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Blacklock hired to build US marine aquaculture industry

NOAA has appointed Danielle Blacklock to provide the strategic vision for developing a strong marine aquaculture industry in United States federal waters.

As the agency’s new director for the office of aquaculture, She will lead the office’s work on several distinct priority areas – including regulation and policy, science, outreach, and international activities in support of US aquaculture.

Danielle Blacklock has been tasked with building a thriving marine aquaculture industry in US federal waters

© NOAA Fisheries

“I am thrilled about Danielle’s vision for the office and our role as catalysts for the expansion of marine aquaculture in the United States,” said Paul N Doremus, deputy assistant administrator for operations at NOAA Fisheries. “Building a strong domestic aquaculture industry is a win-win. It’s good for the economy and good for the planet.”

“Writ large, US marine aquaculture provides a complement to our world class wild capture fisheries and will be vital for supporting our nation’s seafood production, year-round jobs, rebuilding protected species and habitats, and enhancing coastal resilience.”

Ms Blacklock said her vision for the office is “to help the United States move even more decisively toward becoming a global leader in sustainable seafood production. Wild capture fisheries and farmed seafood are intertwined and both are critical to our nation’s future food supply.”

“I plan to work inclusively and transparently to guide the development of sustainable farms in federal waters, while supporting additional development in state waters and associated land-based facilities,” she added.

Blacklock comes to this position after serving in various roles within the agency for the past 10 years. Most recently, she has been serving as a senior policy advisor for aquaculture and recently completed a six-month assignment at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, focused on aquaculture sustainability globally.

Blacklock succeeds Dr Michael Rubino, who was appointed the agency’s first director of the office of aquaculture. He became the agency’s first senior advisor for seafood strategy in April 2019. David O’Brien has served as the acting office director in the interim and will return to his duties as the deputy for the office.