Fish farmers in the state of New Jersey can now look forward to simpler application procedures when starting aquaculture projects.
Bill S317, which creates a one-stop shop for project permits, received approval from the Senate Economic Growth Committee in July.
“New Jersey has the potential to boost its aquaculture industry and to really grow the
production of oysters on our coasts, which we know are loved by seafood connoisseurs across the country and around the world,” said Sen. Jeff Van Drew, sponsor of the bill. “By improving our permitting processes, we will help to reduce the time and money spent by aquatic farmers who are currently forced to navigate nearly a dozen agencies and bureaus with varying requirements to move their businesses forward. This measure would provide a one-stop shop for obtaining permits. This is a common sense way to help business owners and aquatic farmers expand their operations in the state.”
Applicants seeking permits for aquaculture projects currently deal with 11 different state agencies and bureaus. Bill S317 next heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for consideration.
New Jersey focuses on the farming of bivalve shellfish, primarily hard clams and oysters. The state is home to at least 28 aquaculture farms with total sales estimated at $5.8 million and currently has more than 160 licensed aquatic farmers, according to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.
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