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US Marine Aquaculture Strategic Plan 2016 - 2020

01 June 2016

NOAA Fisheries has released its Marine Aquaculture Strategic Plan 2016-2020. The Plan will guide efforts within NOAA Fisheries to support development of sustainable marine aquaculture. The Plan features four main goals: regulatory efficiency, science tools for sustainable management, technology development and transfer, and an informed public.

Cross-cutting strategies of the plan include strengthening partnerships, improving external communications, building infrastructure to support marine aquaculture, and sound program management. It also establishes a target of expanding sustainable US marine aquaculture production by at least 50 percent by the year 2020.


Marine aquaculture enhances coastal resiliency, creates jobs, improves food security and human nutrition and is a valuable tool to help rebuild some protected species and habitats. Limits to wild fisheries, environmental changes, the nutritional benefits of seafood, and trends in global seafood markets underscore the need to increase U.S. marine aquaculture production and to selectively use aquaculture to help restore species and habitats.

We have made significant progress in achieving our aquaculture mission since the adoption of our last strategic plan, the 2007 NOAA 10-Year Plan for Marine Aquaculture. With the support of our partners, NOAA has helped improve the federal regulatory process for aquaculture, developed key products that serve the scientific needs of management and industry, and now lists aquaculture as an agency priority. These efforts helped spark recent growth in U.S. marine aquaculture production.

In this 5-year Strategic Plan, we take a fresh look at our priorities and address the regulatory, scientific, technical, communications, and organizational needs to advance U.S. marine aquaculture.

This Plan will help ensure that NOAA is focused on critical aquaculture priorities to ensure an efficient and strategic use of limited resources.

This Plan is intended to guide strategic actions within NOAA Fisheries but incorporates key activities undertaken by our NOAA partners at the National Ocean Service (NOS) and the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR).

While cognizant of limited resources, this Plan aspires to drive results and to help us reach our full potential.

The Office of Aquaculture developed this Plan over several months through a collaborative process that included input from the entire NOAA aquaculture team and other NOAA Fisheries offices and science centers. We sought review and input from our stakeholders through a public comment period, including the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC) Aquaculture Task Force. We have incorporated this valuable feedback to ensure this Plan reflects the needs of our stakeholders.

It took teamwork and advice from scientists, producers, nongovernmental organizations, and government agencies to produce this Plan, and it will take the same to fulfill the challenging mission that we have laid out. By working together, we can ensure that U.S. marine aquaculture grows to provide significant environmental, social, and economic benefits to the American public.

Dr. Michael Rubino
Office of Aquaculture

Further Reading

You can view the full report by clicking here.

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