Courtesy of NAA:
Reps. Kat Cammack (R-FL-03), Ed Case (D-HI-01), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20), and Steven Palazzo (R-MS-04) announced the establishment of the Aquaculture Caucus, for which the four representatives will serve as inaugural co-chairs.
The National Aquaculture Association encourages its members and nonmembers to reach out to their House members to ask them to join this historic effort.
The caucus will serve as a resource and forum to educate and share the potential for growing sustainable, innovative domestic aquaculture. It will also provide policy updates and share initiatives in Congress that support U.S. aquaculture and work to make it more competitive at the global level.
"Aquaculture should be one of the United States' priorities as we grow our focus on food security. In Florida, we've seen the benefits of aquaculture firsthand, breeding, raising, and harvesting shellfish, fish, and aquatic plants in our waters. We've demonstrated that it's possible to provide healthy, fresh food that's produced sustainably at home to support our growing population," said Congresswoman Cammack. "The Aquaculture Caucus shares our enthusiasm for pushing these industries and their innovations forward while growing our infrastructure and market domestically."
"Aquaculture has always held great promise to help us achieve our broader goals of creating sustainable food systems and responsibly managing our marine resources," said Congressman Case. "Congress should focus more directly on how best to mold federal policy to realize the full potential of American aquaculture. Our new Aquaculture Caucus will provide that focus as we clarify often confusing and contradicting regulatory schemes while ensuring that we protect our marine environment."
"Since first introducing the Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture Act (AQUAA) in 2018, the conversation on expanding our nation's aquaculture industry has only grown," said Congressman Palazzo. "The fact of the matter is, the United States is missing out on an incredible economic and sustainable opportunity to grow aquaculture on our own shores, creating more American jobs. I’m proud to be a part of the new Aquaculture Caucus and look forward to the conversations and ideas this caucus moves forward."
"It is reported that we import well over three-quarters of the seafood that we consume in the United States. Aquaculture can play an important role in reducing our reliance on other countries for fish and increase our consumption as well as our domestic production of sustainable seafood," said Congressman Panetta. "The bipartisan Congressional Aquaculture Caucus will work to create policies to support not just a sustainable source of food that can create jobs, but also ensure that it's economically feasible and environmentally friendly."
"Stronger America Through Seafood (SATS) thanks Reps. Cammack, Case, Palazzo, and Panetta for establishing a congressional caucus for lawmakers to learn about the benefits that a robust aquaculture industry would provide communities nationwide," said Horace Dawson, III, General Counsel of Red Lobster and Member of SATS. "The growth of American aquaculture would create new jobs across the seafood supply chain while supplying our communities with local, sustainable seafood. For the U.S. to realize the full economic potential of aquaculture, federal legislation is needed."
"The leadership to create bipartisan participation in an Aquaculture Caucus is strongly supported by the aquaculture community," commented Sebastian Belle, President, National Aquaculture Association. President Belle continued, "Creating a caucus to advocate for fish, shellfish, crustaceans and aquatic plant farms supporting thousands of jobs throughout the nation is important to effectively communicate the nationwide economic impact of aquaculture farms and their ancillary businesses to rural inland and coastal communities. Organizing an Aquaculture Caucus is very timely as the nation is experiencing food supply shocks and rising prices. We believe U.S. aquaculture is under appreciated for the diversity of freshwater and saltwater animals and plants farmed and sold live, fresh and processed to the American consumer; complexity and cost of federal and state regulations; lack of therapeutants to ensure animal care, and the value and benefits of federal research to advance sustainable production. The new Aquaculture Caucus creates an exciting focal point for national dialogue. We look forward to working with the caucus members."
The introductory caucus members include Reps. Cammack, Case, Palazzo, Panetta, Salud Carbajal, Jerry Carl, Buddy Carter, Rick Crawford, Scott Franklin, French Hill, Maria Salazar, Abigail Spanberger, and Rob Wittman.
To learn more contact the NAA Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or for House members to join the Aquaculture Caucus, please contact Will Smith with Representative Cammack’s Office at Will.Smith@mail.house.gov.