August 19, 2011 - NAA
Test for Aquaculture
Programs - OMB Directs
Agencies Cut 2013 Budgets
It is now public
knowledge that the Obama administration through OMB has directed
department and agency heads to prepare budget requests for
fiscal year 2013 that are at least 10 percent below their
current appropriation level. The following are a few key points
related to this new directive.
To identify savings,
agencies cannot propose across-the-board reductions or
reductions to mandatory spending in appropriations bills,
reclassifications of existing discretionary spending to
mandatory, or any new user fees to offset existing spending.
Agencies can include funding reduction proposals that fall into
those categories as separate items on their own merits, or for
consideration as alternatives to the main cuts outlined in the
Agencies are directed
to identify programs that are cost-effective and "provide the
best opportunity for economic growth," by eliminating duplicate
or inefficient programs. Agencies should consider program
integration, reorganization, and realignment of resources.
This new budget
environment will likely test the recognized importance and role
of aquaculture programs in numerous federal agencies that
standout as drivers of economic growth with high performance in
outcomes in the context of other sectors in agriculture and
fisheries. As referenced in a previous narrative on the role of
federal research and development programs to advance aquaculture
in the Nation, the future capacity and competency of our
collective assets and resources will be challenged now more than
ever before. I will continue to report on new developments
related to federal aquaculture programs that may be of interest
to some in our Nation’s aquaculture community. I also receive
reports on new developments at state levels that are impacting
state government services as well as programs in our diverse
academic community with mission areas in research, education and
ourselves to seek innovative ways to address critical needs
through novel collaborations, partnerships, information and
communication technologies, and other new approaches that
optimize the performance for desired outcomes with our existing
assets and resources.
Leader for Aquaculture
U.S. Department of
National Institute of
Food and Agriculture
August 18, 2011 -
Commercial Taking Of Striped Bass From Hudson
M. Cuomo has signed a law to prohibit the taking of striped bass
from the Hudson River for commercial purposes, extending a ban
that has existed since the 1970s.
“The law prohibits
the taking of striped bass for commercial purposes from the
Hudson River located between the George Washington Bridge and
the federal dam in Troy. Striped bass fishing is popular among
anglers and the Hudson River is New York’s main spawning ground
for striped bass, attracting many recreational fishermen each
Because of PCB
contamination, the New York State Department of Environmental
Conservation currently bans consumption of fish from
approximately 40 miles of the Hudson from Ft. Edward downstream
to Troy and also bans most commercial fishing in the entire
The New York State
Department of Health also advises children and women of
childbearing age against eating any fish from the Hudson River.
further ensures that striped bass with possible PCB
contamination are not commercially sold, while also helping
maintain the striped bass population in the Hudson River for
recreational fishing. The law takes effect in 120 days and will
sunset on April 1, 2015.
Striped bass dying in record
numbers at Jordan Lake
McClatchy News Service
to Jordan Lake are finding the beaches littered with dead fish
after the largest die-off of striped bass in the history of the
than 5,000 striped bass have died in Jordan Lake since Aug. 1;
state wildlife officials counted 1,800 on Aug. 9 alone.
affected area includes the Haw River near Robeson Creek to the
main basin of the lake near the U.S. 64 bridge.
kill is due to what biologists call a "dissolved oxygen/
temperature squeeze," according to Brian McRae, Piedmont Region
fishery supervisor with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
In the deeper portions of the lake, the water is cooler, but
there is less oxygen; meanwhile in the upper part of the water,
the oxygen supply is more plentiful, but the water is hot.
get squeezed from both sides," McRae says. "The record summer
temperatures finally put them over the edge."
water temperature in Jordan Lake has hovered around 84 degrees
since early July, chronically stressing the striped bass, which,
more so than other fish in the reservoir, are susceptible to
temperature extremes. They prefer water in the 80–81-degree
water increases their metabolism, which means they need to eat
more, but they don't want to eat," McRae explains.
wildlife officials have excluded other causes for the fish kill,
such as excessive algae blooms, which can also deplete the water
of oxygen, because so far only striped bass have been affected.
Larger bass, those 18–30 inches, and a favorite of anglers, are
dying in greater numbers than smaller fish, whose metabolisms
wildlife officials restock the lake every spring with about
70,000 striped bass, anglers could catch fewer of them this
winter until the next crop of fish moves in.
Lake is a "pretty severe environment" for striped bass, McRae
says, adding, "We never thought striped bass would do well in
the system." However, under normal conditions, the bass have
thrived, likely because the food supply is adequate and the fish
have enough reserves to endure the stress.
this year's heat wave has stressed them beyond what they could
withstand. More than 6,000 striped bass in the lake could die
before temperatures return to normal.
summer has broken all semblance of normal.
Raleigh has hit 100 degrees or higher nine days since July 1,
including five consecutive days from July 20–24, according to
data from the National Weather Service.
average temperature for July was 83.7 degrees, the warmest on
days in July had record highs.
high minimums -- meaning day's low temperature -- happened on
seven occasions that month, including July 24 when the low
"dipped" to only 79 degrees.
only thing that will turn it around is colder weather," McRae
August 15, 2011 - NAA Industry Update
Proposed USDA Traceability Rule
APHIS is seeking public comment
on a proposed change to existing regulations that pertain to the
interstate movement of livestock.
proposed rule, unless specifically exempted, livestock belonging
to species covered by this rulemaking that are moved interstate
would have to be officially identified and accompanied by an
interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other
documentation. The purpose of this rulemaking is to improve the
ability to trace livestock in the event that disease is found.
At this time,
farmed aquatic animal species are NOT considered under this
proposed rule. In the future, requirements pertaining to
interstate movement of farmed aquatic animals may be considered
by APHIS. This would involve regulatory changes through the
official rule making process that includes public comment.
