Foreword By Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, Project Director
Sustainable offshore aquaculture has the potential
to enhance the availability of food resources for the public and to rebuild some fishery
Offshore aquaculture has come into the spotlight in the recent past due, in part, to findings in key reports such as the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, the Administration's Ocean Action Plan, and the Pew Oceans Commission. Recent developments such as the introduction of offshore aquaculture legislation in the U.S. Congress, the adoption of EPA's Effluent Limitation Guidelines for aquaculture facilities, and related work by fishery management councils have also generated added interest in offshore aquaculture. This policy study discusses options to correct gaps and deficiencies in the governance framework related to the siting, operation, and monitoring of offshore aquaculture facilities raising native species, with the question of management of non-native species set aside for future debate and analysis.
The report was prepared by an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional team (comprised of experts from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds: marine policy, law, industry, state government, environmental groups, and marine sciences) and included literature reviews, policy design, and consultation with stakeholders (state and local governments, private industry, and non-governmental organizations) through one national workshop and five regional workshops. The recommendations in this report reflect a consensus by the authors of the report, although no single author would agree with every recommendation in the study.
This report builds on a previous study carried out by a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional team coordinated through the Gerard J. Mangone Center for Marine Policy at the University of Delaware. That study, Development of a Policy Framework for Offshore Marine Aquaculture in the 3-200 Mile U.S. Ocean Zone, was prepared by Biliana Cicin-Sain, Susan M. Bunsick, M. Richard DeVoe, Tim Eichenberg, John Ewart, Harlyn Halvorson, Robert W. Knecht, and Robert Rheault in 2001 as a technical report. Both of the studies were funded by grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and administered by the National Sea Grant College Program. This support is gratefully acknowledged.
Any errors or omissions in this report are solely the responsibility of the authors. This report reflects the collective work of the authors and does not reflect the opinions or position of NOAA. The authors wish to express their sincere thanks to Jason Didden and to Meredith Blaydes for their collaboration in the organization of the research work and the editing of this volume, and to the following University of Delaware colleagues who provided support in various aspects of the project: Dr. Miriam Balgos, Kevin Goldstein, Shelby Hockenberry, Cathy Johnston, and Malinda Yarnell. The assistance of technical editor and graphic designer Jorge A. Gutierrez is acknowledged with sincere thanks.
Executive Summary: Report HighlightsThe report:
Reviews the current status of marine aquaculture in the United States, the rationale for siting projects further offshore, and the results of the previous study in this series, which assessed federal policy with respect to the development of aquaculture as a relatively new ocean industry in federal waters. Relevant aspects of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, President Bushs U.S. Ocean Action Plan, the Pew Oceans Commission, the National Offshore Aquaculture Act of 2005 (S. 1195, Stevens, Inouye), and the Environmental Protection Agencys Effluent Limitation Guidelines are also outlined (Chapter 1).
Describes an administrative framework capable of executing recommended aquaculture policy changes made in this report (Chapter 2).
Provides guiding principles and specific provisions of a system of offshore aquaculture leasing and permitting designed to increase predictability, efficiency, and accountability for offshore aquaculture development (Chapter 3).
Details the necessary planning and site assessment actions to successfully site offshore aquaculture facilities, including the use of geographic information systems (GIS) and marine zoning (Chapter 4).
Examines potential environmental ramifications of offshore aquaculture and steps to mitigate environmental effects (Chapter 5).
Proposes a monitoring strategy to ensure that offshore aquaculture operations do not compromise environmental quality (Chapter 6).
Presents guidelines and options for compliance with and enforcement of regulatory authority (Chapter 7).
- CHAPTER 1. OFFSHORE AQUACULTURE IN THE UNITED STATES: POTENTIAL AND OBSTACLES
- CHAPTER 2. ADMINISTRATIVE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OFFSHORE AQUACULTURE
- CHAPTER 3. LEASING AND PERMITTING FOR OFFSHORE AQUACULTURE
- CHAPTER 4. PLANNING AND SITE ASSESSMENT FOR OFFSHORE AQUACULTURE
- CHAPTER 5. ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW OF OFFSHORE AQUACULTURE
- CHAPTER 6. MONITORING OF FACILITY OPERATIONS FOR OFFSHORE AQUACULTURE
- CHAPTER 7. COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT FOR OFFSHORE AQUACULTURE
- ABOUT THE AUTHORS
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This study was funded by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and administered by the National Sea Grant College Program - October 2005