April 20, 2021
Campaign launched to get US Congress to act quickly on aquaculture expansion
US aquaculture advocacy group Stronger America Through Seafood (SATS) has launched a new campaign this month, aiming to urge the US Congress to act swiftly on aquaculture expansion in the United States.
Specifically, SATS is calling on the congress to clarify a regulatory pathway for permitting offshore aquaculture.
"Offshore aquaculture is constrained by complex and inconsistent regulations, which hinder its growth. American aquaculture currently meets only five to seven percent of seafood demand. Instead of farming more locally grown seafood, the US imports 90% of its seafood," SATS said in a press release. "By establishing a clear regulatory pathway for permitting sustainable offshore aquaculture, federal lawmakers can increase domestic seafood production and reignite a vibrant American seafood future that benefits the American economy, industries and communities nationwide."
According to the organisation, an additional 40 million tonnes of seafood will be needed to meet current demand trends by 2030 and aquaculture can help increase seafood production.
"Aquaculture presents a unique opportunity to build an American seafood future that can bring us through this challenging time and support a diverse workforce, enhance sustainable ecosystems and guarantee healthful, locally-sourced protein for American consumers," a letter penned by numerous SATS members to US President Joe Biden earlier this year said.
"As America begins to rebuild from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing America's seafood supply through aquaculture will have benevolent rippling effects throughout many areas of the country. Increased aquaculture production will increase demand for American-grown crops, such as soybeans, corn and peas, which can be used in fish feed, and will open up new markets to heartland farmers while lessening dependence on the uncertainty of foreign trade relationships."