See below on
how to obtain more information on this proposed rule and how to
submit public comments.
proposing to establish minimum national official identification
and documentation requirements for the traceability of livestock
moving interstate. Under this proposed rule, unless
specifically exempted, livestock belonging to species covered by
this rulemaking that are moved interstate would have to be
officially identified and accompanied by an interstate
certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation.
The proposed regulations specify approved forms of official
identification for each species but would allow the livestock
covered under this rulemaking to be moved interstate with
another form of identification, as agreed upon by animal health
officials in the shipping and receiving States or Tribes. The
purpose of this rulemaking is to improve the ability to trace
livestock in the event that disease is found.
consider all comments received on or before November 9, 2011.
You may submit
comments by either of the following methods:
eRulemaking Portal - Go to:
Mail/Commercial Delivery - Send your comment to:
Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS
Road Unit 118
Federal Register notice is Docket No. APHIS–2009–0091.
August 9, 2011
Conn. man lands record-size bass
WESTBROOK, Conn. - A Connecticut man says he hopes an 80-pound
bass that he caught in Long Island Sound will qualify for a
Greg Myerson of North Branford reeled in the striped bass
Thursday night near Westbrook, Conn.
Jack’s Shoreline Bait & Tackle, a shop in Westbrook, said it
weighs 81.88 lbs. and is 54 inches long.
Myerson said yesterday he is taking steps to have the fish
certified by the International Game Fish Association. The
association said the process could take weeks.
The association’s website says the current world record for
striped bass was set by a 78-pound fish caught off Atlantic
Myerson, a 43-year-old life-long fisherman, says he hooked the
fish just after sunset using live eels as bait.
August 2, 2011 - NAA Industry Update
Public R&D Role in
US Aquaculture Community
I am sharing
some facts and personal perspectives regarding the impact of
public (Federal and state) spending cuts in aquaculture R&D
budgets that have occurred recently and are likely to become
more dramatic in the near term. Having dedicated 40+ years to
the aquaculture profession in various roles, this issue is near
and dear to me. A recent study on public agriculture research
spending concluded that future growth in U.S. agriculture is
predicated on long-term investments in public agricultural
research and development (R&D). Productivity growth also
springs from agricultural extension, farmer education, rural
infrastructure, private agricultural R&D, and technology
transfers, but the force of these factors is compounded by
public agricultural research. Unlike more established and
larger agriculture industry sectors, there is very limited
private sector R&D investment in aquaculture because the US
sector is relatively small, diffuse, and diversified. Also
because of its broad diversity, much research and development
are done on a species, environment, and system specific basis.
spending cuts coupled with cuts in state budgets dedicated to
many higher education programs, such as land grant university
agriculture experiment stations, are already closing out or
reducing vital capacity for some aquaculture programs. Future
increases in public spending for aquaculture are increasingly
uncertain especially if there is a lack of optimism and new
momentum for future growth. US aquaculture R&D and extension
programs are relatively young compared to the long-standing
programs in traditional agriculture and fisheries. Much of
today’s aquaculture capacity and competencies have been created
within the past 30 years. A critical mass of trained
aquaculture expertise, experience and infrastructure have been
achieved and have attracted industry partnerships and support by
solving many important real-world problems. These programs have
generated and moved new discovery knowledge and technologies to
application by industry. Some people always question the value
and impact of federal or publically funded research and
development. Nevertheless, new sciences, basic discoveries, and
novel tools often take time to reach an application stage as
they create the foundation for new understanding and knowledge.
Concerns about the value of public research are often related to
anticipating tangible benefits or effectively solving some very
complex problems in aquatic systems over impractically short
time frames. We all need to continuously seek steps to shorten
the time lag from discovery to application, and public efforts
should focus on this sense of urgency in problem solving
integrated with addressing longer-term questions. The
short-term view can mislead the actual progress realized in
efficiency and productivity gains over the past decade and
more. Many improvements and achievements have come from day in
day out scientific endeavor. Technologies, production levels,
and profitability have improved for many species sectors and
production systems that actually support and even enhance
today’s often-cited sustainability goals. The examples of
science driven progress are numerous and likely clear to all
when evaluated over the past several decades (think catfish,
salmon, trout, and oysters as some examples).
investments were made to realize the potential that existed and
still is largely underdeveloped in the United States to grow an
economically important and ‘sustainable’ industry across the
diversity of our country’s natural resources and aquatic
ecosystems from inland freshwater to coastal marine with a large
menu of established, emerging, and new future species. In some
cases, this potential has been developed but it still faces many
diverse challenges for broader realization. Federal-state R&D
and educational investments with private-sector entrepreneurs
and pioneers created the current status of the blue revolution
in the United States. Continued federal and state investments
and those by private-sector companies and pioneers will also be
the critical drivers for the future pace and direction of
aquaculture development in our Nation. Certainly, other factors
beyond traditional R&D and extension programs continue to
challenge aquaculture growth attributed in part to
profitability, risks, policies, regulations, public perception,
global trade, and other factors.
The recent and
further anticipated spending cuts to federal agency budgets
should cause reflection on the long-term investments that have
created our ‘core’ capacity of scientific and educational
competencies over decades to help realize more of the Nation’s
potential for balanced economic development and ecological
sustainability. Extension programs in some states are being
impacted particularly hard as budget savings are mostly tied to
cutting salaries and positions. Many positions are not tenure
track but continuing annual appointments. Publicly supported
programs need to be accountable for their performance,
relevancy, and quality in delivering valued public goods and
benefits. The US aquaculture community should realize that
these assets are critically important today and needed in the
future. The industry and other vested stakeholders should
assess those public assets regarded as vital to future
development and profitable positions in real-world domestic and
global markets. Because of budget line categories and new
vulnerabilities in the budgetary process, some public programs
with long-standing reputations for high performance have been
terminated and others may be lost over the next several years.
Many agency and departmental heads will be faced with difficult
choices on which programs to maintain, reduce, or eliminate.
