Bottlenose Dolphin
The common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is protected by the MMPA. Bottlenose dolphins have a worldwide
distribution ranging from 45°N to 45°S latitude and are found in temperate and tropical waters. Coastal populations
often migrate into bays, estuaries, and river mouths. Offshore populations inhabit pelagic waters along the continental
shelf. The common bottlenose dolphin, as its name suggests, is a common coastal species, and a generalist feeder
(squid, fish and crustaceans) (Jefferson et al. 2008). Common bottlenose dolphins are comprised of two subpopulations:
coastal bottlenose dolphins and offshore bottlenose dolphins. Coastal bottlenose dolphins are known to
regularly occur within 1 kilometer of shore (Carretta et al. 1998). In southern California, they are found within 500 m
of the shoreline 99% of the time and within 250 m 90% of the time (NMFS 2017g). On the other hand, offshore
bottlenose dolphins inhabit areas at distances greater than a few kilometers from the mainland (NMFS 2011a). They
may travel alone or in groups and commonly work together to herd prey. They are active at the surface and will
approach ships and even other whales to bow ride as an energy efficient mode of transportation (NMFS 2018a). They
interact with fisheries and are often seen following shrimp trawlers (Jefferson et al. 2008). Common bottlenose
dolphins are subject to the following threats including entanglement (gill nets, driftnets, longlines, and trawls), habitat
degradation, noise pollution, pollution from oil spills and chemicals, and ship strikes.
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Potential for Occurrence. High potential to occur; specifically for offshore bottlenose dolphin populations. This species
has many occurrences throughout the Santa Barbara Channel and within or directly adjacent to the Action Area (PBCS
2018). Habitat-based density models show high predicted density for this species in the action area (Becker et al. 2016).
Long-beaked Common Dolphin
The long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus capensis capensis) is protected by the MMPA. Long-beaked common
dolphins are commonly found along the U.S. west coast, from Baja California (including the Gulf of California)
northward to about central California. Long-beaked and short-beaked common dolphins are similar species but have
different habitat preferences. Long-beaked common dolphins prefer coastal waters. Long-beaked common dolphins
are not as abundant as short-beaked common dolphins. They select shallower areas in tropical, subtropical, and
warmer temperate to cool waters closer to the coast (within 50-100 nautical miles (90-180 km)) and the continental
shelf (NMFS 2018a). This species will sometimes come close to shore within waters that are only a few meters deep
(Jefferson et al. 2008). Long-beaked common dolphins usually travel in pods of 100-500 individuals, but have been
seen numbering in the thousands. They are active at the surface and will approach ships to bow ride as an energy
efficient mode of transportation (NMFS 2018a). Long-beaked common dolphins are subject to the following threats:
entanglement (gill nets, driftnets, longlines, and trawls).
Potential for Occurrence. High potential to occur. Foraging resources (small schooling fish and squid) are likely
present in the Action Area. This species has been recorded multiple times and in great numbers (e.g., occurrences with
1,500 individuals) in the Santa Barbara Channel, including the Action Area (PBCS 2018). Habitat-based density
models show high predicted density for this species in the action area (Becker et al. 2016; Douglass et al. 2014).
Short-beaked Common Dolphin
The short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis delphis) is protected by the MMPA. Short-beaked common
dolphins inhabit warm tropical to cool temperate waters that are primarily oceanic and offshore. Off the U.S. west
coast, the majority of the populations are found off California, especially during the warm-water months. This
species occurs along the continental slope in waters 650-6,500 feet (200-2,000 m) deep (NMFS 2018a). This species
is often associated with areas of upwelling and areas of steep sea-bottom, and as an offshore species they are
commonly associated with pilot whales (Jefferson et al. 2008). Short-beaked common dolphins prefer deeper,
offshore habitat. Short-beaked common dolphins travel in pods of hundreds to thousands of individuals. They are
active at the surface and will approach ships and even other whales to bow ride as an energy efficient mode of
transportation (NMFS 2018a). Short-beaked common dolphins are subject to the following threats: entanglement
(gill nets, driftnets, longlines, and trawls).
Potential for Occurrence. Moderate to high potential to occur. Foraging resources (small schooling fish and squid)
are likely present in the Action Area. This species has been recorded multiple times and in great numbers (e.g.,
occurrences with 1,500 individuals) in Santa Barbara Channel and adjacent to the Action Area (PBCS 2018). Habitatbased
density models show high predicted density in the action area (Becker et al. 2016; Douglass et al. 2014), and
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indicated a marked seasonal difference in the area, with the highest predictions for this species in summer and fall for
the Santa Barbara Channel (Becker et al. 2017; Campbell et al. 2014).
Pacific White-sided Dolphin
The Pacific white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) is protected by the MMPA. Pacific white-sided dolphins are
found in temperate waters in the North Pacific and they utilize waters over the continental shelf to the deep open
ocean (NMFS 2018a). In North America, in the Pacific they range from the Gulf of Alaska to the Gulf of California.
Pacific white-sided dolphins exhibit seasonal inshore/offshore and north/south movements, but are generally nonmigratory.
This species feeds mostly on cephalopods and small schooling fish in deep offshore waters but also on the
continental shelf (Jefferson et al. 2008). They are often observed working together in pod sizes of 10-100 individuals
working together to herd schools of fish. Pacific white-sided dolphins are subject to several threats: entanglement in
fishing gear (gillnets, longline), pollution, noise (will react to pingers), and ship strikes (NMFS 2018a). They will often
bow ride with vessels as a method of energetically efficient transportation.
Potential for Occurrence. Moderate potential to occur. Foraging habitat is present in the Action Area. In addition, this
species has numerous occurrences within the Santa Barbara Channel (mostly offshore, this species is commonly associated
with other deep-water cetaceans such as Risso’s dolphins and Northern right whale dolphins (NMFS 2018a)) and a few
occurrences in the Action Area (PBCS 2018). Habitat-based density models show high predicted density for this species in
the action area (Becker et al. 2016), particularly in the fall (Campbell et al. 2014; Douglass et al. 2014).
4.2.2.2 Pinnipeds
California Sea Lion
The California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) is protected by the MMPA. It inhabits the eastern North Pacific Ocean
from central Mexico to Canada. This species is present along the west coast from the Tres Marias Islands off Puerto
Vallarta, throughout the Gulf of California and the Baja peninsula, north to Alaska. Males (adults, subadults, and
juveniles) undertake a northward migration to Central California and Washington after the breeding season in
southern rookeries. They are generalist opportunistic feeders (squid and fishes in areas of upwelling) and utilize the
continental shelf and slope, but have also been observed in deeper oceanic waters (Jefferson et al. 2008). California sea
lions prefer shallow coastal and estuarine waters and sandy beaches for haul out sites but will also haul out on marina
docks, jetties, and buoys (NMFS 2018a). On land, they are wary of humans, but in the water they are curious, bold
and will approach boats looking for fish. They will take fish from commercial fishing gear, sport fishing lines, and fish
passage facilities at dams and rivers. They are less wary of people because they associate people with an easy meal.
They may also be curious about construction activities. California sea lions are subject to several threats: entanglement
in fishing gear (gillnets, longline), pollution, ship strikes and human caused injuries.
Potential for Occurrence. High potential to occur. This species has known haulouts along all of the Channel Islands
and rookeries at San Nicholas Island (CDFW 2009, NMFS 2018a).The project site is within their distribution range
(Lowry and Carretta 1999; NOAA 2018a). California sea lions mostly forage near mainland coastlines, the continental
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shelf, and seamounts. Adult females feed between 10–100 km from shore (Lowry and Carretta 1999) while adult
males may forage up to 450 km from shore (Weise et al. 2006).
Pacific Harbor Seal
The Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) is protected by the MMPA. It is widespread in coastal areas of the Northern
Hemisphere, in temperate and polar habitats. It is generally non-migratory and inhabits areas from the coast to the
continental slope (Jefferson et al. 2008). On the U.S. west coast, this species is found in coastal and estuarine waters
from Canada to Baja California, Mexico. Harbor seals inhabit temperate coastal habitats and use rocks, reefs, beaches,
and drifting glacial ice for hauling out and pupping sites (NMFS 2018a). Diving averages less than 35 meters and they
are generalist feeders (a variety of fish, cephalopods and crustaceans) (Jefferson et al. 2008). On land, harbor seals are
very wary and shy, and will stampede into the water when disturbed. In the water, they are curious but cautious and
will peer at people/boats. Harbor seals are subject to several threats: incidental capture in fishing gear (gillnets, trawls,
purse seines, weirs), ship strikes, pollution, power plant entrainment, and harassment by humans when on land.
Potential for Occurrence. High potential to occur. Harbor seals have known haulouts and rookeries at Carpinteria
Bluffs (Santa Barbara County) and Point Mugu (Ventura County); and haulouts from Point Conception to Santa
Barbara and along all of the Channel Islands (CDFW 2009).
4.3 Critical Habitat
No designated critical habitat for federally-listed threatened and endangered species occurs within the Action Area
(USFWS Environmental Online System (USFWS 2018b), NOAA Critical Habitat Maps (NOAA 2018c)).
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5.0 EFFECTS OF THE ACTION
5.1 Effects of the Project Actions
This section analyzes all of the potential effects to listed species from Project Actions. As described in NMFS (2009)
and 50 CFR 402.02, direct effects are those that have direct or immediate effects on the species or its habitat during
construction. These effects include temporary changes in marine wildlife behavior from construction noise; and
temporary construction disturbance to feeding habitat. Indirect effects are those that are caused by or will result
from the Project Action later in time, after completion of initial construction, but still reasonably certain to occur.
These effects include marine mammal disturbance due to inadvertent spills or introduction of chemical pollutants;
release of invasive species, parasites, and pathogens from seed stock; effects on sediment quality due to biodeposits
and changes in benthic invertebrate species; phytoplankton consumption, and fouling organisms and non-native
species. Effects that may occur both during construction (direct effects) and later in time (indirect effect) include
entanglement in aquaculture gear; vessel strikes; noise disturbance from vessels, and interference with migration or
feeding routes. Each of these effects is discussed more in detail below. In addition, further assessments and mitigation
measures aimed at avoiding, reducing, or remedying the effect of Project Actions are recommended below.
Direct and Indirect Effects (Occurring During and After Construction)
Potential for Marine Wildlife Entanglement in Aquaculture Gear. The Project Actions may result in
marine mammal entanglement. Mussel aquaculture utilizes various ropes in the water column that may pose
an entanglement risk to cetaceans and sea turtles. In contrast to fishing gear, however, there are far fewer
documented entanglement cases in mussel aquaculture gear. Interactions and entanglements with longline
aquaculture gear worldwide are rare, and close approaches by protected species are seldom documented
(Price et al. 2016). West coast entanglement summaries for 2015 and 2016 report no entanglements from
mussel aquaculture fisheries (NOAA 2017c). There have been no reported marine mammal entanglements
associated with Santa Barbara Mariculture, which has operated a 25-acre mussel aquaculture farm in the Santa
Barbara Channel, using similar cultivation techniques, for over a decade (CDFG 2018).
Reported entanglements are predominantly from crab, gillnet and spiny lobster fisheries. Fixed fisheries gear
(e.g., pot and trap gear) is the most commonly recognized and reported gear type causing entanglements since
2000. Documented entangled animals and disentanglement efforts in the Pacific Northwest have mostly
involved gray whales and humpback whales and have involved both gill nets and crab gear. While not as
common, both fin and blue whales are sometimes entangled in gill nets and crab gear based on a few stranded
animals and scarring on live animals (NOAA 2014). More recently, from 2014 to 2017, the majority of the
whale entanglements involved humpback whales and most of the entanglements were from commercial
Californian and Washington Dungeness crab traps, and gillnet fisheries (NOAA 2017c). Large whale species
appear to be more vulnerable to entanglement than smaller cetacean species, such as dolphins and porpoises,
which are more prone to be caught as bycatch in nets due to their smaller size (Benjamins et al. 2014).
Furthermore, juveniles are more likely to be entangled due to their inquisitive nature and inexperience. The
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proposed mussel culture techniques have some significant differences as compared to crab and fishing gear
that reduce the potential for marine mammal entanglement. As opposed to fishery gear, the mussel
aquaculture gear is stationary, the lines are larger, and the gear is not designed to catch or ensnare fish.
Further, as described below, the lines will be highly tensioned, which reduces the risk of marine mammals
being caught in slack lines. Therefore, the project design is expected to pose a much smaller risk to marine
mammal entanglement compared to longline fishing methods.
Cetaceans also have different ways in which they can perceive mussel farm lines and navigate around
them. For example, odontocetes, such as harbor porpoises, are able to use echolocation to detect the
lines (Lloyd 2003; Nielson et al. 2012), and minke whales are able to detect and avoid ropes that are
white or black (Kot et al. 2012).No entanglements have been reported for pinnipeds with this method of
mussel aquaculture (Lloyd 2003, Clement 2013).
Entanglements involving sea turtles and cetaceans have occurred in mussel aquaculture operations in
Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, South Korea and Canada (Young et al. 2015). Entanglement risk is highest
at mussel farms that employ mussel spat collecting ropes, as these ropes are thinner and more flexible making
them more conducive to entanglement (Keeley et al. 2009). The majority of entanglements have involved
these thinner mussel spat collector ropes or buoy lines connected to them. To avoid this concern, Mitigation
Measure BIO-4 requires all mussel spat to be provided by land-based hatcheries certified by the California
Department of Fish and Wildlife (or collected from grow-out lines) and will prohibit spat collector ropes. The
project will only utilize grow-out ropes, which are thicker and more tightly anchored and tensioned (Lindell
2014; Moore & Wieting, 1999; Price et al. 2017).
Lines with spat or mature muscles will be freely hanging (not looping ropes), thereby allowing wildlife to
traverse through the area. These lines will likely be heavy enough and under sufficient tension to prevent
loose lines from becoming entangled and forming loops or knots along the longline. In addition, it is
anticipated that when muscles are harvested, the lines will immediately be re-seeded with spat. Project design
specifications are also proposed to minimize protected marine mammal and sea turtle entanglement. The
longlines that will be used are a thick (1-inch-diameter) tensioned (to approximately 800 pounds) rope
that is not conducive to wrapping around or entangling protected species. The mussel grow-out ropes
themselves are typically planted with seed 3 inches thick and may grow to be stiff with byssus at
diameters of 10 inches or more at harvest, thus making them very unlikely sources of entanglement. As
an additional precaution, grow-ropes will be attached to the headrope with a low-breaking-strength twine
(4-millimeter (0.16-inch) diameter; <1,000 pounds), which will facilitate rapid detachment in the unlikely
event of any marine mammal interaction with the longline (see Mitigation Measure BIO-2).
Other potential entanglement points include (1) two vertical lines to the surface buoys marking each end of
the headrope and (2) one pull-up buoy line for servicing at the midpoint. To minimize these potential
entanglements, a 1,100-pound breakaway link will be installed between these buoys and the vertical lines,
similar to strategies used to mitigate potential entanglement in trap fisheries in the northeastern United States
(NOAA 2008). Buoy lines between the surface and headrope are generally under tension partially equivalent
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(0 to 10 kilograms (0 to 22 pounds)) to their full buoyancy (42 kilograms (93 pounds)). Overall, the longline
configuration produces a fairly rigid structure under tension, with stout lines and little slack.
Other mitigation measures have been incorporated into the project to further minimize the potential for
marine mammal entanglement. The project will incorporate a marine wildlife entanglement plan to regularly
check equipment for evidence of marine mammal entanglement (MM BIO-1) and require a qualified marine
wildlife observer to be present during construction activities that can halt activities if marine mammals are
observed (MM BIO-3). Further details regarding these measures are found in the mitigation measures
provided in Section 5. After the incorporation of these mitigation measures and given the lack of documented
marine mammal entanglement incidents associated with the proposed aquaculture cultivation method,
impacts associated with marine mammal entanglement are considered insignificant.
Ship Strikes Due to Increased Activity. Vessel strikes are known to be a hazard to a number of marine
species, particularly whales. Project Actions may result in an additional 20 to 40 small boats traveling to lease
sites on an average of 3 times per week to daily and would therefore contribute to increased boat traffic in the
area during both construction and regular operations. Between 1988 and 2012, there were 100 documented
large whale ship strikes along the California coast (NOAA 2017b). Large whale species are vulnerable to
collisions with all vessel types, classes and sizes (NOAA 2017b); however, most collisions are associated with
large container and freight ships due to their mass and the speed at which they transit the shipping lanes
(Silber et al. 2010). When large vessels such as container ships are involved, the crew may be unaware a strike
has occurred. As such, the number of ship strikes to whales is likely under reported. Most cases where whales
were known to be severely hurt or killed occurred at vessel speeds of 14 knots or more and were caused by
large ships of 80 meters or more in length (Laist et al., 2001). However, collisions with smaller boats, such as
those that would be used for the aquaculture operations, do have the potential to injure or kill marine wildlife,
especially when travelling at high speeds (Ritter 2012). Large container or freight ships will not be used during
construction of the mussel farm nor during regular maintenance. To address this concern, the project will
require continuous education regarding how to properly interact with marine mammals if encountered during
operations (MM BIO-5) and include vessel management requirements if vessels observe marine mammals in
close proximity to the vessel (MM BIO-6). After incorporation of these mitigation measures, impacts
associated with ship strikes are considered insignificant.
Interference with Migration or Feeding Routes. The Project Actions will result in increased human
activity and the establishment of aquaculture facilities across 2,000 acres. Available habitat within Southern
California Bight includes 400 miles of recessed coastline from Point Conception, Santa Barbara County to
Cabo Colnet, Mexico, (SCCWRP 2016) and comprises over 6 million acres. Increased human activity and
facilities during construction and operation may deter marine wildlife from using previously open and
unoccupied areas for feeding or migration in different spatial and temporal ways. As a result, marine wildlife
may be forced to seek feeding or open migration routes outside of the Action Area, thereby causing wildlife
to expend time and energy seeking these resources. The project site is within the northward migration route
for gray whales but it is largely unknown how many marine species perceive and respond to man-made
structures in the ocean (Price et al. 2017). Habitat exclusion can range from low to high risk depending upon
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the location and density of mussel farms. Existing studies have demonstrated the potential for species to be
excluded from foraging habitats. Lloyd (2003) describes how curtains of mussel growing lines may act as
barriers and impede hunting behavior in dolphins (dusky, common, and Hector’s dolphins) by interfering
with sonar signals for finding prey and communicating with other members of the pod. Dusky dolphins rarely
enter mussel farms (Markowtiz et al. 2004). Whales and some dolphins tend to be more sensitive, while
pinnipeds and both common and bottlenose dolphins seem attracted to the underwater arrays (Clement
2013). Dusky dolphins were observed foraging adjacent to mussel farms pointing to the suggestion that fish
may be attracted to the structure (Price et al. 2017). Most studies were conducted in nearshore waters and it is
uncertain how, or even if these results, pertain to offshore longline mussel farms in deep open ocean
locations. However, this effect would be minimal due to the expansive open ranges that are open for marine
wildlife in the greater region, and the project site is not located within critical habitat.
Direct Effects (Construction-Related Effects)
Changes in Marine Wildlife Behavior from Construction. Disturbance to marine wildlife such as
construction-related noise could occur from anchor installation and array set up. Noise effects may have a
variety of indirect effects on marine wildlife species, including increased stress, weakened immune systems,
altered feeding behavior, altered mother-infant relationships, displacement due to startle, degraded
communication with conspecifics (e.g., masking), damaged hearing from extremely loud noises, and
increased vulnerability to predators (MMC 2007; NMFS 2016c; Thomsen 2009). Another potential effect is
abandonment of an area due to human disturbance which has been shown in several species (Lloyd 2003).
The NOAA Fisheries criteria distinguishes between impulse sound, such as that from impact pile driving,
and continuous sounds, such as that from vibratory pile driving. The Level A (injury) and Level B
(disturbance) threshold levels used by NOAA Fisheries are summarized in Table 2 for cetaceans (whales,
dolphins, and porpoises) and pinnipeds (seals and sea lions). NOAA is developing comprehensive guidance
on sound characteristics likely to cause injury and behavioral disruption in the context of the Marine
Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), Endangered Species Act (FESA) and other statutes. Until formal
guidance is available, NOAA Fisheries uses conservative thresholds of received sound pressure levels from
broad band sounds that may cause behavioral disturbance and injury, and the criterion levels specified in
Table 1 are specific to the levels of harassment permitted under the MMPA (NMFS 2018e). Project
Activities will temporarily disturb and alter the seafloor habitat from the placement of screw anchors used
to hold the lines, ropes, floats, and buoys. Construction-related noise with the installation of sand screw
anchors is very low in the water, with only a 50 horsepower hydraulic power pack on the boat, stipulating
that noise will not approach NOAA thresholds. Furthermore, rotation speeds are also very low, which
minimizes entanglement of marine species. The anchor installation disturbs less than 1 square meter of sea
bed on installation and once installed no rope or chain touches the sea floor which also minimizes seabed
disturbance (Fielder Marine Services, New Zealand, Pers.comm). Marine species that are the focus of this
assessment are highly mobile and have the ability to temporarily avoid the project site during construction
activities. Therefore, noise impacts associated with installation of equipment are considered insignificant.
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Table 1
NOAA Fisheries Acoustic Thresholds
Criterion Criterion Definition Threshold
In-Water (Excluding Tactical Sonar and Explosives)
Level A PTS (injury) conservatively based on TTS 190 dB rms1 for pinnipeds
180 dB rms for cetaceans
Level B Behavioral disruption for impulsive noise (e.g., impact pile driving) 160 dB rms
Level B Behavioral disruption for non-pulse noise (e.g., vibratory pile driving, drilling) 120 dB rms
In-Air
Level A PTS (injury) conservatively based on TTS None established
Level B Behavioral disruption for harbor seals 90 dB rms
Level B Behavioral disruption for non-harbor seal pinnipeds 100 dB rms
Indirect Effects (After Completion of Initial Construction)
Oil Spills. Construction and harvesting operations (and the use of any heavy equipment) could result in
water-quality effects due to chemical-compound pollution (fuel, oil, lubricants, inadvertent spills, and other
materials) in the event of an oil spill. As with any mechanized machinery, there is a small risk of accidental
discharge of fuel, lubricants, or hydraulic fluids, which could affect marine wildlife in the area and result in
injury and/or mortality to wildlife in the area of the contaminant through ingestion, physical contact that
reduces survival functions (e.g., oiled wildlife), or a reduction in suitable feeding habitat. Although spills of
this nature are detrimental to aquatic organisms, it is expected that the impacts would be negligible because of
the limited occurrence of spills and corrective actions.
Marine Debris. The project has the potential to create marine debris if aquaculture gear breaks free through
poor maintenance or damage from storm or wave activity. Entanglement may occur if aquaculture gear
comes loose, washes away, or otherwise escapes into the environment as a result of tide, wind, or wave
action. Additional risk may occur if derelict fishing gear, lines, and other materials become entangled in the
longline arrays of this project, which could compromise structural integrity and/or exacerbate the risk of
marine wildlife entanglements. There is also a risk that marine debris could be ingested by gray whales and sea
turtles. To address this concern, Mitigation Measure BIO-10 incorporates and aquaculture gear monitoring
and escapement plan to routinely check and maintain aquaculture gear to prevent breakage and quickly
retrieve any gear that breaks free. Further, Mitigation Measure BIO-11 incorporates a decommissioning plan
to require timely removal of aquaculture gear once shellfish operations cease on a parcel. Upon incorporation
of the proposed mitigation, impacts associated with marine debris are considered insignificant.
1 RMS refers to the sound pressure level that is square root of the sum of the squares of the pressure contained within a defined
period from the initial time to the final time. For marine mammals, the RMS pressure historically has been calculated over the
period of the pulse that contains 90% of the acoustical energy.
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Release of Potentially Invasive Species, Parasites, and Pathogens from Seed Stock. Mussel aquaculture
practices have the potential to introduce invasive species, parasites, and pathogens into the environment via
contaminated seed stock, which could have detrimental effects on the California marine ecosystem. However,
this project will use spat from hatcheries certified by CDFW to not contain invasive species, parasites or
pathogens of concern or will be collected directly from grow-out lines. Seed stock, other than those obtained
from State waters, must be inspected and certified before planting in compliance with Sections 15201 and
15600 of the Fish and Game Code. Mediterranean mussels are a non-native, but naturalized species. In fact,
this mussel is now one of the most abundant mussel species between Marin County and San Diego (Suchanek
et al. 1997). Given the widespread nature of this species, the proposed mussel farm would have a negligible
effect on the surrounding environment. Furthermore, benthic characteristics of the project site demonstrate a
lack of available suitable substrate for any further establishment of mussels beyond the project site, as the
closest substrate where mussels could establish beyond the project site is several miles away.
Disturbance/ Displacement of the Benthic Environment. Effects on sediment quality underneath
shellfish aquaculture gear could be impacted from biodeposits and changes to the benthic invertebrate species
composition. The Project Actions have the potential to disturb or alter the seafloor habitat by the deposition
of biological materials resulting from dislodged or discharged shells, shell fragments, and deposits from the
growing operation accumulating on the seafloor beneath the aquaculture structures. Such material typically
includes feces and pseudofeces from the cultivated shellfish, as well as fouling organisms such as algae,
barnacles, sponges, and other invertebrates that accumulate on the project equipment and subsequently
become dislodged by natural processes, or due to harvesting or cleaning operations. Cultivated shellfish or
shells from can also be dislodged from the structure during growth, storm events, predation by marine
wildlife, and cleaning and harvesting activities. The accumulation of material including shell fragments, intact
shells, fouling organisms, and feces can alter the physical and chemical characteristics of the bottom substrate,
and can affect the benthic community and sediment-dwelling organisms that may be sensitive to conditions
such as substrate composition and chemistry. Accumulation of material could also attract organisms that
would change the composition of the benthic community. Other potential benthic impacts can include
increased loads on sediment dissolved oxygen and redox conditions, and changes to nutrient cycling resulting
in a decrease in benthic species abundance and sediment porosity (Pearson and Rosenberg 1978; Wilding and
Nickell 2013; Wilding 2012). The effect on benthic nitrogen cycling is determined by biogeochemical and
physical variables, such as water depth, current velocities, and bottom type and composition (CFGC 2018).
Shellfish are able to alter the biogeochemical process in the water column by stimulating nitrification (Souchu
et al. 2001).Mussel farms that are located in areas with greater water depths and current speeds, spread biodeposits
over a larger area without posing the risk of enhanced sediment nutrient release (Stadmark & Conley
2011). A local mussel farm, the Santa Barbara Mariculture Company, with thirteen years in operation,
conducted benthic analysis testing. This sediment analysis testing examined grain size, and levels of benthic
epifaunal and infaunal biodiversity both within the farm and outside of the farm, and found no significant
benthic impact (CFGC 2018). Given the conditions at the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise project site, with the
significant depth, wave action and mixing, this potential impact is unlikely to be significant and
bioaccumulation is expected to be dispersed over a larger area. To confirm this conclusion, Mitigation
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Measure BIO-9 has been incorporated, which requires monitoring of sediment quality and composition to
evaluate any benthic impacts associated with the project.
Installation of the anchors proposed with the project also has the potential to displace benthic invertebrates.
However, the adverse impacts to epifauna and infauna would be minimal. Each anchor would only have a
footprint of less than one square meter. The total habitat area that would be disturbed by the proposed project
would be small and regionally insignificant when compared to the overall amount of habitat available in the area.
Further, many benthic invertebrates are mobile and would quickly recolonize the area after installation of the
anchors. Therefore, impacts associated with benthic disturbance are considered insignificant.
Fouling Organisms and Nonnative Species. The submerged structures of the Project Actions can provide hard
substrate habitat for invasive “fouling organisms.” Fouling organisms, such as invasive algae, sea squirts, and
mussels, can pose economic and ecological risks to the marine environment. For example, the invasive carpet sea
squirt (Didemnum vexillum) reproduces rapidly and fouls marine habitats (including shellfish aquaculture operations
and fishing grounds), ship’s hulls, and maritime structures. Like other fouling organisms, they are found on hard
substrates that include floats, moorings and ropes, steel chain and ship hulls. They overgrow other marine
organisms such as tunicates, sponges, macro algae, hydroids, anemones, bryozoans, scallops, mussels, and oysters.
Where these colonies occur on the seabed, they likely cover the siphons of infaunal bivalves and serve as a barrier
between demersal fish (or benthic feeding grey whales) and their prey. However, the invasive carpet sea squirt is
not present in the Channel Islands area. The nearest known occurrences are in Monterey Bay and Mission Bay in
San Diego (Woods Hole Science Center 2007). Further, there is a lack of available substrate within or near the
project site suitable for colonization by fouling organisms, as these invasive species cannot attach themselves to the
sandy bottom substrate at the project site.
Carrying Capacity (Phytoplankton Consumption). Mussels feed primarily on phytoplankton filtered from
the water column. Each individual is capable of filtering over 20-gallons of seawater per day (Okumus et al.
2002). Hence, in some circumstances, large concentrations of mussels found in mussel farms can remove a
significant proportion of available phytoplankton from the water column in an area, causing localized
phytoplankton depletion (Okumus et al. 2002). Other studies suggest that nutrient regeneration in the water
column within mussel farms is high, as phytoplankton consumed by the mussels results in released nutrients
supporting new phytoplankton production (CFGC 2018). Ventura Shellfish Enterprise has adopted the
methodology utilized by CDFW to evaluate carrying capacity impacts associated with Santa Barbara Mariculture
Company’s mussel aquaculture farm, whereby the standing stock of phytoplankton biomass outside the facility is
determined and compared with the filtration/consumption rate of mussels within the farm. The results of the
Santa Barbara Mariculture Company indicated that total production of the fully built-out farm would not have an
adverse impact on phytoplankton in the Santa Barbara Channel (CFGC 2018). Similarly, calculations for the
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise mussel farm indicate that no adverse impact on phytoplankton in the Santa Barbara
Channel would occur (Appendix C).
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5.1.1 FEDERALLY-LISTED SPECIES
5.1.1.1 Cetaceans
Gray Whale
Direct Effects
As described in Section 4.0, gray whales and their calves forage and travel in close proximity to shore during their
northward migration. Due to their size, behavior, and occurrence close to shore, gray whales are likely to be affected
by the Project Actions. The gray whale is a frequent visitor to the Santa Barbara Channel and may migrate directly
along the path of the project site. As a result, gray whales may experience both direct and indirect effects from the
Project Actions. If Project Actions will occur during the migration period, adults (and particularly calves) have the
potential for entanglement in aquaculture gear. However, gray whales routinely swim through kelp and are adept at
navigating obstacles, given they are accustomed to coastal areas. Absent mitigation, entanglement could adversely
affect this species. However, with incorporation of MM BIO-1 through BIO-5, the effect would be reduced.
As described in Section 4.0, one of the main threats to gray whales is from ship strikes. Project Actions will involve an
increase in boat traffic both within the Project Action Area and routes to and from the Ventura Harbor. Ship strike risk may
also increase at nighttime when whales are resting, unaware of ship presence, and are less visible to staff onboard. Absent
mitigation, the Project Actions have the potential to result in injury and/or mortality to gray whales from ship strikes, which
would adversely affect this species. However, with incorporation of MM BIO-6, the effect would be reduced.
Project Actions have the potential to interfere with gray whale migration and feeding routes. However, the Santa
Barbara Channel measures over 20 miles wide and the Project Action Area would be under 2 miles wide. Due to the
expansive open ranges that are available for grey whales in the greater region, the Project Actions interference with
migration and feeding routes would not adversely affect this species.
Project Actions have the potential to result in changes of gray whale migration or feeding behavior during
construction from noise or disturbance to benthic feeding areas. Although noise effects will be very low, gray whales
may temporarily avoid construction areas. Absent mitigation, construction activities may adversely affect this species.
However, with incorporation of MM BIO-3, MM BIO-5 and MM BIO-6, the effect would be reduced.
Indirect Effects
Project Actions have the potential to result in inadvertent oil spills. Any grey whales traversing through areas
that enter areas containing material from oil spills or other pollutants may experience immediate health effects.
Absent mitigation, Project Activities may adversely affect this species. However, with incorporation of MM
BIO-7, the effect would be reduced.
Project Actions have the potential to result in the release of invasive species, parasites, and pathogens. Absent
mitigation, Project Activities may adversely affect this species through reducing its access to prey within the Project
Area. However, with incorporation of MM BIO-4, MM BIO-8, and MM BIO-10 the effect would be reduced.
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Determination of Effects
Project Actions have the potential to result in direct and indirect effects to grey whale individuals and/or their
migration and feeding habitats. The highest risk to this species includes entanglement in gear and vessel strikes.
Construction activities are anticipated to be relatively brief (several weeks) within each plot which would cause
temporary changes to grey whale feeding and migrating behavior. In addition, due to the availability of feeding habitat
in the Santa Barbara Channel, Project Actions are not anticipated to interfere with gray whale migration and feeding
routes. Additional Project effects to this species include the potential effects on sediment quality from aquaculture
farms or fouling organisms. Measures to avoid and minimize any potential adverse effects to grey whale are discussed
above and include MM BIO-1 through BIO-11. With implementation of these measures, the effects of the Project
Actions would not jeopardize the continued existence of this species. As such, the Project Actions may affect, but is
not likely to adversely affect the grey whale.
Humpback Whale and Fin Whale
Humpback and fin whales are anticipated to experience similar effects as those described for grey whales, with the
exception of effects to sediment quality and the fouling of organisms. As described below, these species are expected
to be directly and indirectly effected by the Project Actions from entanglement, ship strikes, interference with
migration or feeding routes, changes in behavior from construction activities, oil spills, and release of invasive species.
Given recent reports, humpback whales may in fact be more susceptible to entanglements, given their size, large
appendages relative to body size ratio, and propensity to roll when entangled (NOAA 2018f).
Direct Effects
Humpback and fin whales may transit directly along the path of the project site. If Project Actions occur during
the migration period, individuals have the potential for entanglement in aquaculture gear. Absent mitigation,
entanglement would adversely affect this species. However, with incorporation of MM BIO-1 through BIO-5,
the effect would be reduced.
Project Actions will involve an increase in boat traffic both within the Project Action Area and routes to and from the
Ventura Harbor. Ship strike risk may also increase at nighttime when whales are resting, unaware of ship presence,
and are less visible to staff onboard. Absent mitigation, the Project Actions have the potential to result in injury
and/or mortality to humpback and fin from ship strikes, which would adversely affect these species. However, with
incorporation of MM BIO-6, the effect would be reduced.
Project Actions have the potential to interfere with humpback and fin whale migration and feeding routes. However,
the Santa Barbara Channel measures over 20 miles wide and the Project Action Area would be under 2 miles wide.
Due to the expansive open ranges that are available for these in the greater region, the Project Actions interference
with migration and feeding routes would not adversely affect these species.
Project Actions have the potential to result in changes of humpback and fin whale migration or feeding behavior
during construction from noise or avoidance of suitable feeding areas. Although, noise effects will be very low, these
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species may temporarily avoid construction areas. Absent mitigation, construction activities may adversely affect this
species. However, with incorporation of MM BIO-3, MM BIO-5 and MM BIO-6, the effect would be reduced.
Indirect Effects
Project Actions have the potential to result in inadvertent oil spills. Any humpback or fin whales traversing through
areas that enter areas containing material from oil spills or other pollutants may experience immediate health effects.
Absent mitigation, Project Activities may adversely affect these species. However, with incorporation of MM BIO-7,
the effect would be reduced.
Determination of Effects
Project Actions have the potential to result in direct and indirect effects to humpback and fin whale individuals and/or their
migration and feeding behaviors. The highest risk to these species includes entanglement in gear and vessel strikes.
Construction activities are anticipated to be relatively brief (several weeks) within each plot which would cause temporary
changes to humpback and fin whale feeding and migrating behavior. In addition, due to the availability of feeding habitat in
the Santa Barbara Channel, Project Actions are not anticipated to interfere with these species’ migration and feeding routes.
Additional Project effects to these species include the release of invasive species, parasites, and pathogens from seed stock.
Measures to avoid and minimize any potential adverse effects to the humpback and fin whale are discussed above and
include MM BIO-1 through BIO-11. With implementation of these measures, the effects of the Project Actions would
not jeopardize the continued existence or recovery of these species. As such, the Project Actions may affect, but are not
likely to adversely affect the humpback and fin whales.
5.1.1.2 Sea Turtles
Direct Effects
Loggerhead, green, and olive ridley sea turtles may traverse the Project Action Area during migration. Should marine
debris (e.g., fishing nets or wire not a part of the Project Actions) become entangled on the aquaculture long lines, sea
turtles may become entangled leading to injury and/or mortality. Absent mitigation, entanglement would adversely
affect these species. However, with incorporation of MM BIO-1 through BIO-5 and MM BIO-10, the effect would
be reduced.
Project Actions will involve an increase in boat traffic both within the Project Action Area and routes to and from the
Ventura Harbor. Absent mitigation, the Project Actions have the potential to result in injury and/or mortality to sea
turtles from ship strikes, which would adversely affect these species. However, with incorporation of MM BIO-6, the
effect would be reduced.
Project Actions have the potential to interfere with sea turtle migration routes. However, the Santa Barbara Channel
measures over 20 miles wide and the Project Action Area would be under 2 miles wide. Due to the expansive open
ranges that are available for these in the greater region, the Project Actions interference with migration routes would
not adversely affect these species.
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Project Actions have the potential to result in changes of sea turtle migrating behavior during construction from noise or
avoidance of migratory routes. Although noise effects will be very low, these species may temporarily avoid construction
areas. Artificial lighting during construction activities and regular operations can be disorienting to sea turtles (as well as
seabirds and migratory birds). Absent mitigation, construction activities may adversely affect this species. However, with
incorporation of MM BIO-3, MM BIO-5, MM BIO-6 and MM BIO-12, the effect would be reduced.
Indirect Effects
Project Actions have the potential to result in inadvertent oil spills. Any sea turtles traversing through areas that enter areas
containing material oil spills or other pollutants may experience immediate health effects. Absent mitigation, Project
Activities may adversely affect these species. However, with incorporation of MM BIO-7, the effect would be reduced.
Determination of Effects
Project Actions have the potential to result in direct and indirect effects to sea turtle individuals and/or their
migration behaviors. The highest risk to these species includes entanglement in fugitive nets and fishing line that may
become attached to aquaculture gear. Construction activities are anticipated to be relatively brief (several weeks)
within each plot which would cause temporary changes to sea turtle and migrating behavior. In addition, due to the
availability of open ocean in the Santa Barbara Channel, Project Actions are not anticipated to interfere with these
species’ migration routes. Additional Project effects to these species include possible ship strikes and the release of
invasive species. Measures to avoid and minimize any potential adverse effects to sea turtles are discussed above and
include MM BIO-1 through BIO-12. With implementation of these measures, the effects of the Project Actions
would not jeopardize the continued existence or recovery of these species. As such, the Project Actions may affect,
but are not likely to adversely affect the loggerhead, green and olive ridley sea turtles.
5.1.2 OTHER NON-LISTED SPECIES PROTECTED UNDER THE MMPA
5.1.2.1 Cetaceans
The common minke whale, common bottlenose dolphin, long-beaked common dolphin, short-beaked common
dolphin, and pacific white-sided dolphin are anticipated to experience similar effects as those described for humpback
and fin whale. However, these dolphins are resident that may be present in the Santa Barbara Channel year-round. As
described below, these species are expected to be directly and indirectly effected by the Project Actions from
entanglement, ship strikes, interference with migration or feeding routes, changes in behavior from construction
noise, potential oil spills, and release of invasive species, parasites, and pathogens from seed stock. There are few
documented cases of interactions between cetaceans and shellfish farms. However, in Australia, studies of bottlenose
dolphins indicate that they avoid mussel farms in shallow nearshore waters and the displacement of habitat causes a
reduction in fecundity (Kemper et al. 2003). This study involved coastal bottlenose dolphins, and it is unknown if
displacement of habitat will occur in offshore waters for offshore bottlenose dolphins. Similarly, in New Zealand,
dusky dolphins were seen avoiding mussel leases in shallow waters (they utilize shallow waters for foraging) which
may indicate that placing mussel farms in nearshore waters affects their ability to forage. In Chile, a bay used by
Chilean dolphins was completed filled in with mussel lines and the dolphins ceased to use the area for foraging
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(Kemper et al. 2003). These studies occur in shallow coastal waters and for different species than those that occur on
the project site but it habitat displacement may occur to offshore species as well, such as bottlenose dolphins,
common dolphins, pacific white-sided dolphins and minke whales in the project area. If these species are prevented
from foraging in the project area, it would be a small reduction in their overall foraging area and would not adversely
affect these species.
Direct Effects
The common minke whale may migrate along the Project Action Area and many dolphins are year-round residents. If
Project Actions occur during the common minke whale migration period, individuals have the potential for
entanglement in aquaculture gear. In addition, dolphins have the potential for entanglement year-round. Normally
adept at maneuvering around objects, individuals have the potential for entanglement in loose fishing nets, debris and
other ghost gear that could become attached to the mussel aquaculture gear. Absent mitigation, entanglement may
adversely affect these species. However, with incorporation of MM BIO-1 through BIO-5 and MM BIO-10, the
effect would be reduced.
Project Actions will involve an increase in boat traffic both within the Project Action Area and routes to and from the
Ventura Harbor. Ship strike risk may also increase at nighttime when migrating common minke whales may be
resting, unaware of ship presence, and are less visible to staff onboard. In addition, dolphins are known to bow-ride
which may result in accidental ship strikes to these species. Absent mitigation, the Project Actions have the potential
to result in injury and/or mortality, which would adversely affect these species. However, with incorporation of MM
BIO-6, the effect would be reduced.
Project Actions have the potential to interfere with common minke whale migration routes. In addition, foraging areas
for the common minke whale and dolphins may be disrupted from Project Actions. However, the Santa Barbara
Channel measures over 20 miles wide and the Project Action Area would be under 2 miles wide. Habitat displacement
could occur for these species, but it would be a small reduction in their overall foraging area. Due to the expansive
open ranges that are available for these in the greater region, the Project Actions interference with migration and
feeding routes would not adversely affect this species.
Project Actions have the potential to result in changes of common minke whale migration along with whale and
dolphin feeding behavior during construction from noise or avoidance of suitable feeding areas. These species may
temporarily avoid construction areas or experience more long lasting and adverse effects, as described above. Absent
mitigation, construction activities may adversely affect this species. However, with incorporation of MM BIO-3, MM
BIO-5 and MM BIO-6, the effect would be reduced.
Indirect Effects
Project Actions have the potential to result in inadvertent oil spills. Any common minke whales or dolphins traversing
through areas that enter areas containing material from oil spills or other pollutants may experience immediate health
effects. Absent mitigation, Project Activities may adversely affect these species. However, with incorporation of MM
BIO-7, the effect would be reduced.
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Project Actions have the potential to result in the release of invasive species, parasites, and pathogens. Absent
mitigation, Project Activities may adversely affect these species. However, with incorporation of MM BIO-4 and
MM BIO-8, the effect would be reduced.
Determination of Effects
Project Actions have the potential to result in direct and indirect effects to the common minke whale, common
bottlenose dolphin, long-beaked common dolphin, short-beaked common dolphin, and pacific white-sided dolphin.
The highest risk to these species includes entanglement in gear (loose fishing nets, debris, or other ghost gear that has
become entangled in the aquaculture array) and vessel strikes. Construction activities are anticipated to be relatively
brief (several weeks) within each plot which would cause temporary changes to whale and dolphin feeding and/or
migrating behavior. In addition, due to the availability of feeding habitat in the Santa Barbara Channel, Project
Actions are not anticipated to interfere with these species’ migration and feeding routes. Additional Project effects to
these species include the release of invasive species. Measures to avoid and minimize any potential adverse effects to
the common minke whale and dolphins are discussed above and include MM BIO-1 through BIO-11. With
implementation of these measures, the effects of the Project Actions would not jeopardize the continued existence of
these species. As such, the Project Actions may affect, but are not likely to adversely affect these species.
5.1.2.2 Pinnipeds
Pinnipeds, including the California sea lion and Pacific harbor seal, are expected to experience similar effects as those
described for small cetaceans. Similar to dolphins, pinnipeds are resident and are present in the Santa Barbara Channel
year-round. As described below, these species are expected to be directly and indirectly effected by the Project
Actions from entanglement, ship strikes, interference with feeding routes, changes in behavior from construction
activities (disturbance), invasive species, parasites, and pathogens, altered marine food chains/habitat due to fouling
the water and changes to the benthic fauna (Kemper et al. 2003). Other affects may include predator control.
Direct Effects
Pinnipeds may be present year round in the Project Action Area. There have been no reported interactions between
pinnipeds and shellfish aquaculture (Kemper et al. 2003) indicating a very low possibility of an impact; however,
individuals have the potential for entanglement in loose fishing nets, debris and other ghost gear that could become
attached to the mussel aquaculture array. Absent mitigation, entanglement may adversely affect these species.
However, with incorporation of MM BIO-1 through BIO-5 and MM BIO-10, the effect would be reduced.
Project Actions will involve an increase in boat traffic both within the Project Action Area and routes to and from the
Ventura Harbor. Absent mitigation, the Project Actions have the potential to result in injury and/or mortality, which
would adversely affect these species. However, with incorporation of MM BIO-6, the effect would be reduced.
Project Actions have the potential to interfere with pinniped feeding routes. However, the Santa Barbara Channel
measures over 20 miles wide and the Project Action Area would be under 2 miles wide. Due to the expansive open
ranges that are available for these in the greater region, the Project Actions interference with migration and feeding
routes would not adversely affect this species.
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Project Actions have the potential to result in changes of pinniped feeding behavior during construction from noise
or avoidance of suitable feeding areas. These species may temporarily avoid construction areas or experience more
long lasting and adverse effects, as described above. Absent mitigation, construction activities may adversely affect
this species. However, with incorporation of MM BIO-3, MM BIO-5 and MM BIO-6, the effect would be reduced.
Predator control is unlikely to be needed for this project given the feeding preferences of pinnipeds in the area.
However, if predator control is required, MM BIO-13 will be incorporated.
Indirect Effects
Project Actions have the potential to result in inadvertent oil spills or other pollution. Any pinnipeds traversing through
areas that contain material from oil spills may experience immediate health effects. Absent mitigation, Project Activities may
adversely affect these species. However, with incorporation of MM BIO-7, the effect would be reduced.
Project Actions have the potential to result in the release of invasive species, parasites, and pathogens. Absent
mitigation, Project Activities may adversely affect these species. However, with incorporation of MM BIO-4 and
MM BIO-8, the effect would be reduced.
Determination of Effects
Project Actions have the potential to result in direct and indirect effects to pinnipeds, including the California sea lion,
and Pacific harbor seal. The highest risk to these species includes vessel strikes. Construction activities are anticipated
to be relatively brief (several weeks) within each plot which would cause temporary changes to pinniped feeding
behavior. In addition, due to the availability of feeding habitat in the Santa Barbara Channel, Project Actions are not
anticipated to interfere with these species’ feeding routes. Additional Project effects to these species include the
release of invasive species, parasites, and pathogens from seed stock. Measures to avoid and minimize any potential
adverse effects to pinnipeds are discussed above and include MM BIO-1 through BIO-11. With implementation of
these measures, the effects of the Project Actions would not jeopardize the continued existence of these species. As
such, the Project Actions may affect, but are not likely to adversely affect pinnipeds.
5.2 Mitigation Measures
MM BIO-1 Marine Wildlife Entanglement Plan. No less than once per month, each grower/producer
operating on a VPD lease shall visually inspect all ropes, cables, and equipment via depth/fish finders
to determine if any entanglement of a marine mammal has occurred and to ensure that (a) no lines
have been broken, lost or removed; (b) all longlines, anchor lines, and buoy lines remain taught and
in good working condition; and (c) any derelict fishing gear or marine debris that collects in the
growing gear is removed and disposed of at an identified onshore facility. All equipment and
materials accidentally released or found to be missing from the facility during monthly inspections,
including buoys, floats, lines, ropes, chains, cultivation trays, wires, fasteners, and clasps, shall be
