FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The following is a statement by Eric Schwaab, senior vice president at Environmental Defense Fund Oceans program, on the reintroduction of the AQUAA 2.0 Act.
“We appreciate the significant effort that has gone into the development of the AQUAA Act, S.4723. The bill introduced yesterday represents months of hard work, outreach to many stakeholders and progress relative to previous bills.
“While the bill addresses the issues surrounding offshore aquaculture, it lacks substantive standards regarding how to make decisions about those issues. In the absence of such standards that would ensure the environmental and economic sustainability of the burgeoning industry, the decisions would instead be left to agency discretion. Outstanding questions remain about important facets of offshore aquaculture development, necessitating additional science and information collection to lay the groundwork to determine how they should be addressed to build federal agency expertise and to ensure the long-term success of aquaculture in the United States.
“We believe that the potential for sustainable, productive offshore aquaculture in the United States exists as part of a strong and diverse domestic seafood industry and a larger healthy ocean approach. We look forward to working with the aquaculture community, other conservation organizations, the fishing industry, policymakers, academia and others to move in that direction.”
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