Once some of the ‘core’ capacity and competencies erode and
weaken, renewal of these programs in the future becomes even
more uncertain. With the loss of core competencies and
capacities comes concerns about recruiting top talent required
to transition US aquaculture into the next generation of
systems, technologies, and practices. This new talent will be
required to gain competitive and profitable advantages in
seafood markets as well as the ability to address new challenges
related to shifting societal priorities and use of natural
resources for commercial production.
are examples of the level of recent losses of funds for several
USDA agencies and programs specific to aquaculture:
Plant Protection Service-Wildlife Services (APHIS): $223,000
Research Service (ARS): $4,926,700
Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS): $800,000
Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA): $9,793,000
budgetary landscape will drive new relationships between and
among publically funded research and extension programs,
industry, and other NGO partners. It is not business as usual
today, nor will it be in the future. The success of solving
complex problems or implementing new initiatives will depend
more and more on increasing efficiencies by smartly integrating
unique program strengths into new models of collaboration to
take full advantage of existing infrastructures for research,
incubators, pilot programs, and demonstrations. This new era
will require stronger leveraging of more limited resources that
mobilize multiple disciplines on multidisciplinary problems as
new standards for best management and business practices.
Funding opportunities are becoming more competitive with more
people vying for fewer assets. Remaining aquaculture assets
will be more heavily relied upon by academia and industry.
Funding pressures may shift expertise and research to more basic
science programs in other federal agencies with limited interest
in industry development compared to fundamental science. The
aquaculture community may likely need to create new strategies,
partnerships, and collaborations for success in extramural
funding programs in an increasingly higher competitive funding
environment. Previous non-competitive funding options
(Congressionally directed line item grants) have been
practically eliminated at this time.
impacts of reduced public funding are especially difficult for
early-career and junior faculty at universities and graduate
students who depend upon stipends to support postgraduate
studies, not to mention advancing science knowledge needed to
solve industry problems today and into the future. Some top
performers in our aquaculture research, education, and extension
communities have already been released, reassigned, or retired.
Many individuals trained in the large aquaculture cohort from
the 1970s, who were lured into diverse fields of business,
academia and government during an earlier pioneering era of
challenges, will soon be retiring from aquaculture
professionally, seeking new directions in their lives. Newer
cohorts of pioneers, entrepreneurs, researchers, and educators
will be needed to forge a new direction and the future legacy
for aquaculture in the Nation. The extent of an
aquaculture-trained workforce today and into the future will be
driven by employment opportunities across all sectors. More
public sector jobs will likely be directly linked to the
vitality and growth of industry sectors at all levels. Critical
thinkers, interdisciplinary team-builders, risk-takers,
tacticians, industry leaders and practical problem solvers will
be crucial to navigate successfully not only new industry
growth, science, technology and education but equally important
arenas of policy and regulations that are influenced by fluid
political and societal norms.
diversity of aquaculture interests among the many stakeholders
in the US, there are few issues or events of national scope that
unify this diverse community into new effective coalitions with
shared interests and objectives. Such national high impact
issues can mobilize the breadth of our Nation’s aquaculture
community from industry associations, academic institutions,
professional organizations, and NGOs. It has taken over three
decades and, in some cases longer, to build our Nation’s core
capacity and competency at many institutions. Today many are at
It is with
this perspective in mind that the broader US aquaculture
community might consider what vital assets need to be maintained
and what are new effective models and approaches to optimize
performance of the remaining public resources to gain the best
public value to the US aquaculture industry and to the public.
The challenges are real. These are extraordinary circumstances
that should create a new sense of urgency and mobilize
interested parties to craft a new vision for collaboration,
cooperation, and communication as a united community to optimize
efficiencies and productivities with highly valued public funded
Program Leader for Aquaculture
Department of Agriculture
Institute of Food and Agriculture
July 15, 2011 - NAA Industry Update
NAA Responds to
Time Magazine Article
In response to
the recent Time Magazine article “End of the Line” published
July 7, 2011, NAA sent the following letter.
July 15, 2011
In order to
provide a more accurate and balanced perspective of American
aquaculture, we would like to clarify some of the points raised
in Bryan Walsh’s recent cover story “The End of the Line.” The
article reflected the author’s personal opinions and, to justify
those opinions, some points were not clearly articulated and may
have left the reader with misperceptions. In the interest of
accuracy, we have provided citations from unbiased sources to
support our position.
sustainable food production systems are vital to the very
survival of the human race. As world population grows at an
alarming rate and hunger becomes a more pervasive problem,
farming has advanced to meet those challenges. In the United
States, rules and regulations have been implemented to help
ensure that those farming practices are sustainable and
environmentally sound. Most livestock production in the
developed world has shifted from the small family farm to larger
production systems. This has not been the case for U.S.
aquaculture, which remains primarily a network of small family
farms. Shifts in production practices have made high quality,
nutritious food available to a larger segment of the population
at a price that consumers can afford to pay.
product safety and environmental sustainability standards around
the world differ country by country. It is a much more complex
issue than is presented in this article, especially when we are
dealing with a global ocean. In the United States, a vast
regulatory network operated by an alphabet soup of federal,
state, and local agencies armed with the mission of ensuring the
sustainability of both wild harvest fisheries and aquaculture
production is in place. The author neglects to mention the
existence of these regulatory systems and, instead, uses a
nebulous quote from Peter Bridson.
goes on to say that “the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch
program mostly discourages consumers from choosing farmed
fish…” In reality, many of the best seafood choices are
farm-raised fish and the list often goes on to specify “U.S.
farmed”. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch clearly
recognizes the steps that are being taken in the United States
to help ensure sustainability and maintain environmental
integrity. We would urge your readers to visit the Aquarium
website themselves. (http://www.montereybayaquarium.org).
