National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Aquaculture Policy

Formal title: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration (NOAA) Aquaculture Policy

The NOAA requested public comment on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Aquaculture Policy.

Brief Description:

On September 3, 2009, the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, announced plans to develop a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aquaculture Policy. The policy will provide a foundation for sustainable aquaculture that will create employment and business opportunities in coastal communities; provide safe, sustainable seafood; and complement NOAA's comprehensive strategy to maintain healthy and product marine populations, species, and ecosystems and vibrant coastal communities.

On February 16, 2011, NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a Federal Register notice requesting additional comments on the policy that accommodate some suggestions received in 2009 and 2010.

The NOAA requested broad input on the components of a draft aquaculture policy from interested stakeholders including communities, state and local governments, tribes, businesses, associations, the aquaculture industry, commercial and recreational fishermen, the seafood industry, non-governmental organizations, and the general public.

AVMA Response:

The AVMA applauds the NOAA for considering updating the NOAA Aquaculture Policy and appreciates the opportunity to offer comments on the scope and objectives of this policy. The AVMA is pleased that the NOAA seeks ideas about how the policy can most effectively guide and support science; provide clear regulations; support outreach, education, and innovation; and define the U.S. role in the international industry.

The AVMA believes that the NOAA has an unprecedented opportunity to work with other federal agencies to develop and implement a National Aquaculture Policy. If the policy were to balance, integrate, and address the needs and demands of all areas that aquaculture development will impact, the policy will lead to sustainable aquaculture industries, stable ecosystems, societal satisfaction, economic growth, and safe and abundant seafood production. The AVMA also believes this approach will avoid impediments, including overlapping, conflicting and cumbersome federal state and tribal jurisdictions and regulations, and create a roadmap with uniformity and consistency for the benefit of all.

Background Documents:

NOAA Aquaculture Program – Fact sheet (2010)

NOAA 10-Year Plan for Marine Aquaculture (2007)

U.S. Department of Commerce Aquaculture Policy (1999)

Revised U.S. Department of Commerce Aquaculture Policy (2011)

NOAA, NMFS Draft Aquaculture Policy (2011)

The AVMA responded on May 28, 2010. (PDF)

The AVMA responded on April 7, 2011. (PDF)