San Diego-based Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute and private equity firm Cuna del Mar LP have filed permits to develop an environmentally sustainable, 5,000-metric-ton finfish farm off the San Diego coast.

The two entities have formed a collaboration known as Rose Canyon Fisheries, which recently filed paperwork with federal and state agencies to develop what partnership representatives said would be the first open-ocean finfish farm in U.S. federal waters.

Rose Canyon Fisheries representatives said permitting will take 12 to 18 months to complete.

A statement from Rose Canyon Fisheries said the farm will use the latest technology to raise yellowtail jack, white seabass and striped bass through practices that meet stringent U.S. environmental and food safety standards. Officials said innovative, submersible cages will be located 4.5 miles west of Mission Beach.

The U.S. imports about 91 percent of seafood consumed domestically, worth $14 billion annually. “There is enormous need for new domestic supplies of safe, healthy, sustainable and locally sourced seafood,” said Don Kent, president and CEO of Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute and acting CEO of Rose Canyon Fisheries.

Cuna del Mar Managing Partner Robert Orr, who is board chairman of Rose Canyon Fisheries, said the project could serve as “a new paradigm” for domestic seafood production and spur nationwide development of the industry.

Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, based at Mission Bay, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit marine research organization founded in 1963 that also operates local fisheries. Maine-based Cuna del Mar invests in early-stage businesses and other aquaculture ventures geared to sustainable growth of seafood supplies.