The American Soybean Association (ASA) has welcomed NOAA’s release of the final Gulf Aquaculture Rule, recognising it as the first step to realizing offshore aquaculture development and growth in federal waters.
The association, which represents the nation’s soybean farmers, has been a consistent and strong advocate for the growth of the offshore aquaculture industry in the US and its demand for soybean meal as a sustainable and affordable fish feed.
“The final rule sets us on a course to development of a promising marine aquaculture industry in the United States, which has so much room to grow,” said ASA President Richard Wilkins.
Currently, the US imports 91 percent of the seafood Americans eat, contributing to a trade deficit of $11.2 billion. ASA believes that a streamlined aquaculture policy will encourage the development of a domestic industry that creates US jobs, meets growing demand for a safe and sustainable source of seafood, and fosters an additional and growing domestic market for the soybean meal that provides such a valuable source of protein in fish feed.
“As the domestic offshore aquaculture industry grows, it will create multiple positives for American consumers, workers and farmers alike,” said Wilkins.
“We look forward to working with our partners at the Soy Aquaculture Alliance, as well as within the industry, to continue the momentum from the announcement.”