U.S. representatives in Congress have introduced legislation to create an office of aquaculture within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“Shellfish harvesters and seaweed farmers play an essential role in our food supply, but historically they haven’t received the support they need to reach their full potential,” U.S.Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Oregon) said, adding that a USDA aquaculture program office “will help shellfish harvesters and seaweed farmers grow their small businesses while expanding blue carbon ecosystems that help address the climate crisis.”
The office created by the bipartisan Sustaining Healthy Ecosystems, Livelihoods, and Local Seafood (SHELLS) Act would be in charge of promoting shellfish, seaweed, and land-based aquaculture operations “that provide environmental, economic, and social benefits.” The office also would provide technical assistance and best practices for farmers while ensuring aquaculture is included in USDA programs. A representative from the office would sit on the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Subcommittee on Aquaculture...