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NFI Supports Introduction of Aquaculture Bill

McLEAN, Va. — The National Fisheries Institute announced its support for the introduction of HR 2010 — The National Offshore Aquaculture Act of 2007 — sponsored by U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., and authored by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The proposed legislation addresses concerns about the sustainability of dwindling wild fish stocks, and would strengthen the nation’s commitment to ensuring an abundance of seafood now and in the future by providing regulatory framework for aquaculture in federal waters called the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, located three to 200 miles off U.S. coastlines. Specifically, NFI supports the streamlined permitting process provided in the bill, increasing research to develop aquaculture technologies in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and allowing coastal states to opt out of offshore operations within 12 miles of its shores. “The fact is we can’t sustain our level of consumption or expected increases in the future by solely relying on wild capture,” said John Connelly, NFI president, in a release. “Cultured fish and shellfish are sustainable sources of food that help retailers and restaurants meet the ever-growing demand for seafood. NFI and the seafood community look forward to working with the Congress and the [Bush] administration to strengthen the domestic infrastructure that helps to provide a reliable supply of healthy seafood Americans enjoy.”

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