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USA - NOAA and the U.S. Department of Commerce released for comment complementary draft national aquaculture policies

The intent of the policies is to guide Commerce and NOAA's actions and decisions on aquaculture and to provide a national approach for supporting sustainable aquaculture. The public is invited to comment on both draft policies for the next 60 days

February 9, 2011

USA - NOAA and the U.S. Department of Commerce released for comment complementary draft national aquaculture policies

On February 9, 2011, NOAA and the U.S. Department of Commerce released complementary draft national aquaculture policies that support sustainable marine aquaculture in the United States. The intent of the policies is to guide Commerce and NOAA's actions and decisions on aquaculture and to provide a national approach for supporting sustainable aquaculture. The public is invited to comment on both draft policies for the next 60 days.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seeking public comment on a draft policy that will enable the development of sustainable marine aquaculture within the context of NOAA鈥檚 stewardship missions and broader social and economic goals.

The intent of the draft policy is to guide NOAA鈥檚 actions and decisions on aquaculture and to provide a national approach for supporting sustainable commercial production, expanding restoration aquaculture, and researching and developing new technologies.

The draft policy is part of NOAA鈥檚 national approach to sustainable seafood, encompassing both aquaculture and capture fisheries.

The draft NOAA policy provides overarching guidance and context for domestic aquaculture to contribute to the U.S. seafood supply, promote job creation, support coastal communities and important commercial and recreational fisheries, and help restore habitat and endangered species. The draft policy features:

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 A reaffirmation of the importance of aquaculture

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 A 9-point overarching policy statement to guide agency actions

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 A set of updated agency priorities to implement the policy through initiatives in four areas:

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Science and research

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Regulation

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Innovation, partnerships and outreach and

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 International cooperation

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Detailed principles for aquaculture in federal waters.

The draft policy is intended to be broad enough to encompass the full range of issues that need to be addressed by NOAA, yet specific enough to provide guidance for agency decisions and actions on these issues. For example, once finalized, the policy will guide NOAA鈥檚 activities relating to investments in scientific research, consultations with federal agencies on permits in state waters, stock and habitat restoration, requests for permitting of aquaculture facilities in federal waters, and international activities.

The draft policy responds to public input submitted to NOAA during 2010 by emphasizing the protection of wild species, acknowledging the importance of sound science, and takingnother suggestions into account. It also affirms that sustainable U.S. marine aquaculture is vital to the U.S. seafood supply, the economic vitality of coastal communities, and the maintenance of working waterfronts.

The draft policy also reflects the priorities of NOAA鈥檚 Next Generation Strategic Plan and of the Administration鈥檚 National Ocean Policy and National Goals for Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning. To view the policy, go to: http://aquaculture.noaa.gov.

Informational Briefings for the Public

The NOAA Aquaculture Program will host a series of informational briefings for stakeholders interested in learning more about the policies. The briefings are as follows:

鈥eb. 9, 2011

鈼4:30 鈥 5:15 p.m. (Eastern)

Call-in 800- 779-1537

Passcode: Aquaculture

鈥eb. 16, 2011

鈼10:00 鈥 11:00 a.m. (Eastern)

Call-in - 800-369-1823

Passcode: Aquaculture

鈼4:00 鈥 5:00 p.m. (Eastern)

Call-in # - 800-369-1823

Passcode: Aquaculture

鈥eb. 23, 2011

鈼10:00 鈥 11:00 a.m. (Eastern)

Call-in # - 800-369-1823

Passcode: Aquaculture

鈼4:00 鈥 5:00 p.m. (Eastern)

Call-in # - 800-369-1823

Passcode: Aquaculture

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