Unlock regulatory insights with Watson. Learn More
Return to Docket

Fishery Management Plan for Regulating Offshore Marine Aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico, Including Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

Abstract: Demand for protein is increasing in the United States and commercial wild-capture fisheries will not likely be adequate to meet this growing demand. Aquaculture is one method to meet current and future demands for seafood. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has authority to regulate fishing in federal waters, including aquaculture. Currently, NOAA Fisheries Service requires an exempted fishing permit (EFP) to conduct aquaculture in federal waters. This permit is of limited duration and is not intended for commercial production of fish, making aquaculture in federal waters not viable under the current permitting process. The purpose of this Aquaculture Fishery Management Plan (FMP) is to maximize benefits to the Nation by establishing a regional permitting process to manage the development of an environmentally sound and economically sustainable aquaculture industry in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The Council initiated this action to provide a programmatic approach to evaluating the impacts of aquaculture proposals in the Gulf of Mexico and a comprehensive framework for regulating such activities. The FMP and associated draft programmatic environmental impact statement (DPEIS) are intended to streamline the regulatory process for authorizing current and future offshore aquaculture proposals by providing the Council and NOAA Fisheries Service the information required to review, authorize, and monitor offshore aquaculture operations. The primary goal of the proposed aquaculture permitting program is to increase the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) and optimum yield (OY) of federal fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico by supplementing the harvest of wild caught species with cultured product.
RIN: 0648-AS65
Type: Rule Making

Primary Documents (11)