US bill will allow offshore aquaculture growth Published: 09 June, 2005
THIS week, the Bush administration sent its national offshore aquaculture legislation to Capitol Hill for Congressional action. The President pledged to propose this bill as part of his U.S. Ocean Action Plan, which outlines near-term and longer-term actions to protect the oceans and marine resources.
The bill grants the Secretary of Commerce authority to issue permits for marine aquaculture operations in federal waters, which cover about 3.4 million square miles from three to 200 miles off the coasts of the United States.
“Today’s action will create jobs and revenues for coastal communities and U.S. businesses by allowing for the expansion of an underutilized industry,” said Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez. “This legislation fulfills a promise President Bush made to the American people in his Ocean Action Plan, and we urge Congress to take action in support of this bill.” With the seafood trade deficit and increased demand for seafood in the United States, this bill will allow for the growth of a sustainable U.S. offshore aquaculture industry.
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