searched for, collected, properly disposed of onshore, and documented in the annual inspection
report. Monitoring shall occur monthly for the first two years following deployment and, in the event
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that there are no marine wildlife entanglements within the first two years, may be reduced to
quarterly inspections thereafter.
Inspections shall include recordings by depth/fish finder or ROV surveys of lines and/or monitoring
performed by SCUBA divers. Recorded video shall be provided along with the annual report
described above. Any maintenance issues including wear, loosening, or fatigue of materials shall be
remedied as soon as possible. All incidents of observed whale entanglement shall be immediately
reported to SOS WHALe. Any other marine wildlife (i.e., other marine mammals, turtles) observed
to be entangled will be immediately reported to NOAA Fisheries Marine Mammal Stranding
Network Coordinator, West Coast Region, Long Beach Office. Only personnel who have been
authorized by NOAA Fisheries and who have training, experience, equipment, and support will
attempt to disentangle marine wildlife. If possible, the grower/producer shall document and
photograph entangled wildlife and the entangling gear material so as to modify gear and avoid any
future entanglements.
MM BIO-2 Entanglement Prevention. Grow-ropes will be attached to the head rope with a low-breakingstrength
twine (4-millimeter (0.16-inch) diameter; <1,000 pounds), which will facilitate rapid detachment in the unlikely event of any interaction with the longline. A 1,100-pound breakaway link will be installed between surface marking buoys and the vertical lines. MM BIO-3 Marine Wildlife Observer. A Marine Wildlife Observer shall be present on each project construction vessel during all construction activities, including the installation of long lines and anchoring systems. The observer shall monitor and record the presence of all marine wildlife (marine mammals and sea turtles) within 100 yards of the work area. The observer shall have the authority to halt operations if marine wildlife are observed or anticipated to be near a work area and construction activities have the potential to result in injury or entanglement of marine wildlife. In addition, all work (including vessel motors) will be halted if a cetacean is observed within the monitoring area or if a pinniped or sea turtle is observed within 50 yards of the work area. Work may commence after the observed individuals have moved out of the monitoring area. Observers’ reports on marine mammal monitoring during construction activities shall be prepared and submitted to NOAA Fisheries on a monthly basis. Reports shall include such information as the (1) number, type, and location of marine mammals observed; (2) the behavior of marine mammals in the area of potential sound effects during construction; (3) dates and times when observations and in-water project construction activities were conducted; and (4) dates and times when in-water construction activities were suspended because of marine mammals. VPD shall prepare a list of qualified marine wildlife observers who meet the following minimum qualifications: visual acuity in both eyes (correction is permissible) sufficient to discern moving targets at the water’s surface with ability to estimate target size and distance; (2) use of binoculars or ATTACHMENT 4 265 BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 53 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 spotting scope may be necessary to correctly identify the target; (3) advanced education in biological science, wildlife management, mammalogy, or related fields (bachelor’s degree or higher is preferred); (4) experience and ability to conduct field observations and collect data according to assigned protocols (this may include academic experience); (5) experience or training in the field identification of marine mammals (cetaceans and pinnipeds) and sea turtles; and (6) ability to communicate orally, by radio or in person, with project personnel to provide real time information on marine wildlife observed in the area, as needed. MM BIO-4 Cultivation of Spat Off site. Only hatchery-reared mussel spat grown at a facility certified by CDFW will be used in order to ensure that spat are free of introduced invasive species, parasites, and pathogens of concern; however, natural mussel spat collected on farm grow-out lines and buoys may also be harvested and cultivated. MM BIO-5 Marine Wildlife Education. Each grower/producer will be required to provide bi-annual (twice per year) marine wildlife education to its employees regarding proper procedures relating to marine wildlife. The training curriculum will include identifying the presence of specified marine wildlife and procedures for avoiding impacts to marine wildlife during operations. These procedures will include (1) reducing speed and observing the distances from marine life specified in MM BIO-6; (2) providing a safe path of travel for marine mammals that avoids encirclement or entrapment of the animal(s) between the vessel and growing apparatus; (3) if approached by a marine mammal, reducing speed, placing the vessel in neutral and waiting until the animal is observed clear of the vessel before making way; (4) avoiding sudden direction or speed changes when near marine mammals; (5) refraining from approaching, touching or feeding a marine mammal; and (6) immediately contacting their supervisor and other identified parties/agencies identified in MM BIO-1 should an employee observe an injured marine mammal. MM BIO-6 Vessel Management. Vessels in transit to and from the growing area shall maintain a distance of 100 yards from any observed cetacean and 50 yards between any observed pinniped or sea turtle. If cetaceans are observed within 100 yards or pinnipeds or sea turtles observed within 50 yards, the vessel shall reduce speeds to 12 knots or less until it is the appropriate distance (as required by this condition) from the particular marine life. If a cetacean is heading into the direct path of the vessel (i.e., approaching a moving vessel directly into the bow), the vessel shall shut off the engine until the cetacean is no longer approaching the bow and until a greater separation distance is observed. If small cetaceans are observed bow-riding, and the vessel is operating at speeds of 12 knots or less, the vessel shall remain parallel to the animal’s course and avoid abrupt changes in direction until the cetaceans have left the area. Each sighting of a federally listed threatened or endangered whale or turtle shall be recorded and the following information shall be provided: a. Date, time, coordinates of vessel b. Visibility, weather, sea state ATTACHMENT 4 266 BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 54 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 c. Vector of sighting (distance, bearing) d. Duration of sighting e. Species and number of animals f. Observed behaviors (feeding, diving, breaching, etc.) g. Description of interaction with aquaculture facility MM BIO-7 Spill Prevention and Response. Discharges of feed, pesticides, or chemicals (including antibiotics and hormones) in ocean waters are prohibited. Fuel, lubricants and chemicals must be labeled, stored and disposed of in a safe and responsible manner, and marked with warning signs. Precautions shall be taken to prevent spills, fires and explosions, and procedures and supplies shall be readily available to manage chemical and fuel spills or leaks. Each grower/producer shall comply with the Spill Prevention and Response Plan (SPRP) for vessels and work barges that will be used during project construction and operations. Each grower/producer operating in the project area shall be trained in, and adhere to, the emergency procedures and spill prevention and response measures specified in the SPRP during all project operations. The SPRP shall provide for emergency response and spill control procedures to be taken to stop or control the source of the spill and to contain and clean up the spill. The SPRP shall include, at a minimum: (a) identification of potential spill sources and quantity estimates of a project specific reasonable worst case spill; (b) identification of prevention and response equipment and measures/procedures that will be taken to prevent potential spills and to protect marine and shoreline resources in the event of a spill. Spill prevention and response equipment shall be kept onboard project vessels at all times; (c) a prohibition on at-sea vessel or equipment fueling/refueling activities; and (d) emergency response and notification procedures, including a list of contacts to call in the event of a spill; (e) assurance that all hydraulic fluid to be used for installation, maintenance, planting, and harvesting activities shall be vegetable based. MM BIO-8 Invasive Species. Grower/producers operating in the project area shall be required to receive training from NMFS to identify potential invasive species and how to properly dispose of such invasive species if discovered. MM BIO-9 Sediment Quality Monitoring Plan. A Sediment Quality Monitoring Plan shall be developed requiring monitoring of sediment conditions within the project area, including monitoring the quantity, type, and distribution of biological materials (such as shellfish, shell material, and fouling organisms) that accumulate on the seafloor. Monitoring will also include an evaluation of any changes to oxygen demand of benthic infaunal and epifaunal communities, and changes to the chemical and biochemical conditions of seafloor sediments along with a description of performance standards to meet. If performance standards are not met, corrective actions will be outlined. The Plan will include reporting requirements, including annual report submittals to NOAA and NMFS for review. If performance standards are met for a period of time, the plan will provide for appropriately scaling down monitoring and intervals over time. ATTACHMENT 4 267 BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 55 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 MM BIO-10 Aquaculture Gear Monitoring and Escapement Plan. Include in overall management plan an aquaculture gear monitoring and escapement plan. Any farm gear that has broken loose from the farm location shall be retrieved. The farm site shall be visited at minimum twice per month to examine the aquaculture gear for potential loss or non-compliant deployment, including inspections for fouling organisms. Any organisms that have a potential to cover the sea floor will be removed and disposed of at an identified upland facility. A Marine Debris Management Plan shall also be prepared that includes (a) a plan for permanently marking all lines, ropes, buoys, and other facility infrastructure and floating equipment with the name and contact information of the grower/producer; (b) a description of the extent and frequency of maintenance operations necessary to minimize the loss of materials and equipment to the marine environment resulting from breakages and structural failures; and (c) a description of the search and cleanup measures that would be implemented if loss of shellfish cultivation facility materials, equipment, and/or infrastructure occurs. MM BIO-11 Decommissioning Plan. A decommissioning plan for the timely removal of all shellfish, structures, anchoring devices, equipment, and materials associated with the shellfish cultivation facility and documentation of completion of removal activities will be a requirement of each permit or sub-permit. Financial assurances to guarantee implementation of the plan will be in place and reviewed periodically. MM BIO-12 Lighting. All growing area operations shall be completed during daylight hours. No growing area operations will be conducted at night and no permanent artificial lighting of the shellfish cultivation facility shall occur, except for that associated with the use of navigational safety buoys required by the U.S. Coast Guard. MM BIO-13 Predator Control. Potential predator species will be identified. Specified humane methods of predator deterrence will be utilized, favoring non-lethal methods. No controls, other than non-lethal exclusion, shall be applied to species that are listed as threatened or endangered. MM NAV-1 Update NOAA Charts. VPD to submit to the NOAA Office of Coast Survey: (a) the geographical coordinates of the facility boundaries obtained using a different geographic position unit or comparable navigational equipment; (b) as-built plans of the facility and associated buoys and anchors; (c) each grower/producer’s point of contact and telephone number; and (d) any other information required by the NOAA Office of Coast Survey to accurately portray the location of the shellfish cultivation facility on navigational charts. MM NAV-2 Notice to Mariners. No less than 15-days prior to the start of in-water activities associated with the installation phase of the project, VPD shall submit to (a) the U.S. Coast Guard (for publication in a Notice to Mariners); and (b) the harbormasters (for posting in their offices of public noticeboards), notices containing the anticipated start date of installation, the anticipated installation schedule, and the coordinates of the installation sites. During installation, VPD shall also make radio broadcast announcements to the local fishers’ emergency radio frequency that provide the current installation location and a phone number that can be called for additional information. ATTACHMENT 4 268 BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 56 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 5.3 Cumulative Effects Section 7 (FESA) regulations require a federal agency taking an action to provide an analysis of cumulative effects when requesting initiation of formal consultation. Cumulative effects include the effects of future state, tribal, local, or private actions, not involving a federal action, that are reasonably certain to occur in or adjacent to the project site. Future federal actions that are unrelated to the Proposed Action are not considered in this analysis, because they require separate consultation pursuant to Section 7. Federal actions may include granting a permit for a project, authorizing funds for a project, or implementing a project. For the purposes of this BA, cumulative effects are defined as environmental change that results from the incremental effects of several projects that may be individually minor, but that become significant when considered collectively. There are no known actions (Federal, State or Tribal) slated to occur in or immediately adjacent to the project area. 5.4 Compensatory Mitigation No impacts requiring compensatory mitigation will result from implementation of the Project Actions. ATTACHMENT 4 269 BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 57 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK ATTACHMENT 4 270 BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 58 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 6.0 CONCLUSIONS This BA forms the basis for the conclusions presented below regarding the effects of the Project Actions on thirteen species with a potential to occur in the action area. Based on a review of the current status of these species, the effects of the Project Actions, and recommended measures to avoid and minimize effects to listed species, the Project Actions may affect, but are not likely to adversely affect each of these species. Table 2 below summarizes the effects determination for the Project Actions. Table 2 Summary of Effects Determinations Federally Protected Species No Effect May Affect, But Is Not Likely to Adversely Affect Is Likely to Adversely Affect Balarnoptera acutorostrata Common Minke Whale Balaenoptera physalus physalus Fin Whale Caretta caretta Loggerhead Sea Turtle Chelonia mydas Green Sea Turtle Delphinus capensis capensis Long-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis delphis Short-beaked Common Dolphin Eschrichtius robustus Gray Whale Lagenorhynchus obliquidens Pacific White-sided Dolphin Lepidochelys olivacea Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Megaptera novaeangliae Humpback Whale Phoca vitulina Pacific Harbor Seal Tursiops truncatus Common Bottlenose Dolphin Zalophus californianus California Sea Lion As noted in the Nationwide Permit (NWP) 48 Decision Document (USACE 2017) recently approved by the Corps, which considered shellfish aquaculture uses nationwide, “Compared to the disturbances and degradation caused by ATTACHMENT 4 271 BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 59 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 coastal development, pollution, and other human activities in coastal areas, commercial shellfish aquaculture activities present relatively mild disturbances to estuarine and marine ecosystems.” The Decision Document concludes that impacts from most aquaculture projects would be de minimis on the surrounding environment. This determination is generally reaffirmed in the Corps’ 2015 Programmatic Biological Assessment (USACE 2015) that considered new and existing shellfish aquaculture in Washington State, as well as the 2016 Programmatic Biological Opinions from NOAA’s NMFS (NMFS 2012f) evaluating the same, which concluded that impacts would be minor upon imposition of identified conservation measures. Notably, the above analyses evaluated shellfish aquaculture at a larger scale than that proposed by the project. NWP 48 covers most shellfish aquaculture projects nationwide and the Programmatic Biological Evaluation evaluated environmental impacts associated with a total of 38,400 commercial aquaculture acres in Washington. With implementation of the mitigation measures identified in this BA, including measures for navigational safety MM BIO-14 and MM BIO-15, the Project Actions are not expected to directly or indirectly reduce, in any appreciable manner, the likelihood of survival or recovery of the species described above by reducing its reproduction, numbers, or distribution. The measures proposed to offset anticipated effects provide reasonable protections to avoid and minimize adverse effects of the Project Actions. Additionally, no designated critical habitat is present within the Action Area. Overall, the Project Actions would not result in permanent impacts to ESA‐listed or MMPA species, based on: (1) the nature and extent of the activities proposed to be implemented; (2) avoidance and minimization measures proposed in this BA; (3) the relative size of the Project Actions within the Santa Barbara Channel; and (4) the temporary nature of construction activities. See Dudek (2018) for an assessment of Essential Fish Habitat for this project. ATTACHMENT 4 272 BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 60 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 7.0 REFERENCES Abramson, L., S. Polefka, S. Hastings, and K. Bor. 2010. Reducing the Threat of Ship Strikes on Large Cetaceans in the Santa Barbara Channel Region and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary: Recommendations and Case Studies. Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series ONMS-11-01. U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Silver Spring, MD. 59pp. Allen, B.M. and R.P. Angliss. 2014. Alaska Marine Mammal Stock Assessments. NOAA-TM-AFSC-301. Accessed July 24, 2017. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/pdf/stocks/alaska/2014/ak2014_ssl-eastern.pdf. Barlow, J. and G.A. Cameron. 2003. Field Experiments Show That Acoustic Pingers Reduce Marine Mammal Bycatch in the California Drift Gill Net Fishery. 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Provided by NMFS Pacific Island Regional Office, Protected Resources Division. Revised January 2009. Accessed February 15, 2018. http://www.fpir.noaa.gov/Library/PRD/ESA%20Consultation/Final%20Action%20Agency%20Consultati on%20Package%20Files%20for%20website%201-12-09/Template%20for%20BA-BE%20-%201-12-09.pdf. NMFS. 2010. Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). Central Valley Fall, Late-Fall Run ESU. Species of Concern. NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service. Accessed February 20, 2018: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ pr/pdfs/species/chinooksalmon_highlights.pdf. NMFS. 2011a. Common Bottlenose Dolphin. California/Oregon/Washington Offshore Stock. NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service. Accessed August 27, 2018. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/ webdam/download/70099129 . NMFS. 2011b. Pacific Cod (Gadus microcephalus). Salish Sea Population. Species of Concern. NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service. Accessed February 20, 2018. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdfs/species/ pacificcod_detailed.pdf. NMFS 2011c. Critical Habitat for the Southern Distinct Population Segment of Eulachon. Final Biological Report. Southwest Region Protected Resources Division.. NMFS. 2011d. Final Designation of Critical Habitat for Black Abalone. Final Biological Report. Southwest Region Protected Resources Division. ATTACHMENT 4 278 BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 66 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 NMFS. 2014. Status Review Report for Pinto Abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana). U.S. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service. Accessed February 22, 2018. http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/publications/protected_species/other/ abalone_species/ pintoabsr_report_final_dec_2014.pdf . NMFS. 2015a. Southern Distinct Population Segment of the North American Green Sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris). 5- Year Review: Summary and Evaluation. National Marine Fisheries Service. West Coast Region. Accessed February 22, 2018. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/listing/southern_dps_green_sturgeon_5- year_review_2015__2_.pdf. NMFS. 2015b. ESA Recovery Plan for Snake River Sockeye Salmnon (Onchorynchus nerka). National Marine Fisheries Service, West Coast Region, Portland, Oregon. Accessed February 20, 2018: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ pr/recovery/plans/snake_river_sockeye_recovery_plan_june_2015.pdf. NMFS. 2016a. Recovery Plan for Oregon Coast Coho Salmon Evolutionarily Significant Unit. National Marine Fisheries Service, West Coast Region, Portland, Oregon. Accessed February 20, 2018: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/recovery/plans/final_oc_coho_recovery_plandec_20.pdf. NMFS. 2016c. 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Dwarf Sperm Whale (Kogia sima): California/Oregon/Washington Stock. Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Report. Revised February 10, 2017. Accessed February 15, 2018. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/species.htm. NMFS. 2017c. Striped Dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba): California/Oregon/Washington Stock. Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Report. Revised February 9, 2017. Accessed February 15, 2018. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/species.htm. ATTACHMENT 4 279 BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 67 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 NMFS. 2017d. Chum Salmon (Onchorhynchus keta). NOAA Fisheries. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accessed February 15, 2018: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/fish/chum-salmon.html. NMFS. 2017e. Rockfish Recovery Plan: Puget Sound / Georgia Basin yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus) and bocaccio (Sebastes paucispinis). National Marine Fisheries Service. Seattle, WA. NMFS. 2017f. National Marine Fisheries Service Endangered Species Consultation Biological Opinion on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Nationwide Permit Program. February 2012. U.S. Department of Commerce. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. National Marine Fisheries Service. Silver Spring, Maryland. Accessed February 20, 2018. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pdfs/consultations/ biop_acoe_permits2012.pdf. NMFS. 2017g. Common Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus): California Coastal Stock. Marine Mammal Stock Assessment Report. Revised February 9, 2017. Accessed February 20, 2018. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/ pr/sars/pdf/stocks/pacific/2016/po2016_cbd-cc.pdf. NMFS. 2018a. Find a Species Website. NOAA Fisheries. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accessed February 20, 2018. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/find-species. NMFS. 2018b. Species of Concern Website. NOAA Fisheries, West Coast Region, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accessed February 20, 2018. .http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/ protected_species/species_of_concern/species_of_concern.html NMFS. 2018c. Protected Species: Marine Mammals. NOAA Fisheries, West Coast Region, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accessed February 20, 2018. .http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/ protected_species/marine_mammals/marine_mammals.html NMFS. 2018d. Protected Species: Sea Turtles. NOAA Fisheries, West Coast Region, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accessed February 20, 2018. ttp://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/ protected_species/sea_turtles/marine_turtles.html. NMFS. 2018e. 2018 Revisions to: Technical Guidance for Assessing the Effects of Anthropogenic Sound on Marine Mammal Hearing (Version 2.0): Underwater Thresholds for Onset of Permanent and Temporary Threshold Shifts. U.S. Dept. of Commer., NOAA. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-OPR-59, 167 p. NMFS and USFWS (US Fish and Wildlife Service). 1998a. 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Accessed July 20, 2018. http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/publications/ protected_species/other/green_sturgeon/g_s_critical_habitat/gschd_finalbiologicalrpt.pdf. NOAA. 2011. “National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Aquaculture Policy.” NOAA Fisheries. Accessed July 20, 2018. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/topic/aquaculture/regulation-policy. NOAA. 2012. Cetacean & Sound Mapping. Metadata. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. U.S. Department of Commerce. Accessed July 20, 2018. https://cetsound.noaa.gov/metadata/ swfsc_stratified_graywhale_2012.html. NOAA. 2013a. “National Shellfish Initiative.” Fact sheet. NOAA Fisheries. Accessed March 15, 2018. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/aquaculture/docs/policy/natl_shellfish_init_factsheet_ summer_2013.pdf. NOAA. 2013b. Gray Whale Stranding and Marine Debris. Grey Whale Outreach Activity Informational Flyer. Accessed March 15, 2018. http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/publications/education/ graywhalestrandingmarinedebrisactivitypacket.pdf ATTACHMENT 4 281 BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 69 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 NOAA. 2014. U.S. west coast large whale entanglement information sharing workshop report. The National Marine Fisheries Service. West Coast Regional Office. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. U.S. Department of Commerce. Accessed July 20, 2018. http://www.opc.ca.gov/webmaster/ftp/project_pages/ dctf/ec-meeting-10/finalentanglementwsreport.pdf. NOAA. 2017a. United States West Coast, California. Port Hueneme to Santa Barbara. Mercator Projection. Nautical Chart. Washington, DC. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA, National Ocean Science, Coast Survey. 30th Ed. June 2013. Last correction 7/3/2017. NOAA. 2017b. Reducing Ship Strike Risk to Whales. Resource Protection. National Marine Sanctuaries. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accessed February 20, 2018. https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/ protect/shipstrike/welcome.html. NOAA. 2017c. 2016 West Coast Entanglement Summary. Overview of Entanglement Data. NOAA Fisheries. West Coast Region. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. U.S. Department of Commerce. Accessed July 20, 2018. http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/mediacenter/WCR%202016%20Whale%2 0Entanglements_3-26-17_Final.pdf. NOAA. 2018a. California Species List Tools. NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region. Accessed February 20, 2018. http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/maps_data/california_species_list_tools.html NOAA. 2018b. Endangered Species Act, Section 6 Program Website. Accessed February 20, 2018. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/conservation/states/california.htm NOAA. 2018c. Critical Habitat Maps. Accessed February 20, 2018. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/criticalhabitat.htm NOAA. 2018d. Water Temperature Table of the Southern Pacific Coast. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Last update on March 7, 2018. Accessed February 20, 2018. https://www.nodc.noaa.gov/ dsdt/cwtg/all_meanT.html NOAA. 2018e. Cetacean and Sound Mapping. Biologically Important Areas. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accessed May 29, 2018. https://cetsound.noaa.gov/biologically-important-area-map NOAA. 2018f. Olive Ridley. Protected Resources Division, Sea Turtles. Pacific Islands Regional Office. NOAA Fisheries. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Accessed September 19, 2018. https://www.fpir.noaa.gov/PRD/prd_olive_ridley.html National Ocean Council. 2013. National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan. Accessed April 15, 2019. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/national_ocean_policy_ implementation_plan.pdf. ATTACHMENT 4 282 BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 70 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 National Park Service (NPS). 2013. Viewing Elephant Seals. Point Reyes National Seashore, California. National Park Service. Accessed February 20, 2018. https://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvisit/wildlife_viewing_elephantseals.htm Okumus, I., Bascinar, N., and M. Ozkan. 2002. The effects of phytoplankton concentration, size of mussel and water temperature on feed consumption and filtration rate of the Mediterranean Mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis Lmk). Turkish Journal of Zoology. 26: 167-172. OSPAR (OSPAR Commission). 2009. Assessment of the environmental impact of underwater noise. Biodiversity Series. Prepared by F. Thomsen and the Intersessional correspondence group on underwater noise. OSPAR Commission. ISBN : 978-1-906840-76-1. Publication Number: 436/2009. Pearson, T., and R. Rosenberg. 1978. Macrobenthic succession in relation to organic enrichment and pollution of the marine environment. Oceanography and Marine Biology Annual Review 16: 229–311. Point Blue Conservation Science (PBCS). 2018. Whale Alert Map. Point Blue Conservation Science. Accessed February 15, 2018. https://geo.pointblue.org/whale-map/index.php Price, C.S., E.Keane, D. Morin, C. Vaccaro, D. Bean, and J.A. Morris,Jr. 2016. Protected Species & Longline Mussel Aquaculture Interactions. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 211. 85 pp. Ritter, F. 2012. Collisions of sailing vessels with cetaceans worldwide: First insights into a seemingly growing problem. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 12(1): 119-127. Santa Barbara Channelkeeper. 2017. About the Santa Barbara Channel. Accessed April 14, 2017 from the ChannelKeeper website: http://www.sbck.org/about-the-santa-barbara-channel/. Silber, G.K., Slutsky, J. and Bettridge, S. 2010. Hydrodynamics of a ship/whale collision. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 391: 10-19. Stadmark J., and D.J. Conley. 2011. Mussel farming as a nutrient reduction measure in the Baltic Sea: consideration of nutrient biogeochemical cycles. Mar Pollut Bull 62:1385−1388. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP). 2016. Bight ’13 Regional Monitoring. Regional Monitoring. SCCWRP: A Public Agency for Environmental Research. Accessed August 27, 2018. http://sccwrp.org/ResearchAreas/RegionalMonitoring/Bight13RegionalMonitoring.aspx. Souchu, P, Vaquer, A., Collos, Y., Landrein, S., Deslous-Paoli, J., and B. Bibent. 2001. Influence of shellfish farming activities on the biogeochemical composition of the water column in Thau lagoon. Inter-Research. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 218: 141-152. ATTACHMENT 4 283 BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 71 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 The Orange County Register (OC Register). 2018. Rare Pilot Whale Surface off Dana Point. Written by Kelly Zhou. October 30, 2014 at 7:05am. Accessed February 20, 2018. https://www.ocregister.com/2014/10/30/rarepilot- whales-surface-off-dana-point/. USACE (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers). 2015. Programmatic Biological Assessment. Shellfish Activities in Washington State Inland Marine Waters. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle. USACE. 2017. Decision Document. Nationwide Permit 48. Sections 10 and 404. Accessed February 20, 2018. https://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/Nationwide- Permits/2017_NWP_FinalDD/. USFWS (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). 1985. Revised California Least Tern Recovery Plan. Sterna antillarum brownii. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland, Oregon. 112. pp. USFWS. 1997. Recovery Plan for the Threatened Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) in Washington, Oregon, and California. Portland, Oregon. 203 pp. USFWS. 2005. Recovery Plan for the Tidewater Goby (Eucyclogobius newberryi). Region 1. Ecological Services. USFWS. 2006. California least tern (Sternula antillarum browni) 5-Year Review Summary and Evaluation. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, Carlsbad, California. September. USFWS. 2011. Santa Ana Sucker (Catostomus santaanae). 5-Year Review: Summary and Evaluation. Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office. USFWS. 2015. Southern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) 5-Year Review: Summary and Evaluation. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, Ventura, California. September 15. USFWS. 2018a. Information for Planning and Consulting. Accessed February 20, 2018. https://ecos.fws.gov/ipac/. USFWS. 2018b. Environmental Conservation Online System (ECOS). Accessed February 20, 2018. https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp/. USFWS. 2018c. International Affairs CITES Informational Website. Oceanic Whitetip Shark (Carcharhinus longimanus). Accessed February 20, 2018. https://www.fws.gov/international/cites/cop16/oceanic-whitetip-shark.html. USFWS. 2018d. Short-tailed albatross. Oregon Fish and Wildlife Offices. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Accessed February 20, 2018. https://www.fws.gov/oregonfwo/articles.cfm?id=149489452. ATTACHMENT 4 284 BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 72 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 Ventura County Star (VCS). 2017. Humpback Whale Gets Stuck in Ventura Harbor. Ventura County Star. February 15, 2018. http://www.vcstar.com/story/news/local/communities/ventura/2017/05/20/humpback-whalestuck- ventura-harbor/101946876/. Weise, M.J., Costa, D.P., and R.M. Kudela. 2006. Movement and diving behavior of male California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) during anomalous oceanographic conditions of 2005 compared to those of 2004. Geophysical Research Letters. 33: L22S10. Accessed July 20, 2018. https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/ doi/epdf/10.1029/2006GL027113. Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC). 2018. Blainville’s Beaked Whale (Mesoplodon densirostris). Accessed February 20, 2018. http://us.whales.org/species-guide/blainvilles-beaked-whale. Wilding T.A., and T.D. 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ATTACHMENT 4 285 BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 73 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK ATTACHMENT 4 286 APPENDIX A Essential Fish Habitat Assessment ATTACHMENT 4 287 ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT PREPARED FOR: VENTURA PORT DISTRICT 1603 Anchors Way Ventura, California 93001 Contact: Brian Pendleton PREPARED BY: DUDEK 621 Chapala Street Santa Barbara, California 93101 Contact: John H. Davis IV, Senior Coastal Ecologist jdavis@dudek.com .805. 252.7996 SEPTEMBER 2018 ATTACHMENT 4 288 PRINTED ON 30% POST-CONSUMER RECYCLED MATERIAL. ATTACHMENT 4 289 ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 i DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 TABLE OF CONTENTS SECTION PAGE 1.0 INTRODUCTION …………………………………………………………………………………….. 1 1.1 Project Location …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1 2.0 DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT ACTIONS ………………………………………………………… 5 2.1 Project Actions …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5 2.1.1 Project Construction ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5 2.1.2 Project Operation …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 6 2.2 Project Action Area ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 23 3.0 REGULATORY SETTING ………………………………………………………………………… 29 3.1 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act ………………………………………… 29 3.1.1 Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (HAPC) ……………………………………………………….. 30 4.0 MANAGED FISHERIES AND HABITAT AREAS OF PARTICULAR CONCERN …………. 33 4.1.1 Salmon ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 33 4.1.2 groundfish …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 33 4.1.3 Coastal Pelagic Species ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 45 4.1.4 Highly Migratory Species ………………………………………………………………………………………. 46 4.2 Habitat Areas of Particular Concern…………………………………………………………………………………… 47 4.2.1 Seagrass …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 47 4.2.2 Canopy Kelp …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 48 4.2.3 Rocky Reefs ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 49 4.2.4 Estuaries ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 49 4.2.5 Areas of interest ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 50 5.0 ANALYSIS OF THE POTENTIAL ADVERSE EFFECTS OF THE ACTION ON EFH AND THE MANAGED SPECIES ……………………………………………………………………….. 53 5.1 Entanglement……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 53 5.2 Temporary Loss of Habitat and Increased Turbidity due to Anchor Installation ………………. 53 5.3 Construction Noise…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 54 5.4 Hazardous Contaminants from Oil Spills …………………………………………………………………………… 54 5.5 Loss of Prey Resources due to Fouling Organisms ……………………………………………………………. 54 5.6 Disturbance to the Benthic Environment from Project Operations ………………………………….. 55 6.0 CONCLUSION ……………………………………………………………………………………… 57 7.0 REFERENCES ……………………………………………………………………………………… 59 ATTACHMENT 4 290 ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 ii DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 APPENDICES A Groundfish EFH and HAPC Maps B Final California Commercial Landings for 2017 C Commercial Fisheries Data for Blocks 0664 and 0665 D Best Management Practices FIGURES 1 Project Location ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3 2 Detailed Plan for Shellfish Longlines ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 9 3a Parcel Array Overview …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 11 3b Backbone Details …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 13 4 Simulated View of Parcel Array at the Surface 100 Acre Plot ………………………………………………………….. 15 5 Simulated View of Parcel Array at the Surface ………………………………………………………………………………… 17 6 Simulated View of Parcel Array Underwater ……………………………………………………………………………………. 19 7 Simulated View of Parcel Array Underwater with Anchor Line ………………………………………………………. 21 8 Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Action Area ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 25 9 NOAA Nautical Chart …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 27 10 CDFW Trawl Blocks for Santa Barbara Channel …………………………………………………………………………….. 41 11 CDFW Trawl Blocks 0664 and 0665 ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 43 TABLES 1 Groundfish EFH in the Action Area ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 34 2 California Halibut Regional and Trawl Block Landings in Pounds ………………………………………………….. 45 3 Coastal Pelagic Species in the Action Area ………………………………………………………………………………………. 46 4 Highly Migratory Species in the Action Area …………………………………………………………………………………… 46 ATTACHMENT 4 291 ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 1 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 1.0 INTRODUCTION This Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Assessment has been prepared for the Ventura Port District (VPD, project applicant) to evaluate the effects of the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise (VSE) Project (project) on species regulated under a Fisheries Management Plan (FMP), pursuant to the requirements of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSFCMA). The project, supported in part through the NOAA 2015 Sea Grant Aquaculture Extension and Technology Transfer to California Sea Grant (NOAA Sea Grant Program), will establish a commercial offshore bivalve aquaculture operation. VPD is applying for a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) authorization under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. The Corps will act as the federal lead agency on the project. The MSFCMA requires consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on all actions or proposed actions that may adversely affect EFH. This EFH Assessment analyzes how the project would affect EFH for species regulated under a FMP and supports the National Environmental Policy Act environmental analysis. A Biological Assessment has also been prepared, which will determine whether any federally protected species or habitats are likely to be adversely affected by the project pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR § 402.01 et seq.) (Dudek 2018). 1.1 Project Location The project will consist of twenty 100-acre plots (total of 2,000 acres) located in open federal waters of the Santa Barbara Channel (Channel) in the Southern California Bight (SCB), northwest of Ventura Harbor (Figure 1), with approximate depths ranging from between 13 – 19 fathoms (78 – 114 feet) mean lower low water (MLLW). The plots are 3.53 miles from the shore. The closest distance to the 3-mile nautical line is 2,900 feet from the plots, with an average closest distance of over 3,000 feet. The closest distance to the City of Ventura limit is 4.5 miles. Ventura harbor is 4.1 miles from the closest plot (8 miles in distance to the most distant plot).The lease sites are located on sandy bottom habitat outside of any rocky reef habitat, as evaluated in Gentry et al. 2017 and illustrated by NOAA United States West Coast nautical charts (NOAA 2017a). The project site is characterized by a gradually sloping sandy/soft bottom. The SCB is located along the curved coastline of Southern California from Point Conception south to Cape Colnett in Baja California and includes the Channel Islands and the Pacific Ocean. The habitats and biological communities of the SCB are influenced by dynamic relationships among climate, ecology, and oceanography (e.g., currents) (Leet et al. 2001). The SCB provides essential nutrients and marine habitats for a range of species and organisms. Submarine canyons, ridges, basins, and seamounts provide unique deep water habitats within the region. The basins provide habitats for a significant number of mid-water and benthic deep-sea fish near the Channel Islands, whereas nearshore areas provide habitats for kelp and seagrass communities. Nearshore geology includes a variety of bottom types, including soft sediments and rocky bottoms. Hard-substrates environments, such as the rocky intertidal, shallow subtidal reefs, and deep rock reefs, are a key component ATTACHMENT 4 292 ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 2 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 of the high productivity found near the project area. Due to linkages among ecosystems, the impacts of ecosystem dynamics contained within the project area extend to interactions with species in the greater Eastern Pacific Ocean. The Santa Barbara Channel is located within the SCB and extends from Point Conception to Point Mugu. The waters of the Santa Barbara Channel form one of the most biologically productive ecosystems found on Earth. Unlike most of coastal California, which faces due west and the open ocean, the coastal waters of the Santa Barbara Channel are on a south-facing coast and caught between two land masses, the South Coast and the Northern Channel Islands. The project site is 9.1 miles from the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, a Federal Marine Protected Area, and 13.5 miles from the Channel Islands National Park boundary. The western section of the Santa Barbara Channel is a meeting place of the cool Northern California Current and warm Southern California Countercurrent. This type of ecosystem is called a “transition zone.” Transition zones are known to promote large concentrations of both biomass and species diversity, as they are the confluence between two or more ecologically distinct systems. In addition, upwelling provides unusually high concentrations of nutrients, especially macrozooplankton, which are one of the primary driving forces behind the Santa Barbara Channel’s biological productivity and diversity. Wind patterns around Point Conception and in the Santa Barbara Channel create frequent seasonal upwelling, which force deep nutrient-laden ocean waters to rise up the water column into the biologically rich euphotic zone (Santa Barbara Channelkeeper 2017). Data from last year, for the closest oceanographic buoy to the project site (Station 46217 Anacapa Passage), shows the following average wave action conditions for the project area: an average wave height of 1.04, with a dominant wave period of 10.1, and an average wave period of 6.49, with surface currents generally moving in a SW (249 degrees) direction and an average temperature of 16 °C (National Data Buoy Center 2017). The Ventura area is known to be an area of high swell height, particularly in the winter (Guza and O’Reilly 2001). Wave action is focused by the large fan of sediment deposited on the shelf from the Ventura and Santa Clara rivers. When deep water swell comes in from a WSW direction, these bathymetric features can focus the wave energy northward into the Ventura area. Wave action is slightly less in the summer months when the Channel Islands block southward swells (Guza and O’Reilly 2001). ATTACHMENT 4 293 Ventura Harbor Carpinteria Oxnard Ventura Ojai 101 101 33 224 232 1 150 126 1 192 33 150 FIGURE 1 Project Location SOURCE: NAIP 2016 Date: 8/30/2018 – Last saved by: kzecher – Path: Z:\Projects\j925000\MAPDOC\Biological Assessment\Figure 1 Project Location.mxd Project Sites (20 100-Acre Sites) Three Nautical Mile Line V E N T U R A COU N T Y Huntington Beach Santa Ana Anaheim Brea Long Beach Compton Santa Fe Springs Whittier Culver City Malibu Industry El Monte Covina Calabasas Arcadia Pasadena Glendale San Fernando Santa Clarita Palmdale Lancaster Palos Verdes Estates Burbank Hermosa Beach Avalon Newport Beach Carpinteria Goleta Santa Barbara Port Hueneme Oxnard Ventura Moorpark Fillmore Ojai Solvang Buellton Simi Valley Los Angeles S a n t a K e r n C o u n t y B a r b a r a C o u n t y L o s A n g e l e s C o u n t y Project Site 0 6,250 12,500 Feet ATTACHMENT 4 294 ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 4 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK ATTACHMENT 4 295 ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 5 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 2.0 DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT ACTIONS The project will establish a commercial offshore bivalve aquaculture operation based from the Ventura Harbor in Ventura, California, focused on the cultivation of Mediterranean mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis). Please refer to the Biological Assessment for the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise (Dudek 2018) and Proposed Best Management Practices to Mitigate Potential Adverse Project Impacts for additional project details. 2.1 Project Actions 2.1.1 PROJECT CONSTRUCTION The proposed plots will be used for growing Mediterranean mussels via submerged longlines (Figures 2 and 3). Installation of anchors, longlines, and other facilities will be performed by permitted shellfish companies, in compliance with all permit requirements. Submerged longlines consist of a horizontal structural header line, or “backbone,” that is attached to the seafloor by sand screw anchors at each end and is marked and supported by a series of buoys along the central horizontal section. Sand screw anchors have been shown to exhibit superior holding power as compared to other anchoring systems and are removable. Sand screw anchors will be installed by a hydraulic drill with a drill head that operates from a rig lowered to the ocean floor. The sand screw anchors would be screwed into the sandy bottom ocean floor approximately 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 meters) deep. Each 100- acre plot will contain up to 48 anchors for a total of 960 anchors at full project build out. Buoys marking the corners of each parcel will identify the cultivation area for navigational safety and will comply with all regulations for height, illumination, and visibility, including radar reflection. As shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3, surface buoys for each longline would consist of two 16 inch surface corner buoys (one corner buoy supporting and marking either end of the backbone), as well as one 16 inch buoy supporting and marking the center pickup line, for a total of three surface buoys per longline. Simulated views of parcel arrays at the surface and underwater are provided in Figures 4 through 7. All surface buoys would be uniquely colored for each operator and marked with the grower/producer name and phone number. Buoys attached to the central horizontal portion of the backbone line support the line, provide a means of lifting the backbone line to access the cultivation ropes, and determine the depth of the submerged backbone, which will vary seasonally from 15 to 45 feet below the surface. Additionally, a combination of surface and submerged buoys attached to the backbone line will be used during the mussel production cycle to maintain tension on the structural backbone line as the weight of the mussel crop increases. These will consist of 24-inch (or equivalent, with greater than 200 L buoyancy) buoys attached at required intervals along the surface and connecting to the backbone line, in combination with smaller submerged buoys affixed directly to the backbone line. The combination of surface and submerged buoyancy is designed to create a tensioned but flexible structure that is capable of responding dynamically to surface waves and storms. ATTACHMENT 4 296 ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 6 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 The longlines that will be utilized are thick (1-inch diameter), tensioned (to approximately 800 pounds) rope that is not conducive to wrapping around or entangling protected species. The longline configuration produces a fairly rigid tensioned structure from which the cultivation ropes, or “fuzzy ropes” are attached. Fuzzy ropes are characterized by extra filaments that provide settlement substrate for mussels to attach. Fuzzy ropes may be attached to and suspended from the backbone rope either as individual lengths or as a continuous looping single length that drapes up and down over the backbone. The length of each section or loop of fuzzy rope would be approximately 20 feet but would depend on the lifting capacity of the servicing vessel. The length of the central horizontal section of backbone line would be 575 feet, which would support approximately 8,000 feet of fuzzy cultivation line. The shape of each of the 100-acre cultivation parcels would be a function of the geometry of the submerged backbone line and anchoring. Each horizontal section of the longline will be approximately 575 feet and will require an anchor scope of approximately 2.5 times depth. Therefore, in 100 feet of water depth, scope from the horizontal section of backbone to the helical screw anchor will require 250 feet on each end of the line, making a total length of 1,075 feet from anchor screw to anchor screw. A 100-acre parcel with rectangular dimensions of 1,899.5 feet by 2,299.5 feet will therefore accommodate up to 24 individual longlines. The submerged longline growing gear configuration would be specifically engineered for open ocean conditions with respect to size and strength of all lines, anchoring, hardware, and buoyancy. Construction in each individual growing plot will take place only after VPD approval of a sub-permits with the individual grower/producer. While project development is dependent on market demand, VPD estimates that full build out would occur within three to five years after project approval. 2.1.2 PROJECT OPERATION The mussels will be grown and harvested by permitted growers/producers and landed at Ventura Harbor. Initial plantings of juvenile seed mussels, commonly referred to as spat, will be purchased from onshore hatcheries certified by the CDFW. At the hatcheries, mussels adhere directly to special textured ropes that promote mussel attachment and growth. When the seed are firmly settled to ropes, the ropes are covered with cotton socking material to protect them from shaking off the ropes during transport to the offshore growing site and deployment. The socks hold the spat next to the rope until the mussels naturally attach with their byssal threads, after which the cotton material naturally degrades. These ropes are then attached to the longlines and buoys, as described above. The mussel grow-out ropes themselves are typically planted with seed 3-inches thick and may grow to be stiff with byssus at diameters of 10-inches or more at harvest, thus making them very unlikely sources of entanglement. As an additional precaution, grow ropes will be attached to the headrope with a low-breakingstrength twine (4-millimeter (0.16-inch diameter), which will facilitate rapid detachment in the unlikely event of any interaction with the longline. To further minimize entanglement potential, a 1,100 pound breakaway ATTACHMENT 4 297 ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 7 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 link will be installed between the surface buoys and vertical lines, similar to strategies used to mitigate potential entanglement in trap fisheries in the northeastern United States (NOAA 2008). Buoy lines between the surface and headrope are generally under tension partially equivalent (0 to 10 kilograms (0 to 22 pounds)) to their full buoyancy (42 kilograms (93 pounds)). Cultivated mussels grow by filtering naturally occurring phytoplankton from the ocean. Harvesting involves separating the mussels from the ropes, followed by cleaning, sorting, and bagging. All of these activities will take place aboard the harvesting vessel. Juvenile mussels will grow on lines until an intermediate size where the density of mussels on the fuzzy rope becomes limiting. At this point, a servicing vessel will lift the backbone line in order to access the fuzzy rope stocked with juvenile mussels and pull the fuzzy rope through vessel-based equipment designed to strip the mussels from the fuzzy rope and then clean, separate, and grade the juvenile mussels by size. Juvenile mussels then will be restocked to clean fuzzy rope at a reduced density for their second stage of grow out to market size. Maintenance and inspection of the longlines is proposed to be carried out on a monthly basis, which consists of lifting the longlines out of the water and adding additional buoys as necessary to account for increased mussel weight. Inspections of the anchor ropes, anchors, and connecting ropes shall take place at a minimum of twice per month. Inspections shall include recordings by depth/fish finder or ROV surveys of lines and/or monitoring performed by SCUBA divers. When the mussels reach market size, which is expected to occur after about one year of total production time, the submerged backbone lines again will be lifted in order to access the fuzzy cultivation ropes, and mussels again will be stripped from the line, cleaned, and separated, and this time size-graded and bagged for landing at the Ventura Harbor as market-ready product. The bagged mussels will be transported to Ventura Harbor for offloading, sale, and distribution. All husbandry activities related to harvesting, grading, and restocking of mussels to cultivation lines will occur onboard the servicing vessel using specialized equipment for that purpose. Watercraft used for planting, inspections, and harvesting would be home ported at Ventura Harbor. On average, between 20 to 40 boats would be traveling to the specific lease sites to conduct these activities on a three times per week to daily basis. The maximum distance traveled would be between the harbor and the farthest potential lease area, which could be up to approximately 8.7 miles. Once constructed, it is projected that each sub-permit site will generate an estimated 150 trips per year to accomplish the tasks outlined above. Landed product will comply with all testing and labeling regulations as part of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Shellfish Sanitation plan and the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP) guidelines for shellfish grown in federal waters. NOAA-Seafood Inspection Program (NOAA-SIP), in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recently began the process of developing NSSP-compliant sanitation protocols for bivalve shellfish cultivated in Federal waters. ATTACHMENT 4 298 ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT 9250 8 DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018 Qualified researchers affiliated with universities (i.e., U.C. Santa Barbara – Bren School, or University of Southern California, etc.), or qualified marine research institutes (i.e., Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, etc.) will have access to aquaculture plots to conduct research and monitoring approved by the Ventura Port District; however, access may be limited in certain circumstances to respect grower/producer proprietary data or technology or to accommodate a grower/producer’s operational and logistical needs in operating the farm. The Ventura Port District will review and approve research projects in consultation with USACE, NMFS, NOAA, and any affected grower/producers. Grower/producers will be fairly compensated for the use of their vessels, equipment, and fair market value of any mussels produced or generated as part of approved research projects. ATTACHMENT 4 299 16” surface corner buoy (or larger pencil buoy) GENERAL OBSERVATIONS: • Anchor lines should have 2.5:1 slope from anchor to submerged corner bouy • Submerged buoyancy keeps lines tight despite surface waves and storms Center pickup line and 16” buoy (or larger) 15 L buoys (n=100) GRAPHIC NOT TO SCALE ~475 ft of 32 cm polysteel cable run between anchors 1,075 ft 4 m screw anchors spaced 50 ft apart >33 ft
depth
10-16 ft
Mussel growing socks
suspended every 1 m
Anchor line to
next longline
Two 24” submergedcorner buoys
or equivalentwith >200 L buoyancy
SEA FLOOR (Sand Bottom)
15-45 ft
depth
General Plan for Submerged Longlines
FIGURE 2
Detailed Plan for Shellfish Longlines

