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Where Does the Fish on Your Plate Come From?


You’ve heard of “peak oil.” Welcome to “peak fish.” Is there room for VC in fish farming and green ag?


By Eric Wesoff


Where does the fish on your plate come from?


Most likely it comes from a fish farm -- 50 percent of the fish in the global human food chain is farmed.


According to NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, approximately 84 percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported, and about half of that total is sourced from aquaculture. In 2009, aquaculture crossed the threshold of providing more than half of all seafood consumed worldwide.


With increases in population and consumer awareness of seafood’s health benefits, demand for fish is only going to increase. But because wild stocks are not projected to meet increased demand, future increases in fish supply are likely to come either from foreign aquaculture or increased domestic aquaculture production.


Agriculture 2.0, a recent event covering our food and farming challenges, devoted several sessions to this crucial environmental, commercial, and social issue. Feeding the planet presents immense challenges but provides some opportunities, as well -- hence the turnout from a number of venture firms with an interest in investing and disrupting this market. I spotted VCs from firms such as Kleiner Perkins, Firelake Capital and True North Venture Partners at the event.


I spoke with Kleiner Perkins partner Amol Deshpande at last year's event. He believes there is an investment opportunity in the agriculture space, but it is "painful and difficult to scale."


David Tze is the managing director of Aquacopia, a New York-based venture capital firm that invests in early-stage aquaculture companies with investments that include:


  • Ocean Farm Technologies: Deep-water net pens and open-ocean aquaculture systems

  • Open Blue Sea Farms: Open-ocean, caged "free-range" fish farmers off the north coast of Panama. Open Blue’s initial species is Cobia, a sashimi-grade, marine white fish.

  • Oberon: Fish meal replacement for aquafeed generated from waste water.

  • Futuna Blue: Domesticating the northern bluefin tuna, from egg, in Spain.

Tze spoke of the challenges facing VCs in this market: VC investors with no experience and few success stories, a lack of defensible IP and scalable business models, capital-intensity and limited management talent.


Environmental challenges from aquaculture include:


  • Nutrient and chemical wastes

  • Water use demands

  • Aquatic animal diseases

  • Invasive species

  • Potential competitive and genetic effects on wild species

  • Effects on endangered or protected species

  • Effects on protected and sensitive marine areas

  • Effects on habitat for other species

Michael Rubino of the NOAA aquaculture program staff spoke about fisheries and aquaculture in the U.S. He mentioned that doctors and nutritionists have urged the consumption of more seafood -- doubling seafood intake. That would grow U.S. seafood consumption from 6 million tons to 12 million tons. Where is that additional 6 million tons going to come from?


Marine aquaculture in the U.S. is mainly comprised of shellfish farming, but also includes farming of finfish and algae in coastal waters and hatchery production of fish and shellfish to restore fish stocks. Rubino mentioned that China is going to be a net importer of seafood starting next year and echoed the theme: "Most of our future fish is going to be from aquaculture."


Rubino gave a tour of U.S. aquaculture, which ranges from a booming oyster business in New England and the Chesapeake Bay, to large indoor growing systems in Mississippi for tilapia, cobia, and pompano, to open water aquaculture in Hawaii, to wild salmon starts in Alaska. (California has very little aquaculture because of regulatory constraints.)

Aaron Enz is a partner at Watershed Capital, a corporate financial advisory firm focused on clean technology and sustainable business. He said that the future of seafood is aquaculture -- he echoed that aquaculture is now 50 percent of a $400 billion market. He also claimed that 75 percent of fisheries are overexploited.

He cited the pain points for the status quo of aquaculture as being fishmeal and fish oil, coastal water permitting, safety concerns, and disease and antibiotics. The promise, according to Enz, is a paradigm shift in innovation with sustainable production methods that are scalable and commercially viable and that reduce stress on wild fisheries.

Here are a few more early-stage firms in the aquaculture market.


  • AgriMarine builds solid-wall containment systems designed to float in inter-tidal regions or fresh water bodies.

  • Kona Blue farms open ocean Yellow Tail in Hawaii.

  • Sweet Spring Salmon farms fresh water Coho salmon on land.

  • The Little Pearl is a caviar retailer supporting American caviar from sustainable and environmentally sustainable sources.

  • Umami farms bluefin tuna fed on whole, small pelagic fish with no chemicals, drugs or additives. The company has put resources into a propagation program, and asserts that commercially viable breeding of the northern bluefin tuna could become reality within a few years, eliminating the need for wild catch. Japan is a major customer.


