Congress finds the following:
(1) The harvest of certain species of fish and shellfish exceeds levels of optimum sustainable yield, thereby making it more difficult to meet the increasing demand for aquatic food.
(2) To satisfy the domestic market for aquatic food, the United States imports more than 50 per centum of its fish and shellfish, but this dependence on imports adversely affects the national balance of payments and contributes to the uncertainty of supplies.
(3) Although aquaculture currently contributes approximately 13 percent of world seafood production, less than 6 percent of current United States seafood production results from aquaculture. Domestic aquacultural production, therefore, has the potential for significant growth.
(4) Aquacultural production of aquatic plants can provide sources of food, industrial materials, pharmaceuticals, and energy, and can assist in the control and abatement of pollution.
(5) The rehabilitation and enhancement of fish and shellfish resources are desirable applications of aquacultural technology.
(6) The principal responsibility for the development of aquaculture in the United States must rest with the private sector.
(7) Despite its potential, the development of aquaculture in the United States has been inhibited by many scientific, economic, legal, and production factors, such as inadequate credit, diffused legal jurisdiction, the lack of management information, the lack of supportive Government policies, and the lack of reliable supplies of seed stock.
(8) Many areas of the United States are suitable for aquaculture, but are subject to land-use or water-use management policies that do not adequately consider the potential for aquaculture and may inhibit the development of aquaculture.
It is the purpose of this chapter to promote aquaculture in the United States by—
(1) declaring a national aquaculture policy;
(2) establishing and implementing a national aquaculture development plan;
(3) establishing the Department of Agriculture as the lead Federal agency with respect to the coordination and dissemination of national aquaculture information by designating the Secretary of Agriculture as the permanent chairman of the coordinating group and by establishing a National Aquaculture Information Center within the Department of Agriculture; and
(4) encouraging aquaculture activities and programs in both the public and private sectors of the economy;
that will result in increased aquacultural production, the coordination of domestic aquaculture efforts, the conservation and enhancement of aquatic resources, the creation of new industries and job opportunities, and other national benefits.
Congress declares that aquaculture has the potential for reducing the United States trade deficit in fisheries products, for augmenting existing commercial and recreational fisheries and for producing other renewable resources, thereby assisting the United States in meeting its future food needs and contributing to the solution of world resource problems. It is, therefore, in the national interest, and it is the national policy, to encourage the development of aquaculture in the United States.
(Pub. L. 96–362, §2, Sept. 26, 1980, 94 Stat. 1198; Pub. L. 99–198, title XVII, §1732, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1641.)
1985—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 99–198, §1732(1), substituted "13 percent" for "10 per centum" and "6 percent" for "3 per centum".
Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 99–198, §1732(2), inserted "scientific," before "economic," and "the lack of supportive Government policies," after "management information,".
Subsec. (b)(3), (4). Pub. L. 99–198, §1732(3), added par. (3) and redesignated former par. (3) as (4).
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99–198, §1732(4), inserted "or reducing the United States trade deficit in fisheries products,".
Pub. L. 99–198, title XVII, §1731, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1641, provided that: "This subtitle [subtitle C [D] (§§1731–1737) of title XVII of Pub. L. 99–198, amending this section and sections 2802 to 2805 and 2809 of this title] may be cited as the 'National Aquaculture Improvement Act of 1985'."
Pub. L. 96–362, §1, Sept. 26, 1980, 94 Stat. 1198, provided: "That this Act [enacting this chapter] may be cited as the 'National Aquaculture Act of 1980'."