S:ECRUO
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125′ SETBACK
1900′
50′ SETBACK
2300′
125′ SETBACK
150′ SPACING BETWEENROWS
50′ SETBACK
100′ WATER DEPTH
1
1
PARCEL ARRAY
SCALE: 1:10000
BEND
A A
B B
4
4
3
3
UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED:
TWO PLACE DECIMAL
THREE PLACE DECIMAL
OVERVIEW
DO NOT SCALE DRAWING
Parcel_v
SHEET 1 OF 2
8/28/18
2
DRAWN OK
DB
ENG APPR.
CHECKED
MFG APPR.
PROPRIETARY AND CONFIDENTIAL
2
DWG. NO. REV BSIZE
TITLE:
NAME DATE VENTRURA SHELLFISH COMPANY
COMMENTS:
Q.A.
DIMENSIONS ARE IN FEET
TOLERANCES: +-0.5FT
FRACTIONAL
ANGULAR: MACH
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS
DRAWING IS THE SOLE PROPERTY OF
VENTURA SHELLFISH COMPANY. ANY
REPRODUCTION IN PART OR AS A WHOLE
WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION IS
PROHIBITED. Parcel Array Overview

FIGURE SOURCE: VSE 2018
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LOOPING DROP LINES
WITH SUBMERGED BUOYANCY FLOATS
575′
PARCEL EDGE
2300′
50′
TO
SETBACK
50′ 50′
SETBACK
TO
PARCEL EDGE
250′
100
2.5:1 SCOPE
250′
20
TITLE:
BACKBONE DETAILS
Parcel_v2
SHEET 2 OF 2
UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED:
DWG. NO. REV
B
SIZE
DIMENSIONS ARE IN FEET
HELICAL SCREW ANCHORS
PENCIL BUOYS W
RADAR REFLECTOS
CORNER BUOYS LIGHTED
FIGURE
Backbone Details

SOURCE: VSE 2018
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FIGURE
Simulated View of Parcel Array at the Surface: 100 Acre Plot

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Simulated View of Parcel Array at the Surface

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Surface Corner Buoy
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Simulated
View of Parcel Array Underwater

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Surface Corner Buoy
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FIGURE
Simulated View of Parcel Array Underwater with Anchor Line

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2.2 Project Action Area
The Action Area for this project includes the project site (twenty 100-acre growing sites occupying a total
project area of 2,000 acres) and all areas within 100 feet of the Project Actions (Figure 8). This Action Area
was defined based upon several factors, including the project location and components, the potential noise
impacts and disturbance areas for project components, and the properties of underwater acoustics. It is
anticipated that the potential noise impacts from the initial installation of the sand screw anchors using a
hydraulic drill will be minimal. Helical anchors for mussel farms in open ocean habitats have been installed all
over the world, including at Catalina Island. They are drilled into the seabed using a hydraulic auger
controlled at the surface. The drill is submersible and is lowered with the anchor. Noise levels are very low in
the water, with a 50 hp hydraulic power pack on the boat (Fielder Marine Services, New Zealand,
pers.comm.). Rotation speeds are very low, which minimizes entanglement of marine species. The anchor
installation disturbs less than 1 square meter of sea bed on installation and once installed no rope or chain
touches the sea floor which also minimizes seabed disturbance (Fielder Marine Services, New Zealand,
Pers.comm). Marine wildlife, especially cetaceans, are known to be sensitive to noise effects (eNMFS 2007a).
However, construction noise levels will be well within acceptable thresholds for both marine mammals and
fish (ICF Jones & Stokes and Illingworth and Rodkin, Inc. 2009; NMFS 2007a). Due to the minimal noise
level and area of disturbance on the sea floor, we believe an action area of 100 feet is sufficient.
The Action Area is host to numerous human activities that interact with the natural environment. Human
activities occurring in and near the Action Area potentially affecting listed species include both consumptive
(removal, harvesting, or depletion risk of resources) and non-consumptive activities. Consumptive activities
potentially affecting listed species include oil and gas development, vessel transportation within the busy
shipping lanes in nearby waters, non-point source pollution (resulting from many sources of pollution), and
commercial and recreational fishing. Recreational fishing charters use the area for baitfish collection.
Commercial fishing occurring in the area includes trawling. The California Halibut Trawl Grounds are a
designated area located offshore beginning approximately 1 nautical mile from the mainland shore between Point
Arguello in Santa Barbara County and Point Mugu in Ventura County. California halibut (Paralichthys californicus) is a
commercially important flatfish species caught in shallow waters off the Southern California coast.
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Port Hueneme
Oxnard
Ventura
101
126
33
1
-200
-500
0
-50
-150
-200
-300
-500
-600
-100
-250
-400
-350
-450
-550
FIGURE 8
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Action Area

