Commerce Secretary Opens Door to Aquaculture in Federal Waters

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
12 March 2007, at 12:00am

BOSTON - Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez today unveiled proposed federal legislation to promote aquaculture in order to meet the growing demand for seafood, help the U.S. industry better compete and reduce the need for seafood imports.

The National Offshore Aquaculture Act of 2007 will allow aquaculture in federal waters beyond three miles off the coast. Gutierrez says it will be regulated with stringent environmental provisions and is designed to complement efforts already underway in the states.

"Because we don't encourage aquaculture in federal waters, we're letting technology, investment and jobs go overseas," said Gutierrez, speaking at the International Boston Seafood Show. "This bill will provide a federal aquaculture framework that meets the long term needs of the seafood industry and the growing demand of U.S. consumers."

Aquaculture is currently a $1 billion U.S. industry, but with an $8 billion seafood trade deficit, the United States is largely dependent on farmed seafood imported from other nations to meet domestic market demand.

Last year, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization reported that half of global seafood production came from aquaculture.

Source: ENS