Manna Offshore Fish Farm
Working to be one of the first federally permitted commercial-scale offshore fish farms in the United States
At a Glance:
• Out of the port of Pensacola, Florida
• Current preferred site is 26 miles offshore – within the United States Exclusive Economic Zone
• 390 acres
• Depth of 140 to 160 feet
• 12 submersible net pens
• Planned 4 Phase rollout currently scheduled to be complete by Spring 2029
• Phase 1 (Proof of Concept) – 2 submersible pens
• Subsequent Phases – 2-4 pens added annually
• Alternative Site Analysis Report completed
• Public Outreach Meetings – Ongoing
• Stakeholder engagement currently underway
1. Alternative Site Analysis
The NOAA Coastal Aquaculture Siting and Sustainability Program provided general information to assist with finding a site suitable for a 120-acre farm, the projected size of the operation.
2. Initial Bathymetric Survey Conducted (April – May 2019)
Multibeam echosounder, sidescan sonar, magnetometer and sub-bottom profiler data were collected and assessed for the initial bathymetric survey area of 700 acres. The data assessment revealed a generally smooth seafloor topography which slopes to the southeast. A small ridge runs across a portion of the area in a northeast/southwest direction and appears to contain some areas of hard substrate that could support biological communities, such as sponges or coral.
3. Second survey of an adjacent site survey to the north was executed in December 2020 with the report received in January – February 2020 (EPA)
The 2019 bathymetric survey revealed potential hard bottom at the proposed site. Bathymetric surveys cannot identity whether or what biota is present. For this reason, EPA indicated that the proposed site must be 1,000 m from any hard bottom. A second bathymetric survey of an adjusted project site to avoid hard bottom was planned for early 2020. The second survey was postponed due to weather and then due to COVID-19 out of concern for the boat’s crew and surveyors.
EPA, CWA Section 403: Procedural and Monitoring Guidance (EPA-842-B-94-003 March 1994)
4. Using oceanographic data obtained during both surveys, numerical modeling was performed to evaluate the suitability of the intended StormSafe® submersible net pen and its accompanying mooring system for the intended site
• Informed technical and engineering decisions for the project
5. Interagency Request for Information (RFI)
• Preferred farm location and footprint have been determined from this study and were used to finalize project details.
• Our RFI response was submitted mid-October 2021, and MFF received feedback, as well as a Request for Additional Information (RFAI) at the end of January 2022.
• After addressing interagency questions/comments, MFF finalized and submitted full permit applications in early April, 2022.
6. The EPA, being the project lead, deemed the application complete in early May 2022
Currently Under Way:
7. NEPA analysis
8. Planning and development of land-based operations
9. Stakeholder engagement
10. Operational planning
11. Baseline Benthic analysis
12. Baseline Water study