The Plan will guide efforts within NOAA Fisheries to support development of sustainable marine aquaculture from 2016-2020. The Plan features four main goals: regulatory efficiency, science tools for sustainable management, technology development and transfer, and an informed public. Cross-cutting strategies of the plan include strengthening partnerships, improving external communications, building infrastructure to support marine aquaculture, and sound program management. It also establishes a target of expanding sustainable U.S. marine aquaculture production by at least 50 percent by the year 2020.
The U.S. imports over 90% of its seafood, about half of which is farmed. While aquaculture globally has grown dramatically over the past 30 years, in the U.S. production has remained low. “As demand for seafood continues to rise, aquaculture presents a tremendous opportunity not only to meet this demand, but also to increase opportunities for the seafood industry and job creation,” said Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., NOAA administrator. “Expanding U.S. aquaculture in federal waters complements wild harvest fisheries and supports our efforts to maintain sustainable fisheries and resilient oceans.”