As to the
comparisons between wild and farm-raised salmon, wild salmon can
often have a gamier flavor and most Americans prefer the milder
Atlantic salmon, which was actually brought back from the brink
of extinction by aquaculture. Many people tend to focus on the
omega-3 content of fish when the most important nutritional
attributes of fish are that they contain high quality protein
and are low in saturated fats, calories, and cholesterol.
Farmed salmon and wild harvest salmon are virtually identical in
their nutritional content.
used to color farmed salmon is astaxanthin, which is added to
the feed. This is the same substance that many health-conscious
consumers regularly use as a nutritional supplement because of
its antioxidant properties. In the wild, salmon and shrimp
absorb astaxanthin from the foods that they eat.
State Department of Health website has some interesting comments
comparing wild and farmed salmon (http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/oehas/fish/farmedsalmon.htm).
The website addresses concerns about escape of farmed salmon.
“While some Atlantic salmon have escaped and reproduced, no
known sustained runs have been documented despite the fact that
the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries attempted to establish Atlantic
salmon in the Pacific Northwest for over 50 years until the
practice ceased in the 1980s.”
In the U.S.
and Canada, regulations require that farmed salmon are regularly
monitored for the presence of sea lice. If the presence of sea
lice reaches certain limits, government authorities must be
notified and action taken. Notification is also required by the
World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Fish growers in
order to preserve their profits must be concerned about the
presence of sea lice and their effect on their livestock.
Fish are truly
efficient protein producers. Unlike terrestrial animals that
often expend large quantities of energy maintaining body
temperature and building supportive bone structure, fish can
convert more of their feed into muscle. Conservation
International estimates that it takes approximately 5 times more
feed to produce a pound of beef and 3 times more feed to produce
a pound of pork than it does to produce a pound of fish. In
2008, the average U.S. per capita availability of beef was 61.2
pounds, pork was 46 pounds, and fish and shellfish was 16.0
pounds. In the United States, fish consumption figures remain
dismally small although government and health organizations
routinely recommend increased consumption.
contain an ideal balance of essential amino acids, many
domesticated animals including chickens, swine, fish, dogs, and
cats consume fishmeal and fish oil in their feeds. Recognizing
the environmental concerns about use of forage fish, U.S. fish
growers and scientists have been working to improve feed
conversion ratios and feed formulations to limit the amount of
fishmeal and fish oil used in aquaculture feeds. In many cases,
fishmeal and oil is being replaced by easily renewal plant
proteins. According to Naylor in “Feeding aquaculture in an era
of finite resources,” Proceedings of the National Academy of
), “the ratio of wild fisheries inputs to farmed fish outputs
has fallen to 0.63 for the sector as a whole”. Because wild
fish have to hunt their prey, expend energy avoiding predators,
and utilize energy for reproduction, the fish input ratio for
wild fish can be as high as 10 to 1.
aquaculture actually provides positive environmental impacts.
Because mussels, clams, and oysters are filter feeders, they
remove organic matter from the water column. Presence of high
levels of organic matter can compromise the oxygen levels in the
water and negatively impact other marine organisms. Because of
the three dimensional structure of their shells, these shellfish
also provide habitats and hiding places for marine organisms.
This adds to biodiversity, which is a cornerstone of a healthy
ecosystem. In many communities, there are active groups of
environmentalists who are working to restore shellfish
populations and help improve the health of our coastal waters.
As early as
1973, Jacques Cousteau recognized the importance of aquaculture,
when he said, “With earth's burgeoning human populations to feed
we must turn to the sea with new understanding and new
technology. We must farm it as we farm the land.” It is sound
advice that we should follow today.
July 13, 2011
- NAA Industry Update
Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the intention of
the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to suspend
one currently approved information collection, (July Sheep and
Goat Survey), and to indefinitely postpone the renewal of two
periodic data collections (Census of Aquaculture and the Tenure,
Ownership and Transition of Agricultural Land (TOTAL) survey
formerly known as the Agricultural Economics and Land Ownership
Survey (AELOS)) and their associated
due to budgetary cutbacks.
functions of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)
include the collection of data and the preparation and issuance
of State and national estimates of crop and livestock
production, disposition, prices, and environmental and economic
The Census of
Aquaculture is a follow on survey to the Census of Agriculture.
This survey is normally conducted every five years. The last
time this survey was conducted was in 2006 for the reference
year of 2005. NASS will postpone the renewal of this data
NASS will suspend these information collections as of July 6,
2011 due to budget constraints. NASS will not publish the Sheep
and Goat report for July or any reports for the Census of
Aquaculture or TOTAL survey unless there is a change in the
anticipated budget shortfall.
Register notice is
information contact: Joseph T. Reilly, Associate Administrator,
National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. Department of
Agriculture, (202) 720–4333.
June 22, 2011 -
New Aquaculture Information Website Available
information is now available on a new website called eXtension.
The site is a partnership between 70+ universities and contains
information on a variety of topics. The aquaculture page is at
www.extension.org/freshwater_aquaculture. It has many of the
Extension publications that were on AquaNIC. Below is a very
helpful note on how to participate in developing the site.
For those of you interested in joining eXtesion and providing
the content you see on this website, as well as contributing to
the Ask an Expert, Frequently Asked Questions, and news
features. You can become an member of eXtension by setting up an
ID at http://www.extension.org/people/signup. Anyone with a .gov
or .edu email is automatically eligible to become a member. If
you do not have an eligible email please contact me and I can
send you an invitation and get you approved. Once you sign up
select freshwater aquaculture as a community that you are
interested in. We greatly appreciate all the input and content
that our colleagues throughout the industry can provide in
making this site a valuable asset to everyone in the aquaculture
industry. The freshwater aquaculture site is only a few weeks
old, but will be continuing to develop as we increase
participation. If you have any questions please feel free to
drop me an email or phone call, my info is at the bottom. I've
also attached a "How-to" guide that can help you navigate the
content development side of the eXtension systems. Thank you.