SOURCE: ESRI ArcGIS Online: World Ocean Base
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Project Sites (20 100-Acre Sites)
Action Area (100-Foot Buffer)
Three Nautical Mile Line
Bathymetry (50-Foot Contour Interval)
0 1 2
Miles
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FIGURE
NOAA Nautical Chart
Essential Fish Habitat Assessment for the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
SOURCE: NOAA Raster Nautical Charts (RNC)
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Parcel Array
0 0.75 1.5
Miles
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3.0 REGULATORY SETTING
Essential Fish Habitat is regulated under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
of 1976, 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. (MSFCMA) protecting waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning,
breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity.
3.1 Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
The MSFCMA has jurisdiction over marine fishery resources in the United States. The MSFCMA was
reauthorized and amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA) of 1996 (Public Law 104-297) to include
the EFH mandate. The SFA set forth a number of new directives for the NMFS, regional Fishery
Management Councils (FMCs), and other federal agencies to identify and protect important marine, estuarine,
and anadromous fish habitat. To that end, the SFA requires that regional FMCs prepare Fishery Management
Plans (FMPs) for the identification, protection, and enhancement of EFH for federally “managed species.”
The goals of FMPs include the development and sustainability of an efficient and profitable fishery, optimal
yield, adequate forage for dependent species, and long-term monitoring. The MSFCMA requires that all
federal agencies consult with NMFS on all proposed actions permitted, funded, or undertaken by the agency
that may adversely affect EFH. The main purpose of the EFH provisions is to avoid loss of fisheries due to
disturbance and degradation of the fisheries habitat.
The Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) is one of eight regional fishery management councils
established by the MSFCMA. Under the MSFCMA, the federal government has jurisdiction to manage
fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which extends from the outer boundary of state waters (3
nautical miles [NM] from shore) to a distance of 200 NM from shore. With jurisdiction over the 822,817 km2
(317,690 square miles) of EEZ off Washington, Oregon and California, the PFMC manages fisheries for
approximately 120 species, including salmon, groundfish, coastal pelagic species (sardines, anchovies, and
mackerel), and highly migratory species (tunas, sharks, and swordfish). The PFMC is also active in
international fishery management organizations that manage fish stocks that migrate through the PFMC’s
area of jurisdiction, including the International Pacific Halibut Commission, the Western and Central Pacific
Fisheries Commission (for albacore tuna and other highly migratory species), and the Inter-American
Tropical Tuna Commission (for yellowfin tuna and other highly migratory species) (PFMC 2018).
Management measures developed by the PFMC are recommended to the Secretary of Commerce through
NMFS. Management measures are implemented by NMFS West Coast Regional offices and enforced by the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Law Enforcement, the 11th and 13th
Coast Guard Districts, and local enforcement agencies (PFMC 2018).
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Congress defined EFH to mean those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding,
or growth to maturity. In 2002, NMFS further clarified EFH with the following definitions (50 Code of
Federal Regulations [CFR] §§ 600.05–600.930):
“Waters” include aquatic areas and their associated physical, chemical, and biological properties that
are used by fish and may include aquatic areas historically used by fish where appropriate.
“Substrate” includes sediment, hard bottom, structures underlying the waters, and associated
biological communities.
“Necessary” means the habitat required to support a sustainable fishery and the managed species’
contribution to a healthy ecosystem; and “spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity” covers
a species’ full life cycle (50 CFR 600.10).
3.1.1 HABITAT AREAS OF PARTICULAR CONCERN (HAPC)
Habitat areas of particular concern (HAPC) are considered high priority areas for conservation, management,
or research because they are rare, sensitive, stressed by development, or important to ecosystem function.
The HAPC designation does not necessarily mean additional protections or restrictions are required for an
area, but the designation helps to prioritize and focus conservation efforts. EFH guidelines identify HAPC as
types or areas of habitat that are identified based on one or more of the following considerations:
the importance of the ecological function provided by the habitat;
the extent to which the habitat is sensitive to human-induced environmental degradation;
whether, and to what extent, development activities are or will be stressing the habitat type; and
the rarity of the habitat type.
These areas are detailed in EFH sections of FMPs and are summarized within the Regional Council
Approaches to the Identification and Protection of Habitat Areas of Particular Concern. Current HAPC types
are estuaries, canopy kelp, seagrass, rocky reefs, as well as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) or Areas of
Interest (such as banks, seamounts, and canyons). MPA’s are further defined below.
3.1.1.1 Marine Protected Areas
The Southern California MPAs, from Point Conception to the California-Mexico border, cover areas of the
Southern California Bight within state waters and islands. The 50 MPAs in this region cover approximately
356 square miles, or about 15% of Southern California state waters (CDFW 2016). The definition of the
different MPA’s are as follows:
State Marine Reserve (CCR Title 14, Section 632(a)(1)(A)): In a State Marine Reserve, it is unlawful to
injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource, except under a scientific
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collecting permit issued by the department pursuant to Section 650 or specific authorization from the
commission for research, restoration, or monitoring purposes.
State Marine Conservation Area (CCR Title 14, Section 632(a)(1)(C)): In a State Marine Conservation Area,
it is unlawful to injure, damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource for
commercial or recreational purposes, or a combination of commercial and recreational purposes except as
specified in individual MPA regulations. The department may issue scientific collecting permits pursuant to
Section 650. The commission may authorize research, education, and recreational activities, and certain
commercial and recreational harvest of marine resources, provided that these uses do not compromise
protection of the species of interest, natural community, habitat, or geological features.
Special Closure: An area designated by the Fish and Game Commission that prohibits access or restricts
boating activities in waters adjacent to sea bird rookeries or marine mammal haul-out sites (restrictions vary).
The closest state or federal marine protected area is the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, a Federal
Marine Protected Area, located approximately 9.1 miles from the project site.
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4.0 MANAGED FISHERIES AND HABITAT
AREAS OF PARTICULAR CONCERN
The PFMC has approved FMPs for salmon, groundfish, coastal pelagic species, and highly migratory species.
The species that have designated EFH in the Action Area may occur in any of several life stages, from larvae
to adults, and may include presence at depths or distances beyond the direct influence of the project actions.
4.1.1 SALMON
Salmon EFH for estuarine and marine areas is identified in an area north of the project site that extends from
north of Point Conception, California to the northern Washington boarder (PFMC 2008) (Appendix A:
Groundfish EFH and HAPC Maps); therefore, no Pacific salmon EFH is designated in the Action Area.
Chinook and coho salmon are the main salmon species managed by the PFMC. Chinook salmon are caught
commercially and recreationally as far south as Santa Barbara County, located north of the project site.
Appendix B: California Commercial Landing for 2017 provides a summary of total fish landed (in pounds)
and value (in USD) for the Santa Barbara Area defined as all ports in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and
Ventura Counties. Southern California coast steelhead (steelhead; Oncorhynchus mykissis), a salmonid, is
federally endangered and managed under the ESA by NMFS. No commercial or recreation landing is
permitted for steelhead in the Santa Barbara Area.
4.1.2 GROUNDFISH
The Pacific Coast Groundfish Fishery Management Plan (Groundfish FMP) manages 90-plus species over a
large and ecologically diverse area from the Pacific coast border with Mexico to the Pacific coast border with
Washington and Canada (PFMC 2016). Information on the life histories and habitats of these species varies
in completeness, so while some species are well studied, there is relatively little information on certain other
species. Information about the habitats and life histories of the species managed by the Groundfish FMP will
certainly change over time, with varying degrees of information improvement for each species. For these
reasons, it is impractical for the PFMC to include descriptions identifying EFH for each life stage of the
managed species in the body of the FMP (PFMC 2016).
The Action Area is located in designated EFH as defined in the Groundfish FMP (PFMC 2016a) (Appendix
A: Groundfish EFH and HAPC Maps). Because the EFH determination from this FMP addresses such a
large number of species, it covers areas out to 3,500 meters in depth, shoreline areas up to the MHHW line,
and areas up coastal rivers where ocean-derived salinity is at least 0.5 parts per thousand during average
annual low flows. The FMP also identifies HAPCs.
The PFMC defines EFH for groundfish as the aquatic habitat necessary to allow for groundfish production
to support long-term sustainable fisheries for groundfish and for groundfish contributions to a healthy
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ecosystem. The overall EFH for adult and juvenile groundfish, as well as for the pelagic eggs and larvae of
groundfish, is designated as the water column and all bottom habitat extending from the shoreline to a depth
of 400 meters (m) (200 fathoms) encompassing the steep drop-offs and high relief habitats (i.e., seamounts)
that are important for bottomfish (PFMC 1998).
This EFH identification is precautionary because it is based on the currently known maximum depth
distribution of all life stages of federally managed species (PFMC 2016).
Potential for Occurrence. EFH is present in the Action Area for over 79 species of groundfish; however,
no HAPC for these species is known to occur based on available literature. The Action Area is soft-bottom
habitat between 13 – 19 fathoms (78 – 114 feet) MLLW. The Groundfish EFH are shown in Table 1 below.
Groundfish that has a high potential to utilize the habitat within the Action Area are flatfish, including sand
flounders (Family Paralichthyidae): Pacific sanddab and California halibut; as well as righteye flounders
(Family Pleuronectidae): English sole and dover sole. There is low potential for suitable habitat for roundfish
or rockfish to utilize the sandy bottom habitat found in the Action Area. These species are primarily found
over hard substrate, rocky reef, and/or kelp forest habitats, which are not found within the Action Area
(please refer to Table 1).
Table 1
Groundfish EFH in the Action Area
Common Name Species Name
Fish Species
Present in Santa
Barbara Area
Commercial
Landings in
Pounds6
General Habitat
Preference
Potential to
Occur in
Action Area
ELASMOBRANCHS
Big skate Raja binoculata Yes 0 Soft bottom habitats 2, 5 Yes
California
skate
Raja inornata Yes 32 Soft bottom habitats 2, 5 Yes
Leopard shark Triakis
semifasciata
Yes 3,523 Soft bottom habitats 2, 5 Yes
Longnose
skate
Raja rhina Yes 2,710 Soft bottom habitats 2, 5 Yes
Spiny dogfish Squalus suckleyi Yes 347 Soft bottom habitats 2, 5 Yes
GRENADIERS
Pacific rattail Coryphaenoides
acrolepis
Yes 0 Soft bottom habitats No
MORIDS
Finescale
codling
Antimora
microlepis
Yes 0 Unknown No
RATFISH
Ratfish Hydrolagus colliei Yes 0 Soft and hard substrate
3
Yes
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Table 1
Groundfish EFH in the Action Area
Common Name Species Name
Fish Species
Present in Santa
Barbara Area
Commercial
Landings in
Pounds6
General Habitat
Preference
Potential to
Occur in
Action Area
ROUNDFISH
Cabezon Scorpaenichthys
marmoratus
Yes 5,989 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Kelp greenling Hexagrammos
decagrammus
Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Lingcod Ophiodon
elongatus
Yes 45,688 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Pacific cod Gadus
macrocephalus
Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Pacific whiting
(hake)
Merluccius
productus
Yes 148 Open water and hard
substrate 3, 5 No
Sablefish Anoplopoma
fimbria
Yes 328,296 Hard substrate and
kelp 1,3,5 No
ROCKFISH
Aurora rockfish Sebastes aurora Yes 71 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Bank rockfish S. rufus Yes 561 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Black rockfish S. melanops Yes 4 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Black and
yellow rockfish
S. chrysomelas Yes 492 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Blackgill
rockfish
S. melanostomus Yes 8,638 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Blue rockfish S. mystinus Yes 2,293 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Bocaccio S. paucispinis Yes 6,563 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Bronzespotted
rockfish
S. gilli Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Brown rockfish S. auriculatus Yes 121 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Calico rockfish S. dallii Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Canary
rockfish
Sebastes
pinniger
Yes 1,363 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Chilipepper S. goodei Yes 326 Hard substrate and No
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Table 1
Groundfish EFH in the Action Area
Common Name Species Name
Fish Species
Present in Santa
Barbara Area
Commercial
Landings in
Pounds6
General Habitat
Preference
Potential to
Occur in
Action Area
rockfish kelp 1, 3, 5
China rockfish S. nebulosus Yes 1 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Copper
rockfish
S. caurinus Yes 8,903 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Cowcod S. levis Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Darkblotched
rockfish
S. crameri Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Dusky rockfish S. ciliatus Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Flag rockfish S. rubrivinctus Yes 96 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Gopher
rockfish
S. carnatus Yes 989 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Grass rockfish S. rastrelliger Yes 9,899 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Greenblotched
rockfish
S. rosenblatti Yes 59 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Greenspotted
rockfish
S. chlorostictus Yes 2,481 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Greenstriped
rockfish
S. elongatus Yes 185 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Harlequin
rockfish
S. variegatus Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Honeycomb
rockfish
S. umbrosus Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Kelp rockfish S. atrovirens Yes 409 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Mexican
rockfish
Sebastes
macdonaldi
Yes 8 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Olive rockfish S. serranoides Yes 63 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Pink rockfish S. eos Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Pacific ocean
perch
S. alutus Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Quillback
rockfish
S. maliger Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
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Table 1
Groundfish EFH in the Action Area
Common Name Species Name
Fish Species
Present in Santa
Barbara Area
Commercial
Landings in
Pounds6
General Habitat
Preference
Potential to
Occur in
Action Area
Redbanded
rockfish
S. babcocki Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Redstripe
rockfish
S. proriger Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Rosethorn
rockfish
S.
helvomaculatus
Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Rosy rockfish S. rosaceus Yes 20 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Rougheye
rockfish
S. aleutianus Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Sharpchin
rockfish
S. zacentrus Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Shortbelly
rockfish
S. jordani Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Shortraker
rockfish
S. borealis Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Silvergray
rockfish
Sebastes
brevispinis
Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Speckled
rockfish
S. ovalis Yes 586 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Splitnose
rockfish
S. diploproa Yes 29 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Squarespot
rockfish
S. hopkinsi Yes 22 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Starry rockfish S. constellatus Yes 720 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Stripetail
rockfish
S. saxicola Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Tiger rockfish S. nigrocinctus Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Treefish S. serriceps Yes 375 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Vermilion
rockfish
S. miniatus Yes 63,684 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Widow rockfish S. entomelas Yes 88 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Yelloweye
rockfish
S. ruberrimus Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
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Table 1
Groundfish EFH in the Action Area
Common Name Species Name
Fish Species
Present in Santa
Barbara Area
Commercial
Landings in
Pounds6
General Habitat
Preference
Potential to
Occur in
Action Area
Yellowmouth
rockfish
S. reedi Yes 0 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Yellowtail
rockfish
S. flavidus Yes 1,277 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
Speckled
rockfish
S. ovalis Yes 586 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5
No
SCORPIONFISH
California
scorpionfish
Scorpaena
gutatta
Yes 673 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5 No
THORNYHEAD
Longspine
thornyhead
Sebastolobus
altivelis
Yes 19,336 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5 No
Shortspine
thornyhead
Sebastolobus
alascanus
Yes 260,605 Hard substrate and
kelp 1, 3, 5 No
FLATFISH
Arrowtooth
flounder
(turbot)
Atheresthes
stomias
Yes 0 Soft bottom habitats 2,
5
Yes
Butter sole Isopsetta isolepis Yes 2,078 Soft bottom habitats 2, 5 Yes
Curlfin sole Pleuronichthys
decurrens
Yes 25 Soft bottom habitats 2, 5 Yes
Dover sole Microstomus
pacificus
Yes 323 Soft bottom habitats 2, 5 Yes
English sole Parophrys
vetulus
Yes 2,538 Soft bottom habitats 2, 5 Yes
Flathead sole Hippoglossoides
elassodon
Yes 0 Soft bottom habitats 2, 5 Yes
Pacific
sanddab
Citharichthys
sordidus
Yes 3,126 Soft bottom habitats 2, 5 Yes
Petrale sole Eopsetta jordani Yes 2,322 Soft bottom habitats 2, 5 Yes
Rex sole Glyptocephalus
zachirus
Yes 0 Soft bottom habitats 2, 5 Yes
Rock sole Lepidopsetta
bilineata
Yes 865 Soft bottom habitats 2, 5 Yes
Sand sole Psettichthys
melanostictus
Yes 228 Soft bottom habitats 2, 5 Yes
Starry flounder Platichthys
stellatus
Yes 0 Soft bottom habitats 2, 5 Yes
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Table 1
Groundfish EFH in the Action Area
Common Name Species Name
Fish Species
Present in Santa
Barbara Area
Commercial
Landings in
Pounds6
General Habitat
Preference
Potential to
Occur in
Action Area
California
halibut7
Paralichthys
californicus
Yes 148,763 Soft bottom habitats 2, 5 Yes
1 Kelp Canopy/Forest
2 Seagrass
3 Rocky Reefs
4 Estuaries
5 AOI/MPAs
6 CDFW Commercial Landings Data for 2017 (Appendix B)
7 Non-MSFCMA species. Managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Of the flatfish, California halibut, a state regulated species, is the most important commercial fishery for the
Santa Barbara Area with 148,763 lbs. landed in 2017 (Table 1, CDFW 2017). More specifically, commercial
catch for the California halibut in two blocks that overlap the Action Area, Blocks 0664 and 0665, were
reviewed for landings between 2010 to 2016 (Appendix B and C). During those years, an approximate total of
84,524 lbs., or 1.12% of the total catch of all landings from these two blocks, were landed for California
halibut; however, for the Santa Barbara Area, California halibut caught in Blocks 0664 and 0665 represent
approximately 26 % to 37% of halibut landed for the area (Table 2; Figures 10 and 11). Further, based upon
CDFW trawl data from 2012 through 2016, which provided the location (i.e., latitude and longitude) of where
each trawl started and stopped:
The total trawl length within the Santa Barbara Channel during that time period was 40,480 nautical miles.
The total trawl length within the area of interest evaluated by NOS was 1,508 nautical miles.
The total trawl length within the proposed project area was 145 nautical miles.
While the approximately 2,000 acre proposed site location does overlap with some known halibut trawl
fishery activity in Block 0664 (21,363 acres) and 0665 (66,613 acres) it avoids the known area of highest trawl
fishing activity, which is located in a portion of the Santa Barbara Channel northwest of the project site.
Given the small amount of existing usage and conversion of approximately 2.27% of the blocks into a viable
commercial mussel aquiculture, the impact to the halibut trawl fishery is considered to be negligible. In the
Aquaculture Siting Analysis Results for Ventura Shellfish Enterprise (NOAA/National Ocean Services
/National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NOS/NCCOS)), halibut trawling data was used along with
other variables to determine the most suitable project location and layout. This Siting Analysis utilized the
best available, high-resolution spatial data to represent key potential environmental and use conflicts that
constrain the siting of an aquaculture operation within the Santa Barbara Channel region of interest. The
Siting Analysis confirmed that the proposed site location is in the area that minimizes use conflicts, including
fishery conflicts, to the greatest extent possible.
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S AN TA CRU Z I SL A ND
A N A CAP A IS LA ND
Ventura
Harbor
S ANT A B A R B A R A C H A N N E L
S ANTA R OSA I SL AND
SAN M I G UE L I S L A N D
Pt. Conception
Carpinteria
Goleta Santa Barbara
Port
Hueneme
Oxnard
Ventura
Ojai
-200
-250
-300
-400
-500
-50
-100
-150
-200
-250
-300
-350
-250
-350
-600
-300
-500
-400-450
-350
-600
0
-100
-50
-100
-400-500
-50
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-550
-50
-550
-50
-150
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-50
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-550
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-200
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-600
0
0
-100
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-600
-600
643
651
653 652
654
655
657 656
658
664
668 667 666 665 670 669 672 671
683
684
685
686
689 688 687
690
691
708 707 706
709
710
711
711
711
712
714 713
California Trawl Blocks – Santa Barbara Channel
Essential Fish Habitat Assessment for the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
SOURCE: California Department of Fish and Game, Marine Region
0 1 2 3
Nautical Miles
Proposed Project
(CASS Report Alternative 1)
California Trawl Blocks
Three Nautical Mile Line
FIGURE 10
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Port Hueneme
Oxnard
Ventura
651
664
666 665
685 684
-350
-400
-500
-450
-550
-50
-100
-150
-200
-250
-300
-600
0
California Trawl Blocks – Blocks 664 and 665
Essential Fish Habitat Assessment for the Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
SOURCE: California Department of Fish and Game, Marine Region
0 1 2 3
Nautical Miles
Proposed Project
(CASS Report Alternative 1)
California Trawl Blocks
Three Nautical Mile Line
FIGURE 11
S ANT A B ARB A R A C H A N N E L
Ventura
Harbor
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Table 2
California Halibut Regional and Trawl Block Landings in Pounds
Year Santa Barbara Area1 Blocks 0664 and 06652
Percentage of Regional
Landings
2016 125,684 35,263 28%
2015 99,977 36,326 36%
2014 77,603 21,253 27%
2013 94,593 34,643 37%
2012 111,497 28,629 26%
1 Santa Barbara Area includes ports located in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties
2. California halibut caught in Blocks 0664 and 0665 are primarily landed in Santa Barbara Area, but may be landed in ports
outside of the Santa Barbara Area.
4.1.3 COASTAL PELAGIC SPECIES
Coastal pelagic species (CPS) include finfish (northern anchovy, Pacific sardine, Pacific mackerel, and jack
mackerel) and California market squid as well as krill (PFMC 2016). Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii pallasii) and
jacksmelt (Atherinopsis californiensis) are also included in the Coastal Pelagic FMP as Ecosystem Component
Species. EFH designation for CPS is based on a thermal range bordered within the geographic area where a
species occurs at any life stage, where the species has occurred historically during periods of similar
environmental conditions, or where environmental conditions do not preclude colonization by the species.
The east-west geographic boundary of EFH for each individual CPS finfish and California market squid is
defined to be all marine and estuarine waters from the shoreline along the coasts of California, Oregon, and
Washington to offshore to the limits of the U.S. EEZ and above the thermocline where sea surface
temperatures range between 10°C to 26°C (50°F to 78.8°F). The southern extent of EFH for CPS finfish is
the United States–Mexico maritime boundary. The northern EFH extent is the position of the 10°C (50°F)
isotherm varying both seasonally and annually (PFMC 1998).
The northern anchovy historically ranged from the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, south to Cabo San
Lucas, Baja California. More recently, populations have moved into the Gulf of California, Mexico. Larvae and
juveniles are often abundant in nearshore areas and estuaries with adults being more pelagic; however, adults may
also be found in shallow nearshore areas and estuaries. Anchovy are non-migratory but do make extensive inshoreoffshore
and along-shore movements (Emmett et al. 1991). During historic periods of high abundance (from the
early part of the 20th century into the 1940s) Pacific sardines ranged from the Gulf of California north to
Washington State before the fishery crashed in the 1950s. Today, large populations still occur south of Point
Conception into Baja California. The Pacific sardine is epipelagic, occurring in loosely aggregated schools. When
abundant, this species can occur up to 150 miles offshore (Wolf et al. 2001). Jack mackerel and Pacific mackerel
occur from Santa Maria Bay, Mexico to Yaquina Bay, Oregon. They occur in California bays, estuaries and coastal
pelagic ocean waters throughout the year. Both species are schooling fish which prefer shallow water less than 100
feet deep and are most common at depths of 5 to 50 feet deep (CDFW 2013). All coastal pelagics are associated
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with the water column except for the female market squid, which lays egg masses on sandy bottoms at depths of
about 15–180 feet. The market squid ranges coastally from Baja California to Alaska and can be found within 200
miles of the shore (PFMC 2008).
The Ventura Harbor plays a substantial role in California’s commercial fishing industry. Market squid remains
California’s largest and most lucrative commercial fishery, valued at over $73 million in 2010. In 2011, nearly
33 thousand tons of squid, representing 28% of the state’s total catch limit, was unloaded at the Ventura
Harbor, making it one of the largest squid landings on the West Coast. Squid generated $16 million in
revenues for the fishing companies that operate at the harbor (The California Economic Forecast, 2012).
Table 3
Coastal Pelagic Species in the Action Area
Common Name Scientific Name
Commercial Landing in
Pounds1 General Habitat
Northern Anchovy Engraulis mordax 93,862 Open water
Pacific Sardine Sardinops sagax 203,780 Open water
Pacific Mackerel Scomber japonicus 534,813 Open shallow water
Jack Mackerel Trachurus symmetricus 8,697 Open shallow water
Market Squid Doryteuthis opalescens 87,461,026 Open water
1 CDFW Landing Data for 2017 for the Santa Barbara Area (caught in California water) (Appendix B)
Potential for Occurrence. All coastal pelagic species are found in the Action Area. The market squid is the most
important of these fisheries. Using the NOS Siting Analysis discussed above, the project site was located in an area
that avoids key market squid fishing areas, which occur significantly south of the proposed project site.
4.1.4 HIGHLY MIGRATORY SPECIES
The Highly Migratory Species (HMS) FMP includes important species of tunas, billfish, and sharks, which are
harvested by West Coast HMS fisheries. HMS managed under the HMS FMP include tunas (North Pacific
albacore, yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna, skipjack tuna, and pacific bluefin tuna), sharks: common thresher shark,
shortfin mako shark, and blue shark), billfish/swordfish (striped marlin and swordfish), and dorado or
dolphinfish (Table 4).
Table 4
Highly Migratory Species in the Action Area
Common Name Scientific Name
Commercial Landing in
Pounds1 EFH Present General Habitat
Tunas
Northern Pacific Albacore Thunnus alalunga 1,528 No Open water
Yellowfin Tuna Thunnus albacares 351 No Open water
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Table 4
Highly Migratory Species in the Action Area
Common Name Scientific Name
Commercial Landing in
Pounds1 EFH Present General Habitat
Bigeye tuna Thunnus obesus 0 No Open water
Skipjack tuna Katsuwonus pelamis 0 No Open water
Pacific bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus 242 No Open water
Sharks
Blue shark Prionace glauca 37 No Open water
Common thresher shark Alopias vulpinus 26,035 Yes Open water
Shortfin mako Isurus oxyrinchus 7,571 Yes Open water
Marlin and Swordfish
Striped marlin Kajikia audax 0 No Open water
Swordfish Xiphias gladius 81,890 No Open water
Other
Dorado Coryphaena hippurus 0 Yes Open water
1 CDFW Landing Data for 2017 for the Santa Barbara Area (caught in California water) (Appendix B)
Potential for Occurrence. Thresher shark, shortfin mako shark, and dorado EFH are found in the Action
Area. These are highly migratory and mobile species that have large ranges and could seasonally move
through the Action Area.
4.2 Habitat Areas of Particular Concern
In the Southern California Bight, there are seven EFHs in state waters: Point Conception, Potato Bank,
Hidden Reef Kidney Bank, Catalina Island, Cherry Bank, Cowcod Conservation Area- west, and Cowcod
Conservation Area- east.
In the Santa Barbara Channel area, there are five types of HAPCs: Seagrass, Canopy Kelp, Rocky Reefs,
Estuaries, and Areas of Interest. Areas of Interest can correspond to a variety of submarine features such as
seamounts, canyons and banks. However, for the Santa Barbara Channel region, Areas of Interest correspond
to Marine Protected Areas.
4.2.1 SEAGRASS
Seagrasses are one of the only flowering plants, or angiosperms, that can grow in a marine environment.
These plants support a diversity of life and can form extensive beds in shallow, protected, estuarine, or other
nearshore environments. Two common seagrasses that occur in the west coast region are eelgrass (genus
Zostera) and surfgrass (genus Phyllospadix), with eelgrass being the most prevalent in California (NOAA
2018a). Eelgrass (Zostera marina and Z. pacifica.) beds are located in soft, sandy sheltered seafloor environments,
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typically in shallow bays and estuaries. Eelgrass beds function as nursery grounds and provide habitat for
juvenile fish, snails, sea stars, anemones, crabs and clams (NPS 2018a), and further serve as potential foraging
habitat for sea turtles (NOAA 2018b). In particular, the federally endangered green sea turtle may utilize
eelgrass beds as foraging habitat (CDFW 2018). Surfgrass (Phyllospadix sp.) beds are located in the rocky
intertidal and subtidal zones with turbulent surf. Surfgrass beds are habitat for several species of invertebrates,
juvenile fish, and epiphytic algae (NPS 2018b).
Areas of Seagrass HAPC occur along the coast between Point Conception and Campus Point, and at two of the
northern Channel Islands: Anacapa Island and Santa Cruz Island. Specific locations of Seagrass HAPC along the
coast occur in three areas coinciding with three Marine Protected Areas: Point Conception SMR, Kashtayit SMCA,
and Campus Point SMCA (approximately 59, 48, and 26 miles respectively from the project site). An additional
area of Seagrass HAPC occurs at Point Mugu, which is approximately 23 miles from the project site.
At the Channel Islands, Seagrass HAPC occurs at Prisoners Harbor on Santa Cruz Island (approximately 22
miles from the project site), and around the entire perimeter of Anacapa Island, corresponding with the
Anacapa Island Special Closure area (approximately 17 miles from the project site).
Seagrass HAPC is not present within the action area and seagrasses and eelgrass are not anticipated in or near
the project site, given that the project site is located at a depth not suitable for seagrass and eelgrass growth
due to light limitations. Therefore, Project Actions are not expected to have a negative effect on Seagrass
HAPC or the species that utilize these habitats.
4.2.2 CANOPY KELP
Giant kelp, perhaps the most recognized species of brown macroalgae, forms the more southern kelp forests,
from the southern Channel Islands, California to northwestern Baja. In California, there are two dominant
species: Giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) and bull kelp (Nereocystis leutkeana) (NOAA 2018a). Considered an
ecosystem engineer, kelp provides a physical substrate and habitat for kelp forest communities (Jones et al.
1997). A wide range of sea life uses kelp forests for protection or food, including fish (particularly rockfish)
and many invertebrates, such as amphipods, shrimp, marine snails, bristle worms, and brittle stars. Many
marine mammals and birds are also found, including seals, sea lions, whales, sea otters, gulls, terns, snowy
egrets, great blue herons, and cormorants, as well as some shore birds (NOAA 2013). In California, Macrocystis
pyrifera forests, the nudibranch (Melibe leonina), and skeleton shrimp (Caprella californica) are closely associated
with surface canopies; the kelp perch (Brachyistius frenatus), rockfish (Sebastes spp.), and many other fishes are
found within the stipitate understory; brittle stars and turban snails(Tegula spp.) are closely associated with the
kelp holdfast, while various herbivores, such as sea urchins and abalone, live under the prostrate canopy;
many seastars, hydroids, and benthic fishes live among the benthic assemblages; solitary corals, various
gastropods, and echinoderms live over the encrusting coralline algae (Foster and Schiel 1985). In addition,
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pelagic fishes and marine mammals are loosely associated with kelp forests, usually interacting near the edges
as they visit to feed on resident organisms.
In the Santa Barbara Channel area, Canopy Kelp HAPC occurs in nearshore waters along the coastline from
Point Conception to the City of Ventura. Canopy Kelp HAPC also occurs around the perimeter of the
northern Channel Islands: Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel Islands. The nearest Canopy
Kelp HAPC is directly shoreward, approximately 3 miles north of the project site.
Canopy Kelp HAPC is not present at the action area. Project Actions are not expected to have a negative
effect on Canopy Kelp HAPC or the species that utilize these habitats.
4.2.3 ROCKY REEFS
Rocky reefs are submerged rock outcrops with varying relief, known to be rich in both fish abundance and species
diversity (NOAA 2018a). In these systems, rocky reefs provide prey, shelter, and refuge for recruiting, juvenile and
adult fishes. Rocky reefs also provide surface area for colonization of algae and invertebrates. It is the physical
structure itself of rocky reefs that is the most beneficial to the marine ecosystem. Nearshore rocky reefs receive
enough light for photosynthesis and are inhabited by algae, invertebrates, and groundfishes. Rocky reefs in deeper
waters do not receive enough light for photosynthesis and are therefore dominated by sessile invertebrates, deepsea
corals, and groundfishes. Several species of groundfish such as lingcod, many species of rockfish, and cabezon
prefer rocky reefs (NOAA 2018a). These species inhabit rocky reefs because they can find shelter from predators
inside the structure they provide. In reefs close to the surface, algae can attach to the rocks and provide the base of
a food chain, making rocky reefs highly productive. When reefs exist at depth below where sunlight can penetrate,
invertebrate filter feeders dominate the community, capturing prey as they pass by in the current. Deep-sea corals
also form on these reefs (NOAA 2018a).
Rocky Reef HAPC in the Santa Barbara Channel region is found in various locations around San Miguel,
Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz and Anacapa Islands, as well as well as two main locations along the Santa Barbara
County coastline: Point Conception (approximately 58 miles from the project site) and Carpinteria
(approximately 10 miles from the project site, the closest Rocky Reef HAPC to the project site).
Rocky Reefs HAPC is not present at the project site. Project Actions are not expected to have a negative
effect on Rocky Reefs HAPC or the species that utilize these habitats.
4.2.4 ESTUARIES
Estuaries are semi-enclosed regions where salt and freshwater mix, leading to a unique and biodiverse
community of plant and animal species. Estuaries are characterized by high productivity, sediment deposition,
varying salinity, and high biodiversity. Due to the variable salinity, tides, outflow and water properties, many
organisms have adapted in a myriad of ways to exploit the environment. Estuaries are vital habitats for marine
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fishes that use the shallow protected habitat as rearing zones for juveniles (NOAA 2018a). Without these
important habitats, juveniles would be exposed to physical forces beyond their swimming capabilities as well
as high predatory pressure from lack of shelter. The nutrient input, calm waters, and sedimentation of
estuaries allow many plant species to thrive, forming the base of a very productive ecosystem that influences
many habitats and species beyond its borders (NOAA 2018a). Estuaries also provide habitat for a variety of
seabirds, invertebrates, marine mammals, and turtles. These habitats are typically classified into intertidal,
subtidal, and pelagic communities defined by the occurring depths and associated tidal exposure and include
rocky reef, dry reef, the intertidal zone, subtidal sandy bottom (inshore), eelgrass and surfgrass beds, kelp
forest, rock jetties, piers, submarine canyon, and bay/harbor.
In the Santa Barbara Channel Area, there are several estuaries that are HAPC along the coastline. In Goleta,
there are two estuaries: Devereux Slough and Goleta Slough. Devereux Slough is adjacent to the Campus
Point SMCA and is approximately 30 miles from the project site. The Goleta Slough estuary is also
designated as an MPA. The Goleta Slough SMCA and is approximately 27 miles from the project site.
Another important area for estuaries is located along the coast from Pierpont Bay at the City of Ventura, and
continues south down the coast to Mugu Canyon, by Point Mugu. The closest location of Estuaries HAPC is
located shoreward, northwest approximately 5 miles from the project site in Pierpont Bay.
Estuaries HAPC is not present at the project site. Project Actions are not expected to have a negative effect
on Estuaries HAPC or the species that utilize these habitats.
4.2.5 AREAS OF INTEREST
4.2.5.1 Marine Protected Areas
The Southern California MPAs, from Point Conception to the California-Mexico border, cover the Southern
California Bight. The 50 MPAs in this region cover approximately 356 square miles, or about 15% of
Southern California state waters (CDFW 2016). There are 19 marine protected areas in the Santa Barbara
Channel area, along the coastline and at the Channel Islands. These include:
1. Point Conception SMR, located south of Lompoc along the Gaviota coastline. It is located
approximately 59 miles west of the project site.
2. Kashtayit SMCA, located south of Gaviota in Santa Barbara County. It is located approximately 48
miles west of the project site.
3. Naples SMCA, located south of the unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County known as Naples.
It is located approximately 32 miles west of the project site.
4. Campus Point SMCA, located along the Gaviota coastline between Coal Oil Point and Goleta
Point, adjacent to the Goleta Slough Ecological Preserve. It is located approximately 26 miles
west of the project site.
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5. Goleta Slough SMCA, located northeast of Goleta Point and includes the slough adjacent to the
Goleta Slough Ecological Reserve. It is located approximately 27 miles west of the project site.
6. Richardson Rock State and Federal Marine Reserve (San Miguel Island), located just off the
northwest corner of San Miguel Island, the most westerly island of the Channel Islands. It is located
approximately 62 miles southwest of the project site.
7. San Miguel Island Special Closure, located on San Miguel Island, wrapping around Point Bennett to
Judith Rock, including the Judith Rock SMR. It is located approximately 61 miles southwest of the
project site.
8. Harris Point State and Federal Marine Reserve (San Miguel Island), located on the northern side of
San Miguel Island. It is located approximately 52 miles southwest of the project site.
9. Judith Rock SMR (San Miguel Island), located on the southern side of San Miguel Island. It is located
approximately 61 miles southwest of the project site.
10. Carrington Point SMR (Santa Rosa Island), located on the northern side of Santa Rosa Island. It is
located approximately 38 miles southwest of the project site.
11. Skunk Point SMR (Santa Rosa Island), located on the northeastern corner of Santa Rosa Island. It is
located approximately 38 miles southwest of the project site.
12. South Point State and Federal Marine Reserve (Santa Rosa Island), located on the south side of Santa
Rosa Island. It is located approximately 48 miles southwest of the project site.
13. Painted Cave SMCA (Santa Cruz Island) is located on the north wide of Santa Cruz Island near the
most western point. It is located approximately 28 miles southwest of the project site.
14. Gull Island State and Federal Marine Reserve (Santa Cruz Island), located on the south side of Santa
Cruz Island. It is located approximately 31 miles southwest of the project site.
15. Scorpion State and Federal Marine Reserve (Santa Cruz Island), located on the north side of Santa
Cruz Island near the eastern point. It is located approximately 12 miles southwest of the project site.
16. Anacapa Island Special Closure encompasses the entire immediate perimeter of Anacapa Island. It is
located approximately 17 miles south of the project site.
17. Anacapa Island State and Federal Marine Reserve, located on the northern side of Anacapa Island, is
the closest MPA to the project site, located approximately 11 miles away to the south. This area
includes Anacapa Island State Marine Reserve and the adjoining federal Anacapa Island Marine
Reserve. It covers approximately 11.54 square miles of ocean in State waters and extends for
approximately 3.5 miles. At Anacapa Island State and Federal Marine Reserve, it is unlawful to injure,
damage, take, or possess any living, geological, or cultural marine resource.
18. Anacapa Island State and Federal Marine Conservation Area, located on the north side of west
Anacapa Island abutting a federal marine conservation area located three nautical miles from
Anacapa Island. It is located approximately 12 miles south of the project site.
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19. Footprint State and Federal Marine Reserve (Anacapa Channel), located southwest of Anacapa Island
between Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands. It is located approximately 19 miles southwest of the
project site.
Given the significant distance between the project site and the MPAs, there are no anticipated effects to the
MPA ecosystems due to project actions.
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5.0 ANALYSIS OF THE POTENTIAL ADVERSE
EFFECTS OF THE ACTION ON EFH AND
THE MANAGED SPECIES
An adverse effect is defined in the MSA as “any impact which reduces quality and/or quantity of EFH, and
may include direct (e.g., contamination or physical disruption), indirect (e.g., loss of prey or reduction in
species fecundity), site-specific or habitat-wide impacts, including individual, cumulative, or synergistic
consequences of actions” (50 CFR 600.810). EFH is present for groundfish, coastal pelagic species, and
highly migratory species. The project is not located in an area designated as an HAPC.
The potential adverse effects of the proposed project actions evaluated in this EFH Assessment would be:
Entanglement in loose fishing gear that becomes caught in longlines;
Temporary loss of sandy softbottom seafloor habitat from anchor installation and associated
turbidity;
Increased noise during construction;
Hazardous contaminants from potential oil spills;
Loss of prey resources due to fouling organisms; and
Disturbance of the benthic environment from project operations.
5.1 Entanglement
Groundfish, coastal pelagic species, and highly migratory species could become entangled in loose fishing
nets, debris, and other ghost gear that could become attached to mussel aquaculture gear. Absent mitigation,
entanglement may adversely affect these species. However, with incorporation of MM BIO-1 through BIO-5
and MM BIO-10, which pertain to effective management, maintenance, and oversight of aquaculture gear,
this effect is considered insignificant.
5.2 Temporary Loss of Habitat and Increased Turbidity due to
Anchor Installation
Installation of the anchors associated with the project has the potential to temporarily increase turbidity and
displace groundfish that may be utilizing the soft sediment habitat. However, these temporary impacts would be
minimal. Each anchor would only have a footprint of less than one square meter and once installed no rope or
chain touches the sea floor which also minimizes seabed disturbance. The total habitat area that would be
disturbed by the proposed project would be small and regionally insignificant when compared to the overall
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amount of habitat available in the area. Further, groundfish would be able to utilize the area soon after installation
of the anchors. Therefore, impacts associated with benthic disturbance are considered insignificant.
5.3 Construction Noise
Project Activities will temporarily disturb and alter the seafloor habitat from the placement of screw
anchors used to hold the lines, ropes, floats, and buoys. Construction-related noise with the installation of
sand screw anchors is very low in the water, with only a 50-horsepower hydraulic power pack on the boat.
Construction noise levels will be well within acceptable thresholds for fish species (ICF Jones & Stokes and
Illingworth and Rodkin, Inc. 2009; NMFS 2007a). The fish species that may utilize the project area are highly
mobile and have the ability to temporarily avoid the project site during construction activities. Therefore,
noise impacts associated with installation of equipment are considered insignificant.
5.4 Hazardous Contaminants from Oil Spills
Construction and harvesting operations (and the use of any heavy equipment) could result in water-quality
effects due to chemical-compound pollution (fuel, oil, lubricants, inadvertent spills, and other materials) in the
event of an oil spill. As with any mechanized machinery, there is a small risk of accidental discharge of fuel,
lubricants, or hydraulic fluids, which could affect marine wildlife in the area and result in injury and/or
mortality to wildlife in the area of the contaminant through ingestion, physical contact that reduces survival
functions (e.g., oiled wildlife), or a reduction in suitable feeding habitat. Although spills of this nature are
detrimental to aquatic organisms, it is expected that the impacts would be negligible because of the limited
occurrence of spills and corrective actions. Incorporation of Mitigation Measure BIO-7 would effectively
mitigate risk associated with potential oil spills.
5.5 Loss of Prey Resources due to Fouling Organisms
Groundfish could potentially lose prey resources in the event that the substrate in or near the project site becomes
populated with invasive “fouling organisms.” The submerged structures of the Project Actions can provide hard
substrate habitat for such organisms. Fouling organisms, such as invasive algae, sea squirts, and mussels, can pose
economic and ecological risks to the marine environment. For example, the invasive carpet sea squirt (Didemnum
vexillum) reproduces rapidly and fouls marine habitats (including shellfish aquaculture operations and fishing grounds),
ship’s hulls, and maritime structures. Like other fouling organisms, they are found on hard substrates that include
floats, moorings and ropes, steel chain and ship hulls. They overgrow other marine organisms such as tunicates,
sponges, macro algae, hydroids, anemones, bryozoans, scallops, mussels, and oysters. Where these colonies occur on
the seabed, they likely cover the siphons of infaunal bivalves and serve as a barrier between groundfish and their prey.
However, the invasive carpet sea squirt is not present in the Channel Islands area. The nearest known occurrences are
in Monterey Bay and Mission Bay in San Diego (Woods Hole Science Center 2007). Further, there is a lack of
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available substrate within or near the project site suitable for colonization by fouling organisms, as these invasive
species cannot attach themselves to the sandy bottom substrate at the project site.
5.6 Disturbance to the Benthic Environment from Project Operations
Effects on sediment quality underneath shellfish aquaculture gear could be impacted from biodeposits and
changes to the benthic invertebrate species composition that can adversely affect groundfish habitat. The
Project Actions have the potential to disturb or alter the seafloor habitat by the deposition of biological
materials resulting from dislodged or discharged shells, shell fragments, and deposits from the growing
operation accumulating on the seafloor beneath the aquaculture structures. Such material typically includes feces
and pseudofeces from the cultivated shellfish, as well as fouling organisms such as algae, barnacles, sponges, and
other invertebrates that accumulate on the project equipment and subsequently become dislodged by natural
processes, or due to harvesting or cleaning operations. Cultivated shellfish or shells from can also be dislodged
from the structure during growth, storm events, predation by marine wildlife, and cleaning and harvesting
activities. The accumulation of material including shell fragments, intact shells, fouling organisms, and feces can
alter the physical and chemical characteristics of the bottom substrate, and can affect the benthic community
and sediment-dwelling organisms that may be sensitive to conditions such as substrate composition and
chemistry. Accumulation of material could also attract organisms that would change the composition of the
benthic community. Other potential benthic impacts can include increased loads on sediment dissolved oxygen
and redox conditions, and changes to nutrient cycling resulting in a decrease in benthic species abundance and
sediment porosity (Pearson and Rosenberg 1978; Wilding and Nickell 2013; Wilding 2012). The effect on
benthic nitrogen cycling is determined by biogeochemical and physical variables, such as water depth, current
velocities, and bottom type and composition (CFGC 2018). Shellfish are able to alter the biogeochemical
process in the water column by stimulating nitrification (Souchu et al. 2001).Mussel farms that are located in
areas with greater water depths and current speeds spread bio-deposits over a larger area without posing the risk
of enhanced sediment nutrient release (Stadmark & Conley 2011). A local mussel farm operated by the Santa
Barbara Mariculture Company, with thirteen years in operation, conducted benthic analysis testing. This
sediment analysis testing examined grain size, and levels of benthic epifaunal and infaunal biodiversity both
within the farm and outside of the farm, and found no significant benthic impact (CFGC 2018). Given the
conditions at the project site, with the significant depth, wave action and mixing, this potential impact is unlikely
to be significant and bioaccumulation is expected to be dispersed over a larger area. To confirm this conclusion,
Mitigation Measure BIO-9 has been incorporated, which requires monitoring of sediment quality and
composition to evaluate any benthic impacts associated with the project.
Based on the foregoing, no adverse effects to essential fish habitat or habitat of particular concern are
anticipated to occur from development and operation of the project.
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6.0 CONCLUSION
This EFH Assessment represents the assessment of the effects of the proposed project actions on managed
fisheries in accordance with legal requirements set forth in the MSFCMA . Implementation of the project
could result in temporary impacts associated with construction activities and impacts from project operations
associated with entanglement, changes in sediment composition, and potential oil spills. However,
implementation of the proposed mitigation measures are expected to fully compensate for project impacts
and reduce potential impacts on EFH species to negligible levels (Appendix D). The project as proposed may
affect, but is not likely to adversely affect EFH and will not reduce the overall value of the EFH of managed
groundfish, coastal pelagic, or highly migratory species.
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7.0 REFERENCES
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PFMC. 2014. Pacific Coast Salmon Fishery Management Plan. Appendix A: Identification and Description of
Essential Fish Habitat, Adverse Impacts, and Recommended Conservation Measures for Salmon.
Ritter, F. 2012. Collisions of sailing vessels with cetaceans worldwide: First insights into a seemingly growing
problem. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 12(1): 119-127.
Santa Barbara Channelkeeper. 2017. About the Santa Barbara Channel. Accessed April 14, 2017 from the
ChannelKeeper website: http://www.sbck.org/about-the-santa-barbara-channel/.
USACE (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers). 2015. Programmatic Biological Assessment. Shellfish Activities in
Washington State Inland Marine Waters. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program. U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle.
USACE. 2017. Decision Document. Nationwide Permit 48. Sections 10 and 404. February 2018.
http://www.usace.army.mil/Portals/2/docs/civilworks/nwp/2017/NWP_48_2017_final_Dec2016.
pdf?ver=2017-01-06-125513-060
USFWS. 2018a. Information for Planning and Consulting. Accessed February 2018. https://ecos.fws.gov/ipac/
USFWS. 2018b. Environmental Conservation Online System. Accessed February 2018. https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp/
USFWS. 2018c. International Affairs CITES Informational Website. Oceanic Whitetip Shark (Carcharhinus
longimanus). Accessed February 2018. https://www.fws.gov/international/cites/cop16/oceanicwhitetip-
shark.html
ATTACHMENT 4
353
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT ASSESSMENT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT
9250 63
DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018
USFWS. 2018d. Environmental Conservation Online System (ECOS). Accessed February 2018.
https://ecos.fws.gov/ecp/
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise. 2018. Proposed Best Management Practices to Mitigate Potential Adverse
Project Impacts
Foster, M.S. and D.R. Schiel. 1985. The ecology of giant kelp forests in California: a community profile. US
Fish and Wildlife Service Report 85: 1-152
ATTACHMENT 4
354
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT FOR THE VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE PROJECT
9250 64
DUDEK SEPTEMBER 2018
INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK
ATTACHMENT 4
355
APPENDIX A
Groundfish EFH and HAPC Maps
ATTACHMENT 4
356
Santa
Barbara
Morro
Bay
Bodega
Bay
Fort
Bragg
Crescent
City
Brookings
Florence
Yachats
Newport
Astoria
Tillamook
Los
Angeles
Monterey
San
Francisco
Coos
Bay
Portland
Aberdeen
Seattle
-131° -130°
-129°
-129°
-128°
-128°
-127°
-127°
-126°
-126° -125°
-125°
-124°
-124°
-123°
-123°
-122°
-122°
-121°
-121°
-120°
-120°
-119°
-119°
-118°
-118°
-117°
-117°
-116°
-116°
-115°
-115°
-114° -113° -112° -111°
31°
31°
32°
32°
33°
33°
34°
34°
35°
35°
36°
36°
37°
37°
38°
38°
39°
39°
40°
40°
41°
41°
42°
42°
43°
43°
44°
44°
45°
45°
46°
46°
47°
47°
48°
48°
49°
30°
0 62.5 125 250
Nautical Miles
0 125 250 500
Kilometers
200m
2000m
Map Date: July 26, 2006
* See text of NMFS’ Final Rule, 71 FR 27408,
for complete description of closed areas
Depth
200m (109fm)
2000m (1094fm)
Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for
Pacific Coast Groundfish
Water and substrate <= 3500-m depth,
shoreward to MHHW or salinity <= 0.5 ppt, Seamounts > 3,500-m depth, and
Any additional areas designated as HAPC
ATTACHMENT 4
357
EEZ
200m
2000m
Hidden Reef / Kidney Bank
Specified Areas in CINMS
Monterey Canyon
San Juan Seamount
WA state waters
and sea bottom
Taney
Seamount
President Jackson
Seamount
Davidson Seamount
Thompson
Seamount
Mendocino
Ridge
Pioneer Seamount
Cordell Bank
Daisy Bank /
Nelson Island
Guide Seamount
Gumdrop Seamount
Potato Bank
CCA East
Cherry Bank
Yachats
Newport
Astoria
Seattle
Florence
Monterey
Coos Bay
Portland
Aberdeen
Morro Bay
Brookings
Tillamook
Bodega Bay
Fort Bragg
Los Angeles
Santa Barbara
Crescent City
San Francisco
-131° -130°
-129°
-129°
-128°
-128°
-127°
-127°
-126°
-126° -125°
-125°
-124°
-124°
-123°
-123°
-122°
-122°
-121°
-121°
-120°
-120°
-119°
-119°
-118°
-118°
-117°
-117°
-116°
-116°
-115°
-115°
-114° -113° -112° -111°
31°
31°
32°
32°
33°
33°
34°
34°
35°
35°
36°
36°
37°
37°
38°
38°
39°
39°
40°
40°
41°
41°
42°
42°
43°
43°
44°
44°
45°
45°
46°
46°
47°
47°
48°
48°
49°
30°
0 62.5 125 250
Nautical Miles
0 125 250 500
Kilometers
Map Date: March 14, 2006
HAPC’s *
* Some HAPC’s are spatially coincident.
(for example, seagrass and estuaries)
Therefore, on this map, only the top layer
will be visible in these cases. The legend
is presented in the order of the map layers
Depth
200m (109fm)
2000m (1094fm)
Los Angeles
Santa Barbara
Areas of Interest
Rocky Reefs
Estuaries
Canopy Kelp
Seagrass
ATTACHMENT 4
358
ATTACHMENT 4
359
APPENDIX B
Final California Commercial Landings for 2017
ATTACHMENT 4
360