Ray Hilborn, a professor of aquatic and fishery sciences at the University of Washington wrote in a recent op-ed that apocalyptic predictions about the future of fish stocks are exaggerated. The piece said, "Much of the earlier research pointed to declines in catches and concluded that therefore fish stocks must be in trouble. But there is little correlation between how many fish are caught and how many actually exist; over the past decade, for example, fish catches in the United States have dropped because regulators have lowered the allowable catch. On average, fish stocks worldwide appear to be stable, and in the United States they are rebuilding, in many cases at a rapid rate."


He concludes that, "The overall record of American fisheries management since the mid-1990s is one of improvement, not of decline."

Despite the size of the market, the big question for investors is: Are VC growth expectations and scaling requirements even feasible in the admittedly huge aquacultural or agricultural markets? Limited partners in VC firms aren't going to lower their expectations in order to invest in farms simply because it's the right thing to do. The hope is just as greentech became mainstream, so can green agriculture.


Here's a great talk on sustainable aquaculture.


We should consider implementing a National Marine Aquaculture policy, according to Rubino of the NOAA. He said, "We are at a proverbial crossroads -- and we need to take responsibility for our own consumption."


April 15, 2011 -


UAPB gains approval for doctorate in aquaculture, fisheries


Arkansas News Bureau

LITTLE ROCK — A new doctoral program in aquaculture and fisheries at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff was approved today by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board.


The board endorsed the new program during a meeting in Mountain Home. The program also was endorsed by ADHE Interim Director Shane Broadway and his staff.


School officials hope to enroll the first students into the program this fall.


UAPB’s program, according to an ADHE news release, has tremendous support from the state’s aquaculture industry. Arkansas’ $167 million industry has a total economic impact on the state of more than $440 million per year, including money that recirculates in the economy, the board heard.


“The Aquaculture/Fisheries Center of Excellence at UAPB is recognized as a leader in aquaculture/fisheries teaching, research and extension programs,” board spokeswoman Brandi Hinkle said in a news release.


Created in 1988, it combines resident instruction, research and extension responsibilities into one unit. The center has 47 faculty and staff, including 17 Ph.D. scientists.


Types of fish used in UAPB’s research range from catfish and minnows to goldfish. Students gain knowledge on ecology, pathology, production and marketing.


According to the state Department of Agriculture’s website, Arkansas is the birthplace of warm-water aquaculture in the U.S.


The state’s first commercial farms in the 1940s raised goldfish.


Arkansas’ aquaculture industry has diversified into more than 20 species of fish and crustaceans, according to the department’s website.


March 14, 2011 - 

Letter: FDA must revise fish-consumption advice

By Steven Hedlund, SeafoodSource editor

U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Tom Coburn (R.-Okla.) on Monday urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to revise its seafood-consumption advice for pregnant and nursing women in light of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which for the time encourage consumers to eat seafood at least twice a week for heart and brain health. Updated every five years, the new dietary guidelines were released in late January.

 Since 2004, the FDA and Environmental Protection Agency has warned pregnant and nursing women and young children to limit seafood intake to 12 ounces per week, limit albacore tuna intake to 6 ounces per week and avoid consuming swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish altogether due to the health risks associated with the neurotoxin methylmercury.

 In a 10 March letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Gillibrand and Coburn said the FDA-EPA advisory is inconsistent with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent recommendation and with scientific research confirming that the health benefits of eating seafood regularly far outweigh the risk.

 “While the [FDA-EPA advisory] is in many ways medically accurate, the recommendations communicate an overly risk-averse, precautionary principle that has led to unhealthy reductions in seafood consumption among pregnant women,” they said in the letter. Citing the dietary guidelines, they said “the benefits of consuming seafood far outweigh the risks, even for pregnant women,” and seafood’s nutritional value “is of particular importance” during fetal growth and development, as well as in early infancy and childhood.

 Gillibrand went on to say in a press release on Monday that reduced seafood consumption is “causing harm to fetal and child development.”

 “Consumers look to FDA for the most reliable source for dietary advice, yet their guidelines are six years old and inconsistent with more recent recommendations,” she said. “As a mother and a lawmaker, it is critical that the FDA provide the most up-to-date and scientific information on seafood consumption. Parents need this information to make educated decision for their families.”

 Gillibrand and Coburn asked Hamburg to respond to their letter within 30 days, including the FDA’s plans to update the 2004 advisory to be consistent with new dietary guidelines.

