The AQUAA Act would establish national standards for sustainable offshore aquaculture and clarify a regulatory pathway for offshore aquaculture in the U.S. exclusive economic zone (EEZ), with the aim supporting the growth of the domestic offshore aquaculture industry. This would in turn would stimulate economic growth in coastal and agricultural communities across the United States, create thousands of jobs, and provide a steady supply of healthy and affordable seafood, while protecting wild-capture fisheries and natural resources, according to SATS.
The advocacy group added that increased aquaculture production would also benefit farmers of soybeans, corn and peas, as these products would be used to make fish feed, lowering pressure on ocean resources while providing a new market for the farmers.
“Aquaculture is a fast-growing agriculture industry that is creating jobs and improving our country’s food security,” said Peterson. “Our bill will streamline the permitting process and build upon research and development efforts that are underway.”
Noted Palazzo: “The United States imports nearly 90% of our seafood, and of that, more than half is produced through foreign aquaculture. The AQUAA Act streamlines the federal permitting process to usher in a wave of American aquaculture and reduce our dependency on foreign seafood imports while we grow a sustainable market. Food security is national security, and we must work to ensure America is prepared to meet the needs of tomorrow’s food demand.”