Ca lifornia W a te rs

Fis he s
A nch ov y , north e rn…………………..
Ba rra cu da , Ca lifornia ……………….
Ba s s , gia nt s e a ………………………..
Bonito, P a cific………………………….
Bu tte rfis h (P a cific pompa no)…..
Ca be zon……………………………………
Croa ke r, u ns pe cife d………………..
Croa ke r, w h ite ………………………….
Ee l, Ca lifornia mora y ………………..
Fis h , u ns pe cifie d……………………..
Gre na die r………………………………….
Gu ita rfis h , s h ov e lnos e ……………
Ha gfis h e s …………………………………
Ha libu t, Ca lifornia …………………….
Ha libu t, u ns pe cifie d…………………
Ke lpfis h , gia nt………………………….
Lingcod…………………………………….
Liza rdfis h , Ca lifornia ………………..
Lou v a r………………………………………
Ma cke re l, P a cific……………………..
Ma cke re l, ja ck………………………….
Ma cke re l, u ns pe cifie d……………..
Mu lle t, s tripe d…………………………..
Opa h …………………………………………
Opa le y e ……………………………………
Qu e e nfis h …………………………………
Ra y , P a cific e le ctric………………..
Ra y , ba t……………………………………
Ra y , u ns pe cifie d……………………..
Rockfis h , Ch ina ………………………..
Rockfis h , Me xica n……………………
Rockfis h , a u rora ………………………
Rockfis h , ba nk…………………………
Rockfis h , bla ck-a nd-y e llow …….
Rockfis h , bla ck………………………..
Rockfis h , bla ckgill……………………
ATTACHMENT 4 361

Ca lifornia W a te rs

Fis he s
Rockfis h , blu e ………………………….
Rockfis h , boca ccio………………….
Rockfis h , brow n……………………….
Rockfis h , ca na ry ……………………..
Rockfis h , ch ilipe ppe r……………….
Rockfis h , coppe r……………………..
Rockfis h , fla g…………………………..
Rockfis h , goph e r……………………..
Rockfis h , gra s s ………………………..
Rockfis h , gre e nblotch e d…………
Rockfis h , gre e ns potte d…………..
Rockfis h , gre e ns tripe d…………….
Rockfis h , grou p ne a rs h ore ……..
Rockfis h , grou p re d…………………
Rockfis h , grou p s h e lf………………
Rockfis h , ke lp…………………………..
Rockfis h , oliv e …………………………
Rockfis h , ros y ………………………….
Rockfis h , s pe ckle d………………….
Rockfis h , s plitnos e ………………….
Rockfis h , s qu a re s pot………………
Rockfis h , s ta rry ……………………….
Rockfis h , tre e fis h …………………….
Rockfis h , u ns pe cifie d……………..
Rockfis h , v e rmilion…………………..
Rockfis h , w idow ……………………….
Rockfis h , y e llow ta il………………….
S a ble fis h ………………………………….
S a lmon, Ch inook………………………
S a ndda b…………………………………..
S a rdine , P a cific……………………….
S a rgo………………………………………..
S corpionfis h , Ca lifornia …………..
S e a ba s s , w h ite ………………………..
S h a rk, P a cific a nge l………………..
S h a rk, bige y e th re s h e r……………
ATTACHMENT 4 362

Ca lifornia W a te rs

Fis he s
S h a rk, blu e ……………………………….
S h a rk, brow n s mooth h ou nd…….
S h a rk, gra y s mooth h ou nd……….
S h a rk, le opa rd………………………….
S h a rk, pe la gic th re s h e r…………..
S h a rk, s e v e ngill……………………….
S h a rk, s h ortfin ma ko………………..
S h a rk, s ou pfin………………………….
S h a rk, s piny dogfis h ……………….
S h a rk, s w e ll……………………………..
S h a rk, th re s h e r………………………..
S h a rk, u ns pe cifie d…………………..
S h a rk, w h ite ……………………………..
S h e e ph e a d, Ca lifornia ……………..
S ka te , Ca lifornia ………………………
S ka te , longnos e ……………………….
S ka te , u ns pe cifie d…………………..
S ole , Dov e r………………………………
S ole , Englis h …………………………….
S ole , bigmou th …………………………
S ole , cu rlfin………………………………
S ole , fa nta il………………………………
S ole , pe tra le …………………………….
S ole , rock…………………………………
S ole , s a nd………………………………..
S ole , u ns pe cifie d…………………….
S plitta il……………………………………..
S tingra y ……………………………………
S u rfpe rch , ba rre d…………………….
S u rfpe rch , ra inbow …………………..
S u rfpe rch , ru bbe rlip…………………
S w ordfis h …………………………………
Th orny h e a d, longs pine ……………
Th orny h e a d, s h orts pine ………….
Th orny h e a ds ……………………………
Tra w le d fis h , u ns pe cifie d………..
ATTACHMENT 4 363

Ca lifornia W a te rs

Fis he s
Cru s ta ce a ns
Ech inode rms
Trigge rfis h ………………………………..
Tu na , a lba core …………………………
Tu na , blu e fin…………………………….
Tu na , y e llow fin…………………………
Tu rbot, h orny h e a d……………………
Tu rbot……………………………………….
W h ite fis h , oce a n……………………..
W h iting, P a cific………………………..
Y e llow ta il………………………………….
Cra b, Du nge ne s s ……………………..
Cra b, a rme d box……………………….
Cra b, box………………………………….
Cra b, brow n rock……………………..
Cra b, cla w s ………………………………
Cra b, king…………………………………
Cra b, pe la gic re d……………………..
Cra b, re d rock…………………………..
Cra b, rock u ns pe cifie d…………….
Cra b, s ou th e rn ke lp…………………
Cra b, s pide r……………………………..
Cra b, s pide r/s h e e p cla w s ……….
Cra b, ta nne r……………………………..
Cra b, y e llow rock……………………..
Cru s ta ce a n, u ns pe cifie d…………
Lobs te r, Ca lifornia s piny …………
P ra w n, golde n………………………….
P ra w n, ridge ba ck……………………..
P ra w n, s pot………………………………
S h rimp, ma ntis ………………………….
S h rimp, u ns pe cifie d…………………
Ba t s ta r…………………………………….
S e a cu cumbe r, gia nt re d…………
S e a cu cumbe r, u ns pe cifie d…….
S e a cu cumbe r, w a rty ………………
ATTACHMENT 4 364

Ca lifornia W a te rs
Oth e r W a te rs

W a te rs A re a Tota l:
W a te rs A re a Tota l:

Ech inode rms
Mollu s ks
W orms
Fis he s
Cru s ta ce a ns
Mollu s ks
S e a u rch in, pu rple ……………………
S e a u rch in, re d………………………..
Clam, u ns pe cifie d…………………….
Limpe t, ke y h ole ………………………..
Mu s s e l………………………………………
Octopu s , u ns pe cifie d………………
S na il, top………………………………….
S na ils , moon…………………………….
S qu id, ma rke t……………………………
W h e lk, Ke lle t’s ………………………….
Inv e rte bra te Uns pe cifie d…………
S pide rs , s e a …………………………….
Dolph in (fis h )……………………………
Es cola r……………………………………..
Fis h , u ns pe cifie d……………………..
Goby , y e llow fin………………………..
Opa h …………………………………………
S h a rk, s h ortfin ma ko………………..
S w ordfis h …………………………………
Tu na , bige y e …………………………….
Tu na , s kipja ck………………………….
Tu na , y e llow fin…………………………
W a h oo………………………………………
Cra b, brow n rock……………………..
Cra b, re d rock…………………………..
Lobs te r, Ca lifornia s piny …………
S qu id, ma rke t……………………………
ATTACHMENT 4 365

ATTACHMENT 4 366

V ENTURA
S qu id, ma rke t……………………………………………………………
Lobs te r, Ca lifornia s piny …………………………………………
P ra w n, s pot………………………………………………………………
P ra w n, ridge ba ck……………………………………………………..
Ha libu t, Ca lifornia …………………………………………………….
S e a u rch in, re d…………………………………………………………
Tu na , bige y e …………………………………………………………….
S w ordfis h ………………………………………………………………….
S e a ba s s , w h ite ………………………………………………………..
Bonito, P a cific………………………………………………………….
Cra b, y e llow rock……………………………………………………..
Th orny h e a d, s h orts pine ………………………………………….
Cra b, rock u ns pe cifie d…………………………………………….
Ma cke re l, P a cific……………………………………………………..
Opa h …………………………………………………………………………
Cra b, Du nge ne s s ……………………………………………………..
Liza rdfis h , Ca lifornia ………………………………………………..
S e a cu cumbe r, w a rty ………………………………………………
Y e llow ta il………………………………………………………………….
S h a rk, P a cific a nge l………………………………………………..
Tu na , y e llow fin…………………………………………………………
S e a cu cumbe r, gia nt re d…………………………………………
Croa ke r, w h ite ………………………………………………………….
S h e e ph e a d, Ca lifornia ……………………………………………..
Cra b, re d rock…………………………………………………………..
Ca be zon……………………………………………………………………
S a ble fis h …………………………………………………………………..
S h a rk, s h ortfin ma ko………………………………………………..
Lingcod……………………………………………………………………..
S a ndda b……………………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , gra s s ………………………………………………………..
S ole , pe tra le ……………………………………………………………..
S h a rk, th re s h e r………………………………………………………..
Gu ita rfis h , s h ov e lnos e ……………………………………………
Ba s s , gia nt s e a ………………………………………………………..
52,045,559
78,380
85,400
302,735
52,431
96,921
42,621
29,436
27,334
220,973
27,115
4,855
23,590
320,879
21,544
5,646
44,018
4,991
7,545
10,154
4,870
3,706
23,552
3,366
2,934
1,532
3,920
4,397
2,187
2,424
455
2,247
2,485
2,362
1,148
$25,988,613
$1,467,925
$1,205,760
$708,534
$312,878
$267,961
$164,006
$147,157
$108,674
$66,383
$50,937
$39,374
$39,344
$34,534
$32,096
$29,642
$26,141
$24,955
$24,367
$18,209
$17,999
$17,590
$14,556
$14,088
$12,430
$12,011
$11,239
$6,606
$5,785
$5,139
$4,882
$4,111
$4,033
$3,793
$3,789
ATTACHMENT 4 367

V ENTURA
W a h oo………………………………………………………………………
W h ite fis h , oce a n………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , v e rmilion…………………………………………………..
S h rimp, u ns pe cifie d…………………………………………………
Ra y , ba t…………………………………………………………………….
Cra b, s pide r………………………………………………………………
S na ils , moon…………………………………………………………….
Fis h , u ns pe cifie d……………………………………………………..
Bu tte rfis h (P a cific pompa no)…………………………………..
S ole , Englis h …………………………………………………………….
P ra w n, golde n…………………………………………………………..
S ka te , u ns pe cifie d…………………………………………………..
Cra b, brow n rock……………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , gre e ns potte d…………………………………………..
S corpionfis h , Ca lifornia …………………………………………..
S ole , fa nta il………………………………………………………………
Es cola r……………………………………………………………………..
Th orny h e a d, longs pine ……………………………………………
W h e lk, Ke lle t’s ………………………………………………………….
Dolph in (fis h )……………………………………………………………
S ole , rock………………………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , boca ccio………………………………………………….
S pide rs , s e a ……………………………………………………………..
Tu na , s kipja ck………………………………………………………….
Ma cke re l, ja ck………………………………………………………….
Ra y , P a cific e le ctric………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , y e llow ta il………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , ch ilipe ppe r……………………………………………….
Cra b, box…………………………………………………………………..
S ole , u ns pe cifie d……………………………………………………..
Cra b, king………………………………………………………………….
Cra b, cla w s ………………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , goph e r……………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , gre e ns tripe d…………………………………………….
Ma cke re l, u ns pe cifie d……………………………………………..
1,415
1,420
2,814
1,098
4,503
2,808
1,946
1,697
1,916
2,396
780
2,873
888
1,073
660
1,319
746
431
937
243
725
622
258
478
6,030
101
90
290
109
544
90
110
45
178
118
$3,711
$3,592
$3,574
$2,477
$2,190
$1,977
$1,936
$1,928
$1,811
$1,736
$1,716
$1,664
$1,600
$1,172
$1,068
$1,047
$894
$832
$773
$729
$725
$540
$516
$478
$394
$282
$277
$277
$264
$263
$247
$247
$225
$218
$206
ATTACHMENT 4 368

V ENTURA
Rockfis h , coppe r……………………………………………………..
S h a rk, s w e ll………………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , tre e fis h …………………………………………………….
S h a rk, brow n s mooth h ou nd…………………………………….
Opa le y e …………………………………………………………………….
Octopu s , u ns pe cifie d………………………………………………
Mu s s e l………………………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , ca na ry ……………………………………………………..
S h rimp, ma ntis ………………………………………………………….
Goby , y e llow fin………………………………………………………..
S tingra y …………………………………………………………………….
S a rdine , P a cific………………………………………………………..
S h a rk, u ns pe cifie d…………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , s ta rry ……………………………………………………….
S e a u rch in, pu rple ……………………………………………………
Rockfis h , fla g……………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , brow n……………………………………………………….
Th orny h e a ds …………………………………………………………….
A nch ov y , north e rn…………………………………………………..
S ole , Dov e r……………………………………………………………….
S h a rk, le opa rd………………………………………………………….
Cra b, pe la gic re d……………………………………………………..
Ra y , u ns pe cifie d………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , blu e …………………………………………………………..
S ole , cu rlfin………………………………………………………………
Ba rra cu da , Ca lifornia ……………………………………………….
Gre na die r………………………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , ke lp…………………………………………………………..
S ka te , longnos e ……………………………………………………….
Cra b, s ou th e rn ke lp…………………………………………………
Cra b, s pide r/s h e e p cla w s ……………………………………….
Rockfis h , bla ck………………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , w idow ……………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , s pe ckle d………………………………………………….
Mu lle t, s tripe d…………………………………………………………..
72
129
17
156
240
122
120
62
14
27
150
182,677
72
98
11
51
22
31
998
28
78
1,936
37
9
25
36
24
7
20
7
6
4
3
14
2
$206
$193
$170
$148
$144
$128
$120
$117
$84
$81
$75
$63
$61
$54
$50
$49
$32
$31
$27
$24
$21
$19
$19
$14
$13
$12
$12
$11
$8
$7
$6
$4
$3
$3
$2
ATTACHMENT 4 369

V ENTURA
P ORT HUENEME
S A NTA BA RBA RA HA RBOR
53,742,966
35,936,403
$30,939,138
$18,481,438
Rockfis h , gre e nblotch e d…………………………………………
S ole , s a nd………………………………………………………………..
S h a rk, s ou pfin………………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , s qu a re s pot………………………………………………
S h a rk, s piny dogfis h ……………………………………………….
S h a rk, gra y s mooth h ou nd……………………………………….
S e a cu cumbe r, u ns pe cifie d…………………………………….
Tu na , blu e fin…………………………………………………………….
Cru s ta ce a n, u ns pe cifie d…………………………………………
S qu id, ma rke t……………………………………………………………
P ra w n, s pot………………………………………………………………
A nch ov y , north e rn…………………………………………………..
Ma cke re l, P a cific……………………………………………………..
Th orny h e a d, s h orts pine ………………………………………….
S a rdine , P a cific………………………………………………………..
S a ble fis h …………………………………………………………………..
S e a cu cumbe r, gia nt re d…………………………………………
S e a u rch in, re d…………………………………………………………
S tingra y …………………………………………………………………….
Ma cke re l, ja ck………………………………………………………….
Bonito, P a cific………………………………………………………….
S h a rk, th re s h e r………………………………………………………..
Ba rra cu da , Ca lifornia ……………………………………………….
S h a rk, brow n s mooth h ou nd…………………………………….
Lobs te r, Ca lifornia s piny …………………………………………
S e a u rch in, re d…………………………………………………………
Th orny h e a d, s h orts pine ………………………………………….
Cra b, re d rock…………………………………………………………..
S a ble fis h …………………………………………………………………..
Ha libu t, Ca lifornia …………………………………………………….
Cra b, y e llow rock……………………………………………………..
Cra b, brow n rock……………………………………………………..
P ra w n, ridge ba ck……………………………………………………..
2
127
3
1
25
7
27
15
2
35,555,303
46,266
92,864
213,871
431
21,075
515
111
790
2,300
2,601
205
58
13
164
200,909
1,788,795
214,583
491,716
288,662
57,391
188,130
106,972
66,039
$2
$1
$1
$1
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$17,775,392
$645,813
$32,268
$20,616
$2,997
$1,743
$1,552
$555
$395
$65
$22
$21
$1
$0
$3,876,550
$3,064,420
$1,833,995
$834,274
$830,501
$326,601
$320,362
$197,184
$172,532
P ort Tota ls
P ort Tota ls
ATTACHMENT 4 370

S A NTA BA RBA RA HA RBOR
S e a cu cumbe r, gia nt re d…………………………………………
Cra b, box…………………………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , v e rmilion…………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , gra s s ………………………………………………………..
S e a ba s s , w h ite ………………………………………………………..
S e a cu cumbe r, w a rty ………………………………………………
S w ordfis h ………………………………………………………………….
Y e llow ta il………………………………………………………………….
Cra b, s pide r………………………………………………………………
Th orny h e a d, longs pine ……………………………………………
Rockfis h , coppe r……………………………………………………..
W h e lk, Ke lle t’s ………………………………………………………….
Ha gfis h e s …………………………………………………………………
Cra b, rock u ns pe cifie d…………………………………………….
Ca be zon……………………………………………………………………
Lingcod……………………………………………………………………..
Cra b, Du nge ne s s ……………………………………………………..
S h e e ph e a d, Ca lifornia ……………………………………………..
S h a rk, th re s h e r………………………………………………………..
Cra b, king………………………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , bla ckgill……………………………………………………
Rockfis h , boca ccio………………………………………………….
S h a rk, s ou pfin………………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , blu e …………………………………………………………..
Ra y , ba t…………………………………………………………………….
P ra w n, s pot………………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , goph e r……………………………………………………..
S a lmon, Ch inook………………………………………………………
S h a rk, P a cific a nge l………………………………………………..
W h ite fis h , oce a n………………………………………………………
Clam, u ns pe cifie d…………………………………………………….
Tu na , a lba core …………………………………………………………
Ba s s , gia nt s e a ………………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , bla ck-a nd-y e llow …………………………………….
32,383
47,557
42,131
9,445
26,126
16,945
22,006
34,181
39,321
14,332
8,690
42,038
38,074
22,587
4,346
8,088
6,435
7,105
10,484
1,941
4,730
4,044
7,413
2,110
8,131
578
909
630
5,749
2,169
224
1,528
817
429
$159,158
$134,391
$130,613
$108,399
$103,499
$86,187
$80,663
$76,003
$62,897
$62,189
$58,017
$49,641
$39,983
$38,637
$34,829
$29,354
$29,298
$28,172
$14,834
$12,995
$12,224
$10,057
$8,454
$8,407
$7,361
$7,359
$7,134
$6,534
$6,166
$4,560
$4,480
$4,248
$3,778
$3,416
ATTACHMENT 4 371

S A NTA BA RBA RA HA RBOR
Opa h …………………………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , y e llow ta il………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , tre e fis h …………………………………………………….
Bonito, P a cific………………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , ke lp…………………………………………………………..
Croa ke r, w h ite ………………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , gre e ns potte d…………………………………………..
Rockfis h , ca na ry ……………………………………………………..
S h a rk, s h ortfin ma ko………………………………………………..
Ma cke re l, u ns pe cifie d……………………………………………..
Rockfis h , grou p re d…………………………………………………
S ole , u ns pe cifie d……………………………………………………..
Ha libu t, u ns pe cifie d…………………………………………………
S e a cu cumbe r, u ns pe cifie d…………………………………….
S ole , fa nta il………………………………………………………………
S a ndda b……………………………………………………………………
S na il, top…………………………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , ba nk…………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , s ta rry ……………………………………………………….
Liza rdfis h , Ca lifornia ………………………………………………..
S ka te , longnos e ……………………………………………………….
S pide rs , s e a ……………………………………………………………..
S h a rk, u ns pe cifie d…………………………………………………..
S plitta il……………………………………………………………………..
S h a rk, le opa rd………………………………………………………….
Cru s ta ce a n, u ns pe cifie d…………………………………………
S e a u rch in, pu rple ……………………………………………………
Cra b, s ou th e rn ke lp…………………………………………………
Inv e rte bra te Uns pe cifie d…………………………………………
Limpe t, ke y h ole ………………………………………………………..
S qu id, ma rke t……………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , s pe ckle d………………………………………………….
Octopu s , u ns pe cifie d………………………………………………
Gre na die r………………………………………………………………….
S ole , rock………………………………………………………………….
2,173
812
355
1,097
374
4,614
984
831
1,409
626
523
1,396
351
592
614
540
573
501
499
1,670
1,311
307
4,210
601
813
415
389
146
141
140
364
154
94
727
138
$3,162
$3,014
$2,885
$2,880
$2,615
$2,500
$2,408
$2,186
$2,084
$1,842
$1,832
$1,760
$1,704
$1,659
$1,530
$1,509
$1,395
$1,289
$1,288
$1,099
$1,047
$998
$987
$902
$838
$810
$770
$587
$423
$411
$364
$363
$304
$282
$270
ATTACHMENT 4 372

S A NTA BA RBA RA HA RBOR
Rockfis h , brow n……………………………………………………….
Fis h , u ns pe cifie d……………………………………………………..
Cra b, cla w s ………………………………………………………………
S u rfpe rch , ra inbow …………………………………………………..
S ole , s a nd………………………………………………………………..
Cra b, s pide r/s h e e p cla w s ……………………………………….
Rockfis h , gre e nblotch e d…………………………………………
Lou v a r……………………………………………………………………….
S h a rk, bige y e th re s h e r……………………………………………
S h a rk, s piny dogfis h ……………………………………………….
S ka te , u ns pe cifie d…………………………………………………..
S ole , Englis h …………………………………………………………….
Ma cke re l, P a cific……………………………………………………..
S ole , pe tra le ……………………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , w idow ……………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , u ns pe cifie d……………………………………………..
Rockfis h , s qu a re s pot………………………………………………
S h a rk, s e v e ngill……………………………………………………….
S ole , Dov e r……………………………………………………………….
Ba rra cu da , Ca lifornia ……………………………………………….
Rockfis h , a u rora ………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , fla g……………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , ch ilipe ppe r……………………………………………….
Ma cke re l, ja ck………………………………………………………….
S h rimp, ma ntis ………………………………………………………….
W h iting, P a cific………………………………………………………..
S u rfpe rch , ba rre d…………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , s plitnos e ………………………………………………….
Ke lpfis h , gia nt…………………………………………………………..
Bu tte rfis h (P a cific pompa no)…………………………………..
Tra w le d fis h , u ns pe cifie d………………………………………..
Rockfis h , oliv e ………………………………………………………….
S ka te , Ca lifornia ………………………………………………………
Th orny h e a ds …………………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , Me xica n……………………………………………………
74
378
215
39
101
91
48
28
242
234
1,349
143
21
76
30
334
22
73
225
53
70
27
25
14
11
141
12
23
4
162
58
8
20
12
8
$248
$236
$215
$197
$186
$159
$156
$154
$130
$130
$125
$125
$117
$115
$88
$84
$74
$73
$69
$67
$66
$64
$61
$58
$56
$50
$42
$34
$32
$32
$30
$26
$25
$24
$23
ATTACHMENT 4 373

S A NTA BA RBA RA HA RBOR
OX NA RD
3,912,104 $12,943,816
S h a rk, s w e ll………………………………………………………………
Ra y , u ns pe cifie d………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , ros y ………………………………………………………….
Tu rbot……………………………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , gre e ns tripe d…………………………………………….
Croa ke r, u ns pe cife d………………………………………………..
S corpionfis h , Ca lifornia …………………………………………..
Rockfis h , Ch ina ………………………………………………………..
Tu rbot, h orny h e a d……………………………………………………
Rockfis h , grou p s h e lf………………………………………………
S h a rk, blu e ……………………………………………………………….
Qu e e nfis h …………………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , grou p ne a rs h ore ……………………………………..
Cra b, a rme d box……………………………………………………….
S a rdine , P a cific………………………………………………………..
Ee l, Ca lifornia mora y ………………………………………………..
Lobs te r, Ca lifornia s piny …………………………………………
S e a u rch in, re d…………………………………………………………
Th orny h e a d, s h orts pine ………………………………………….
S e a ba s s , w h ite ………………………………………………………..
S e a cu cumbe r, w a rty ………………………………………………
Ha libu t, Ca lifornia …………………………………………………….
S w ordfis h ………………………………………………………………….
S a ble fis h …………………………………………………………………..
P ra w n, s pot………………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , v e rmilion…………………………………………………..
S h e e ph e a d, Ca lifornia ……………………………………………..
S qu id, ma rke t……………………………………………………………
Y e llow ta il………………………………………………………………….
Cra b, y e llow rock……………………………………………………..
Cra b, s pide r………………………………………………………………
S h a rk, th re s h e r………………………………………………………..
15
25
4
9
3
53
2
1
2
2
12
16
30
9
28
8
49,049
881,590
40,337
65,925
47,655
36,072
32,487
35,199
4,682
17,216
10,084
51,552
6,085
36,711
9,706
12,884
$16
$15
$14
$14
$13
$8
$6
$6
$4
$2
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$941,960
$807,390
$290,334
$268,202
$242,979
$196,968
$142,887
$111,992
$68,761
$54,217
$49,764
$25,776
$19,877
$18,149
$17,029
$12,911
P ort Tota ls
ATTACHMENT 4 374

OX NA RD
S e a cu cumbe r, gia nt re d…………………………………………
Th orny h e a d, longs pine ……………………………………………
Ba s s , gia nt s e a ………………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , bla ckgill……………………………………………………
Lingcod……………………………………………………………………..
Cra b, Du nge ne s s ……………………………………………………..
S h a rk, P a cific a nge l………………………………………………..
Cra b, rock u ns pe cifie d…………………………………………….
Cra b, king………………………………………………………………….
Cra b, re d rock…………………………………………………………..
Opa h …………………………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , boca ccio………………………………………………….
S h a rk, s h ortfin ma ko………………………………………………..
S h a rk, le opa rd………………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , ca na ry ……………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , gre e ns potte d…………………………………………..
S ka te , longnos e ……………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , s pe ckle d………………………………………………….
W h ite fis h , oce a n………………………………………………………
Tu na , blu e fin…………………………………………………………….
Tu na , y e llow fin…………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , coppe r……………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , y e llow ta il………………………………………………….
S a ndda b……………………………………………………………………
Cra b, box…………………………………………………………………..
Ca be zon……………………………………………………………………
S h a rk, w h ite ……………………………………………………………..
Ba t s ta r……………………………………………………………………..
S h a rk, bige y e th re s h e r……………………………………………
Rockfis h , blu e …………………………………………………………..
S ole , Dov e r……………………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , s ta rry ……………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , w idow ……………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , goph e r……………………………………………………..
S h a rk, s ou pfin………………………………………………………….
2,274
4,550
2,450
3,908
1,265
794
2,790
2,687
632
2,977
2,883
1,702
2,207
2,539
471
425
1,378
419
279
227
218
141
374
162
216
112
130
938
133
175
70
50
56
35
165
$11,570
$9,931
$7,663
$4,678
$3,994
$3,970
$3,749
$3,633
$3,551
$3,405
$2,612
$2,530
$2,149
$2,037
$1,604
$1,299
$1,273
$1,197
$909
$908
$872
$862
$843
$658
$648
$529
$501
$469
$399
$376
$203
$167
$167
$166
$144
ATTACHMENT 4 375

OX NA RD
S ole , fa nta il………………………………………………………………
Rockfis h , ke lp…………………………………………………………..
Bonito, P a cific………………………………………………………….
S e a cu cumbe r, u ns pe cifie d…………………………………….
Ha libu t, u ns pe cifie d…………………………………………………
S h a rk, u ns pe cifie d…………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , fla g……………………………………………………………
Cra b, brow n rock……………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , ros y ………………………………………………………….
Ma cke re l, u ns pe cifie d……………………………………………..
Rockfis h , brow n……………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , grou p ne a rs h ore ……………………………………..
Rockfis h , ba nk…………………………………………………………
S corpionfis h , Ca lifornia …………………………………………..
Ba rra cu da , Ca lifornia ……………………………………………….
Rockfis h , oliv e ………………………………………………………….
P ra w n, ridge ba ck……………………………………………………..
Trigge rfis h ………………………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , ch ilipe ppe r……………………………………………….
Gu ita rfis h , s h ov e lnos e ……………………………………………
Ma cke re l, P a cific……………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , tre e fis h …………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , gre e nblotch e d…………………………………………
S ole , rock………………………………………………………………….
S ole , u ns pe cifie d……………………………………………………..
Fis h , u ns pe cifie d……………………………………………………..
W h iting, P a cific………………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , s plitnos e ………………………………………………….
S a rgo………………………………………………………………………..
S u rfpe rch , ru bbe rlip…………………………………………………
Rockfis h , gre e ns tripe d…………………………………………….
Rockfis h , a u rora ………………………………………………………
S ole , bigmou th ………………………………………………………….
S h a rk, s piny dogfis h ……………………………………………….
Ra y , ba t…………………………………………………………………….
199
28
121
55
62
55
18
354
16
21
26
28
60
11
384
55
13
4
11
14
20
3
9
2
45
9
7
6
1
5
5
1
1
88
89
$124
$116
$102
$100
$92
$83
$76
$75
$73
$64
$63
$56
$49
$44
$33
$28
$26
$22
$21
$21
$20
$18
$14
$11
$9
$9
$7
$6
$6
$5
$5
$2
$1
$1
$1
ATTACHMENT 4 376

OX NA RD
GOLETA BEA CH
S URF BEACH
A LL OTHER P ORTS
1,379,011
1,712
704
$3,350,242
$7,299
$4,911
S ka te , Ca lifornia ………………………………………………………
Th orny h e a ds …………………………………………………………….
S h a rk, pe la gic th re s h e r…………………………………………..
S h a rk, blu e ……………………………………………………………….
Cra b, ta nne r……………………………………………………………..
Croa ke r, w h ite ………………………………………………………….
S ka te , u ns pe cifie d…………………………………………………..
Th orny h e a d, s h orts pine ………………………………………….
S e a ba s s , w h ite ………………………………………………………..
S h a rk, s h ortfin ma ko………………………………………………..
Y e llow ta il………………………………………………………………….
S h a rk, le opa rd………………………………………………………….
S h a rk, th re s h e r………………………………………………………..
Th orny h e a d, longs pine ……………………………………………
Lobs te r, Ca lifornia s piny …………………………………………
S u rfpe rch , ba rre d…………………………………………………….
Ha libu t, Ca lifornia …………………………………………………….
S e a ba s s , w h ite ………………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , v e rmilion…………………………………………………..
Lingcod……………………………………………………………………..
Bonito, P a cific………………………………………………………….
Y e llow ta il………………………………………………………………….
W h ite fis h , oce a n………………………………………………………
S u rfpe rch , ba rre d…………………………………………………….
S h a rk, s ou pfin………………………………………………………….
Rockfis h , boca ccio………………………………………………….
S qu id, ma rke t……………………………………………………………
S h a rk, th re s h e r………………………………………………………..
Rockfis h , s ta rry ……………………………………………………….
S h a rk, s h ortfin ma ko………………………………………………..
12
12
12
25
7
4
50
399
1,009
150
26
72
33
23
158
546
2,869
1,684
1,524
959
724
449
335
250
396
194
534
92
74
60
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$0
$3,392
$3,344
$225
$105
$96
$92
$46
$3,000
$1,911
$11,993
$6,641
$4,478
$2,953
$1,935
$1,348
$1,006
$839
$791
$573
$395
$230
$221
$180
P ort Tota ls
P ort Tota ls
P ort Tota ls
ATTACHMENT 4 377

94,983,169 $65,760,724
A LL OTHER P ORTS
10,268 $33,881
A re a Tota ls
Ma cke re l, ja ck………………………………………………………….
Ma cke re l, u ns pe cifie d……………………………………………..
Ma cke re l, P a cific……………………………………………………..
S h a rk, le opa rd………………………………………………………….
52
30
22
21
$139
$60
$58
$41
P ort Tota ls
S a nta Ba rba ra