The letter is singed by 16 other congressmen and congresswomen, including Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).


March 11, 2011


Fish Farm Biosecurity Training for Employees:

DVD Available From the UAPB Aquaculture/Fisheries Center


The introduction of an important disease or aquatic nuisance species onto a fish farm can have devastating consequences. It is essential that employees recognize the importance of biosecurity measures and adopt them in their daily activities. Even the best fish farm biosecurity plans are only as good as the practices of farm employees.  

This Farm Training DVD was written at the request of fish farm owners. The DVD is intended to educate farm employees on basic biosecurity measures for fish farms and it emphasizes the consequences of disease and ANS introduction. The DVD has both English and Spanish versions. Dr. Andy Goodwin developed the presentation and narrated the English version; the Spanish version was narrated by Dr. Carole Engle. For a copy of the DVD, contact Casandra Hawkins Byrd, Aquaculture/Fisheries Center, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, 1200 N. University Drive, Mail Slot 4912, Pine Bluff, AR 71601, , (870) 575-8132.

March 8, 2011 - NAA Action Alert


NASS Advisory Committee Recommends

Reinstating Aquaculture Census


The Advisory Committee on Agriculture Statistics held its annual meeting February 22-23, 2011 in Washington, D.C.  This committee makes recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture related to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).


The following three recommendations were made that are relevant to the Census of Aquaculture:


  • The Advisory Committee recommended that NASS concentrate its efforts on its core mission of production agriculture (this includes aquaculture) during the upcoming years of likely budget reductions.

  • To cope with likely budget reductions, the Advisory Committee recommended that NASS decrease the frequency of scheduled surveys; for example, to conduct the farm and ranch irrigation survey and the horticulture survey every 6 or 7 years as opposed to every 5 years.

  • The Advisory Committee recommended that the Census of Aquaculture be reinstated as early as possible, taking advantage of moving one of the above surveys to a 6 or 7-year cycle.


NASS Administrator Cynthia Clark and Associate Administrator Joseph Reilly will present a budget request for specific surveys to be conducted in 2013 to the Secretary of Agriculture in June 2011.  Since the 2012 budget has already been approved, the earliest that the Census of Aquaculture could be reinstated would be in 2013, collecting data for the 2012 calendar year.


The Aquaculture Census data is crucial to the development and growth of the domestic aquaculture industry.  The last Census of Aquaculture was in 2005.  If the data had not been available for use in the EPA effluents rule-making process, belief is the final rule would have been very different and far more onerous.  2005 data is still being used in the decision-making process on current policy issues from EPA, USFWS, APHIS, FSIS, state water regulations, and state natural resources departments.  


Without Census of Aquaculture data, it is likely that only catfish and trout would have been declared eligible for the feed assistance program.  There are many other species of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, plants, etc. that are part of aquaculture and do not appear anywhere in the data other than the Census of Aquaculture


NAA urges all members to contact USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting the Aquaculture Census be reinstated with funding in the 2013 budget.  Please copy NASS Administrator Cynthia Clark and Associate Administrator Joseph Reilly on the correspondence.  It would also be beneficial to contact your Congressional representatives, urging them to contact Secretary Tom Vilsack with a request for the 2013 Aquaculture Census.  Contact information for Secretary Vilsack and NASS staff is as follows:


Tom Vilsack

USDA Secretary

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Room 200-A Whitten Building
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250



Cynthia Clark

NASS Administrator

Room 5041 South Building

1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250



Joseph Reilly

NASS Associate Administrator

Room 5041 South Building

1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250




 March 7, 2011 - NAA Action Alert


Bill HR 872 to Impact

NPDES Permitting


Last week Bill HR 872 was introduced in the House of Representatives to amend the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify Congressional intent regarding the regulation of the use of pesticides in or near navigable waters, and for other purposes, see attached.  In short, this legislation will provide a Congressional "fix" to the Clean Water Act NPDES situation, basically making FIFRA the law of the land regarding regulation of the use of pesticides in or near navigable waters.

