The American Soybean Association, as an active member of the Soy Aquaculture Alliance, took part in a series of meetings to promote domestic marine aquaculture in Washington recently.
The SAA delegation met with top NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) officials, as well as staff from USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture and the Agricultural Research Service. They also talked to representatives of aquaculture companies with staff in Washington.
The finalization of the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Plan, which would create a permitting system for aquaculture production in the Gulf, is a top priority for soybean farmers. The final rule is pending release and still awaiting approval at the Office of Management and Budget. ASA submitted comments on the Plan in October of 2014, stating, “We see it as the first step to finally building a commercial offshore aquaculture industry in the United States.”
Aquaculture is the fastest growing form of food production in the world, and the soybean industry is the largest provider of protein for aquaculture applications. An important part of ASA’s work is to support research on plant-based feeds to position soy as the economically viable and more environmentally friendly alternative to fish meal and fish oil.
ASA looks forward to the release of the Gulf plan and the long-awaited investment in a domestic marine aquaculture industry.
Source: High Plains Journal. Read the full article here.