" ... we must turn to the sea with new understanding and new technology. We need to farm it as we farm the land ..."
- Jacques Cousteau, 1973

NOAA Aquaculture Program

Oyster Farm Cambridge Maryland

The NOAA Aquaculture Program focuses on enabling commercial finfish and shellfish production to help meet increasing seafood demand as well as developing aquaculture as a fisheries management tool to enhance stocks of wild fish. Pictured above is a Maryland oyster farm. [NOAA Aquaculture Program photo]

Aquaculture is the fastest growing form of food production in the world. It is also a significant source of protein for people in many countries, including the United States. Globally, nearly half the fish consumed by humans is produced by fish farms. This worldwide trend toward aquaculture production is expected to continue. At the same time, demand for safe, healthy seafood is also expected to grow.

As a federal agency under the U.S. Department of Commerce, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is at the forefront of a national initiative to help the United States become more self-sufficient in the production of seafood. This initiative is based on sustainable commercial marine fisheries complemented by robust domestic aquaculture production.

Guided by the 10-Year Plan for Marine Aquaculture, NOAA's overall aquaculture efforts are focused on creating domestic supply to meet the nation’s growing demand for seafood; establishing aquaculture as a viable technology for replenishment of important commercial and recreational marine fisheries; and creating opportunities for the United States to engage the global aquaculture community through scientific and technological exchange.

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