As of today, the bill has 22 co-sponsors:

Rep Gibbs, Bob [OH-18]
Rep Baca, Joe [CA-43]
Rep Boswell, Leonard L. [IA-3]
Rep Cardoza, Dennis A. [CA-18]
Rep Costa, Jim [CA-20] - 3/2/2011
Rep Crawford, Eric A. "Rick" [AR-1]
Rep Graves, Sam [MO-6]
Rep Herger, Wally [CA-2]
Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17]
Rep Kissell, Larry [NC-8]
Rep Lucas, Frank D. [OK-3]
Rep Mica, John L. [FL-7]
Rep Neugebauer, Randy [TX-19]
Rep Owens, William L. [NY-23]
Rep Peterson, Collin C. [MN-7]
Rep Rooney, Thomas J. [FL-16]
Rep Ross, Mike [AR-4]
Rep Sablan, Gregorio Kilili Camacho [MP]
Rep Schilling, Robert T. [IL-17]
Rep Schmidt, Jean [OH-2]
Rep Simpson, Michael K. [ID-2]
Rep Tipton, Scott [CO-3]

If your Representative is not currently a co-sponsor of H.R. 872, the NAA urges you to send him/her an email asking them to do so.  Go to:

As background info, the following is a  letter supported by the National and Regional Weed Science Societies during a Congressional hearing last week regarding NPDES permit problems:

"Dear ______________ ,

The undersigned organizations represent a diverse group of public and private sector stakeholders who could be significantly impacted by a new federal policy under which EPA and delegated states will issue Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permits for certain pesticide applications.  This unprecedented action is the result of a 2009 decision of the 6thCircuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

This national permit proposal couldn't come at a worse time as our national economy struggles to recover from the recession.  This proposal will hit all levels of government and industry, causing further unfunded mandates on fragile industries and governments, creating additional red tape, squeezing existing resources, and threatening further legal liabilities.

Pesticides play an important role in protecting the nation's food supply, public health, natural resources, infrastructure and green spaces. They are used not only to protect crops from destructive pests, but also to manage mosquitoes and other disease carrying pests, invasive weeds and animals that can choke our waterways, impede power generation, and damage our forests and recreation areas.  

For most of the past four decades, water quality concerns from pesticide applications were addressed within the registration process under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) rather than a Clean Water Act permitting program.  We believe these NPDES permits will not provide any identifiable additional environmental benefits.

The permits' complex compliance requirements will impose tremendous new burdens on thousands of small businesses, farms, communities, counties, and state and federal agencies legally responsible for pest control, and expose them to legal jeopardy through citizen suits over paperwork violations.  Ultimately, the permit could jeopardize jobs, the economy and human health protections across America as regulators and permittees struggle to implement and comply with these permits.

We ask Congress to take action before the permits become final. The permit includes unrealistic deadlines for state delegated implementation and compliance, and it has become abundantly clear that many states will not meet the court ordered implementation date of April 9, 2011.  Even at this late date, EPA has yet to release a final permit.  Moreover, pesticide users will not have time to fully understand or come into compliance with the permits by the deadline, further increasing their liability.   

Time is of the essence for Congress to address this looming regulatory threat. We are ready to help you in this effort in any way we can.  




 February 27, 2011 -


Striper reels in enough votes to be state fish

By Lee Tolliver

The striped bass has been named the official state fish, but it didn't happen without a fight.


The biggest opponent to the title came from a much-debated fish that is a mainstay of the striper's diet - menhaden.


SB 940 passed easily in the Senate and was forwarded to the House.


There, Del. Jackson Miller amended it to give the honor to the menhaden - a small, oily fish harvested for Omega fatty acids and an important component of the Chesapeake Bay because it is a filter feeder.


Miller, a Republican from northern Virginia, argued that the menhaden was more important to the state economy than a striper, despite numbers that show the recreational angling community spends millions of dollars each year in pursuit of rockfish.


When the amendment was debated on the floor, Accomac Democrat Lynwood Lewis reminded the legislators that a Hampton fourth-grade class had lobbied hard for the original bill.


Miller's amendment lost 49-48.


With the menhaden out of the running, the House voted overwhelmingly - 80- 16 - to honor the striped bass.


February 25, 2011 - NAA Industry Update


AFS Publishes New Drug Guide


The American Fisheries Society - Fish Culture Section has published a new guide to the use of aquaculture drugs.


The Working Group on Aquaculture Drugs, Chemicals, and Biologics has announced the publication of the Guide to Using Drugs, Biologics and Other Chemicals in Aquaculture and a companion tool, the Treatment Calculator, to assist in the calculation of the amount of drug, biologic or chemical to be used for specific aquatic animal treatment needs.


The Guide is being published exclusively in electronic format to facilitate efficient and timely updates in our ever-changing regulatory climate.