Vanessa Weldon, PhD
Extension Associate - eXtension
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
June 10, 2011 -
issues new rules for fish farms
By Juliet Eilperin
administration released new guidelines that would make it easier
to farm fish in federal waters, a move that could transform the
nation’s coasts and the food Americans will consume in years to
The proposal, which sparked immediate criticism from some
environmental groups, aims to increase the amount of
farm-raised seafood in the United States by authorizing
regional fisheries management councils to approve
aquaculture operations off the coasts and in the Gulf of
Currently there are
no fish farms in federal waters, only in the three-mile band of
state waters. Some operators have applied to build fish farms in
federal waters in the past, but none have won approval yet.
National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Service officials said
new ventures could ease fishing pressures on wild stocks and cut
the nation’s seafood imports.
The new policy,
released late Thursday, underscores the extent to which the
United States and other nations are struggling to find enough
seafood to supply their growing populations. Aquaculture — in
which operators cultivate everything from oysters, mussels and
algae to top predators such as salmon — now accounts for roughly
half the fish consumed, as the world’s wild stocks continue to
But it has also
raised serious environmental questions, ranging from whether
raising carnivorous fish ends up depleting forage fish stocks to
concerns about farmed fish escaping and mixing with wild
Michael Rubino, who
directs the aquaculture program for NOAA Fisheries, said the new
rules seek to address the fact that the United States currently
has a $9 billion seafood trade deficit. Of those imports, 84
percent are cultivated rather than caught.
the Agriculture Department’s new dietary guidelines released
this month, Rubino said, “USDA is asking us to eat twice as much
seafood. Where is that going to come from? . . .
There aren’t going to be large numbers of fish farms out there
anytime soon. But it’s coming.”
guidelines, which have been in the works for a year and-a-half
and will take another year to finalize, greenlights fish farms
in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere. It applies the nation’s
traditional fishery management laws — which were originally
crafted to set criteria for how much wild fish can be caught in
a season — to aquaculture.
Rubino said the
agency must rely on existing fisheries law because Congress has
not passed legislation tailored toward farm-raised fish. “It
wasn’t designed for aquaculture but it can be used for
aquaculture,” Rubino said.
But George Leonard,
director of aquaculture for the Ocean Conservancy, an advocacy
group, said the idea of using the same laws that apply to
wild-caught fish is equivalent to “a square peg in a round
hole,” adding it was “nonsensical” to apply the same yield
calculations to operations where fish are grown from the start.
The new policy comes
just as two groups, Australia’s WorldFish Center and the U.S.
advocacy group Conservation International, are about to release
the first global assessment of aquaculture next week. Their
analysis found that out of the 75 species they surveyed, raising
more fish translated into greater environmental damage, but this
impact was less harmful when compared to raising livestock.
China and the rest
of Asia account for 91 percent of the world’s cultivated
seafood, the report found, while North America produces just 1.9
percent. The researchers found that raising eel, salmon shrimp
and prawns had the biggest environmental impact because of the
energy and amount of fish feed required to produce them, while
mussels, oysters, clams and seaweed had the smallest impact.
“There are a number
of well-founded concerns about aquaculture, in terms of its
impacts on marine ecosystems and wild fisheries,” said Sebastian
Troëng, Conservation International’s vice president for marine
conservation. “But with global fisheries reaching alarming and
unprecedented levels of depletion, fish cultivation versus wild
fish capture has to be considered.”
June 7, 2011 -
'Healthy oceans are everyone's business'
Remarks by NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco
during Capitol Hill Oceans Week
and dedication have made Capitol Hill Oceans Week an important
and informative June tradition.
this room, and those of you joining us by webcast, are part
of our burgeoning ocean community. Each of you has been a
vital force in making healthy oceans a priority for the
You are the
people who understand and deliver the messages that
healthy oceans matter, that healthy oceans are
important for American prosperity, and that
healthy oceans are
everyone’s business. That is my theme today.
As we come
together to talk about the oceans’ role in global security
and American prosperity, it is fitting that on Thursday,
President Obama declared this month
National Oceans Month.
Healthy oceans are everyone’s
because our oceans are critical to life in the
United States, to the nations of the world, and to
our planet. Oceans are a keystone in our economic
progress, our national security and our
Whether we talk about marine commerce, sustainable
commercial fisheries, recreational fishing, boating,
tourism or energy production, the ocean in all of
these endeavors provides people with jobs as well as
the services that strengthen our economy.
So … Just
how much do the oceans contribute to the American economy?
According to the
Economics Program, in 2007 the ocean
economy generated over 2.3 million jobs and more
than $138 billion of the GDP of the United States.
One hundred fifty six million people live in coastal
counties, where they hold 69 million jobs that
contribute $7.9 trillion to the Nation’s economy.
inseparable connection between the health of the ocean, the
health of the American economy, the health of the job market
and the well-being of people emerged as an indelible message
from the Deepwater
unprecedented environmental disaster, the Deepwater Horizon
spill oiled over 1,000 miles of shoreline, 3/5 of them in
Louisiana. Although the vast majority of the oil in the Gulf
is now gone, oil remains close to shore in many of these
Louisiana coastal areas, and the effects on Gulf ecosystems
and communities will be felt for years. Communities and
economies throughout the Gulf were devastated by the spill.
cooperative Natural Resource Damage Assessment process is
well underway, it will be some time yet before we have a
clear picture of the full impact of the spill.
On April 21,
NOAA and the other federal and state Natural Resources
Trustees for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill announced that
BP will pay $1 billion as a down payment on restoration.
