Catalina Sea Ranch is developing the "First Open Ocean Shellfish Ranch in United States Federal Waters" pursuant to NOAA's new aquaculture policy. Globally, filter-feeding bivalve shellfish are key players in ecologically sustainable aquaculture in the marine environment and as environmentally sensitive monitors and water purifiers. Shellfish are successfully farmed throughout the world and represent a legitimate use of the marine environment for sustainable food production. In the United States, NOAA announced its national aquaculture policies establishing a framework to allow sustainable domestic aquaculture to contribute to the U.S. seafood supply. There is an emphasis on sustainable marine aquaculture through a “National Shellfish Initiative” for increasing shellfish farming and restoration.