ATTACHMENT 4 378
ATTACHMENT 4
379
APPENDIX C
Commercial Fisheries Data for Blocks 0664 and 0665
ATTACHMENT 4
380
San Nicolas
U.S. Waters
Mexican Waters
896
697
895
777
776
897
901
889 880
890 881 879 894 893 892 891 888 887 886 885 884 883 882 878
876 875 874 873 872 871 870 869 868 866 865 864 863 862 861
858 857 856 855 854 853 852 851 848 847 846 845 844 843
841 840 839 838 837 836 835 834 833 832 831 830 828 827 826 825 824 823
820 819 818 817 816 815 812 811 810 809 808 805 804 803 802
775 774 773 772 768 767 766 759 758
769
771 770 764 765 763
755 754 753 752 751 750 749 748 747 746 745 744 743 742 741 740
736 735 734 733 732 731 730 729 728 727 726 725 724 723 722 721
739
717 716 715 714 713 707 706 705 704 703 702
696 695 694 693 692 691 684
677 676 675 674 673 672 671 670 669 668 667 666
663 662 661 660 659 658
760
822
806
829
689
708
867
665
683
807
710
757
813
688
712
814
762
690 687 685
656
850
709
655
849
657
720
686
738
654
682
761
711
719
860
653 652
842
801
701
756
718
664
681 679
877
680
821
737
651
859
678
650
648 647 646 645 644
642 641 640 639 638
636 635 634 633 632
643
637
631
910
Pt. Arguello
Pt. Conception
Santa Barbara
Ventura
Pt. Dume
Santa Monica
San Pedro
San Miguel Santa
Rosa
Santa
Cruz Anacapa
Dana Point
Oceanside
La Jolla
San Clemente
Santa
Catalina
Santa Barbara
Pt. Sal
950 904 902 903
916
Gaviota
Carpinteria
Port Hueneme
Pt. Mugu
Malibu
Redondo Beach
Huntington Beach
Laguna Beach
San Onofre
Encinitas
Del Mar
Pt. La Jolla
Pt. Vicente
Mission Bay
Coronado Islands
Cortez Bank
Tanner Bank
Begg Rock Osborn Bank
Horseshoe Kelp
Bishop Rock
121°30’0″W
121°30’0″W
120°45’0″W
120°45’0″W
120°0’0″W
120°0’0″W
119°15’0″W
119°15’0″W
118°30’0″W
118°30’0″W
117°45’0″W
117°45’0″W
117°0’0″W
117°0’0″W
32°15’0″N
32°15’0″N
33°0’0″N
33°0’0″N
33°45’0″N
33°45’0″N
34°30’0″N
34°30’0″N
35°15’0″N
35°15’0″N
Use Block Number: 3028 – Outside 200 nmi (EEZ) of U.S.
3900 – Outside 200 nmi of Mexico
Note: Between 1964-2000, fishing blocks 857, 858, 875, 876,
893, 894 were incorporated into a larger block denoted as 857.
25 0 25 50
Km
25 0 25 50
Mi
Scale 1:2,000,000
Southern California Fisheries Chart
California Department of Fish & Game
— This chart is not intended for use in navigation —
— Each block is 10 minutes square —
Marine Region GIS Lab
June 2001
ATTACHMENT 4 381
Year Block Species Value Pounds
2016 665 711 1583.2 1792
2016 665 80 164 157
2016 665 473 1084.2 1896
2016 665 803 1035.5 997.13
2016 665 238 6 15
2016 665 823 25 25
2016 665 165 2911.37 1735.12
2016 665 222 54.45 9.9
2016 665 130 6549.78 7518
2016 665 803 10320.25 7784.3
2016 665 347 2.19 219
2016 665 999 2.38 238
2016 665 803 1.26 126
2016 665 203 332 326
2016 665 211 71 81
2016 665 155 84 48
2016 665 820 150826.4 7078.9
2016 665 342 122 61
2016 665 731 17.5 17.5
2016 665 803 682 341
2016 664 712 0 3.3
2016 665 222 20 4
2016 664 204 4 4
2016 665 175 39 65
2016 665 225 197.6 464
2016 665 175 195.6 512.51
2016 665 174 390.7 242
2016 665 262 0 14
2016 665 400 3664.7 538.2
2016 665 155 303.7275 192.05
2016 665 801 657.955 427.9
2016 665 222 69.54 570
2016 665 801 6829 4551
2016 665 222 28.97 2897
2016 665 803 0.32 32
2016 665 400 2082.15 396.6
2016 665 813 925.6 356
2016 664 400 3572.8 928
2016 665 253 6 5
2016 664 40 22.5 15
2016 665 222 1104 184
2016 665 155 157.96 136
2016 665 400 1125 225
2016 665 40 65 26
2016 665 820 10235.5 660.3
2016 665 815 7287.5 549
ATTACHMENT 4
382
2016 665 175 54 27
2016 664 249 995.4 199.08
2016 664 195 675.5 135.1
2016 665 222 102587.7 19817.45
2016 665 249 37 37
2016 665 809 23.3 23.3
2016 665 50 0.8 2
2016 665 100 6 15
2016 665 249 197.1 65.7
2016 665 253 41.2125 23.55
2016 665 222 81.15 14.3
2016 665 165 28.02 23.7
2016 665 343 651.32 1164
2016 665 457 1594 1594
2016 665 222 5580 984
2016 665 165 395.9 393.6
2016 665 686 0.38 38
2016 664 165 109.62 73.08
2016 665 91 912.75 182.55
2016 665 130 18 9
2016 665 400 156.5 41
2016 665 711 22303.5 44607
2016 665 165 46.5 31
2016 665 222 25056 4260
2016 665 151 1.75 175
2016 665 154 0.33 33
2016 664 803 246 123
2016 665 174 12 8
2016 665 806 0 0.5
2016 665 801 7787.5 5990.12
2016 665 260 176 107
2016 665 256 22.875 9.15
2016 665 254 7.2625 4.15
2016 665 280 384 64
2016 665 165 98.175 89.25
2016 665 153 114.77 417
2016 665 165 42 42
2016 664 711 6613 13226
2016 665 3 0.88 88
2016 665 342 10.83 1083
2016 665 222 2.32 232
2016 665 280 1.11 111
2016 665 801 0.27 27
2016 665 813 15398 7796
2016 665 473 0 20
2016 665 495 7 7
2016 665 165 7418.4 3808
ATTACHMENT 4
383
2016 665 400 32388.16 5422
2016 665 400 438 73
2016 665 130 0.07 7
2016 665 206 400.6 522
2016 665 153 10 20
2016 665 222 13442.29 2425.98
2016 665 153 21.56 15.4
2016 665 341 397.6275 1728.15
2016 665 801 7474.5 4983
2016 665 151 0.62 62
2016 665 820 84078.19 4094.45
2016 665 804 0.2 20
2016 665 686 0.58 58
2016 665 222 0.18 18
2016 665 159 1.58 158
2016 665 40 0.16 16
2016 665 815 1227 102
2016 664 151 47.6 34
2016 664 155 22 22
2016 665 754 4504 2252
2016 665 754 8322 4161
2016 664 253 160.8 32.16
2016 665 150 22.5 31.5
2016 665 736 528.6 579
2016 665 712 14 10
2016 665 209 886.6 524
2016 665 200 2323.292 4132.32
2016 665 222 1008 168
2016 665 155 369 246
2016 665 155 579.81 1465
2016 665 341 0.62 62
2016 665 3 1.5 150
2016 665 151 0.21 21
2016 665 151 2.25 225
2016 665 804 0.02 2
2016 665 252 4 2
2016 665 153 18 64
2016 665 165 1735.5 890
2016 665 342 866.8 492
2016 665 802 6 6
2016 665 803 614 307
2016 665 342 209.6 131
2016 664 400 8396 2271
2016 665 813 98574.92 40702.05
2016 665 802 62 62
2016 665 159 20.6 26
2016 665 997 15 15
ATTACHMENT 4
384
2016 665 250 12.32 9.8
2016 665 195 611.2125 225.7
2016 665 159 78.12 55.8
2016 665 165 78.76 71.6
2016 665 813 292.5 117
2016 665 342 5043.885 30543.5
2016 665 400 103482.8 27758
2016 665 155 4.24 424
2016 665 130 0.7 70
2016 665 155 2.65 265
2016 665 686 0.44 44
2016 665 130 0.6 60
2016 665 40 0.76 76
2016 665 171 313 313
2016 665 51 13.5 9
2016 664 400 4495.3 1299
2016 665 222 7267 1236
2016 664 110 7679 21940
2016 665 155 1188.46 700
2016 665 165 458.25 235
2016 665 803 12 12
2016 665 174 0.17 17
2016 665 815 720 48
2016 665 803 188 94
2016 664 155 160.1 124
2016 665 473 94.2 157
2016 665 435 712.2 1435.5
2016 665 204 404.3 644.78
2016 665 804 99.5 50
2016 665 151 20 20
2016 665 755 66 32
2016 665 154 46.8 60
2016 665 222 11926.2 2073.75
2016 665 153 65.45 46.75
2016 665 159 42.98 30.7
2016 665 159 363.37 1044
2016 665 209 0.22 22
2016 665 400 1674.76 1093
2016 665 400 0.88 88
2016 665 435 0 15
2016 665 165 81.66 54.44
2016 664 222 2185.04 348.09
2016 665 467 377.6 94.4
2016 664 165 25.5 17
2016 665 686 13 13
2016 665 802 0.02 2
2016 665 801 64 32
ATTACHMENT 4
385
2016 664 820 21445.8 1028.67
2016 664 222 94.5 21
2016 665 810 0 10
2016 665 813 2235 894
ATTACHMENT 4
386
Year Block Species Value Pounds
2015 665 206 260.6 263
2015 665 238 15.5 31
2015 665 510 68.25 39
2015 665 222 120.55 24.1
2015 665 222 1259.5 228.1
2015 665 400 2497.5 518
2015 665 155 3145.85 4880.4
2015 665 400 1.77 177
2015 665 343 2.82 282
2015 665 280 147.87 423
2015 665 222 0.92 92
2015 665 803 404.5 529
2015 664 110 32406.5 92590
2015 664 42 240 400
2015 664 110 3089.45 8827
2015 665 686 74 74
2015 665 815 2025 153
2015 665 820 4600 184
2015 665 263 112 16
2015 664 757 5382.75 1083
2015 665 813 453 151
2015 665 150 0 5
2015 665 711 723 781
2015 665 222 100818.5 19908
2015 665 204 29.5 59
2015 665 400 6567.9 1139.9
2015 665 165 34.54 31.4
2015 665 400 213458.4 52691
2015 665 400 38172.22 8768
2015 665 130 3.87 387
2015 665 803 104.49 275
2015 665 130 0.05 5
2015 665 179 66 66
2015 665 203 289 289
2015 665 130 228 114
2015 665 342 2505.99 1936
2015 665 820 305505.8 15195.97
2015 665 222 1401.25 295
2015 665 803 464.1 275
2015 665 820 19960.1 1030.2
2015 664 731 0 6.5
2015 665 754 337.5 75
2015 665 184 3 1
2015 665 51 300 100
2015 664 820 4531.8 215.8
2015 665 211 93.99 415.65
ATTACHMENT 4
387
2015 665 813 461872.3 187003
2015 665 80 38 62
2015 665 155 3599.725 1930.15
2015 665 222 3230 595.3
2015 665 190 1990 398
2015 665 342 313.4774 25091.74
2015 665 400 1.69 169
2015 665 400 0.11 11
2015 665 731 0.38 38
2015 665 259 1.22 122
2015 665 98 0.22 22
2015 664 801 3770 3029
2015 665 155 26 13
2015 665 209 1016 515
2015 665 154 63 63
2015 665 684 7 7
2015 665 50 26 26
2015 665 165 104.25 75.5
2015 665 222 1025 205
2015 665 686 16.04 20
2015 665 110 1803.75 7215
2015 664 820 51898.75 2779.6
2015 665 200 30 20
2015 665 435 565.24 989.08
2015 665 151 305.12 253
2015 664 165 59.4 54
2015 665 40 23.375 9.35
2015 665 98 359.5375 205.45
2015 664 151 168.5 142
2015 665 151 187 187
2015 665 400 480 80
2015 665 40 13 47
2015 665 801 362.5 290
2015 665 155 0.14 14
2015 665 813 9692 4026
2015 665 171 108 108
2015 665 801 3012.45 2850
2015 665 40 112 56
2015 665 174 53.8 79
2015 665 342 301.63 217
2015 665 280 132.5 53
2015 665 809 90 50
2015 665 802 89.2 144
2015 665 473 4379.4 8132
2015 665 222 2574.05 467.1
2015 665 813 741.65 211.9
2015 665 222 504.6 99.6
ATTACHMENT 4
388
2015 665 165 85.7 80
2015 665 280 207 34.5
2015 664 400 17864 4466
2015 665 222 4770 795
2015 665 341 76.428 5054
2015 665 342 58.6 5860
2015 665 820 55214.16 2707.1
2015 665 40 0.22 22
2015 665 820 0.18 18
2015 665 342 0.9 90
2015 665 151 1402.55 832
2015 665 222 4443.3 730
2015 665 400 299 65
2015 665 711 18430.2 81912
2015 665 341 1.39 1
2015 664 820 17742.06 865.7
2015 665 652 407 37
2015 665 815 56688.4 4930.5
2015 665 809 0 1417
2015 665 712 3 5
2015 665 151 1079.06 633.5
2015 665 222 14134.22 6261.8
2015 665 40 5.83 583
2015 665 343 25.88 2588
2015 665 222 0.43 43
2015 665 130 0.25 25
2015 665 686 0.95 95
2015 665 342 2.12 212
2015 665 40 1.35 135
2015 665 804 1657.11 487
2015 665 341 0.2 20
2015 665 343 1.04 104
2015 665 343 845.9 640
2015 665 799 44 44
2015 664 341 0 5
2015 665 802 23 23
2015 665 261 433.5 51
2015 665 200 6107.4 11698
2015 665 754 0 15
2015 665 731 770 402.5
2015 665 225 120.6 205
2015 665 155 2018.108 1218.45
2015 665 153 11.5 11.5
2015 665 815 625.46 65
2015 665 222 28650.46 5379
2015 665 155 2544.36 1662
2015 665 801 20743.55 16414
ATTACHMENT 4
389
2015 665 3 0.18 18
2015 665 752 10186.04 8328
2015 665 803 23 23
2015 665 803 3350 1675
2015 665 801 0 70
2015 665 222 313 59
2015 665 174 10 8
2015 665 145 99 18
2015 665 683 56 38
2015 665 420 3 1
2015 665 207 697.2 1577
2015 665 175 1299.64 2231.1
2015 665 165 4478 2687
2015 665 51 4.8 12
2015 665 400 5116.3 813.2
2015 664 222 2808.85 510.7
2015 665 40 186.5 74.6
2015 665 40 97.5 39
2015 665 222 3468 633
2015 664 400 3190 797.5
2015 665 803 263.07 2825
2015 665 341 15.16 1516
2015 665 260 4 2
2015 665 400 2566 635
2015 665 51 1.27 127
2015 665 165 4436.4 2279
2015 665 813 1366 683
ATTACHMENT 4
390
Species Code Common Name Scientific Name
1 Tuna, yellowfin Thunnus albacares
2 Tuna, skipjack Katsuwonus pelamis
3 Bonito, Pacific Sarda chiliensis
4 Tuna, bluefin Thunnus thynnus
5 Tuna, albacore Thunnus alalunga
6 Tuna, unspecified Scombridae
8 Tuna, bigeye Thunnus obesus
9 Tuna, skipjack, black Euthynnus lineatus
11 Tuna, longtail Thunnus tonggol
12 Tuna, blackfin Thunnus atlanticus
15 Escolar Lepidocybium flavobrunneum
17 Oilfish Ruvettus pretiosus
19 Mackerel, bullet Auxis rochei
40 Yellowtail Seriola lalandi
41 Jack, Pacific crevalle Caranx caninus
42 Jacks, unspecified Carangidae
43 Jack, almaco (amberjack) Seriola rivoliana
50 Mackerel, unspecified Scomber / Trachurus
51 Mackerel, Pacific Scomber japonicus
52 Sierra, Pacific Scomberomorus sierra
55 Mackerel, jack Trachurus symmetricus
57 Wahoo Acanthocybium solanderi
80 Butterfish (Pacific pompano) Peprilus simillimus
81 Pomfret, Pacific Brama japonica
91 Swordfish Xiphias gladius
92 Marlin, striped Tetrapturus audax
95 Sailfish Istiophorus platypterus
96 Shark, white Carcharodon carcharias
97 Shark, bigeye thresher Alopias superciliosus
98 Shark, pelagic thresher Alopias pelagicus
100 Sardine, Pacific Sardinops sagax caeruleus
101 Sardine, juvenile Sardinops sagax caeruleus
105 Herring, round Etrumeus teres
110 Anchovy, northern Engraulis mordax
111 Anchovy, deepbody Anchoa compressa
113 Anchovy, slough Anchoa delicatissima
121 Herring, Pacific Clupea pallasi
122 Herring, Pacific – roe Clupea pallasi
130 Barracuda, California Sphyraena argentea
135 Mullet, striped Mugil cephalus
144 Senorita Oxyjulis californica
145 Sheephead, California Semicossyphus pulcher
146 Wrasse, rock Halichoeres semicinctus
147 Skate, longnose Raja rhina
149 Shark, blacktip Carcharhinus limbatus
150 Shark, unspecified Selachii spp.
ATTACHMENT 4
391
151 Shark, shortfin mako Isurus oxyrinchus
152 Shark, spiny dogfish Squalus acanthias
153 Shark, leopard Triakis semifasciata
154 Shark, brown smoothhound Mustelus henlei
155 Shark, thresher Alopias vulpinus
156 Shark, basking Cetorhinus maximus
158 Shark, smooth hammerhead Sphyrna zygaena
159 Shark, soupfin Galeorhinus zyopterus
160 Sharks, cow Hexanchidae
161 Shark, sixgill Hexanchus griseus
162 Shark, sevengill Notorynchus cepedianus
163 Shark, swell Cephaloscyllium ventriosum
164 Shark, dusky Carcharhinus obscurus
165 Shark, Pacific angel Squatina californica
166 Ratfish, spotted Hydrolagus colliei
167 Shark, blue Prionace glauca
168 Shark, salmon Lamna ditropis
169 Shark, horn Heterodontus francisci
170 Ray, unspecified Rajiformes
171 Ray, bat Myliobatis californica
172 Ray, Pacific electric Torpedo californica
173 Stingray Dasyatidae
174 Guitarfish, shovelnose Rhinobatos productus
175 Skate, unspecified Rajidae
176 Skate, big Raja binoculata
177 Skate, California Raja inornata
178 Skate, thornback Platyrhinoidis triseriata
179 Shark, gray smoothhound Mustelus californicus
180 Smelts, true Osmeridae
181 Grunion, California Leuresthes tenuis
182 Smelt, surf Hypomesus pretiosus
184 Jacksmelt Atherinopsis californiensis
185 Smelt, whitebait Allosmerus elongatus
186 Topsmelt Atherinops affinis
187 Smelt, night Spirinchus starksi
188 Eulachon Thaleichthys pacificus
189 Silversides Atherinidae
190 Sablefish Anoplopoma fimbria
191 Louvar Luvarus imperialis
195 Lingcod Ophiodon elongatus
196 Tomcod, Pacific Microgadus proximus
197 Cod, Pacific Gadus macrocephalus
198 Grenadier Macrouridae
200 Sole, unspecified Pleuronectiformes
201 Flounder, arrowtooth Atheresthes stomias
202 Sole, bigmouth Hippoglossina stomata
203 Sole, rock Pleuronectes bilineata
ATTACHMENT 4
392
204 Sole, fantail Xystreurys liolepis
205 Sole, sand Psettichthys melanostictus
206 Sole, English Pleuronectes vetulus
207 Sole, rex Errex zachirus
208 Sole, butter Pleuronectes isolepis
209 Sole, petrale Eopsetta jordani
210 Sole, slender Eopsetta exilis
211 Sole, Dover Microstomus pacificus
212 Sole, tongue Symphurus atricauda
220 Halibut, unspecified Pleuronectiformes
221 Halibut, Pacific Hippoglossus stenolepis
222 Halibut, California Paralichthys californicus
225 Sanddab Citharichthys spp.
226 Sanddab, longfin Citharichthys xanthostigma
227 Sanddab, Pacific Citharichthys sordidus
228 Sanddab, speckled Citharichthys stigmaeus
230 Flounder, unspecified Pleuronectidae
231 Flounder, starry Platichthys stellatus
235 Turbot, curlfin Pleuronichthys decurrens
236 Turbot, diamond Hypsopsetta guttulata
237 Sole, C-O Pleuronichthys coenosus
238 Turbot, hornyhead Pleuronichthys verticalis
239 Turbot, spotted Pleuronichthys ritteri
240 Turbot Pleuronectidae
245 Rockfish, cowcod Sebastes levis
246 Rockfish, copper (whitebelly) Sebastes caurinus
247 Rockfish, canary Sebastes pinniger
249 Rockfish, vermilion Sebastes miniatus
250 Rockfish, unspecified Sebastes spp.
251 Rockfish, black-and-yellow Sebastes chrysomelas
252 Rockfish, black Sebastes melanops
253 Rockfish, bocaccio Sebastes paucispinis
254 Rockfish, chilipepper Sebastes goodei
255 Rockfish, greenspotted Sebastes chlorostictus
256 Rockfish, starry Sebastes constellatus
257 Rockfish, darkblotched Sebastes crameri
258 Rockfish, China Sebastes nebulosus
259 Rockfish, yellowtail Sebastes flavidus
260 Scorpionfish, California Scorpaena guttata
261 Cabezon Scorpaenichthys marmoratus
262 Thornyheads Sebastolobus spp.
263 Rockfish, gopher Sebastes carnatus
264 Rockfish, pinkrose Sebastes simulator
265 Rockfish, yelloweye Sebastes ruberrimus
267 Rockfish, brown Sebastes auriculatus
268 Rockfish, rosy Sebastes rosaceus
269 Rockfish, widow Sebastes entomelas
ATTACHMENT 4
393
270 Rockfish, splitnose Sebastes diploproa
271 Rockfish, Pacific ocean perch Sebastes alutus
272 Sculpin, staghorn Leptocottus armatus
273 Sculpin, yellowchin Icelinus quadriseriatus
275 Bass, rock Paralabrax spp.
276 Bass, spotted sand Paralabrax maculatofasciatus
277 Bass, kelp Paralabrax clathratus
278 Bass, barred sand Paralabrax nebulifer
280 Bass, giant sea Stereolepis gigas
289 Greenling, rock Hexagrammos lagocephalus
290 Greenling, kelp Hexagrammos decagrammus
291 Triggerfish Balistidae
292 Sunfish, ocean Mola mola
300 Salmon Oncorhynchus spp.
301 Salmon, chum Oncorhynchus keta
302 Salmon, Chinook Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
303 Salmon, pink Oncorhynchus gorbuscha
304 Salmon, coho Oncorhynchus kisutch
306 Salmon, Roe (Chinook, Coho) Oncorhynchus spp.
316 Trout, rainbow Oncorhynchus mykiss
320 Catfish, unspecified Siluriformes
322 Bullhead, brown Ameiurus nebulosus
324 Shad, threadfin Dorosoma petenense
325 Shad, American Alosa sapidissima
335 Bass, striped Morone saxatilis
340 Tilapia Tilapia spp.
341 Crab, red rock Cancer productus
342 Crab, yellow rock Cancer anthonyi
343 Crab, brown rock Cancer antennarius
345 Carp Cyprinus carpio
346 Hardhead (freshwater) Mylopharodon conocephalus
347 Splittail Pogonichthys macrolepidotus
348 Hitch Lavinia exilicauda
349 Blackfish, Sacramento Orthodon microlepidotus
361 Stickleback, threespine Gasterosteus aculeatus
365 Squawfish Ptychocheilus grandis
375 Sucker Catostomidae
400 Seabass, white Atractoscion nobilis
410 Seabass, totuava Totoaba macdonaldi
415 Snapper -Mexico- Lutianidae
420 Croaker, unspecifed Sciaenidae
421 Croaker, black Cheilotrema saturnum
422 Croaker, spotfin Roncador stearnsii
423 Croaker, yellowfin Umbrina roncador
426 Corbina, California Menticirrhus undulatus
427 Corvina, shortfin Cynoscion parvipinnis
430 Grouper Mycteroperca / Epinephelus
ATTACHMENT 4
394
431 Cabrilla, spotted Epinephelus analogus
432 Grouper, broomtail Mycteroperca xenarcha
435 Croaker, white Genyonemus lineatus
440 Queenfish Seriphus politus
445 Flyingfish Exocoetidae spp.
446 Saury, Pacific Cololabis saira
450 Eel Osteichthyes
451 Eel, blenny Lumpenus anguillaris
452 Eel, California moray Gymnothorax mordax
453 Lamprey, Pacific Lampetra tridentata
454 Eel, wolf (wolf-eel) Anarrhichthys ocellatus
455 Eel, spotted cusk- Chilara taylori
456 Eel, monkeyface (prickleback) Cebidichthys violaceus
457 Hagfishes Eptatretus spp.
467 Opah Lampris guttatus
470 Sturgeons Acipenseridae
471 Sturgeon, green Acipenser medirostris
472 Sturgeon, white Acipenser transmontanus
473 Lizardfish, California Synodus lucioceps
474 Perch-like, unspecified Kyphosidae/Pomacentridae
475 Opaleye Girella nigricans
476 Needlefish, California Strongylura exilis
477 Bonefish Albula vulpes
478 Halfmoon Medialuna californiensis
479 Blacksmith Chromis punctipinnis
480 Sargo Anisotremus davidsonii
481 Dolphin (fish) Coryphaena hippurus
482 Garibaldi Hypsypops rubicundus
483 Mudsucker, longjaw Gillichthys mirabilis
484 Salema Xenistius californiensis
485 Midshipman, plainfin Porichthys notatus
486 Goby, bluebanded Lythrypnus dalli
487 Goby, yellowfin Acanthogobius flavimanus
488 Goby, zebra Lythrypnus zebra
490 Whitefish, ocean Caulolatilus princeps
491 Killifish, California Fundulus parvipinnis
495 Whiting, Pacific Merluccius productus
501 Kelpfish, giant Heterostichus rostratus
510 Kelpfishes Gibbonsia spp.
550 Surfperch, unspecified Embiotocidae
551 Surfperch, barred Amphistichus argenteus
552 Surfperch, black Embiotoca jacksoni
553 Surfperch, redtail Amphistichus rhodoterus
554 Surfperch, shiner Cymatogaster aggregata
555 Seaperch, striped Embiotoca lateralis
556 Surfperch, white Phanerodon furcatus
557 Surfperch, walleye Hyperprosopon argenteum
ATTACHMENT 4
395
558 Surfperch, rubberlip Rhacochilus toxotes
559 Surfperch, pile Rhacochilus vacca
560 Surfperch, calico Amphistichus koelzi
561 Surfperch, dwarf Micrometrus minimus
562 Surfperch, rainbow Hypsurus caryi
563 Surfperch, pink Zalembius rosaceus
564 Surfperch, silver Hyperprosopon ellipticum
601 Kahawai Annipis trutta
602 Zebraperch Hermosilla azurea
650 Rougheye rockfish Sebastes aleutianus
651 Rockfish, olive Sebastes serranoides
652 Rockfish, grass Sebastes rastrelliger
653 Rockfish, pink Sebastes eos
654 Rockfish, greenstriped Sebastes elongatus
655 Rockfish, copper Sebastes caurinus
656 Blackspotted rockfish Sebastes melanostictus
657 Rockfish, flag Sebastes rubrivinctus
658 Rockfish, treefish Sebastes serriceps
659 Rockfish, kelp Sebastes atrovirens
660 Rockfish, honeycomb Sebastes umbrosus
661 Rockfish, greenblotched Sebastes rosenblatti
662 Rockfish, bronzespotted Sebastes gilli
663 Rockfish, bank Sebastes rufus
664 Rockfish, rosethorn Sebastes helvomaculatus
665 Rockfish, blue Sebastes mystinus
666 Rockfish, squarespot Sebastes hopkinsi
667 Rockfish, blackgill Sebastes melanostomus
668 Rockfish, stripetail Sebastes saxicola
669 Rockfish, speckled Sebastes ovalis
670 Rockfish, swordspine Sebastes ensifer
671 Rockfish, calico Sebastes dallii
672 Rockfish, shortbelly Sebastes jordani
673 Rockfish, chameleon Sebastes phillipsi
674 Rockfish, aurora Sebastes aurora
675 Rockfish, redbanded Sebastes babcocki
676 Rockfish, Mexican Sebastes macdonaldi
677 Rockfish, shortraker Sebastes borealis
678 Thornyhead, longspine Sebastolobus altivelis
679 Thornyhead, shortspine Sebastolobus alascanus
680 Anemones Anthozoa
681 Jellyfish Hydrozoa
682 Sea pansy Renilla koellikeri
683 Limpet, keyhole Megathura crenulata
684 Snail, tegula Tegula spp.
685 Crab, hermit Paguristes sp.
686 Crab, spider/sheep claws Loxorhynchus spp.
687 Sand dollar Dendraster excentricus
ATTACHMENT 4
396
688 Bryozoan Ectoprocta
689 Flatworm, marine Platyhelminthes
690 Hornsnail Cerithidea spp.
699 Invertebrate Unspecified
700 Abalone Haliotis spp.
701 Abalone, black Haliotis cracherodii
702 Abalone, red Haliotis rufescens
703 Abalone, green Haliotis fulgens
704 Abalone, pink Haliotis corrugata
705 Abalone, white Haliotis sorenseni
706 Abalone, threaded Haliotis assimilis
707 Abalone, pinto Haliotis kamtschatkana
708 Abalone, flat Haliotis walallensis
709 Limpet, unspecified Archaeogastropoda
710 Squid, jumbo Doscidicus gigas
711 Squid, market Loligo opalescens
712 Octopus, unspecified Octopus spp.
717 Scallop, weathervane Patinopecten caurinus
718 Scallop, rock Crassadoma gigantea
719 Scallop, unspecified Pectinidae
720 Clam, unspecified Bivalvia
721 Clam, common littleneck Protothaca staminea
722 Clam, Pismo Tivela stultorum
723 Clam, softshell Mya arenaria
725 Clam, northern razor Siliqua patula
726 Clam, gaper Tresus nuttalli
727 Clam, common Washington Saxidomus nuttalli
728 Clam, California jackknife Tagelus californianus
729 Sea slug Opisthobranchia
730 Mussel Mytilus spp.
731 Whelk, Kellet’s Kelletia Kelleti
732 Snail, sea Gastropoda
733 Clam, freshwater Corbicula fluminea
734 Clam, purple Nuttallia nuttallii
735 Clam, rosy razor Solen sicarius
736 Snails, moon Polinices spp.
737 Clam, northern quahog Mercenaria mercenaria
740 Oyster, unspecified Ostreidae
741 Oyster, eastern Crassostrea virginica
742 Oyster, California native Ostrea lurida
743 Oyster, giant Pacific Crassostrea gigas
745 Oyster, european flat Ostrea edulis
746 Snail, bubble Bulla gouldiana
747 Snail, top Astraea undosa
749 Sea hare Aplysia spp.
750 Echinoderm, unspecified Echinodermata
751 Sea stars Asteroidea
ATTACHMENT 4
397
752 Sea urchin, red Strongylocentrotus franciscanu
753 Sea urchin, purple Strongylocentrotus purpuratus
754 Sea cucumber, giant red Parastichopus californicus
755 Sea cucumber, unspecified Holothuroidea
756 Sea urchin, white Lytechinus anamesus
757 Sea cucumber, warty Parastichopus parvimensis
760 Sponges Porifera
769 Invertebrates, colonial Cnidaria
781 Snail, freshwater Gastropoda
799 Mollusk, unspecified Mollusca
800 Crab, Dungeness Cancer magister
801 Crab, rock unspecified Cancer spp.
802 Crab, claws Cancer spp.
803 Crab, spider Loxorhynchus spp.
804 Crab, king Paralithodes spp.
805 Crab, sand Emerita analoga
806 Crab, shore Pachygrapsus crassipes
807 Crab, pelagic red Pleuroncodes planipes
808 Crab, tanner Chionoecetes tanneri
809 Crab, box Lopholithodes foraminatus
810 Shrimp, bay Crangonidae
811 Shrimp, ghost Callianassa californiensis
812 Shrimp, ocean (pink) Pandalus jordani
813 Prawn, ridgeback Eusicyonia ingentus
814 Shrimp, unspecified Crustacea
815 Prawn, spot Pandalus platyceros
816 Prawn, golden Penaeus Californiensis
817 Shrimp, coonstriped Pandalus danae
818 Shrimp, red rock Lysmata californica
819 Shrimp, brine Artemia salina
820 Lobster, California spiny Panulirus interruptus
821 Shrimp, mantis Hemisquilla ensigera californiensis
823 Crab, armed box Playmera gaudichaudi
825 Crayfish, signal Pacifastacus leniusculus
826 Barnacle Cirripedia
827 Crayfish, red swamp Procambarus clarkii
828 Crayfish, unspecified Astacidae
830 Spiders, sea Pycnogonida
840 Tunicates Urochordata
850 Worms, marine Polychaeta
851 Themiste Themiste spp.
860 Chiton, unspecified Polyplacophora
899 Crustacean, unspecified Crustacea
915 Lancelets, amphioxus Branchiostoma californiense
920 Frog Rana spp.
921 Frog, bull Rana catesbiana
930 Turtle Chelonia mydas
ATTACHMENT 4
398
931 Terrapin Malaclemys spp.
950 Kelp Macrocystis spp.
951 Agar Gelidium spp.
953 Algae, marine Phycophyta
956 Rockfish, group bocaccio/chili Sebastes/group
957 Rockfish, group bolina Sebastes/group
958 Rockfish, group deepwater reds Sebastes/group
959 Rockfish, group red Sebastes/group
960 Rockfish, group small Sebastes/group
961 Rockfish, group rosefish Sebastes/group
962 Rockfish, group gopher Sebastes/group
964 Rockfish, group rougheye/blackspotted Sebastes/group
970 Rockfish, quillback Sebastes maliger
971 Rockfish, group canary/vermili Sebastes/group
972 Rockfish, group black/blue Sebastes/group
973 Rockfish, group nearshore Sebastes/group
974 Rockfish, group shelf Sebastes/group
975 Rockfish, group slope Sabastes/group
976 Rockfish, group deep nearshore Sebastes/group
992 Trawled fish for animal food Osteichthyes
995 Herring, Pacific – roe on kelp Clupea/algae
997 Trawled fish, unspecified Osteichthyes
999 Fish, unspecified Osteichthyes
ATTACHMENT 4
399
ATTACHMENT 4
400
APPENDIX D
Best Management Practices
ATTACHMENT 4
401
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise
Proposed Best Management Practices to Mitigate Potential Adverse Project
Impacts
Measure Description of Measure Responsible Party Enforcing Agency
Seed supply –
1
Cultivation of Spat Offsite. Only hatchery-reared mussel spat grown at a facility
certified by CDFW will be used in order to ensure that spat are free of introduced
invasive species, parasites, and pathogens of concern; however, natural mussel spat
collected on farm grow-out lines and buoys may also be harvested and cultivated.
Grower/Producer1 Ventura Port District (VPD)
and CDFW
Sediment
quality – 1
Sediment Quality Monitoring Plan. A Sediment Quality Monitoring Plan shall be
developed requiring monitoring of sediment conditions within the project area,
including monitoring the quantity, type, and distribution of biological materials (such as
shellfish, shell material, and fouling organisms) that accumulate on the seafloor.
Monitoring will also include an evaluation of any changes to oxygen demand of
benthic infaunal and epifaunal communities, and changes to the chemical and
biochemical conditions of seafloor sediments along with a description of performance
standards to meet.
If performance standards are not met, corrective actions will be outlined. The Plan will
include reporting requirements, including annual report submittals to NOAA and
NMFS for review. If performance standards are met for a period of time, the plan will
provide for appropriately scaling down monitoring and intervals over time.
VPD to prepare plan
Third-party consultant hired by VPD
to conduct monitoring
NOAA and NMFS
Wildlife – 1 Marine Wildlife Entanglement Plan. No less than once per month, each
grower/producer operating on a VPD lease shall visually inspect all ropes, cables, and
equipment via depth/fish finders to determine if any entanglement of a marine
mammal has occurred and to ensure that (a) no lines have been broken, lost or
removed; (b) all longlines, anchor lines, and buoy lines remain taught and in good
working condition; and (c) any derelict fishing gear or marine debris that collects in the
growing gear is removed and disposed of at an identified onshore facility. All
equipment and materials accidentally released or found to be missing from the facility
during monthly inspections, including buoys, floats, lines, ropes, chains, cultivation
trays, wires, fasteners, and clasps, shall be searched for, collected, properly disposed
of onshore, and documented in the annual inspection report. Monitoring shall occur
Grower/Producer to inspect and
respond
VPD to identify disposal facility
VPD and NOAA Fisheries
1 Note that all Grower/Producer responsibilities will be spelled out as conditions in grower/producer leases with VPD, thus establishing VPD enforcement authority for those
conditions.
ATTACHMENT 4 402
monthly for the first two years following deployment and, in the event that there are no
marine wildlife entanglements within the first two years, may be reduced to quarterly
inspections thereafter.
Inspections shall include recordings by depth/fish finder or ROV surveys of lines
and/or monitoring performed by SCUBA divers. Recorded video shall be provided
along with the annual report described above. Any maintenance issues including
wear, loosening, or fatigue of materials shall be remedied as soon as possible. All
incidents of observed whale entanglement shall be immediately reported to SOS
WHALe. Any other marine wildlife (i.e., other marine mammals, turtles) observed to be
entangled will be immediately reported to NOAA Fisheries Marine Mammal Stranding
Network Coordinator, West Coast Region, Long Beach Office. Only personnel who
have been authorized by NOAA Fisheries and who have training, experience,
equipment, and support will attempt to disentangle marine wildlife. If possible, the
grower/producer shall document and photograph entangled wildlife and the entangling
gear material so as to modify gear and avoid any future entanglements.
Wildlife – 2 Predator Control. Potential predator species will be identified. Specified humane
methods of predator deterrence will be utilized, favoring non-lethal methods. No
controls, other than non-lethal exclusion, shall be applied to species that are listed as
threatened or endangered.
VPD to identify potential predator
species and deterrence methods
Grower/Producer to implement
identified methods as necessary
Any methods of predator
control are subject to prior
approval of VPD, U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, and
NOAA Fisheries
Wildlife – 3 Marine Wildlife Observer. A Marine Wildlife Observer shall be present on each
project construction vessel during all construction activities, including the installation of
long lines and anchoring systems. The observer shall monitor and record the
presence of all marine wildlife (marine mammals and sea turtles) within 100 yards of
the work area. The observer shall have the authority to halt operations if marine
wildlife are observed or anticipated to be near a work area and construction activities
have the potential to result in injury or entanglement of marine wildlife. In addition, all
work (including vessel motors) will be halted if a cetacean is observed within the
monitoring area or if a pinniped or sea turtle is observed within 50 yards of the work
area. Work may commence after the observed individuals have moved out of the
monitoring area.
Observers’ reports on marine mammal monitoring during construction activities shall
be prepared and submitted to NOAA Fisheries on a monthly basis. Reports shall
include such information as the (1) number, type, and location of marine mammals
observed; (2) the behavior of marine mammals in the area of potential sound effects
during construction; (3) dates and times when observations and in-water project
VPD to identify qualified Marine
Wildlife Observers and submit
monthly observers’ reports
Growers/Producers to assure a
qualified observer is present during
construction activities and that
observers’ directives are heeded
VPD and NOAA Fisheries
ATTACHMENT 4 403
construction activities were conducted; and (4) dates and times when in-water
construction activities were suspended because of marine mammals.
VPD shall prepare a list of qualified marine wildlife observers who meet the following
minimum qualifications: visual acuity in both eyes (correction is permissible) sufficient
to discern moving targets at the water’s surface with ability to estimate target size and
distance; (2) use of binoculars or spotting scope may be necessary to correctly
identify the target; (3) advanced education in biological science, wildlife management,
mammalogy, or related fields (bachelor’s degree or higher is preferred); (4)
experience and ability to conduct field observations and collect data according to
assigned protocols (this may include academic experience); (5) experience or training
in the field identification of marine mammals (cetaceans and pinnipeds) and sea
turtles; and (6) ability to communicate orally, by radio or in person, with project
personnel to provide real time information on marine wildlife observed in the area, as
needed.
Wildlife – 4 Entanglement Prevention. Grow-ropes will be attached to the head rope with a lowbreaking-
strength twine (4-millimeter (0.16-inch) diameter; <1,000 pounds), which will
facilitate rapid detachment in the unlikely event of any interaction with the longline. A
1,100-pound breakaway link will be installed between surface marking buoys and the
vertical lines.
Grower/Producer VPD
Wildlife – 5 Marine Wildlife Education. Each grower/producer will be required to provide biannual
(twice per year) marine wildlife education to its employees regarding proper
procedures relating to marine wildlife. The training curriculum will include identifying
the presence of specified marine wildlife and procedures for avoiding impacts to
marine wildlife during operations. These procedures will include (1) reducing speed
and observing the distances from marine life specified in Wildlife-7; (2) providing a
safe path of travel for marine mammals that avoids encirclement or entrapment of the
animal(s) between the vessel and growing apparatus; (3) if approached by a marine
mammal, reducing speed, placing the vessel in neutral and waiting until the animal is
observed clear of the vessel before making way; (4) avoiding sudden direction or
speed changes when near marine mammals; (5) refraining from approaching,
touching or feeding a marine mammal; and (6) immediately contacting their supervisor
and other identified parties/agencies identified in Wildlife-1 should an employee
observe an injured marine mammal.
VPD to prepare training curriculum
Grower/Producer to provide training
VPD and NOAA Fisheries
Wildlife – 6 Lighting. All growing area operations shall be completed during daylight hours. No
growing area operations will be conducted at night and no permanent artificial lighting
of the shellfish cultivation facility shall occur, except for that associated with the use of
navigational safety buoys required by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Grower/Producer VPD and U.S. Coast Guard
ATTACHMENT 4 404
Wildlife – 7 Vessel Management. Vessels in transit to and from the growing area shall maintain a
distance of 100 yards from any observed cetacean and 50 yards between any
observed pinniped or sea turtle. If cetaceans are observed within 100 yards or
pinnipeds or sea turtles observed within 50 yards, the vessel shall reduce speeds to
12 knots or less until it is the appropriate distance (as required by this condition) from
the particular marine life. If a cetacean is heading into the direct path of the vessel
(i.e., approaching a moving vessel directly into the bow), the vessel shall shut off the
engine until the cetacean is no longer approaching the bow and until a greater
separation distance is observed. If small cetaceans are observed bow-riding, and the
vessel is operating at speeds of 12 knots or less, the vessel shall remain parallel to
the animal’s course and avoid abrupt changes in direction until the cetaceans have
left the area.
Each sighting of a federally listed threatened or endangered whale or turtle shall be
recorded and the following information shall be provided:
a. Date, time, coordinates of vessel
b. Visibility, weather, sea state
c. Vector of sighting (distance, bearing)
d. Duration of sighting
e. Species and number of animals
f. Observed behaviors (feeding, diving, breaching, etc.)
g. Description of interaction with aquaculture facility
Grower/Producer U.S. Coast Guard
Wildlife – 8 Invasive Species. Grower/producers operating in the project area shall be required to
receive training from NMFS to identify potential invasive species and how to properly
dispose of such invasive species if discovered.