These efforts will reap local, regional and national
benefits and build on the major commitment to restoration
already demonstrated in the Gulf. Trustees will use the
funds for projects such as rebuilding coastal marshes,
replenishing damaged beaches and conserving fish and
wildlife habitat injured as a result of the spill. They are
actively working with citizens, local officials,
environmental organizations and others to develop a
comprehensive list of projects to be considered for early
of Deepwater Horizon call loudly to us for action. Deepwater
Horizon says that we need to pay attention
effectively manage and conserve oceans — or in Carl Safina’s
words, we need to learn “to use oceans without using them
paying attention, and acting. We are entering a new era in
era when we embrace holistic, ecosystem-based
management of our oceans.
era when our scientific understanding of the impacts
of humans on coastal and ocean ecosystems is being
used to inform our management decisions.
era when policy connects jobs, communities, and
economies with healthy ecosystems.
first ever National
Ocean Policy established last July embodies
these principles. This policy — the
National Policy for
Stewardship of the Oceans, Coasts, and Great Lakes
— is about good
governance – governance informed by sound science.
This policy says
“healthy oceans matter” in black and white.
bold vision for more holistic, ecosystem-based management of
our oceans, the National Ocean Policy fully recognizes the
critical importance of
— partnerships that collaborate, cooperate, and coordinate
across the federal government, across state, local, regional
and tribal levels, and within communities themselves.
ocean users — from recreational and commercial
fishermen, boaters, and industry, to environmental
groups, scientists, and the public — will have a say
in planning for, managing, and sustaining the many
human uses that healthy oceans, coasts and the Great
the goal is less waste and conflict, more efficiency, and
savings for American taxpayers.
Ocean Policy opens a critical window of opportunity.
But, to move forward, we must:
Improve alignment between our scientific
understanding and decisions;
Reevaluate existing policies and practices to build
a more sustainable future; and
Invest in the knowledge, institutions and
partnerships that enable sustainable use.
we’ve been working hard to get the National Ocean Policy up
and running by getting the federal family in order.
Governance Coordinating Committee, a group of state, local
and tribal representatives that will serve as a key
coordinating body for the National Ocean Policy, has already
convened and will be meeting again this month.
We also are
working to develop strategic action plans for each of the
priorities we’ve set for the oceans. Topics range from water
quality to ocean observations to improving coordination of
the multiple diverse entities involved in ocean management.
outlines for these strategic action plans for public review.
the month of June, we hope you will provide us with
your thoughts about these outlines and attend a
public listening session near you.
first chance will be the listening session this
Thursday night, from 6:00-8:30 p.m., at the Women's
Memorial at the ceremonial entrance to Arlington
National Cemetery. As they say in the South: Y’all
upcoming event is the National Workshop on Coastal and
Marine Spatial Planning, from June 21-23. Workshop
participants can learn about Coastal and Marine Spatial
Planning and help frame how it can be used to harmonize the
often competing uses of ocean and Great Lake waters, such as
national security, energy and economic security, and
you have not already signed up to attend the public
day of the workshop here in Washington, D.C., on the
21st, you can catch it via live webcast at
And soon —
stay tuned! — we will begin to work with states and tribes
to create the regional planning bodies that will work on
the policy’s vision will not be easy, but I am hopeful.
Those of us who worked hard on it are committed to having it
succeed. For example, NOAA has realigned many of its working
groups to be maximally supportive and effective and is
developing memoranda of understanding with other agencies to
ensure strong partnerships.
Let me now
turn to exploring some of the ways in which healthy oceans
are indeed everyone’s business — not just coastal
residents’, not just ocean champions’ — but EVERYONE’S. I
will highlight four arenas in which this is true: seafood,
habitat restoration, marine commerce and energy.
oceans are everyone’s business because oceans have provided
people with food since the origin of coastal civilizations.
Today, a billion people worldwide depend on seafood
as their primary source of protein. The concept of
“food security,” therefore, must include fisheries
Americans are no exception. We consume about 5
billion pounds of seafood each year.
commercial and recreational fisheries and
aquaculture result in more than $160 billion in
sales and 1.9 million jobs in U.S. commercial and
These 1.9 million jobs make our waterfronts working
are these workers? They are the boat captains and
their crews, the oyster farmers and workers in
seafood processing plants. They are the charter boat
operators that make it possible for others to get
out on the water to fish. They are the truckers
transporting seafood from the dock to processors and
elsewhere. They are the retailers selling us key
ingredients for seafood dinners in our homes, and
the chefs, cooks, and wait staff that serve them to
us in restaurants.
Healthy oceans support healthy fisheries and food
security, while supplying jobs and strengthening the
1976 — the nation’s bicentennial — federal management of
marine fisheries was almost nonexistent. That year, in 1976,
the Magnuson-Stevens Act spurred a movement to end
overfishing and rebuild depleted stocks.
year we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the
Magnuson-Stevens Act. And thanks to its vision and
we are turning the
corner on ending overfishing.
Magnuson-Stevens Act put the U.S.
to end overfishing in federally managed fisheries,
rebuild stocks, and ensure conservation and
sustainable use of ocean resources.
fisheries harvested in the U.S. are scientifically
monitored, regionally managed, and legally enforced under 10
strict national standards for sustainability.
are on track
for annual catch limits and accountability to be in
place for all 528 federally managed fish stocks and
complexes by the end of 2011.
the rebuilding of fisheries underway, we are
beginning to see real benefits for fishermen,
fishing communities, and for our commercial and
recreational fishing industries.
all U.S. fish stocks would add an
additional $31 billion in sales impacts, support an
additional 500,000 jobs — that is a half MILLION
jobs — and increase annual dockside revenues
by more than 50
continue to invest in the science that diminishes
uncertainty in fisheries and assures levels of harvest are
monitored so that we maintain sustainable levels. Only then
can we realize the potential of fully sustainable fisheries
domestically and continue to pursue exporting these
practices internationally where real challenges to our
ocean’s living marine resources still exist.
worldwide demand for seafood will continue to grow as the
population and consumer awareness of seafood’s health
benefits grow. And, as we are ending overfishing we must
simultaneously build a sustainable aquaculture industry here
in the U.S.
aquaculture plays a far larger role in seafood supply than
many people know:
Approximately 84 percent of the seafood consumed in
the United States is imported, and about half of
that comes from foreign aquaculture.
