To amend the National Aquaculture Act of 1980 to provide for the coordination and implementation of a national aquaculture policy for the private sector by the Secretary of Agriculture, to establish an aquaculture development and research program, and for other purposes.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
July 29, 1997
!!SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.!!
"(1)(A) The wild harvest or capture of certain seafood species exceeds levels of optimum sustainable yield, thereby making it more difficult to meet the increasing demand for aquatic food.
"(B) The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has identified aquaculture as one of the world's fastest growing food production activities.
"(C) The world production of aquaculture doubled from 10,000,000 metric tons in 1984 to 21,300,000 metric tons in 1995, with a value of approximately $40,000,000,000.
"(D) The United States produced 666,000,000 pounds of aquaculture products in 1994, less than 3 percent of the world output.
"(E) The United States is a major importer of aquaculture products.
"(2)(A) To satisfy the domestic market for aquatic food, the United States imports more than 59 percent of its seafood.
"(B) This dependence on imports adversely affects the national balance of payments and contributes to the uncertainty of supplies and product quality.
"(3)(A) Although aquaculture currently contributes approximately 17 percent by weight of world seafood production, less than 9 percent by weight of current United States seafood production results from aquaculture.
"(B) As a result, domestic aquaculture production has the potential for significant growth.
"(4) Aquaculture production of aquatic animals and plants is a source of food, industrial materials, pharmaceuticals, energy, and aesthetic enjoyment, and can assist in the control and abatement of pollution.
"(5) The rehabilitation and enhancement of fish and shellfish resources are desirable applications of aquaculture technology.
"(6) The principal responsibility for the development of aquaculture in the United States must rest with the private sector.
"(7) Despite its potential, the development of aquaculture in the United States has been inhibited by many scientific, economic, legal, and production factors, such as-
"(B) limited research and development and demonstration programs;
"(C) diffused legal jurisdiction;
"(D) inconsistent interpretations between Federal agencies;
"(E) the lack of management information;
"(F) the lack of supportive policies of the Federal Government;
"(G) the lack of therapeutic compounds for treatment of the diseases of aquatic animals and plants;
"(H) the lack of reliable supplies of seed stock; and
"(I) the availability of additional species for commercial production.
"(8) Many areas of the United States are suitable for aquaculture, but are subject to land-use or water-use management policies and regulations that do not adequately consider the potential for aquaculture and may inhibit the development of aquaculture.
"(10) Despite the current and increasing importance of private aquaculture to the United States economy and to rural areas in the United States, Federal efforts to nurture aquaculture development have failed to keep pace with the needs of fish and aquatic plant farmers.
"(11) The United States has a premier opportunity to expand existing aquaculture production and develop new aquaculture industries to serve national needs and the global marketplace.
"(12) United States aquaculture provides wholesome products for domestic consumers and contributes significantly to employment opportunities and the quality of life in rural areas in the United States.
"(13)(A) Aquaculture is poised to become a major growth industry of the 21st century.
"(B) With global seafood demand projected to increase 70 percent by 2025, and harvests from capture fisheries stable or declining, aquaculture will have to increase production by 700 percent, a total of 77 million metric tons annually, to meet that projection.
"(B) In 1994, the industry produced 666,000,000 pounds with a farm gate value of $751,000,000.
"(15)(A) In 1994, per capita consumption of aquatic foods in the United States was 15 pounds per person per year.
"(B) Demand is projected to double by 2025.".
"(II) carry out a program to notify organizations, institutions, and individuals known to be involved in aquaculture of the existence of the Center and the kinds of information that the Center can make available to the public; and
"(III) make available, on request, information described in subclause (I) (including information collected under subsection (e));";
"(7) facilitate improved communication and interaction among aquaculture producers, the aquaculture community, the Federal Government, and the coordinating group, establish a working relationship with national organizations, commodity associations, and professional societies representing aquaculture interests.".
"(a) ASSISTANCE AND COORDINATION.-
"(A) demonstrates strong potential for accelerating the transfer to the marketplace of aquaculture products, processes, and technologies that can improve profitability, production, efficiency, and sustainability of existing and emerging aquaculture sectors;
"(C) will facilitate the commercialization of promising research and technologies deriving from existing aquaculture research programs.
"(B) REMAINING SHARE.-The remaining share of the cost of a grant or contract under this section may be-
"(ii) partially comprised of funds made available under other Federal programs, except that the non- Federal share may not be less than 10 percent of the cost of the grant or contract.
"(b) PRIORITIES.-In making grants or awarding contracts under subsection (a), the Secretary shall give a higher priority to-
"(2) investigations of new aquaculture products or processes that demonstrate a high potential for commercialization;
"(3) market development programs for new or improved aquaculture products or processes;
"(4) activities that have a strong potential to create employment opportunities involving aquaculture;
"(5) other activities that accelerate the commercialization of promising aquaculture technologies;
"(7) the extent to which the proposal includes participation with a private aquaculture farm or business that supplies products or services that are necessary for aquaculture farming.
"(a) REQUIREMENT.-In collaboration with the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary shall coordinate and implement a national policy for private aquaculture in accordance with this section.
"(d) TREATMENT OF AQUACULTURE.-The Secretary shall treat-
"(2) commercially cultivated aquatic animals, plants, and microorganisms, and products of the animals, plants, and microorganisms, produced by private persons and transported or moved in standard commodity channels as agricultural livestock, crops, and commodities, respectively.
Section 343(a) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1991(a)) is amended by striking "fish farming" both places it appears in paragraphs (1) and (2) and inserting "aquaculture (as defined in section 3 of the National Aquaculture Act of 1980 (16 U.S.C. 2802))".
(b) CONTENTS.-The report required by subsection (a) shall include-
(2) the specific authorities for the activities described in paragraph (1); and
(3) recommendations for such actions as the Secretary of