Grower/Producer NMFS or entity delegated by
NMFS to conduct training
Storage and
disposal of
supplies – 1
Spill Prevention and Response. Discharges of feed, pesticides, or chemicals
(including antibiotics and hormones) in ocean waters are prohibited. Fuel, lubricants
and chemicals must be labeled, stored and disposed of in a safe and responsible
manner, and marked with warning signs. Precautions shall be taken to prevent spills,
fires and explosions, and procedures and supplies shall be readily available to
manage chemical and fuel spills or leaks. Each grower/producer shall comply with the
Spill Prevention and Response Plan (SPRP) for vessels and work barges that will be
used during project construction and operations. Each grower/producer operating in
the project area shall be trained in, and adhere to, the emergency procedures and
spill prevention and response measures specified in the SPRP during all project
operations. The SPRP shall provide for emergency response and spill control
procedures to be taken to stop or control the source of the spill and to contain and
clean up the spill. The SPRP shall include, at a minimum: (a) identification of potential
spill sources and quantity estimates of a project specific reasonable worst case spill;
(b) identification of prevention and response equipment and measures/procedures
VPD to prepare SPRP and provide
training to growers/producers
Growers/Producers to implement
VPD-prepared SPRP
U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, U.S. Coast
Guard, California Office of
Emergency Services
ATTACHMENT 4 405
that will be taken to prevent potential spills and to protect marine and shoreline
resources in the event of a spill. Spill prevention and response equipment shall be
kept onboard project vessels at all times; (c) a prohibition on at-sea vessel or
equipment fueling/refueling activities; and (d) emergency response and notification
procedures, including a list of contacts to call in the event of a spill; (e) assurance that
all hydraulic fluid to be used for installation, maintenance, planting, and harvesting
activities shall be vegetable based.
Storage and
disposal of
supplies – 2
Aquaculture Gear Monitoring and Escapement Plan. Include in overall
management plan an aquaculture gear monitoring and escapement plan. Any farm
gear that has broken loose from the farm location shall be retrieved. The farm site
shall be visited at minimum twice per month to examine the aquaculture gear for
potential loss or non-compliant deployment, including inspections for fouling
organisms. Any organisms that have a potential to cover the sea floor will be removed
and disposed of at an identified upland facility. A Marine Debris Management Plan
shall also be prepared that includes (a) a plan for permanently marking all lines,
ropes, buoys, and other facility infrastructure and floating equipment with the name
and contact information of the grower/producer; (b) a description of the extent and
frequency of maintenance operations necessary to minimize the loss of materials and
equipment to the marine environment resulting from breakages and structural failures;
and (c) a description of the search and cleanup measures that would be implemented
if loss of shellfish cultivation facility materials, equipment, and/or infrastructure occurs.
VPD to prepare plan
Growers/Producers to implement
plan
VPD and U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers
Storage and
disposal of
supplies -3
Decommissioning Plan. A decommissioning plan for the timely removal of all
shellfish, structures, anchoring devices, equipment, and materials associated with the
shellfish cultivation facility and documentation of completion of removal activities will
be a requirement of each permit or sub-permit. Financial assurances to guarantee
implementation of the plan will be in place and reviewed periodically.
Grower/Producer to prepare and
implement approved plan
VPD to approve plan
U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers
Navigation -1 Update NOAA Charts. VPD to submit to the NOAA Office of Coast Survey: (a) the
geographical coordinates of the facility boundaries obtained using a different
geographic position unit or comparable navigational equipment; (b) as-built plans of
the facility and associated buoys and anchors; (c) each grower/producer’s point of
contact and telephone number; and (d) any other information required by the NOAA
Office of Coast Survey to accurately portray the location of the shellfish cultivation
facility on navigational charts.
VPD NOAA
Navigation -2 Notice to Mariners. No less than 15-days prior to the start of in-water activities
associated with the installation phase of the project, VPD shall submit to (a) the U.S.
Coast Guard (for publication in a Notice to Mariners); and (b) the harbormasters (for
posting in their offices of public noticeboards), notices containing the anticipated start
date of installation, the anticipated installation schedule, and the coordinates of the
installation sites. During installation, VPD shall also make radio broadcast
VPD U.S. Coast Guard
ATTACHMENT 4 406
announcements to the local fishers’ emergency radio frequency that provide the
current installation location and a phone number that can be called for additional
information.
ATTACHMENT 4 407
APPENDIX B
Federally Protected Species Potential to Occur
ATTACHMENT 4
408
APPENDIX B
Federally Protected Species Potential To Occur
9250 B-1
DUDEK August 2018
Scientific Name Common Name
Federal
Status1
Distribution and Primary Habitat
Associations
Potential to Occur
Marine Mammals2
Cetaceans
Balarnoptera acutorostrata Common minke
whale
MMPA Worldwide distribution. Polar, temperate,
and tropical waters in both coastal and
offshore habitats (NMFS 2018a).
Moderate potential to occur. Foraging and migration
habitat is present in the Action Area. Some individuals are
residents in California waters. Minke whales feed on
euphausiids, copepods and small schooling fish, which are
present in the Channel. In addition, this species has been
recorded since 1988 in the Santa Barbara Channel and
within 1 mile of the Action Area (PBCS 2018).
Balaenoptera borealis
borealis
Sei whale Endangered,
MMPA
Worldwide distribution in subtropical,
temperate, and subpolar waters. This species
prefers deeper waters far from the coastline
(NMFS 2018a). This species’ habitat
preference is the continental shelf edge and
slope (NMFS 2018a).
Low potential to occur. This species may traverse through
the Action Area during migration. In general, sei whales
migrate annually from cool and subpolar waters in summer
to temperate and subtropical waters for winter, where food
is more abundant. Foraging resources (krill, copepods,
small schooling fish, cephalopods) are likely present in the
Action Area.
Balaenoptera edeni Bryde’s whale Proposed
Endangered,
MMPA
Prefers highly productive tropical,
subtropical and warm temperate waters
worldwide.
Low potential to occur. This species may be found in all
oceans from 40°S to 40°N; however, some populations
migrate seasonally while others are resident and do not
migrate (NMFS 2018). Year-round residents appear to be
present along the west coast of Baja California, Mexico
(Kenyon 1971). Foraging resources (krill, copepods, small
schooling fish, crustaceans) are likely present in the Action
Area. This species displays a preference for subtropical
and tropical zones, inhabiting waters 16 (60) or
warmer) (Jefferson et al. 2008).
Balaenoptera musculus
musculus
Blue whale Endangered,
MMPA
Worldwide, from sub-polar to sub-tropical
latitudes; generally occurs more offshore
than other whales (NMFS 2018a).
Low potential to occur. This species has been observed
migrating and feeding through the Santa Barbara Channel
on many occasions, with several occurrences within the
Action Area (PBCS 2018). In general, this species migrates
poleward to feed in the summer and to the tropics to
breed in the winter (Jefferson et al. 2008). Most
occurrences are north of Santa Rosa and western Santa
Cruz Island along the 200 meter isobath (Cascadia 2011),
approximately 7.4 miles east of the Action Area. In
addition, foraging resources (predominantly krill) are likely
present in the Action Area.
Balaenoptera physalus
physalus
Fin whale Endangered,
MMPA
Worldwide, primarily in temperate to polar
latitudes and less common in the tropics.
Moderate potential to occur. This species has been
observed migrating and feeding through the Santa Barbara
Channel on many occasions, with one occurrence (12
ATTACHMENT 4 409
APPENDIX B
Federally Protected Species Potential To Occur
9250 B-2
DUDEK August 2018
Scientific Name Common Name
Federal
Status1
Distribution and Primary Habitat
Associations
Potential to Occur
individuals) noted within 1 mile of the Action Area in 2011
(PBCS 2018; Cascadia 2011). This species’ distribution is
not well known, but it generally migrates poleward to feed
in the summer and to the subtropics to breed in the winter
(Jefferson et al. 2008). Resources (krill, small schooling
fish, squid) are likely present in the Action Area. This
species is more commonly associated with the 200 meter
isobath, which is approximately 7.4 miles from the Action
Area (Cascadia 2011)
Berardius bairdii Baird’s beaked
whale
MMPA Throughout the North Pacific Ocean and
adjacent seas. This species prefers deep, cold
waters of 3,000 feet (nearly 1,000 meters) or
greater and may occur near shore along
narrow continental shelves. Beaked whales
are deep divers that prefer submarine
canyons, seamounts, and continental slopes
(NMFS 2018a).
Low potential to occur. Migration and distribution are
poorly known (Jefferson et al. 2008). Suitable foraging
resources (e.g., deep water and bottom-dwelling
crustaceans, cephalopods, gadiform fish; Jefferson et al.
2008) are not likely present in the Action Area. This
species prefers deep waters that are not present within the
Action Area. This species has been observed far south of
the Channel Islands, and west of Point Conception
(Baumann-Pickering et al. 2013).
Delphinus capensis capensis Long-beaked
common dolphin
MMPA Coastal habitats; prefers shallower tropical,
subtropical, and warmer temperate to cool
waters closer to the coast (within 50-100
nautical miles (90-180 km)) and the
continental shelf (NMFS 2018a).
High potential to occur. Foraging resources (small
schooling fish and squid) are likely present in the Action
Area. This species has been recorded multiple times and in
great numbers (e.g., occurrences with 1,500 individuals) in
the Santa Barbara Channel, including the Action Area
(PBCS 2018). This species displays a habitat preference for
coastal waters, sometimes coming close to shore within
waters that are only a few meters deep (Jefferson et al.
2008).
Delphinus delphis delphis Short-beaked
common dolphin
MMPA Warm tropical to cool temperate waters,
primarily oceanic and offshore. Species also
occurs along the continental slope in waters
650-6,500 feet (200-2,000 m) deep (NMFS
2018a).
Moderate potential to occur. Foraging resources (small
schooling fish and squid) are likely present in the Action
Area. This species has been recorded multiple times and in
great numbers (e.g., occurrences with 1,500 individuals) in
Santa Barbara Channel and adjacent to the Action Area
(PBCS 2018). This species is often associated with areas of
upwelling and areas of steep sea-bottom (Jefferson,
Webber and Pitman 2008).
Eschrichtius robustus Gray whale (Eastern
North Pacific stock)
MMPA Occurs in coastal waters along the west coast
of North America from Mexico to Alaska
and in eastern Siberia. Usually feeds along
the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas
during the summer, and winters along
breeding and calving areas off the coast of
High potential to occur. This species is a frequent visitor
to the Ventura coastline and Santa Barbara Channel and
commonly observed during migration, especially during
the northward migration from Baja to Alaska. This species
is a bottom feeder (epibenthic fauna such as mysids,
amphipods, polychaete tube worms) and so are restricted
ATTACHMENT 4 410
APPENDIX B
Federally Protected Species Potential To Occur
9250 B-3
DUDEK August 2018
Scientific Name Common Name
Federal
Status1
Distribution and Primary Habitat
Associations
Potential to Occur
Baja California. Calves are born from
January to February (NMFS 2018a). During
their northward migration from Baja to
Alaska, cow-calf pairs stay particularly close
to shore to avoid predation by orcas (NMFS
2014). Bottom feeder that consumes benthic
amphipods.
to shallow continental shelf waters (Jefferson et al. 2008).
Gray whales are often observed close to shore and has
multiple occurrences in the Action Area (PBCS 2018).
Eubalaena glacialis North Pacific right
whale
Endangered,
MMPA
Pacific Ocean between 20°N and 60°N
latitude, from temperate to subpolar waters.
Primarily occurs in shelf or coastal waters
(NMFS 2018a).
Low potential to occur. Distribution is not well known but
they appear to have a northward migration in the spring
and a southward migration in the fall. This species is
extremely rare with likely less than 50 individuals in U.S.
waters (MMC 2018) and a scattered distribution
throughout its range (NMFS 2018a). Suitable foraging
resources (zooplankton) may be present within the Action
Area. The most recent and closest occurrences for this
species include 2 possible individuals sighted near San
Miguel Island (February 2015), 10 individuals off
Monterey (May 2016, PBCS 2018), and 1 individual off La
Jolla (April 2017, MMC 2018). This species is historically
known to inhabit offshore waters in depths sometimes
greater than 2,000 m (Jefferson, Webber and Pitman
2008).
Grampus griseus Risso’s dolphin MMPA Temperate, subtropical, and tropical waters
generally greater than 3,300 feet (1,000 m)
and seaward of the continental shelf and
slopes (NMFS 2018a).
Low potential to occur. Suitable foraging resources
(cephalopods and crustaceans) may be present within the
Action Area. This species has been observed in the Santa
Barbara Channel, with many occurrences located south
and northwest of the Action Area (PBCS 2018). This
species prefers deeper waters on the continental shelf and
slope, between 30° and 45° latitude (Jefferson et al. 2008),
and is unlikely to occur in the Action Area.
Globicephala
macrorhynchus
Short-finned pilot
whale
MMPA Prefers warmer tropical and temperate
waters, typically within waters of 1,000 feet
or more deep (NMFS 2018a).
Not expected to occur. Once common around the
Channel Islands, a strong El Nino in 1982-1983 brought
changes to the ecosystem affecting prey and this species
disappeared from the area (Jefferson et al. 2008). This
species inhabits areas with a high density of squid, their
preferred prey. The most recent documented sighting
occurred in October 2014 off Dana Point, Orange County,
CA (OC Register 2018). This species prefers deep waters
and is unlikely to occur in the Action Area.
Kogia breviceps Pygmy sperm whale MMPA Worldwide distribution. Prefers tropical,
sub-tropical and temperate waters. Most
Not expected to occur. In addition, based on shipboard
surveys from 1991 to 2014, this species has only been
ATTACHMENT 4 411
APPENDIX B
Federally Protected Species Potential To Occur
9250 B-4
DUDEK August 2018
Scientific Name Common Name
Federal
Status1
Distribution and Primary Habitat
Associations
Potential to Occur
common along waters seaward of the
continental shelf edge and slope. Mostly
forages in mid- and deep-water
environments (NMFS 2018a).
sighted a handful of times (including unidentified Kogia sp.)
off the coast of Central and Southern California (NMFS
2017a). This species prefers deep waters (outer continental
shelf and beyond) and therefore is unlikely to occur in the
Action Area.
Kogia sima Dwarf sperm whale MMPA Worldwide; prefers tropical, sub-tropical,
and temperate waters. Most common along
the continental shelf edge and slope (NMFS
2018a).
Not expected to occur. This species inhabits warmer
waters in offshore areas, and there is no evidence of
migrations. Dwarf sperm whales feed on deep-water
cephalopods (Jefferson, Webber and Pitman 2008). Based
on shipboard surveys from 1991 to 2014, Kogia sp. have
only been sighted a handful of times off the coast of
central and southern California (NMFS 2017b). This
species prefers deep waters and is unlikely to occur in the
Action Area.
Lagenorhynchus obliquidens Pacific white-sided
dolphin
MMPA North Pacific Ocean; cool, temperate waters
from the continental shelf to the deep open
ocean (NMFS 2018a).
Moderate potential to occur. Exhibits seasonal
inshore/offshore and north/south movements. Foraging
habitat is present in the Action Area. This species feeds
mostly on cephalopods and small schooling fish in deep
offshore waters but also on the continental shelf
(Jefferson, Webber and Pitman 2008). In addition, this
species has numerous occurrences within the Santa
Barbara Channel and a few occurrences in the Action Area
(PBCS 2018).
Lissodelphis borealis Northern rightwhale
dolphin
MMPA Endemic to deep, cold temperate waters of
the North Pacific Ocean from Baja
California to the Gulf of Alaska; generally in
waters over the continental shelf and slope
colder than 66°F (NMFS 2018a).
Low potential to occur. Although foraging habitat (i.e., for
market squid) is present in the Action Area, this species
has several scattered observations within the Santa Barbara
Channel and no known observations within the Action
Area (PBCS 2018). Northern right-whale dolphins are an
open ocean species and are known only to come nearshore
where there are deep submarine canyons (Jefferson,
Webber and Pitman 2008).
Mesoplodon densirostris Blainville’s beaked
whale
MMPA Worldwide in temperate and tropical waters;
prefers deep waters (WDC 2018).
Not expected to occur. Blainville’s beaked whale has the
most extensive distribution of the genus and inhabits
depths between 200 to 1,000 m (Jefferson, Webber and
Pitman 2008), where squid are plentiful. This species
prefers deep waters and is unlikely to occur in the Action
Area.
Mesoplodon stejnegeri Stejneger’s beaked
whale
MMPA North Pacific Ocean; prefer cold temperate
and subarctic waters; generally found in
Not expected to occur. Inhabiting the North Pacific basin,
this species is primarily oceanic but also inhabits the
continental slope. It feeds on deep-water squid (Jefferson,
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APPENDIX B
Federally Protected Species Potential To Occur
9250 B-5
DUDEK August 2018
Scientific Name Common Name
Federal
Status1
Distribution and Primary Habitat
Associations
Potential to Occur
deep, offshore waters from 2,500-5,000 feet
deep (NMFS 2018a).
Webber and Pitman 2008). This species prefers deep
waters and is unlikely to occur in the Action Area.
Megaptera novaeangliae Humpback whale Threatened
(Mexico DPS)
and Endangered
(Central America
DPS), MMPA
Worldwide distribution from the equator to
sub-polar latitudes; feeding areas for the
Mexico DPS occur off the coast of central
California; Migrating individuals from the
Central America DPS may migrate through
the Action Area on their way to feeding
grounds located off the Pacific Northwest
(NMFS 2018a). This species stays near the
surface of the ocean when migrating and
prefers shallow waters when feeding and
calving. This species can be seen close to
shore when conditions allow for prey
switching from krill to small schooling fish,
which inhabit nearshore areas.
Moderate to high potential to occur. Foraging and
migration habitat is present in the Action Area. Numerous
observations of this species have been documented within
the Santa Barbara Channel both close to shore and near
the Channel Islands (PBCS 2018). In addition, this species
is strongly associated with the 200 meter isobaths
(Cascadia 2011).
Orcinus orca Killer Whale
(Southern Resident
DPS – consisting of
pods J, K, and L,
Eastern North
Pacific Transient
Stock, and Eastern
North Pacific
Offshore Stock)
Endangered
MMPA (all
populations)
The Southern Resident DPS reside for part
of the year in the inland waters of
Washington State and British Columbia and
have been known to travel to coastal sites as
far south as central California (71 FR 69054-
69070). Transient forms (Eastern North
Pacific Transient Stock) of the species prefer
coastal waters from Alaska through
California, and offshore forms (Eastern
North Pacific Offshore Stock) can be found
from Mexico to Alaska (71 FR 69054-
69070). In general, this species is most
abundant in colder waters and high latitudes;
fairly abundant in temperate waters; lower
densities in tropical, subtropical, and
offshore waters (NMFS 2018a, 70 FR
69903-69912).
Low potential to occur. Foraging resources (primarily fish)
are present in the Action Area, which could be prey for
offshore stocks that occasionally visit the area (feed
primarily on sharks). Residents have only been observed as
far south as Monterey Bay. However, transients (which
prey on marine mammals) are more common in the Santa
Barbara Channel, with more occurrences nearer to the
islands than the shore (PBCS 2018).
Peponocephala electra Melon-headed
whale
MMPA Primarily in deep waters throughout the
tropical areas of the world (NMFS 2018a).
Not expected to occur. The Action Area is located outside
of this species’ known range. The closest habitat occurs in
Baja. This species is rarely found nearshore. They feed on
squid and small fish deep in the water column (Jefferson,
Webber and Pitman 2008). This species prefers deep
waters and is unlikely to occur in the Action Area.
Phoceonoides dalli Dall’s porpoise MMPA North Pacific open ocean, prefers temperate
to boreal waters than are more than 600 feet
Low potential to occur. This species feeds on mid-water
fish and squid in offshore waters, only using nearshore
ATTACHMENT 4 413
APPENDIX B
Federally Protected Species Potential To Occur
9250 B-6
DUDEK August 2018
Scientific Name Common Name
Federal
Status1
Distribution and Primary Habitat
Associations
Potential to Occur
(180 meters) in depth and temperatures
between 36-63°F (NMFS 2018a).
waters if there are deep-water features such as canyons
(Jefferson, Webber and Pitman 2008). Although there are
many scattered observations of this species in the Santa
Barbara Channel (predominantly north of Santa Cruz
Island), the closest occurrences near the Action Area
occurred in 2007 (PBCS 2018). This species prefers deep
waters and unlikely to occur in the Action Area.
Phocoena phocoena Harbor porpoise MMPA North temperate and subarctic coastal and
offshore waters; commonly found in bays,
estuaries, harbors, and fjords less than 650
feet deep. Along the North American coast,
range from central California to the Beaufort
Sea (NMFS 2018a).
Not expected to occur. The Action Area is located outside
of this species’ known range. The Action Area may have
their preferred prey species (cephalopods and small
schooling fish) but the southern range of the species
extends only to Point Conception. A shallow-water
species, they normally inhabit waters less than 100 m
(Jefferson, Webber and Pitman 2008). In addition, the
closest incidental observation of the species were located
along the Gaviota coast in 1992 (PBCS 2018).
Physeter catodon
(=microcephalus)
Sperm whale Endangered,
MMPA
Worldwide; prefer deep waters and
consumes deep water species (e.g., squid,
sharks, skates, and fish) (NMFS 2018a)
Not expected to occur. A somewhat migratory species,
sperm whales inhabit continental slope and oceanic waters
with steep drop-offs where they prey on cephalopods
(Jefferson, Webber and Pitman 2008). Although a few
incidental observations of this species has occurred in the
Santa Barbara Channel (dated 2002, 2004, and 2016; PBCS
2018), this species prefers deep waters and is unlikely to
occur in the Action Area.
Pseudorca crassidens False killer whale MMPA Ranges in the U.S. in Hawaii, along the west
coast, and mid-Atlantic coast. Prefer tropical
to temperate waters deeper than 3,300 feet
(1,000 meters) (NMFS 2018a).
Not expected to occur. False killer whales are found in
deep, offshore waters, and sometimes occur on the
continental shelf (Jefferson, Webber and Pitman 2008).
They feed on cephalopods and fish which are present in
the Channel. However, this species prefers deep waters
and is unlikely to occur in the Action Area.
Stenella coeruleoalba Striped dolphin MMPA Mainly found seaward of the continental
shelf from 50°N to 40°S latitude. Prefer
highly productive tropical to warm
temperate waters (52-84°F) that are oceanic
and deep; often occurs in areas of upwelling
and convergence zones (NMFS 2018a).
Not expected to occur. Primarily a warm water species that
can be associated with convergence zones. They feed on
fish in pelagic zones, along the continental slope or
oceanic regions (Jefferson, Webber and Pitman 2008).
This species prefers open oceans, has been recorded west
of the Channel Islands (NMFS 2017c), and is unlikely to
occur in the Action Area.
Steno bredanensis Rough-toothed
dolphin
MMPA Worldwide; found primarily in deep waters
throughout tropical and warmer temperate
areas. Two recognized stock occur in Hawaii
and Northern Gulf of Mexico (NMFS
Not expected to occur. This warm open ocean species
rarely ranges north of 40º N (Jefferson, Webber and
ATTACHMENT 4 414
APPENDIX B
Federally Protected Species Potential To Occur
9250 B-7
DUDEK August 2018
Scientific Name Common Name
Federal
Status1
Distribution and Primary Habitat
Associations
Potential to Occur
2018a). May be a specialist feeder on mahi
mahi (Coryphaena hippurus).
Pitman 2008). Suitable deep water habitats are absent in
the Action Area.
Tursiops truncatus Common
bottlenose dolphin
MMPA Worldwide ranging from 45°N to 45°S
latitude; found in temperate and tropical
waters. Coastal populations migrate into
bays, estuaries, and river mouths. Offshore
populations inhabit pelagic waters along the
continental shelf.
High potential to occur. A common coastal species and a
generalist feeder (Jefferson, Webber and Pitman 2008).
This species has many occurrences throughout the Santa
Barbara Channel and within or directly adjacent to the
Action Area (PBCS 2018). This species is also known to
regularly occur within 1 kilometer of shore (Carretta et al.
1998).
Ziphius cavirostris Cuvier’s beaked
whale
MMPA Worldwide in temperate, subtropical, and
tropical waters; prefer deep pelagic waters
(typically 3,300 feet or deeper along the
continental slope and edge or deep geologic
features)(NMFS 2018a).
Not expected to occur. This widely distributed species is
found in offshore waters, especially deep waters near the
continental slope, necessary for catching deep-sea
squid.(Jefferson, Webber and Pitman 2008). This species
prefers deep waters and unlikely to occur in the Action
Area.
Mustelids
Enhydra lutris nereis Southern sea otter Threatened,
MMPA
North Pacific Ocean; occurs in only two
areas of California: the mainland coastline
from San Mateo County to Santa Barbara
County, and San Nicholas Island, Ventura
County (USFWS 2015).
Low potential to occur. One of four disjunct remnant
populations, the central/southern California population
sea otters are found in shallow, nearshore waters along the
coast (Jefferson, Webber and Pitman 2008). This species
known range is both north and south of the Action Area
and this species usually occurs within 2 kilometers (1.2
miles) of shore (USFWS 2015). However, it is possible that
foraging/travelling individuals may traverse the Action
Area.
Pinnipeds
Arctocephalus philippii
townsedii
Guadalupe fur seal Threatened,
MMPA
Tropical waters of the Southern
California/Mexico region. This nonmigratory
species breeds along rocky coastal
habitats and associated caves (NMFS 2018a).
Low potential to occur. This species has known haulouts
and breeding colonies (rookeries) along the Channel
Islands, San Miguel Island (CDFW 2009), and Guadalupe
Island, Mexico (where most of the known rookeries are
located)(NMFS 2018a). This species travels great distances
to foraging areas for lanternfish and squid and therefore
may traverse and/or forage in the Action Area. They are
highly pelagic species and foraging areas are not well
known. They prefer far offshore to deep oceanic areas for
feeding (Jefferson, Webber and Pitman 2008).
Callorhinus ursinus Northern fur seal MMPA
(Depleted –
Eastern Pacific
Stock)
Open ocean for foraging and rocky beaches
for reproduction. Haul out habitat may
include rocky or sandy beaches (NMFS
2018a).
Low potential to occur. Northern fur seals migrate from
the Bering Sea southward to the North Pacific to feed in
the winter. This species is known to haulout and breed at
San Miguel Island (NMFS 2018a, CDFW 2009). This
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APPENDIX B
Federally Protected Species Potential To Occur
9250 B-8
DUDEK August 2018
Scientific Name Common Name
Federal
Status1
Distribution and Primary Habitat
Associations
Potential to Occur
species has the potential to forage on fish and squid in the
Action Area, however, they are one of the most pelagic
pinnipeds and their foraging is usually offshore at the edge
of the continental shelf and slope (Jefferson, Webber and
Pitman 2008).
Eumetopias jubatus Steller sea lion Endangered
(Western DPS)
and Delisted due
to Recovery
(Eastern DPS),
MMPA
North Pacific Ocean, mainly around coasts
to outer continental shelf and slope. Prefer
cold temperate to sub-arctic waters. Haulouts
and rookeries usually on beaches,
ledges, and rocky reefs (NMFS 2018a).
Low potential to occur. On the west coast of North
America, Steller sea lions range from the Aleutian Islands
to Central California (formally southern California). This
species is rarely seen south of Monterey Bay (Jefferson,
Webber and Pitman 2008). Although foraging resources
(fishes and cephalopods) are present in the Action Area,
the closest known rookery is located at Año Nuevo Island
off the coast of central California (Allen and Angliss 2014).
Mirounga augustirostris Northern elephant
seal
MMPA Eastern and central North Pacific Ocean
most of the year (9 months); prefer sandy
beaches when on land. Range from Alaska to
Mexico and typically breed in the Channel
Islands or Baja California (NMFS 2018a).
Low potential to occur. This species migrates to and from
their rookeries twice a year. Rookeries range from Baja to
northern California (Jefferson, Webber and Pitman 2008).
In addition, this species is known to haulout and breed at
the Channel Islands (NMFS 2018a, Lowry et al. 2014,
CDFW 2009). This species is a deep diver (300-800
meters) and prefers to forage in deeper pelagic waters,
often with seamounts and other underwater features
(Jefferson, Webber and Pitman 2008). Foraging resources
(e.g., squid, fishes) are present in the Action Area.
However, when present at the Channel Islands, they are
spending their time molting. Their preferred foraging areas
are north of the islands.
Phoca vitulina Pacific harbor seal MMPA Generally non-migratory. On the U.S. west
coast this species is found in coastal and
estuarine waters from Canada to Baja
California, Mexico. Temperate coastal
habitats and uses rocks, reefs, beaches, and
drifting glacial ice for hauling out and
pupping sites (NMFS 2018a).
High potential to occur. This species is non-migratory and
inhabits the coast to the continental slope (Jefferson,
Webber and Pitman 2008). Harbor seals have known
haulouts and rookeries at Rincon Point (Santa Barbara
County) and Point Mugu (Ventura County); and haulouts
from Point Conception to Santa Barbara and along all of
the Channel Islands (CDFW 2009). Diving averages less
than 35 meters and they are generalist feeders (Jefferson,
Webber and Pitman 2008).
Zalophus californianus California sea lion MMPA Eastern North Pacific Ocean from central
Mexico to Canada; shallow coastal and
estuarine waters; prefers sandy beaches for
haul out sites but will also haul out on
marina docks, jetties, and buoys (NMFS
2018a).
High potential to occur. This species is present along the
west coast from Puerto Vallarta to Alaska. Males (adult,
subadult and juveniles) undertake a northward migration
to Central California and Washington after the breeding
season in southern rookeries are generalist feeders
(Jefferson, Webber and Pitman 2008).This species has
ATTACHMENT 4 416
APPENDIX B
Federally Protected Species Potential To Occur
9250 B-9
DUDEK August 2018
Scientific Name Common Name
Federal
Status1
Distribution and Primary Habitat
Associations
Potential to Occur
known haulouts along all of the Channel Islands and
rookeries at San Nicholas Island (CDFW 2009, NMFS
2018a). California sea lions are generalist opportunistic
feeders and utilize the continental shelf and slope, but
have also been observed in deeper oceanic waters
(Jefferson, Webber and Pitman 2008).
Birds
Brachyramphus marmoratus
(nesting)
Marbled murrelet Threatened Breeds along the coast from Santa Cruz
County north to Alaska. Nests in old-growth
coastal forests, sea-facing talus slopes, or
cliffs (Nelson 1997). During migration and
winter (mostly July to February), occurs
from Baja California to Alaska during the
non-breeding season, in nearshore and
protected coastal waters. Usually feeds
nearshore within 5 kilometers (3 miles) and
in waters less than 60 meters (197 feet) deep.
Dives and pursues prey (opportunistic
feeder) by flying underwater. This species is
opportunistic and feeds on fish, crustaceans,
and squid (Nelson 1997).
Low potential to feed. Suitable foraging habitat is present
within the Action Area. However, while this species occurs
regularly north of Point Conception, it occurs far less
frequently farther south (CLO 2018, Lehman 2018,
Garrett and Dunn 1991). In addition, the Action Area is
located 3 miles off the coast of Ventura County, at the
very edge of where this species potentially occurs.
Not expected to nest. The Action Area occurs in open
water, and nesting habitat is absent.
Phoebastria albatrus Short-tailed
albatross
Endangered Nests on several isolated islands of the
northwestern Pacific, but travels over much
of the northern Pacific to forage in open
waters for squid, fish, fish eggs, shrimp, and
crustaceans.
Very low potential to forage. This species forages widely
throughout the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea
(USFWS 2018e). The global population is extremely low
(approximately 1,200 individuals), and this species is an
extremely rare visitor to offshore waters along the
California coast, with only 43 records in the state since the
1970s (USFWS 2018e, CBRC 2018). The majority of
occurrences are from north of Point Conception, but
several have been observed farther south, with the nearest
reports being of 1 subadult at Prisoner’s Harbor, Santa
Cruz Island, in July 2005, and 1 subadult at Santa Barbara
Island in February and March 2002 (CBRC 2018).
Not expected to nest. The Action Area occurs in open
water, so nesting habitat is absent.
Sternula antillarum browni
(nesting colony)
California least tern Endangered Breeding range extends from the San
Francisco Bay Area south to Baja California,
Mexico, including nesting colonies in coastal
Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. May
migrate coastally or over open water.
Low potential to forage. The site is farther from shore and
in deeper water than where this species prefers to forage.
Individuals may occasionally pass through the Action Area
during migration.
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APPENDIX B
Federally Protected Species Potential To Occur
9250 B-10
DUDEK August 2018
Scientific Name Common Name
Federal
Status1
Distribution and Primary Habitat
Associations
Potential to Occur
Forages in shallow estuaries and lagoons.
During the nesting season, foraging primarily
takes places within 2 miles of shore and in
waters less than 60 feet deep (USFWS 2006).
Nests on sandy beaches or exposed tidal
flats.
Not expected to nest. The Action Area is in open water,
and nesting habitat is absent.
Sea Turtles3
Caretta caretta Loggerhead sea
turtle (North Pacific
Ocean DPS)
Endangered Occurs in tropical to temperate waters in the
Pacific Ocean. Nesting in the Pacific basin
occurs along Japan and Australia, where it
nests on ocean beaches, usually with high
energy, narrow, steeply slopes, and coarsegrain
sand. Migrates from nesting grounds
in Japan and Australia to feeding grounds
located along the west coast from central to
north America. Baja California has the
largest known aggregations of loggerhead sea
turtles. Migrates along nearshore coastal
waters (neritic zone). Typically feeds on
benthic invertebrates in hard bottom
habitats, although fish and plants are
occasionally consumed (NMFS and USFWS
1998a).
High potential to feed and migrate. During ideal
conditions (water temp/break), this species is known to
migrate along the coast of California including the Santa
Barbara Channel. Although there is no suitable feeding
habitat (hard bottoms, benthic invertebrates) within the
Action Area, during migration they may enter the Action
Area. Sightings of this species along the U.S. west coast
typically are of juveniles measuring 20-60 centimeter shell
length (NMFS and USFWS 1998a). This species has also
