NWAA Issues Statement on the AQUAA Act

Industry Needs the Right to Farm, A Guarantee of Dedicated Space in which to Farm, and the Authorization to Do So

Covington, Wash. — The Northwest Aquaculture Alliance (NWAA), an organization that represents aquaculture producers and suppliers in the US Pacific region, commends the work of US Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Marco Rubio (R-FL), for introducing S 3100, the bill known as the Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act to the United States Senate.

We are encouraged to see the efforts underway in the United States, which currently ranks 17th in the world in aquaculture production, to create a regulatory framework that advances the sustainable production of aquatic foods in federal waters.

Given the urgent need in this country to lessen our dependence on imported food by utilizing our own aquatic resources and technical expertise, we view the introduction of this bill as another important step in raising awareness of aquaculture as a food security strategy. We view this legislation as building on Executive Order 13921, Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth, introduced by the previous AdministrationWe are encouraged by the across-the-aisle collaboration that has gone into the AQUAA Act and thank everyone involved in this effort to keep aquaculture in the federal limelight.

At the same time, we encourage policymakers, federal agencies, and industry to more fully discuss concerns regarding excessive and duplicative regulations and the rights of our farms to occupy space in the US Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).  Ours is already one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world, and we believe that what is needed is a framework that provides what investors seek and companies need:  The right to farm, a guarantee of dedicated space in which to farm, and the authorization to do so.