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NOAA Aquaculture Policies

Aquaculture plays an increasingly important role in supplying the world's seafood, contributing more than half of all seafood eaten globally. (credit: FAO)


For a list of current and historic
policy documents, go to the
Aquaculture Library.


As part of the National Shellfish Initiative, partners are constructing a hatchery for Olympia oyster restoration at NOAA's Manchester Research Station at Port Orchard, WA. (credit: NOAA)


The 2011 Department of Commerce and NOAA aquaculture policies as well as the National Ocean Policy provide federal guidance for marine aquaculture activities.

NOAA’s 2011 Aquaculture Policy specifies the goals, objectives, and priorities for all aquaculture-related activities at NOAA in the context of its marine stewardship mission.  Appendix 1 of the policy establishes goals for NOAA’s regulatory actions with respect to aquaculture in federal waters of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone and provides a list of principles and approaches that NOAA will take to achieve its goals.

The Department of Commerce Aquaculture Policy specifies the goals, objectives, and priorities for all Department of Commerce bureaus, including NOAA, in the context of the Department’s overarching emphasis on jobs, the economy, innovation, and international competitiveness.

The National Ocean Policy specifies the President’s overarching goals, objectives, and priorities that provide a broader ocean policy context for NOAA’s aquaculture activities.  Other Administration policies – such as those in support of job creation, economic development, innovation, food security, etc. –  provide additional context for NOAA’s aquaculture activities. In 2013, the Administration specified seven interagency aquaculture directives aimed at improving the efficiency of aquaculture permitting, expanding shellfish farming and restoration, and spurring jobs and innovation. For more information, see the following available documents: