March 14, 2022 USTFA

National Strategic Plan for Aquaculture Research Now Available

The Joint Subcommittee on Aquaculture, a subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council, has released their National Strategic Plan for Aquaculture Research. This document represents a cross-agency, governmental strategy to support a robust U.S. aquaculture sector through innovative research.

View the Executive Summary Below. Read/download the full Plan here.

Executive Summary

U.S. aquaculture offers Americans safe, affordable, and healthy food choices produced with minimal impacts on the environment. Aquaculture is the most efficient form of animal protein production in the world and currently provides more than half of the seafood consumed globally. Conservation and fisheries organizations also depend on aquaculture for producing and restoring threatened fish species and supplementing natural reproduction of wild species of commercial and recreational importance. In addition, aquaculture producers and industries that support aquaculture such as animal feeds, health management companies, and equipment manufacturers are vital contributors to rural economies.

U.S. aquaculture is regulated by a suite of environmental, human health, animal health and consumer protection laws driving producers to utilize environmentally efficient farming systems, with modest space and freshwater requirements, having low carbon footprints, and often providing restorative ecosystem services. Expanding U.S. aquaculture will diversify and complement our well-managed fisheries and terrestrial food production systems by adding an important underdeveloped sector to enhance the resiliency of the overall US food supply. Americans can help to ensure global food security for future generations, increase our capacity to mitigate the effects and impacts of climate change, and respond to the economic challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic by providing jobs in rural, urban, coastal and tribal communities. by strategic expansion of US aquaculture.

This plan serves to communicate Federal priorities for research and technology development that will facilitate responsible expansion of domestic aquaculture. This plan will be foundational for supporting a science-based industry that increases seafood availability, creates jobs, and provides economic and recreational opportunities while providing for the restoration and promotion of healthy aquatic ecosystems. Federal aquaculture research programs are for the benefit of the American people, inclusive of current and future generations. This plan identifies critical objectives for the following strategic goals that will support U.S. aquaculture development through Federal agency and interagency research, science, and technology coordination over a 5-year term.

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