For more information about the Guide and Treatment Calculator, as well where to obtain your free downloadable copy click here or go to:



February 23, 2011 - NAA Industry Update


USDA Announces Proposed FSIS Catfish Rule


The U.S. Department Agriculture (USDA) has announced a proposed rule requiring inspection of catfish and catfish products by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). USDA is proposing these regulations to implement provisions as required by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, also known as the 2008 Farm Bill.

The 2008 Farm Bill amended the Federal Meat Inspection Act making catfish an amenable species under the Act, thereby requiring that all catfish undergo inspection by FSIS. In addition, the Secretary must take into account the conditions under which catfish are raised and transported to processing establishments as part of the new inspection program.

The 2008 Farm Bill requires the Secretary of Agriculture to define the term "catfish" for this new inspection program. The proposed rule provides two options for the definition of catfish and seeks public comment on the issue. One option is the current labeling definition in the 2002 Farm Bill, which includes all species in the family Ictaluridae. The other option is to define catfish as all species in the order Siluriformes, including the three families typically found in human food channels, including Ictaluridae, Pangasiidae, and Clariidae.

The proposed rule describes the new requirements that will apply to catfish produced in or imported to the United States. Among these requirements is that products labeled as "catfish" must bear either the FSIS mark of inspection or a mark of inspection from the country from which it was exported.

The proposed rule also describes how FSIS will inspect U.S. catfish farms as well as transportation from farms to processing establishments, as required under the 2008 Farm Bill. In this regard, FSIS will focus on factors affecting the safety of the product being produced, such as water quality and feed.

The proposed rule anticipates a transition period during which domestic and international operations will come into compliance with the catfish inspection program. Once the catfish inspection program rules are issued in final form, FSIS will follow-up by announcing the implementation dates for key provisions in the rule.

Comments must be received on or before June 24, 2011, and may be submitted per the following: through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at; by mail to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, FSIS Docket Clerk, Room 2-2127, George Washington Carver Center, 5601 Sunnyside Ave., Mailstop 5272, Beltsville, MD 20705; or by e-mail to All comments must identify FSIS and docket number FSIS-2008-0031. Comments will be available for viewing on the FSIS website at In addition to a public comment period, FSIS intends to hold public meetings on the proposed rule, which will be announced at a later date.



 February 23, 2011 - NAA Industry Update


New Canadian Import Controls
Effective December, 2012


On December 22, 2010, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) published Canada Gazette, Part II, which changes their Health of Animals Regulations and Reportable Diseases Regulations.  These changes will result in new import controls for aquatic animals, which will include an import permit issued from CFIA and a zoosanitary certificate issued in the country of origin.  This effort is focused on preventing the introduction, and/or spread within Canada, of certain animal diseases.  The Agency has published the regulated lists of aquatic species (finfish, mollusc, and crustaceans) and aquatic animal diseases.  The regulation can be read at:


The regulation was adopted on December 22, 2010 and will come into effect December 10, 2011.  Once these regulations are effective the listed finfish, mollusks, and crustacean species, including live and dead animals for specific end uses, will require aquatic animal import permits issued by CFIA and zoosanitary certification (i.e., a health certificate issued by a veterinarian and endorsed by the appropriate Competent Animal Health Authority) from all exporting countries including the US.  However, the specific conditions of the import permit and language of the health requirements are still being developed by CFIA.


The United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS), United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries), and United States Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) are working with National Association of State Aquaculture Coordinators (NASAC), National Aquaculture Association (NAA), and other stakeholders to collect aquatic animal export information, submitted on a voluntary basis by affected stakeholders and exporters, pertaining to U.S. aquatic animal producer locations, species production, and intended animal use.  This information will be used in order to assist Canada in the development of their specific import requirements and language (i.e., permit and zoosanitary conditions) in order to facilitate continuous US trade in aquatic animals and products with Canada.



February 18, 2011 -


Stripers Forever fighting deadly fish disease

By Ken Moran


There is a research project that is trying to stop a disease that is killing off striped bass.

Stripers Forever has announced an outreach initiative to raise money for research on mycobacteriosis, a deadly fish disease that is increasingly prevalent in the Chesapeake Bay where the bulk of stripers that migrate up and down the Atlantic Coast are spawned.


Mycobacteriosis is believed to be nearly always fatal to infected striped bass and can create serious health problems for anglers and anyone else handling those fish before they are cooked. Fishery scientists estimate that more than 75 percent of all striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay system are infected with mycobacteriosis.

