On September 3, 2009, NOAA announced its intent to develop a comprehensive national policy for sustainable marine aquaculture in the coming months, providing a framework for addressing aquaculture activity in federal waters. The national policy also will provide context for the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Regulating Offshore Aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico, which took effect on Sept. 3.
â€œWe will develop a national policy that focuses on the protection of ocean resources and marine ecosystems, addresses the fisheries management issues posed by aquaculture, and allows U.S. aquaculture to proceed in a sustainable way,â€ said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA Administrator.
The national policy will build on NOAAâ€™s significant work to date to safeguard U.S. coastal and ocean environments, while enabling sustainable domestic aquaculture that adds to the U.S. seafood supply and supports important commercial and recreational fisheries. The policy also will include development of coordinated federal standards for permitting aquaculture facilities in federal waters and strategies to provide the scientific information needed for permitting decisions.
The following documents are also available for viewing or download:
- NOAA news release
- FAQs on the Gulf of Mexico Aquaculture Fishery Management Plan
- NOAA Fisheries Service Letter to the Gulf Council
- Backgrounder on the NOAA Aquaculture Program
The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife, led by Del. Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU), will hold an oversight hearing on Offshore Aquaculture on Sept. 9, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 1324 of the Longworth House Office Building in Washington, DC. The hearing will be webcast via the House Resources website. For more information on the hearing, click here. For a link to the live webcast on the day of the hearing, go to: http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/index.php. Look for the â€œwebcastsâ€ logo on the pick list to the left.