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NAA action alert about U.S. House bills on aquaculture

Two different bills have been introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives that prohibit aquaculture under specific but significant circumstances. The Ban Aquaculture in the Great Lakes Act (HR 961) intends to authorize the Department of Interior to prohibit aquaculture in the Great Lakes. The Preserve Fishing on Wild and Scenic River Act (HR 962) intends to authorize the Department of the Interior to prohibit operation of aquaculture facilities that contribute to pollution of wild and scenic rivers “unless the Secretary of the Interior has certified that such operation will not discharge a pollutant into a river any segment of which is a wild and scenic river.”

February 16, 2017

Two different bills have been introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives that prohibit aquaculture under specific but significant circumstances. Both bills have been referred to the House committees for Agriculture and Natural Resources, respectively.  

The Ban Aquaculture in the Great Lakes Act (HR 961) intends to authorize the Department of Interior to prohibit aquaculture in the Great Lakes.  The Great Lakes are defined within the bill as being Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and “including the connecting waters thereof, to the extent that those lakes or waters, respectively, are subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.”  

The Preserve Fishing on Wild and Scenic River Act (HR 962) intends to authorize the Department of the Interior to prohibit operation of aquaculture facilities that contribute to pollution of wild and scenic rivers “unless the Secretary of the Interior has certified that such operation will not discharge a pollutant into a river any segment of which is a wild and scenic river.”  Pollutant is defined as “dredged spoil, solid waste, incinerator residue, sewage, garbage, sewage sludge, munitions, chemical wastes, biological materials, radioactive materials, heat, wrecked or discarded equipment, rock, sand, cellar dirt and industrial, municipal, and agricultural waste discharged into water.”  

The U.S. National Aquaculture Association (NAA) released an action alert encouraing aquaculturists to call or write their Representative and Senators to oppose these bills for the intended and unintended consequences of closing, or prohibiting the creation of, federal or state permitted farms authorized under the Clean Water Act or state law that grow and sell valuable aquatic animal or plant products for local, regional, national and international markets and create jobs and income for rural communities throughout much of the continental United States.  

Contact information for Representatives and Senators.

Information about the bills can be found at https://www.congress.gov/ by using the bill numbers as a search term.

 

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