NOAA releases new marine aquaculture permitting guide

Responsible Seafood Advocate

Guide designed to help navigate federal permitting process for aquaculture in the United States

aquaculture permitting
NOAA has released a new guide to help navigate the federal marine aquaculture permitting process in U.S. waters. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released a new guide to help navigate the federal permitting process for marine aquaculture (finfish, shellfish, invertebrates, seaweed). The 28-page guide was prepared by NOAA in consultation with the Subcommittee on Aquaculture (SCA) under the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).

The Guide to Permitting Marine Aquaculture in the United States (2022) outlines basic information about the federal aquaculture permitting requirements and processes.

It summarizes the key requirements to obtain federal permits to conduct commercial aquaculture activities and provides an overview of the federal statutes and regulations governing aquaculture in the United States.

It’s part of an effort to improve regulatory transparency for aquaculture. However, depending on where an operation is sited, marine aquaculture is also subject to other municipal and state regulations, which are not fully captured in the guide.


“This guide is neither exhaustive nor inclusive, but is meant to reflect what a typical applicant for an aquaculture operation would require,” wrote the authors of the guide. “We always encourage prospective growers to reach out to their local state or federal aquaculture coordinators for more direct and specific information.”

Click here to read the full guide.

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