[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 134 (Thursday, July 12, 2012)]
[Pages 41164-41165]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-17051]



Agricultural Research Service


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

RIN 0648-XC007

Joint Subcommittee on Aquaculture Research and Development 
Strategic Plan

AGENCIES: Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (USDA); National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments.


SUMMARY: NOAA and U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research 
Service (USDA-ARS) announce on behalf of the Federal Interagency 
Working Group on Aquaculture under the Office of Science and Technology 
Policy that a draft National Aquaculture Research and Development 
Strategic Plan (R&D Plan) for the United States is being made available 
for public review and comment. This plan will provide a framework for 
federal agencies to develop programs for research and development that 
affect the production of aquatic organisms such as finfish, 
crustaceans, mollusks, and algae. We are soliciting public comment in 
regard to priorities, vision, and goals. Please be specific regarding 
what section or content in the R&D plan your comment refers. The draft 
R&D plan can be found at http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/programs/programs.htm?np_code=106&docid=22641.

DATES: Written comments must be received by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard 
Time (EST), August 27, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this action identified by NOAA-
NMFS-2012-0136 by either of the following methods:
     Electronic Submission: Submit all electronic public 
comments via the federal e-Rulemaking Portal, http://www.regulations.gov. To submit comments via the e-Rulemaking Portal, 
first enter NOAA-NMFS-2012-0136 in the keyword search. Locate the 
document you wish to comment on from the resulting list and click on 
the ``Submit a Comment'' icon on that line. You may also view 
supporting and related materials. All comments received are a part of 
the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying 
information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by 
the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential 
business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. 
The agency will accept anonymous comments (enter ``N/A'' in the 
required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous). You may submit 
attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, 
WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.
     Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send two copies of your 
comment to RIN 0648-XC007, Dr. Jeff Silverstein, USDA-ARS, National 
Program Leader-Aquaculture, 5601 Sunnyside Ave., Room 4-2106, 
Beltsville, MD 20705. Please state that your comment refers to RIN 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: ARS: Dr. Jeffrey Silverstein, National 
Program Leader for Aquaculture, USDA-ARS Office of National Programs, 
5601 Sunnyside Ave., Room 4-2106, Beltsville, MD 20705; (301) 504-5925. 
NMFS: Dr. Michael Rubino, Director, Office of Aquaculture, NOAA 
Fisheries, 1315 East-West Hwy, SSMC3 Rm. 13137, Silver Spring, 
MD 20910; (301) 427-8325. To receive a hard copy of the R&D Plan please 
contact Dr. Jeff Silverstein.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Aquaculture is the production of finfish, 
shellfish, algae, plants, and other aquatic organisms (except mammals 
and birds) for (1) food and other commercial products; (2) wild stock 
replenishment for commercial or recreational fisheries; (3) rebuilding 
populations of threatened or endangered species under species recovery 
and conservation plans; and (4) restoration and conservation of aquatic 
and marine habitat.
    The National Aquaculture Act (Pub. L. 96-362, 94 Stat. 1198, 16 
U.S.C. 2801, et seq.) and the National Aquaculture Improvement Act 
(Pub. L. 99-198, 99 Stat. 1641) were passed to promote aquaculture in 
the Nation by:
    1. Declaring a national aquaculture policy to encourage development 
of aquaculture in the United States,
    2. Calling for the establishment and implementation of a national 
aquaculture development plan, and
    3. Encouraging aquaculture activities and programs in both the 
public and private sectors of the economy that will result in increased 
aquacultural production, coordination of domestic aquaculture efforts, 
conservation and enhancement of aquatic resources, and creation of new 
industries and job opportunities.
    The legislation emphasizes the need for government-wide 
coordination of national activities regarding aquaculture. To this end, 
it established a federal interagency aquaculture coordinating group 
within the Office of Science and Technology Policy that operates as the 
Joint Subcommittee on Aquaculture (JSA).
    The JSA prepared an R&D Plan to help shape, focus, and coordinate 
interagency research and development efforts on the highest-priority 
strategic goals and crosscutting objectives over 5-10 years that will 
encourage aquaculture development and uses in the Nation.
    The JSA R&D Plan envisions ``a globally competitive, 
technologically appropriate, and diverse aquaculture sector in the 
United States that meets increasing demand for seafood and products 
that are affordable and meet high standards for safety, quality, and 
environmental stewardship, with maximum opportunity for profitability 
and economic growth. A critical element of this vision is that the 
aquaculture sector develops in concert with, natural ecosystems that 
support recreational, fishery, and environmental services needs.''
    The R&D Plan identifies nine strategic goals:
    1. Advance Integration of Aquaculture Development and Environmental 
    2. Employ Genetics to Increase Productivity and Protect Natural 
    3. Improve Aquatic Animal Health.
    4. Improve Production Efficiency and Well-being.
    5. Improve Nutrition and Develop Novel Feeds.
    6. Increase Supply of Nutritious, Safe, High-quality Seafood.
    7. Introduce Innovative Production Systems.
    8. Create Skilled Workforce and Effective Technology Transfer.
    9. Integrate Economic and Social Sciences.

[[Page 41165]]

    Each goal, along with its outcomes, milestones, and performance 
measures, is described in detail within the R&D Plan.

    Dated: July 9, 2012.
Michael Rubino,
Director, Office of Aquaculture, National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    Dated: July 2, 2012.
 Jeffrey Silverstein,
National Program Leader for Aquaculture, USDA-ARS Office of National 
[FR Doc. 2012-17051 Filed 7-11-12; 8:45 am]