Department of Commerce and NOAA Aquaculture Policies
Mussels farmed in coastal areas and in the open ocean are one of the promising sectors of U.S. marine aquaculture. Pictured above, workers harvest a mussel raft in Shelton, WA. [credit: NOAA Aquaculture Office.
|The DOC policy acknowledges the potential for U.S. aquaculture to "make major contributions to the local regional, and national economies by providing employment and diverse business opportunities from coastal communities to the agricultural heartland."|
|NOAA's policy reflects its broad oceans mandate by "reaffirming that aquaculture is an important component of NOAA's efforts to maintain healthy and productive marine and coastal ecosystems, protect special marine areas, rebuild wild stocks, restore endangered species, support marine and coastal habitat, create employment in coastal communities, and enable the production of safe and sustainable seafood."|
On June 9, 2011, NOAA and the Department of Commerce (DOC) released national aquaculture policies. These policies establish a framework to allow sustainable domestic aquaculture to contribute to the U.S. seafood supply, support coastal communities and important commercial and recreational fisheries, and help to restore species and habitat. NOAA sees aquaculture as a critical component to meeting increasing global demand for seafood and maintaining healthy ecosystems.
View the press release.
The policies reflect significant public input gathered through two public comment periods, which led to a more responsive and robust framework . To learn more about the policies and to read a summary of both, go to the Aquaculture Policies page.
With the announcement of the NOAA and DOC policies, NOAA began three initiatives to supporting the emphasis on sustainable marine aquaculture:
- A 'National Shellfish Initiative' to increase shellfish farming and restoration. Read how this initiative inspired the State of Washington to pursue its own Washington Shellfish Initiative.
- Implementing the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Plan for Aquaculture
- A 'Technology Transfer Initiative' to foster partnerships that showcase innovative practices, jump start private sector investments, and create employment opportunities in coastal communities. View the press release.
Check out our 'Aquaculture in the United States' page for facts about the U.S. marine aquaculture industry and its role in global seafood supply.
To read current and historic policy documents, visit our Aquaculture Library.