been observed at San Clemente Island (NMFS and
USFWS 2007). This species has stranded on Ventura
beaches in 2014 and 2017 (Dan Lawson, NMFS Protected
Resources Division, 2018, pers. comm.).
Not expected to nest. Nesting occurs mainly on open
beaches or along narrow bays having suitable sand, and
often in association with other species of sea turtles. No
beach habitat is present in the Action Area and the Santa
Barbara Channel is outside of nesting range. There are no
known nesting habitats that occur along the western
seaboard of the U.S. or Hawaii (NMFS and USFWS
1998a). The closest known loggerhead nesting beaches in
the North Pacific Ocean are located in Japan (NMFS and
USFWS 2007).
Chelonia mydas Green sea turtle
(East Pacific DPS)
Threatened Eastern Pacific Ocean range. This species
forages in the open ocean as well as shallow
waters of lagoons, bays, estuaries,
mangroves, eelgrass, and seaweed beds
High potential to occur. Green sea turtles are generally
found in shallow waters except when migrating. They have
been observed at Sterns Wharf in Santa Barbara harbor
and at the Channel Islands. This species may migrate
and/or forage in the Action Area. A regular visitor in the
waters off the southwest coast of the US. Residents occur
in the San Gabriel River, Long Beach (NMFS and USFWS
1998b). This species has stranded on Santa Barbara and
ATTACHMENT 4 418
APPENDIX B
Federally Protected Species Potential To Occur
9250 B-11
DUDEK August 2018
Scientific Name Common Name
Federal
Status1
Distribution and Primary Habitat
Associations
Potential to Occur
Ventura beaches in 2014, 2015 and 2017 (Dan Lawson,
NMFS Protected Resources Division, 2018, pers. comm.).
Not expected to nest. This species requires open beaches
with a sloping platform and minimal disturbance for
nesting. The closest known nesting occurrences are in
Mexico (NMFS and USFWS 1998b).
Dermochelys coriacea Leatherback sea
turtle (Western
Pacific Population)
Endangered Pacific Ocean pelagic marine waters;
foraging habitat unknown. This population
migrates from their nesting grounds in the
Indo-Pacific to feeding areas off the Pacific
coast of North America.
Not expected to occur. This species migrates to the west
coast of North America to forage on jellyfish, salps and
pyrosomes. They utilize both open ocean and coastal
habitats. Despite the Channel Islands area not being within
the Final Critical Designated Habitat for Leatherback sea
turtles, this species could nonetheless migrate and/or
forage in the Action Area. This species has been
observed in Monterey Bay (NMFS and USFWS 1998c).
Not expected to nest. Nesting for the Western Pacific
Population occurs in Indonesia. Their preferred nesting
beaches are typically on continent shores and have
unobstructed, often deep offshore access (NMFS and
USFWS 1998c).
Eretmochelys imbricata Hawksbill sea turtle Endangered Circumtropical oceans (generally 30°N to
30°S latitude), including the Pacific Ocean
pelagic marine waters
Not expected to occur. This species is rare to nonexistent
in most localities (NMFS and USFWS 1998d) but may
migrate and/or forage (specialist sponge carnivore) in
Action Area. However, the Action Area is a sandy bottom
habitat, and this species is typically found feeding in the
vicinity of rock or reef habitats in shallow tropical waters.
No sighting have been documented in recent history
(NMFS and USFWS 1998d).
Not expected to nest. Hawksbill sea turtles nest high up
on the beach under/in dune vegetation, commonly in
pocket beaches without a lot of sand. The largest
remaining concentrations of nesting hawksbills occur on
remote oceanic islands of Australia and the Indian Ocean.
Other known nesting sites include Hawaii. American
Samoa, Guam, Republic of Palau, Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands, Republic of the Marshall
Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia (NMFS
and USFWS 1998d).
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APPENDIX B
Federally Protected Species Potential To Occur
9250 B-12
DUDEK August 2018
Scientific Name Common Name
Federal
Status1
Distribution and Primary Habitat
Associations
Potential to Occur
Lepidochelys olivacea Olive Ridley sea
turtle
Threatened4 Pacific Ocean pelagic marine waters;
foraging habitat unknown (NMFS and
USFWS 1998d).
Moderate potential to occur. This species distribution
ranges from Southern California to Northern Chile. Olive
Ridley sea turtles are mostly pelagic but will also inhabit
coastal areas. This species feeds on algae, lobster, crabs,
tunicates, mollusks, shrimp, and fish. Olive Ridley sea
turtles may migrate and/or forage in the Action Area.
This species has been observed in the Los Angeles Harbor
(NMFS and USFWS 1998e). This species has stranded on
Santa Barbara County beaches in 2014 and 2015 (Dan
Lawson, NMFS Protected Resources Division, 2018, pers.
comm.).
Not expected to nest. In the eastern Pacific, the largest
nesting concentrations occur in southern Mexico and
northern Costa Rica, with some nesting as far north as
southern Baja California. This species nests on continental
margins, and exhibits an unusual nesting habit called
“arribada” whereby up to thousands of turtles come
ashore at the same time to nest.
Sharks/Rays
Carcharhinus longimanus Oceanic whitetip
shark
Threatened Worldwide, in tropical and sub-tropical
waters and found up to 30°N and 30°S
latitude (USFWS 2018c). This species is
pelagic, mostly offshore in open ocean or
along the continental shelf. They are
opportunistic feeders and top predators, and
prefer fish and cephalopods (NMFS 2018a).
Not expected to occur. Action Area is outside of this
species known range.
Cetorhinus maximus Basking shark NMFS Species of
Concern
Inhabits tropical and arctic waters but most
commonly observed in coastal temperate
waters. This species is a filter feeder, forages
at the surface, and consumes zooplankton
(NMFS 2018b).
Low potential to occur. This species is not common, and
has had a dramatic decline since the mid-1900’s from
fishing and the eastern Pacific population has not
rebounded (NMFS 2018b). The Action Area is located at
the southernmost extent of their range.
Manta birostris Giant manta ray Threatened Inhabits temperate, subtropical and
temperate waters, utilizing all habitats:
offshore, oceanic and coastal areas.. This
species feeds mainly on zooplankton and can
be found diving to depths of 10 – 1,000
meters (NMFS 2018a).
Low potential to occur. Manta rays can be found in
temperatures as low as 19°C (66.2ºF). Santa Barbara
Channel waters are not normally warm enough for this
species. Last year in Ventura waters, only the month of
August was warm enough for this species (NOAA 2018d).
Fish
ATTACHMENT 4 420
APPENDIX B
Federally Protected Species Potential To Occur
9250 B-13
DUDEK August 2018
Scientific Name Common Name
Federal
Status1
Distribution and Primary Habitat
Associations
Potential to Occur
Acipenser medirostris Green Sturgeon
(southern DPS)
Threatened,
NMFS Species of
Concern
Ranges from Alaska to Mexico and spawns
in the Rogue River, Klamath River Basin and
the Sacramento River. Spawns in deep pools
in large, turbulent, freshwater rivers; adults
live in oceanic waters, bays, and estuaries,
feeding on benthic invertebrates (NMFS
2015a).
Low potential to occur. Adults may migrate and/or forage
in the project vicinity. There is very little data on green
sturgeon use from Monterey south to the Mexican border.
The area may be used minimally by the southern DPS
(NOAA 2009).
Catostomus santaanae Santa Ana Sucker Threatened Small, shallow, cool, clear streams less than 7
meters (23 feet) in width and a few
centimeters to more than a meter (1.5 inches
to more than 3 feet) in depth; substrates are
generally coarse gravel, rubble, and boulder
(USFWS 2011)
Not expected to occur. Habitat is unsuitable for this
species. This species inhabits freshwater streams only.
Gadus microcephalus Pacific cod (Salish
Sea Population)
NMFS Species of
Concern
This specific population inhabits Puget
Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the
Strait of Georgia. They feed on krill, shrimp,
sand lance and crabs. They are often found
over sandy bottoms and eelgrass may play a
role in habitat selection (NMFS 2011a).
Not expected to occur. Although the Action Area is a
sandy bottom substrate, no eelgrass is present at these
depths. The Action Area not within the species known
range.
Eucyclogobius newberryi Tidewater goby Endangered Brackish water habitats along the California
coast from Agua Hedionda Lagoon, San
Diego County, to the mouth of the Smith
River (USFWS 2005).
Not expected to occur. Unsuitable habitat for tidewater
goby, as they are a freshwater and brackish water species
Rincon Creek, Santa Clara River and Ventura River are the
closest known locations of this species to the Action Area.
Merluccius productus Pacific hake
(Georgia Basin
DPS)
NMFS Species of
Concern
The Georgia Basin DPS includes three
stocks: the highly migratory stock that ranges
from southern California to Queen Charlotte
Sound, a central-south Puget Sound Stock
and a Strait of Georgia stock (NMFS 2009a).
Not expected to occur. The highly migratory stock range
includes southern California waters were the Action Area
is located. The highly migratory stock spawns in the winter
in California and migrates northward to feed as far north
as Vancouver Island in the summer and spring. They are
found at moderate depths of up to 3,000 feet (910 meters)
(NMFS 2009a).
Oncorhynchus keta Chum salmon Threatened Inhabits the lowermost reaches of rivers and
streams, open ocean for anadromous form.
Historical distribution included as far south
as Monterey, however presently major
spawning populations are found only as far
south as Tillamook Bay, Oregon (NMFS
2017d).
Not expected to occur. The Action Area not within the
species’ known range.
ATTACHMENT 4 421
APPENDIX B
Federally Protected Species Potential To Occur
9250 B-14
DUDEK August 2018
Scientific Name Common Name
Federal
Status1
Distribution and Primary Habitat
Associations
Potential to Occur
Oncorhynchus kisutch Coho salmon
(Puget Sound/Strait
of Georgia ESU)
NMFS Species of
Concern
Inhabits streams and freshwater tributaries
with gravel substrates, open ocean for
anadromous form. This species distribution
is from central California to Alaska (NMFS
2016a).
Not expected to occur. The Action Area not within the
species’ known range.
Oncorhynchus mykiss Steelhead trout-
Oregon Coast ESU
NMFS Species of
Concern
Ranges from Asia, through Alaska and south
to Southern California. This is a coastal
species (NMFS 2008).
Not expected to occur. Oceanic range is unknown.
However, spawning rivers only occur in rovers basins on
the coast of Oregon from the Columbia River south to
Cape Blanco (NMFS 2008).
Oncorhynchus mykiss
irideus
Southern steelhead-
Southern California
DPS
NMFS Species of
Concern
This DPS includes watersheds from the
Santa Maria River to the U.S. Mexican
border, coast and inland habitats. Clean,
clear, cool, well-oxygenated streams; needs
relatively deep pools in migration and
gravelly substrate to spawn, open ocean for
anadromous form (NMFS 2016b).
Low potential to occur. Adults may migrate and/or forage
in project vicinity Steelhead were observed in 2017
occupying the Ventura River (A. Dransfield, pers. comm.).
Oncorhynchus nerka Sockeye salmon
(Snake River ESU
and Ozette Lake
ESU)
Endangered
(Snake River) and
Threatened
(Ozette Lake)
In the U.S., these populations occur in
Oregon and Washington, and critical habitat
is designated for this species in Snake River
and Ozette Lake. This species inhabits
riverine, marine and lake environments
(lakes are a requirement), and feed on
aquatic insects and plankton (NMFS 2015b).
Not expected to occur. The Action Area is outside of
species range.
Oncorhynchus tshawytscha Chinook salmon
(Central Valley Fall,
Late-fall run ESU)
NMFS Species of
Concern
In the U.S., Chinook salmon ranges from
Alaska to California. This ESU spawns in the
Sacramento River and San Joaquin River.
Chinook salmon require deeper and larger
freshwater streams than other salmonids;
open ocean for anadromous form. They
range from Alaska to Southern California,
and feed on aquatic insects, amphipods,
crustaceans, and, once they are large enough,
fish (NMFS 2010).
Not expected to occur. The Action Area not within the
species’ known range.
Sebastes levis Cowcod NMFS Species of
Concern
The species ranges from central Oregon to
central Baja California and Guadalupe
Island, Mexico. Inhabits deep shelf and
upper continental slope, inhabiting depths of
65 to 1,600 feet (20 to 500 meters) in rocky
areas, and feeds on squid, octopus and other
fish (NMFS 2009b).
Low potential to occur Unsuitable habitat for cowcod,
individuals may migrate through the area. Southern
California has been recognized as the center of distribution
of the species since the 1880s (Eigenmann and Beeson
1894).
ATTACHMENT 4 422
APPENDIX B
Federally Protected Species Potential To Occur
9250 B-15
DUDEK August 2018
Scientific Name Common Name
Federal
Status1
Distribution and Primary Habitat
Associations
Potential to Occur
Sebastes paucispinus Bocaccio (Southern
DPS)
NMFS Species of
Concern
Ranges from Baja California to Alaska; most
common between 160-820 feet in depth, but
found up to 1,560 feet in depth. This species
feeds on other fish species (mainly other
rockfish) (NMFS 2007b).
Not expected to occur. This species prefers deep waters
and is unlikely to occur in the Action Area.
Sebastes ruberrimus Yelloweye rockfish Threatened Yelloweye rockfish range from northern
Baja California to Alaska. This species is
associated with rocky reefs, kelp canopies,
and artificial structures like oil platforms.
Adults prefer deeper waters and rocky
bottoms. This species is commonly found in
depths of 300 to 590 feet (91 to 180
meters)(NMFS 2017e).
Not expected to occur. This species prefers deep waters, is
more common from Central California northward, and is
unlikely to occur in the Action Area.
Sphyrna lewini Scalloped
hammerhead shark
Threatened In the east Pacific, scalloped hammerhead
sharks range from southern California to
Ecuador. Inhabits coastal warm temperate
and tropical seas, ranging from intertidal to
depths of up to 1000 meters. Adults are
common at seamounts (Miller et al. 2013).
Low potential to occur Adults may migrate and/or forage
in the project vicinity.
Thaleichthys pacificus
Pacific eulachon
(Southern DPS)
Threatened Ranges from Northern California to Alaska
and into the southeastern Bering Sea. Critical
habitat is designated for the Southern DPS
in northern California in Mad River,
Redwood Creek and Klamath River.
Anadromous fish, endemic to northeastern
Pacific Ocean. In the US, most euchalon
production originates in the Columbia River
Basin (NMFS 2011b).
Not expected to occur. The Action Area is outside of this
species’ known range. No records at the Channel Islands,
Critical habitat extends as far south as the Mad River,
Northern California (NMFS 2011b).
Invertebrates
Haliotis corrugate Pink abalone NMFS Species of
Concern
Ranges from Point Conception to Baja
California. This species required sheltered
waters with depths from 20 to 118 feet (6 –
36 m) (NMFS 2007c).
Not expected to occur. Suitable habitat not present. Very
low population numbers.
Haliotis cracherodii Black abalone Endangered This species feeds predominantly on kelp
and inhabits rocky, low intertidal zones up to
6 meters deep (NMFS 2009c) Their range
extends from Point Area in Mendocino
County to Northern Baja California.
Not expected to occur. Suitable habitat not present. Very
low population numbers. The nearest critical habitat to the
Action Area is at Anacapa Island (NMFS 2011c).
Haliotis fulgens Green abalone NMFS Species of
Concern
Ranges from Point Conception to Baja
California. This species is found in rock
crevices in shallow water on exposed coast
Not expected to occur. Suitable habitat not present. Very
low population numbers.
ATTACHMENT 4 423
APPENDIX B
Federally Protected Species Potential To Occur
9250 B-16
DUDEK August 2018
Scientific Name Common Name
Federal
Status1
Distribution and Primary Habitat
Associations
Potential to Occur
from the low intertidal to depths of 60 feet
(18 m) (NMFS 2009d).
Haliotis kamtschatkana Pinto abalone NMFS Species of
Concern
Ranges from Sitka, Alaska to Point
Conception. This species is usually found in
the tidal zone up to 30 feet but can be at
depths of up to 330 feet. Pinto Abalone are
associated with kelp beds in exposed areas
(NMFS 2014).
Not expected to occur. Suitable habitat not present. Very
low population numbers. The Action Area is not within
this species known range.
Haliotis sorenseni White abalone Endangered Open low- or high-relief rock or bolder
areas interspersed with sand channels. This
species inhabits rocky pinnacles and deep
reefs in Southern California; especially those
off the Channel Islands (Hobday and Tegner
2000).
Not expected to occur. Suitable habitat not present.
Observed along the coastline in Santa Barbara County and
the Channel Islands. They usually occur at depths of 20-
60 meters and to be most abundant between 25-30 meters
(80-100 feet)(Hobday and Tegner 2000).
Notes:
1 Federal Status: MMPA = Marine Mammal Protection Act (50 CFR Part 216); Depleted species population stock is below optimum sustainable populations; NMFS Species of Concern
= National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Species of Concern (not federally listed or protected under
the Endangered Species Act).
2 The best potential to occur assessment has been provided given the paucity of information available for marine mammals, especially whales. Low potentials to occur do not negate the
possibility of a given whale species occurring in the Action Area.
3 Sea turtles are highly migratory and much of their geographic range and/or foraging habitat in the Pacific Ocean is unknown (e.g., see NMFS and USFWS 1998a)
4 Endangered status provided to the breeding colony populations on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.
ATTACHMENT 4 424
Appendix C
PHYTOPLANKTON POPULATION IMPACT ANALYSIS
The proposed project could potentially affect phytoplankton populations in and near the project site, which
could affect food resources for other marine resources. Cultured shellfish consume natural foods suspended
in the water column, including phytoplankton and other organic matter, and potentially compete with other
filter feeders for food. Therefore, this analysis has been prepared to determine what impact the project will
have on food resources available to filter feeding organisms. The methodology to evaluate this impact was
adapted from the mitigated negative declaration associated with Santa Barbara Mariculture Company’s
offshore mussel aquaculture farm prepared by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to estimate the
maximum effect of a mussel farm on phytoplankton (CDFG 2018).
Estimating the Maximum Effect of the Project on Phytoplankton:
The methodology: (1) identifies the maximum clearance rates of mussels; (2) applies this rate to the estimated
maximum mussel production for the project; (3) using minimum flow rates, assesses how much
phytoplankton is removed by the mussel farm; and (4) compares the turnover rate to the flow rate of
seawater through the project site to determine the maximum estimated effect of the project on phytoplankton
amounts.
The maximum clearance rate (CR_max) for mussels is defined in Brigolin et al., (2009) as 107 liters/day (g
DW). Brigolin et al., (2009) also provides conversion ratios for wet to dry weight (17.4:1 including the shell
weight).
The project anticipates growing a maximum of 22,000,000 pounds of mussels at a time. This is an extremely
conservative estimate that assumes that all plots are leased, and all arrays are at the grow-out stage
simultaneously. This is equivalent to 9,979,032 kg or 573,507 kg DW. The maximum clearance rate for
mussels grown as part of the project would therefore be 573,507 kg DW x 107 liters/day, or 61,365,249
liters/day. This assumes the mussels are filtering seawater at their maximum rate.
The next step is to identify how long it takes the entire volume of seawater at the farm to go through mussels,
which is known as the turnover time. This is determined by the total volume of water in the farm area (the
area multiplied by water depth) divided by the maximum clearance rate.
Water Volume = Area (2000 acres) x Average Depth (30m) = 2000 acres1 = 242,811,600 m3. The total water
volume divided by the CR_max (61,365,249 m3/day) = Approximately 4 days.
The next step is to compare the turnover time to how long seawater resides in the project area. This is
calculated using the minimum flow velocity in the project site area (10 cm/s) to assess the maximum
residence time within the proposed farm. The minimum flow rate estimate comes from wave data from buoy
Station 46217 (Anacapa Passage) and the National Date Buoy Center. The minimum annual average wave
period for this station is 3.43 cm/s. This is an average wave period that is calculated in 30 minute increments.
Max_res_time = Farm_size(sqrt(2000acres)) / Min_Speed (3.43 cm/s)
= (sqrt(8.09 sqkm) / 0.0000343 km/s
= 2.84 km / 2.96 km/day
= 0.9594 day
1 One acre = 4,046.86 m2.
ATTACHMENT 4
425
= 23 hours
Note that the time scales differ by orders of magnitude (23 hours & 4 days) and the mussels will not clear
much of the water passing through the farm.
The phytoplankton concentration entering the farm will likely range from 1 to 20 mgChl/m3 (average from
the Plumes and Blooms program). Given the extremely low residence time within the project site, over the
0.95 days of transit of a water parcel through the farm, the mussels will filter a small amount of seawater
based upon the maximum total farm clearance rate calculation above.
Since these two time scales described above differ by more than two orders of magnitude, it was determined
that the total production of the reconfigured farm at full build-out would have an inconsequential impact on
phytoplankton and zooplankton populations in the Channel. Furthermore, nutrient regeneration in the water
column within mussel farms is high, as phytoplankton consumed by the mussels results in released nutrients
supporting new phytoplankton production. In conclusion, no adverse effect on phytoplankton population is
anticipated with this project.
ATTACHMENT 4
426
APPENDIX C
Phytoplankton Population Impact Analysis
ATTACHMENT 4
427
Ventura
Harbor
Oxnard
Ventura
101
33
1
CASS Report Alternative 1 Overlaid with SeaSketch Alternative 8
Ventura Shellfish Enterprise Project
SOURCE: NAIP 2016
Date: 8/30/2018 – Last saved by: kzecher – Path: Z:\Projects\j925000\MAPDOC\Permit Application\Figure 5_CASS Report Alternative 1 Overlaid with SeaSketch Alternative 8.mxd
Project Site Alternatives
(20 100-Acre Sites)
CASS Report Alternative 1
SeaSketch Alternative 8
Three Nautical Mile Line
FIGURE 5
0 3,600 7,200
Feet
ATTACHMENT 5
428
VENUTRA PORT DISTRICT
VENTURA SHELLFISH ENTERPRISE
RESPONSE TO 9/12/18 PUBLIC COMMENTS
9/26/18
Comment Response
The project will significantly impact the commercial
trawl fishery
The Ventura Shellfish Enterprise conducted a lengthy site selection process
and outreach campaign prior to selecting the site in federal waters. The key
factor motivating the decision to move to federal waters was feedback from
the fishing community that it did not want the project to overlap with the
limited areas of state waters available for the halibut trawl fishery. Two
separate and independent site selection analyses, conducted by the UC Santa
Barbara Bren School of Environmental Science and National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Association’s (NOAA) National Ocean Service (NOS),
concluded that the proposed site was the best site available to minimize user
conflicts, including fishing interests. The NOS study in particular conducted a
six-month review of available and objective fishing data. It concluded that,
while there was some amount of overlap with trawl fisheries, the proposed
project site avoided the most significant fishing areas for halibut (located
northwest of the project site) and market squid (located significantly south of
the project site). NOS and the Ventura Port District (VPD) also reviewed
actual trawl data collected by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife
(CDFW) from 2010 through 2016, which provided the location (i.e. latitude
and longitude) of where each trawl started and stopped.
• The total trawl length within the Santa Barbara Channel during that
time period was 40,480 nautical miles.
• The total trawl length within the Area of Interest was 1,508 nautical
miles.
• The total trawl length within proposed project site was 145 nautical
miles.
Therefore, based upon CDFW trawl data, the project will require the
ATTACHMENT 6
429
Comment Response
commercial trawling fishery to relocate approximately 0.4% of their total
trawls within the Santa Barbara Channel. The project site also avoids the three
blocks within the region with the most reported commercial fishing landings.
VSE needs to take into account that this area has
more than just trawling. There is gillnetting, hook and
line, lobster and seabass fisheries.
The project site analysis considered the most economically important regional
fisheries, market squid and halibut; however, the essential fish habitat
assessment takes into account all fisheries under their respective fishery
management plan (FMP) prepared by the Pacific Fisheries Management
Council. Block-specific and regional landing data for species covered under
the FMPs, including all gear types, are sufficiently assessed. Note that the
proposed longlines will be spaced sufficiently to permit hook and line fishing
to the extent that it does not interfere with the proposed shellfish operation.
We need to make sure that one large entity isn’t able
to buy up all of the permitted areas. We need to make
sure small growers have a chance.
VPD is committed to ensuring that the project site accommodates a variety of
commercial shellfish interests, including both large and small companies and
local sea farmers. One of the key objectives in the Ventura Shellfish
Enterprise’s Task 1 document and Sea Grant application was to “provide
economies of scale and technical support to small producers who would not
otherwise be able to participate in shellfish aquaculture.” This goal is
reiterated in the VPD staff report, the project’s biological assessment that will
be submitted to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), and VPD’s
Coastal Commission application. It is important to note that without the
project, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for small, local sea farmers to
start their own shellfish aquaculture farm. The current costs of permitting,
environmental review, and monitoring (currently estimated to average
$400,000 per farm in California) have prevented all but the largest shellfish
companies from obtaining new aquaculture permits in California. One of the
critical objectives of the project is for the VPD to obtain the permits and
provide economies of scale so that small and local growers can take
advantage of a turn-key sub-permit without the need of going through the
costly and time-consuming regulatory process.
The VPD must utilize all available fishing data. The Ventura Shellfish Enterprise gathered feedback from commercial
fishermen regarding key fishing locations as part of its previous outreach
process and NOS did an exhaustive search for sources of objective fishing
ATTACHMENT 6
430
Comment Response
data. The CASS Technical Report has been updated to provide additional
detail and context regarding data sources and the screening process for
incorporating data. The CASS Report includes the best available, verifiable
fisheries data for the region. VPD would be willing to consider any additional
objective and verifiable fishing data.
Based on experience with crab fisheries, there will be
marine mammal entanglement.
There have been very few reported incidents of marine mammal entanglement
with mussel aquaculture longlines. Reported entanglements are predominantly
from crab, gillnet and spiny lobster fisheries. Fixed fisheries gear (e.g., pot
and trap gear) is the most commonly recognized and reported gear type
causing entanglements since 2000. Documented entangled animals and
disentanglement efforts in the Pacific Northwest have mostly involved gray
whales and humpback whales and have involved both gill nets and crab gear.
While not as common, both fin and blue whales are sometimes entangled in
gill nets and crab gear based on a few stranded animals and scarring on live
animals. More recently, from 2014 to 2017, the majority of the whale
entanglements involved humpback whales and most of the entanglements
were from commercial Californian and Washington Dungeness crab traps,
and gillnet fisheries. Large whale species appear to be more vulnerable to
entanglement than smaller cetacean species, such as dolphins and porpoises,
which are more prone to be caught as bycatch in nets due to their smaller size.
Furthermore, juveniles are more likely to be entangled due to their inquisitive
nature and inexperience. The proposed mussel culture techniques have some
significant differences as compared to crab and fishing gear that reduce the
potential for marine mammal entanglement. As opposed to fishery gear, the
mussel aquaculture gear is stationary, the lines are larger, and the gear is not
designed to catch or ensnare fish. Further, as described below, the lines will
be highly tensioned, which reduces the risk of marine mammals being caught
in slack lines. Therefore, the project design is expected to pose a much
smaller risk to marine mammal entanglement compared to longline fishing
methods.
In contrast to fishing gear, there are far fewer documented entanglement cases
ATTACHMENT 6
431
Comment Response
in mussel aquaculture gear. Interactions and entanglements with longline
aquaculture gear worldwide are rare, and close approaches by protected
species are seldom documented (Price et al. 2016). West coast entanglement
summaries for 2015 and 2016 report no entanglements from mussel
aquaculture fisheries (NOAA 2017). There have been no reported marine
mammal entanglements associated with Santa Barbara Mariculture, which has
operated a 25-acre mussel aquaculture farm in the Santa Barbara Channel,
using similar cultivation techniques, for over a decade (CDFG 2018).
Project operation and construction are also designed to reduce the risk of
entanglement. The mussel grow-out ropes are planted with seed 3-inches
thick and may grow to be stiff with byssus at diameters of 10-inches or more
at harvest, thus making them very unlikely sources of entanglement. Spat
collection lines, which have been known Grow ropes will be attached to the
headrope with a low-breaking-strength twine which will facilitate rapid
detachment in the unlikely event of any interaction. Furthermore, a 1,100-
pound breakaway link will be installed between the surface buoys and vertical
lines. Mitigation measures include a marine wildlife entanglement plan.
The project will create marine debris. The proposed aquaculture gear is robust and designed to withstand rough sea
conditions. Siting consideration included a minimum of 80′ bottom depth to
reduce potential storm surge and gear is located 15-45 feet below the water
surface, which will avoid the most significant wave activity. Helical screw
anchors have been shown to exhibit superior holding power as compared to
other anchoring systems. The combination of surface and submerged
buoyancy is designed to create a tensioned but flexible structure that is
capable of responding dynamically to surface waves and storms. To address
this concern, Mitigation Measure BIO-10 incorporates and aquaculture gear
monitoring and escapement plan to routinely check and maintain aquaculture
gear to prevent breakage and quickly retrieve any gear that breaks free.
ATTACHMENT 6
432
Comment Response
Closures have already impacted many fishermen’s
sites. Block 665 is a highly used fishing area. A lot of
what local fishermen catch is from this block. If you
take this block away, fishermen’s livelihoods are at
stake.
The project only covers a small area within Block 665.The total acreage of
Block 665 is 58,602 acres (taking into consideration that fishermen cannot
trawl less than 1 mile offshore). The total revenue for Block 665 over a sixyear
period (2012 – 2017) was $8,022,254, and the project proportionally
would only impact 3.4% ($272,756) of that total amount. Eliminating those
species not impacted by the mussel aquaculture farm (lobster, ridgeback
prawns, etc.), the total six-year period revenue is $982,914 and the total
corresponding impact is $33,419. The small area that the project occupies in
Block 665 will therefore not substantially impact fisheries. Further, VPD
anticipates that some fishermen may seek to replace this lost income through
participating in the project, which is anticipated to provide a sustainable and
significant source of potential income that would more than offset the above
estimated financial impact.
Can you fish in the area if no one is leasing it? Areas that are not sub-permitted will be available for fishing, provided that
such fishing does not interfere with other sub-permitted areas.
Who will police the area? The Ventura Port District is responsible for the area and individual growers
will have responsibility to follow the BMPs.
ATTACHMENT 6
433
BOARD OF PORT COMMISSIONERS
SEPTEMBER 26, 2018
STANDARD AGENDA ITEM 2
AWARD OF BID TO BELLINGHAM
MARINE INDUSTRIES, INC. FOR THE
VENTURA HARBOR VILLAGE
COMMERCIAL DOCK REPLACEMENT
PROJECT
434
VENTURA PORT DISTRICT STANDARD AGENDA ITEM 2
BOARD COMMUNICATION Meeting Date: September 26, 2018
TO: Board of Port Commissioners
FROM: Richard Parsons, Consultant
SUBJECT: Award of Bid to Bellingham Marine Industries, Inc. for the Ventura Harbor Village
Commercial Dock Replacement Project
RECOMMENDATION:
That the Board of Port Commissioners award the Ventura Harbor Village Commercial Dock
Replacement Project to Bellingham Marine Industries, Inc. in the amount of $4,317,967 (bids item nos.
1, 2, and 3a).
SUMMARY:
On September 11, 2018 competitive bids for the Ventura Harbor Village Commercial Dock
Replacement Project (see the attached project plan) were received and opened. Only one bid, from
Bellingham Marine Industries, Inc. was received. The bid sheet required bidders to provide 2 total bids
for the project, one utilizing concrete piles, the other utilizing steel piles. Bellingham’s bids for the two
options are as follows:
Total project with concrete piles…..$4,317,967
Total project with steel piles……….$4,959,089
Bellingham’s bid utilizing concrete piles is less than the engineers’ total estimated cost of $4,610,000 for
that option. Bellingham is a highly regarded concrete dock construction firm and provided the Port
District with an excellent product when Docks D, E, F and I were replaced in 2005/2006. So, while it
was disappointing to receive only one bid, despite allowing for a 55 day bid period, we are nonetheless
pleased with the bid received.
BACKGROUND:
The original Ventura Harbor Village commercial wooden docks were constructed in the 1980-81 time
frame by Ocean Services Corporation, the Port District’s then lessee. Upon the District’s assumption of
ownership of the Village improvements in the late 1990s, it became quickly apparent that the floating
dock system was in very poor condition. The District was able to replace the most seriously deteriorated
docks, i.e. D, E, F and I, with a heavy duty concrete system in 2005/2006 Since that time financial
constraints have prevented the District from replacing the remaining docks despite their poor condition.
With the recent securing of a $4,610,000 loan from City National Bank, the District is now in position to
proceed with the replacement of docks C, G, H and a portion of D. Permits for the replacement work
have been secured from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Los Angeles Regional Water
Quality Control Board. A permit was also approved by the California Coastal Commission on January
14, 2016, but it expired in January of this year. An application to reinstate that permit was applied for in
May of 2018. While it would seem implausible to believe that the Coastal Commission would not renew
the permit, the contract documents provide that Bellingham would only be entitled to receive
compensation, i.e. $150,000, for the design portion of their contract work should the coastal permit not
be forthcoming. The contract gives the District until March 31, 2019 to direct Bellingham to proceed with
the actual construction of the docks. This approach limits the District’s financial exposure should the
Coastal Commission prove to be a stumbling block.
FISCAL IMPACT:
The $4,317,967 bid from Bellingham Marine Industries, Inc. will be financed by the $4,610,000 loan that
the District recently secured from City National Bank.
ATTACHMENTS:
Attachment 1 – Project Plan
435
436

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