2009, aquaculture crossed the threshold of providing
more than half of
seafood consumed worldwide. Yet, U.S. aquaculture
provides only about 5 percent of the seafood
consumed in the United States.
imports, the U.S. seafood trade deficit has grown to over $9
billion annually — the highest it’s ever been. There is
clearly an opportunity for growth in this industry. If done
wisely, aquaculture can complement wild fisheries while
contributing to healthy oceans and coastal economies.
of this year, the Department of Commerce and NOAA jointly
Aquaculture Policies for public comment. The
public comment period ended on April 11. Once the policies
are in place, NOAA will work with partners to create
initiatives that encourage growth of sustainable
We can see
how sustainable aquaculture creates multiple benefits by
taking a look at
Perry Raso, an oyster farmer in Rhode Island.
oceans are everyone’s business because healthy coasts and oceans
are the sine qua non
for vibrant coastal communities.
restoration presents another golden opportunity to create
jobs and restore the plethora of benefits that come
from healthy coastal habitats. Habitat restoration is
stimulating the local economy in the small town of
Bayou la Batre
Bayou la Batre sits in the southwestern tip of
Alabama in Mobile County. You may know it from the
Gump. Bayou la Batre is a seafood
processing harbor serving hundreds of shrimp and
fishing boats, shipbuilding and locally owned and
before Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike left
their marks on Bayou le Batre, coastal wetlands and
fishery resources were declining. In 2011, Deepwater
Horizon struck yet another blow.
Bayou la Batre was selected to receive Recovery Act
funding from NOAA for habitat restoration. Partnered
with The Nature Conservancy, the Dauphin Island Sea
Lab, and the University of South Alabama, the town
installed a submerged breakwater reef along two
stretches of shoreline, protected more than 18 acres
of habitat for submerged aquatic vegetation and
created almost two acres of oyster reef.
project director, a Bayou la Batre native and former
oysterman, hired out-of-work oystermen to construct
and place reefs. That project director was a real
skeptic. He didn’t think the project would work.
Fast forward to today: Lo and behold, fishermen are
bringing in large catches of flounder near the
restored reef, and biological monitoring shows early
evidence of fish and oyster recovery at the site.
Real jobs and more fish changed the project
town is small, this success is a big one for them. This
small example shows that restoration creates jobs, sparks
economic and ecosystem benefits, while making healthy oceans
and resilience real for one waterfront community.
Elsewhere across the country, $167 million of NOAA’s
ARRA funds were allocated to 50 restoration
projects. By the end of 2012, approximately 1,000
direct jobs will have been created by these
completion, these projects will have restored more
than 8,700 acres of habitat, opened more than 700
stream miles for fish to migrate and spawn, removed
more than 850 metric tons of debris, and protected
11,750 acres to reduce threats to coral reefs — all
in coastal areas around the U.S. The restored
habitats, in turn, will support and sustain fishing
and tourism jobs and local communities.
the demand we saw for ARRA monies, the need for
restoration funds and the jobs that come with them
is clear. We received 814 applications totaling $3
billion for shovel-ready projects and could only
fund 50 of them totaling $167 million.
Restoration is not only good for the oceans, coasts and
Great Lakes, restoration is good for economic recovery.
oceans are everyone’s business because the oceans are home to
America’s ports, part of America’s core infrastructure.
Ports are the
nation’s centers of marine transportation and commerce, and
centers of the oil and gas industry and chemical facilities.
U.S. Department of Transportation and Department of Energy,
marine transportation is the engine of our economy.
Ports move more than 77 percent of our overseas trade by
weight and 48 percent by value in 2008. This includes
9 million barrels of oil a day or roughly
47 percent of the oil needed
to meet our annual energy requirements.
About 2/3 of
the goods we buy come to us by ship. Marine transportation
now contributes more than $1 trillion and 13 million jobs to
the American economy. Maritime trade has doubled over the
last 50 years, and the U.S. will see continued growth as we
look to marine transportation as an energy-efficient
alternative to land and air transport.
year, more than 135 ships are likely to be involved
in costly ship groundings, potentially lethal
collisions and other accidents.
Stoppage of traffic on the Mississippi River costs
approximately $250 million per day.
of New Orleans in Jefferson Parish, the Huey P. Long Bridge
crosses the Mississippi River.
hot, hot day, the 135-foot bridge might sag 3 to 4
feet. Large ships passing under the bridge need
real-time bridge clearance. And ships are bigger
than they’ve ever been, pushing the limits of
channel depth and bridge clearance.
stoppage itself costs upwards of $250 million per day,
real-time data and round-the-clock availability are
critical. NOAA’s Physical Oceanographic Real-Time Systems,
does just that.
Available 24/7, 365 days a year by web or phone,
PORTS provides ship pilots and mariners real-time
tide, current, bridge clearance, and weather data.
During data trials of the lower Mississippi PORTS,
the system’s air gap technology enabled a new $1B
Navy ship, the
USS New York, to pass safely down the
Mississippi and clear the Huey P. Long bridge with
two feet to spare. That’s accurate!
ports are hit by hurricanes,
NOAA’s rapid response hydrographic survey ships often are
the first to help survey and re-open damaged port areas.
ships are part of
NOAA’s charting program responsible for
surveying and mapping the 3.4 million square nautical miles
of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, the largest in the
rights and freedoms are essential for the global economy and
accurate positioning for navigation, for flood risk
determination, levee construction, emergency preparedness,
air traffic control, building construction and land use
planning. The grid that makes
GPS work for
us and accurate positioning possible is the
National Spatial Reference
System — a NOAA product.
services data feed the decision support tools necessary for
coastal communities, ports and commercial interests to plan
for and negotiate use of our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes
resources and to prepare for climate impacts, such as sea
level rise, like we’re seeing in Port Fourchon.
