The fisheries and aquaculture arm of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) is moving forward with environmental impact studies for sites in California that may be suitable for offshore aquaculture.

NOAA said Monday it will be seeking public comments to define the scope of the environmental impact statement to be used for 10 areas in the Southern California Bight that could one day be home to offshore aquaculture operations.

The proposed geographic area of interest where one or more Aquaculture Opportunity Area(s) may be identified includes selected site options (SSOs) in Federal waters of the us Exclusive Economic Zone in Santa Monica Bay and the Santa Barbara Channel.