You read that right.
Back-story: My mother and sister live in the most northeastern part of the state, Modoc county, Ca. BEAUTIFUL area, but nowhere near enough going on for me. The entire county has ONE traffic signal, a flashing red light at the intersection of two major roads. There is, however, a commercial grow-out farm right off of hwy 299 just west of the city of Alturas. The response below is from my sister, who works in natural resources and is pretty savvy when it comes to agricultural permits and whatnot. She also used to work for the Department of Fish and Game. The farm uses a natural geothermal well on site to heat their water.
"They grow tilapia and catfish. they sell a truckload per week, and are right on the highway, so I'm sure they have the permits needed, if any are needed. I will try to get you their phone number. I hear they are pretty open about growing fish.
The listing on page 5 is a different farm, you can opt out of being listed on that publication when registering. See the "Attention Applicants" line about 1/3 of the way down the first page of this form. The farm in question does not sell to the public, no reason to be listed.
I know it is contrary to everything DFG says in their documentation, but the farm has been going for several years. It is no secret what they are doing. The road they are on is the main artery between Redding and the county seat, Alturas. You can practically roll down the window and spit on their tanks when driving by. They contract with someone in the SF bay area who brings them fingerlings, they grow them out, and the truck hauls back market size fish once a week.
Either they found the loophole we've all been praying for, or they're operating outside the law.
Frankly, and from here on in is purely my opinion, I fail to see how FNG has any authority on anything in closed loop aquaponic systems, as they have little jurisdiction on the aquarium industry. Aquariums and aquaponic tanks aren't all that different, we just have way cooler tank filters than those guys do. I'd bet that someone who buys a fish for their aquarium which ends up growing much faster than expected is more likely to dump it in a river or lake than an aquapon. We'd just eat the sucker! If the deciding factor is that the fish are for human consumption, why the heck is it FNG's department? Fish for food reared in closed systems seems like a subject which should be presided over by the department of AG, or some other food safety bureaucrats.
At most, a closed loop system should have an annual inspection to ensure the operation and its procedures are functioning with minimal risk for introducing non native species to waterways, and then it would be the food safety people's job to ensure the system is producing healthy, disease free fish.
You are correct sir, they are not a closed loop system. I was more going on a tirade about the plight of the aquaponic farmer
Sounds like I need to start thinking of myself as an aquarium hobbiest and sell/give only pet food to my close friends and family.