There is no known cure for this insidious disease which represents a major threat to the well-being of stripers and thus the future of recreational and commercial striped bass fishing from Maine to North Carolina.

The fund raising appeal being administered by Stripers Forever is called The Mycobacteriosis Research Initiative (MRI).


Donations to MRI will benefit the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), the leading authority on mycobacteriosis. Checks should be made payable to "VIMS Foundation" (write "For Myco Research" on the memo line) and mailed to VIMS Foundation, P.O. Box 1693, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8779.


A link to a secure site for credit card donations appears along with more information about myco under featured links on the left side of the Stripers Forever home page (

February 9, 2011 - NAA Action Alert


Pyrotechnic Permit Required

Beginning May 1, 2011


Beginning May 1, the Federal explosives laws in 18 U.S.C. Chapter 40, and the corresponding regulations in 27 CFR, Part 555 make it unlawful for any person who does not hold a Federal license or permit to transport, ship, cause to be transported, or receive any explosive materials.  This includes the need for a permit for the use of explosive pest control devices used in some cases to help protect aquacultural crops from bird depredation. 


Senators Cochran, Pryor, and Wicker have introduced an amendment (No. 24) to the FAA Reauthorization Bill (S.223), which would allow ATF to exempt end-users of explosive pest-control devices from the licensing requirement in the Safe Explosives Act of 2020.  The NAA urges all members to contact their Senators and Congressmen requesting support of this amendment.  One talking point is that farmers can purchase shotgun shells to legally kill fish eating migratory birds under a federal depredation permit but will no longer be able to buy explosive pest-control devices (large firecrackers) to scare these same birds.  A shotgun shell actually has about the same explosive material (gunpowder) as an explosive pest-control device.


The following notice and web-link provides guidance on applying for the required new permit and instructions on proper storage. 


The Federal explosives laws in 18 U.S.C. Chapter 40, and the corresponding regulations in 27 CFR, Part 555 make it unlawful for any person who does not hold a Federal license or permit to transport, ship, cause to be transported, or receive any explosive materials.  Individuals or companies must obtain a Federal explosives license prior to engaging in the business of manufacturing, importing, or dealing in explosive pest control devices (EPCDs).  Federal law also prohibits the distribution of explosive materials to, or the receipt of explosive materials by, any person other than a licensee or permittee.  Therefore, any individual or company that purchases or otherwise acquires EPCDs must possess a Federal explosives license or permit.


WS as a Government agency is exempt from the explosive permit or license requirement.  This exemption also includes any Federal agency or any State or political jurisdiction thereof, including cities, municipal airports, and other municipal Government entities.  Cooperators wishing to obtain a BATF license may find information and application forms at:



February 1, 2011 - NAA Industry Update


U.S. Government: Eat Fish Twice a Week

For the first time, the U.S. government is advising all Americans, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, to eat seafood at least twice a week for heart and brain benefits. Previously, the twice-a-week recommendation was limited to heart patients.


On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S Department of Health and Human Services released the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, as required by Congress every five years. The guidelines serve as the basis for federal nutrition policy.


In the guidelines, the agencies said: “Moderate evidence shows that consumption of about 8 ounces per week of a variety of seafood, which provide an average consumption of 250 milligrams per day of EPA and DHA, is associated with reduced cardiac deaths among individuals with and without pre-existing cardiovascular disease.”


They continued: “In addition to the health benefits for the general public, the nutritional value of seafood is of particular importance during fetal growth and development, as well as in early infancy and childhood. 


In a report last June, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee declared that Americans eat too little seafood and should be encouraged to eat more for better brain development in babies and heart health in adults. The committee, made up of more than a dozen nutrition experts, was tasked with recommending changes to the dietary guidelines for Americans.


“Consumption of two servings of seafood per week … is associated with reduced cardiac mortality from [coronary heart disease] or sudden death in persons with and without [cardiovascular disease],” said the report.


Jennifer McGuire, the National Fisheries Institute’s registered dietitian, said the mainstream media’s coverage of the recommendation may be even more beneficial than the federal nutrition policy itself. “We know the media is the No. 1 source of nutritional information for consumers,” she told SeafoodSource on Monday. “Now there’s clear, undisputed recommendations for the media to stick to.”


McGuire added that the new dietary guidelines may lead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency to change their seafood-consumption advisory for methylmercury, which warns pregnant and breastfeeding women to limit seafood intake to 12 ounces per week.


BySteven Hedlund, SeafoodSource editor,