News Flash
NOAA Aquaculture Program
April 6, 2010

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Definition of Aquaculture

For purposes of this policy, aquaculture is defined as the propagation and rearing of aquatic marine organisms in controlled or selected aquatic environments for any commercial, recreational, or public purpose.

This definition covers all production of finfish, shellfish, and other marine organisms, excluding marine mammals, for:

  • Human consumption and other commercial uses;
  • Wild stock replenishment;
  • Rebuilding populations of threatened or endangered species; and
  • Restoration of marine habitat (e.g., oyster reefs).
Additional background is available online.

Contact Us

NOAA Aquaculture Program

1315 East-West Hwy.

SSMC3; 13th Fl., Route F
Silver Spring, MD 20910


Phone: 301-713-9079

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Aquaculture Listening Sessions Begin April 14 in Rhode Island; Online Comments Being Accepted Now

The NOAA aquaculture listening sessions and national call-in will be open forums for the public to make recommendations to NOAA officials regarding a new policy that will address all forms of marine aquaculture.The listening sessions and the national call-in will be held as follows:

April 14 in Narragansett, Rhode Island April 19 in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Time: 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.
  • Location: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District Building
  • Address: 7400 Leake Ave, New Orleans, LA 70118
  • Note: You must present a U.S. government-issued photo ID to enter this building.
April 22 in Seattle, Washington April 27 in Honolulu, Hawaii April 29 in Menlo Park, California May 6 a National Call-in Hosted by NOAA
  • Time: 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. (Eastern)
  • Toll free number: 1-877-779-7421
  • Participant passcode: NOAA

Check the website for updates:

Aquaculture Policy Discussion Questions Posted

NOAA is currently seeking public input to help shape the scope and objectives of a draft policy for marine aquaculture. The agency is particularly interested in hearing ideas about how the policy can effectively guide and support science; provide clear regulations; support outreach, education, and innovation; and define the U.S. role in this international industry.

Below are questions that can guide discussion at the public listening sessions and comments submitted online or via the national call-in. The public input period will begin on April 6 and end on May 14, 2010.

  1. What opportunities exist for developing sustainable marine aquaculture nationwide? What are the major impediments?

  2. What are the most important environmental considerations, and how can these be addressed?

  3. Which social and economic consequences or outcomes will be the most important in the next 5 years or in the next 20 years?

  4. How can NOAA best support essential research and innovation? What should be the goals of NOAA-funded research related to aquaculture?

  5. How can NOAA best communicate with the industry and public on aquaculture issues? What are the opportunities for partnerships?

  6. What role should NOAA play with respect to aquaculture issues and initiatives at the international level?

  7. What other considerations need to be addressed in NOAA's aquaculture policy?

Submit a Public Comment

Type your comment into the form on our website or upload a separate document with your comments. The public input period begins on April 6 and end on May 14, 2010. Click here to submit a comment, or go to:

Comments may also be submitted:

  • Via fax: (301) 713-9108 (Attn: Aquaculture Program).
  • Via mail: NOAA Aquaculture Program, Attn: Public Comment, 1315 East-West Highway, SSMC#3-13th Floor, Mail Code: F, Silver Spring, MD 20910.