Louisiana sees 13 to15 percent of all oil imported into the
nation, while providing passage for crude oil to 50 percent
of the nation's refineries.
wetland where Port Fourchon sits is under severe stress.
Regional land subsidence, erosion and inundation from
coastal storms have taken their toll.
Louisiana Highway 1 (LA 1) is the only highway
access to Fourchon. Sea level rise and subsidence
rates add up to about 9.23 mm per year, likely
increasing in the future. The unelevated portion of
this highway will see frequent flooding and closures
in 15 to 17 years with almost complete loss of the
highway in subsequent years.
estimate sea level rise, Port Fourchon is using
NOAA’s elevation data at historical tide stations
along LA 1.
information will be used to evaluate the need to
raise the highway.
Anticipating sea level rise can bring economic
benefit in this way.
Healthy oceans are everyone’s business because
the nation’s energy security depends on them.
Energy security depends on gaining oil independence.
According to its
Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future, the White House
set a goal of reducing the nation's use of oil by
one-third by a little more than a decade from now.
by 2035, 80 percent of our electricity must come
from clean energy sources, including renewables like
wind, solar, and ocean.
Obama said, “The United States of America
to bet our long-term prosperity, our long-term security on a
resource that will eventually run out, and even before it
runs out will get more and more expensive to extract from
the ground. We can’t afford it when the costs to our
economy, our country, and our planet are so high.”
and biomass/biofuels are the most rapidly growing renewable
energy sectors in the U.S. They promise to be a significant
portion of the total U.S. energy supply. We will rely on the
ocean for siting for wind farms and as an alternative energy
responsible for assessing the potential effects of these
ocean-based, energy-generating technologies on marine trust
resources and existing coastal and ocean uses of concern,
and response and restoration if trust resources are harmed.
marine spatial planning will be an important tool for
regional planning for use of the ocean for this purpose.
energy sources depend on improved weather and cloud
forecasts to be economically viable and successfully
integrated into the U.S. electrical grid system.
ocean-based renewable energy technologies, including
hydrokinetic energy and ocean thermal energy conversion,
require research and information about ocean conditions and
processes before they can be developed.
We also need
better atmospheric and oceanic observations, models,
forecasts and analysis tools to reap the benefits of
these areas of research and technology development for
energy production are ripe for innovation.
making progress on renewable energy research. For example,
to improve wind farm energy production, NOAA researchers and
colleagues just launched a study to better understand and
predict how gusts and rapid changes in wind direction affect
turbine operations and how turbine wakes behave. This
research will help improve design standards, increase
efficiency, and reduce the cost of energy.
NOAA and the
Department of Energy (DOE) signed a Memorandum of
Understanding in January 2011 to work together on enhancing
the use of weather-dependent and oceanic renewable energy
technologies and infrastructure.
just signed a landmark agreement with Interior’s Bureau of
Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE)
to increase coordination and collaboration for
environmentally sound offshore energy development.
should be clear from my remarks thus far — looking across
governance, seafood, habitat, commerce, and energy — that we
have come a very long way.
are entering a
new era in ocean
governance with the first-ever
National Ocean Policy.
the corner to end overfishing and
are about to launch a
policy that will open new doors for
a sustainable aquaculture industry.
restoring habitats and revitalizing coastal
communities to keep working
protecting our ports and supporting marine
transportation and commerce in the
present and anticipating future needs of climate
we are developing greater scientific understanding
and innovating tools and technologies for
Through all of these activities, we are
creating jobs and
strengthening the economy and infrastructure,
while making the
Yes, we have
come a long way. But we still have
a long way to go.
The time has
come to reach out,
grow our ocean community, build on the great efforts to
date, but make a quantum leap in the level of activity.
The time has
come to act now to
make healthy oceans everyone’s business –
that healthy oceans stay a high priority on today’s agenda
and on tomorrow’s.
Healthy oceans are indeed everyone’s business, but keep in
mind that they are much more.
Healthy oceans matter in large part because they are an
expression of our commitment to one another and to the rest
of life on the planet.
Where Does the Fish on Your Plate
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
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
challenges from aquaculture include:
Nutrient and chemical wastes
Water use demands
Aquatic animal diseases
Potential competitive and
genetic effects on wild species
Effects on endangered or
Effects on protected and
sensitive marine areas
Effects on habitat for other
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
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
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.
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
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
School officials hope
to enroll the first students into the program this fall.
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.
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
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
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.
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
Hedlund, SeafoodSource editor
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.
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
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.
[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.
went on to say in a press release on Monday that reduced seafood
consumption is “causing harm to fetal and child development.”
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.”
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
Biosecurity Training for Employees:
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
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
email@example.com , (870) 575-8132.
March 8, 2011 -
NAA Action Alert
Advisory Committee Recommends
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).
three recommendations were made that are relevant to the Census
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
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
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.
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
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:
Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
7, 2011 -
NAA Action Alert
Bill HR 872
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
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
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
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.
27, 2011 -
Striper reels in enough votes to be state fish
striped bass has been named the official state fish, but it
didn't happen without a fight.
biggest opponent to the title came from a much-debated fish that
is a mainstay of the striper's diet - menhaden.
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
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.
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.
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
Fisheries Society - Fish Culture Section has published a new
guide to the use of aquaculture drugs.
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
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
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
Comments must be received on or before June 24, 2011, and may be
submitted per the following: through the Federal eRulemaking
www.regulations.gov; 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
firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
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:
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
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
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.
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
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
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
raising appeal being administered by Stripers Forever is called
The Mycobacteriosis Research Initiative (MRI).
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 (www.stripersforever.org).
February 9, 2011 -
NAA Action Alert
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.
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.
notice and web-link provides guidance on applying for the
required new permit and instructions on proper storage.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.”
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.
Hedlund, SeafoodSource editor,