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The Ocean Stewards Institute, an advocacy group for offshore aquaculture, announced a broadening in its focus moving into 2017, with the organization looking to support offshore aquaculture initiatives beyond its base in the United States.

“The Ocean Stewards have worked diligently with our partners in the U.S. over the years to successfully lay the foundation for offshore aquaculture growth in U.S. federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico,” said President Neil Anthony Sims. “This is a notable achievement. However, now that we have established a Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) for aquaculture in U.S. federal waters, we need to consider the broader, pressing global needs – and the opportunities in this sector.”

The Ocean Stewards expect much of the growth for offshore aquaculture to come from areas already active in the industry in various ways, including Norway, Chile, Turkey and Indonesia. The organization’s new vision recognizes this, said Sims.

“All the oceans of the earth are connected,” he said. “We need to support a more expansive, more inclusive offshore aquaculture community.”

The Ocean Stewards Institute has been working alongside the Coalition for U.S. Seafood Production (CUSP) in advocating for NOAA rules for aquaculture in the waters of the United States. NOAA is currently in the scoping phase for establishing a similar FMP for aquaculture to the one established in the Gulf of Mexico fisheries in the Western Pacific (WESPAC) region, at the behest of the WESPAC Council.


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