Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 11-27-2006

Abstract

Currently accounting for fifty percent of the global supply of aquatic food, the 2006 FAO Report on the State of World Aquaculture anticipates aquaculture to have the potential to meet the world’s exponentially growing demand for seafood. As wild fisheries face collapse, any further expansion of the global seafood supply will come from aquaculture. Domestic aquaculture is in a critical developmental stage and stakeholders are in dialogue regarding the National Offshore Aquaculture Act, legislation that would grant the Secretary of Commerce the authority to issue offshore aquaculture permits in the federal waters of the U.S. EEZ. Concurrently, the demand for seafood that is farmed in a socially and environmentally responsible aquaculture practice, eco-labeling, and exposure to contaminants are becoming increasingly important public concerns; market incentive has created a niche for smaller producers and companies who can assure food safety and traceability. The organic movement has spread to the U.S. and an Aquaculture Task Force has been drawn to address this issue. Visible trends are materializing within the food industry as the seafood sector utilizes the Internet and growing consumer preference and knowledge base. A role for seafood guides and business partnerships has emerged and been met by conservation groups, including Environmental Defense. By ranking both wild and farmed species, consumers can make informed decisions on the seafood they consume, impacting fisheries management and sustainable aquaculture development through marketplace conservation.

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Division: MAF

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