Aquaculture North America

New SEAfood Act to support sustainable seafood offshore in U.S.

December 9, 2022
By ANA staff

A new bill has been introduced to Congress in support of a responsible seafood offshore aquaculture in the United States.

The Science-based Equitable Aquaculture Food Act, or SEAfood Act, was introduced by Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47) as a bipartisan measure that is meant to “lay the groundwork for an equitable and inclusive seafood economy of both farmed and wild-caught fish while prioritizing data and science in the development of offshore aquaculture in the U.S.,” according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

“We applaud this important step to advance the growth of aquaculture in U.S. federal waters. It’s a responsible, science-backed approach that’s good for the economy, for our domestic seafood industry, for our ocean and for American consumers,” said Eric Schwaab, senior vice president for Environmental Defense Fund.

The SEAfood Act aims to:

  • Charge the Government Accountability Office to produce a report detailing permitting, monitoring, and regulatory options for governing offshore aquaculture in the U.S.
  • Direct the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to complete a study on the scientific basis for efficient and effective regulation of offshore aquaculture.
  • Authorize NOAA to create an offshore aquaculture assessment program to gain data from on-the-water demonstration projects that close significant knowledge gaps necessary to determine strong, science-based standards; and
  • Create a grant program, under NOAA, for minority-serving institutions to establish aquaculture centers of excellence to develop or enhance undergraduate and graduate aquaculture curriculum to meet the needs of a growing, domestic, and sustainable aquaculture industry and supply chains, and for career development and extension programs.

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