Ocean Stewards applaud new draft legislation for sustainable offshore aquaculture
The Ocean Stewards Institute applauded the introduction of H.R. 4363, the National Sustainable Offshore Aquaculture Act of 2009, as an important first step towards establishing an overarching regulatory framework for responsible, sustainable and environmentally conscious open ocean mariculture.
Rep. Lois Capps drafted the landmark legislation with extensive input from both environmental and aquaculture interests. For the first time, this bill seeks a balanced approach to the environmental and economic aspects of developing a domestic offshore aquaculture industry.
"It is a moral imperative for the United States to take the lead on sustainable aquaculture development," says Neil Anthony Sims, President of the Ocean Stewards Institute, the Kailua-Kona, Hawaii - based organization dedicated to promoting responsible open ocean mariculture.
"This legislation provides opportunity for U.S. companies to produce sustainable and abundant seafood, using U.S. environmental standards and food safety standards. Seafood grown in U.S. offshore waters will be a model for the world to follow."
Recognizing that the lengthy legislative process has only just begun, the Ocean Stewards commended Congresswoman Capps for her leadership on this important issue.
“This is a very workable bill at such an early stage,” said Sims, “and we look forward to working with the Committee to refining it into much-needed, functioning legislation that establishes a sensible offshore aquaculture policy.”