Saturday, January 28, 2012

Offshore Aquaculture

The new NOAA aquaculture policy is a start but overall a better climate for aquaculture investment is needed. One of the problems is that environmental critics hold ocean systems to a much different standard than land based food systems. Offshore aquaculture is a key component of a future US seafood industry.

In the coming decades, the world is going to face food-supply challenges, and aquaculture can contribute to feeding the growing world population sustainably. So why are more advancements not being made? John Forster of Forster Consulting in Washington, D.C., thinks general stagnation and regulatory smothering are suffocating offshore aquaculture’s potential. Forster talked to SeafoodSource recently about the problems, challenges and potential of offshore aquaculture.
National Offshore Aquaculture Act of 2007 

Forristall: Why is offshore aquaculture being held back? 

Forster: The case we make for it right now is that there is a big seafood deficit and we import 80 percent of our seafood. We could produce some of that here and save the country USD 4 billion to USD 5 billion in imports. But Congress and politicians don’t talk in terms of less than a USD 100 billion idea.

We need to do something bigger that captures their imagination. It’s more than just about supplementing our seafood supply; it’s potentially a new system of food production.
There are so many environmental benefits, you don’t have to use fresh water or fertilizer and you don’t have to use any more of the land; there’s almost unlimited space. There’s big potential if we could only solve the problems, and they’re formidable. But there is potential for a big new sustainable industry concept that makes sense to me, but until we can present that idea and get the message across that ocean aquaculture is more important than topping off our seafood supply.

Many people have environmental concerns about offshore aquaculture. This article represents the industry's point of view.

No comments:

Post a Comment