Aquaponics Association airs concern over Trump executive order
By Nestor Arellano
An organization focused on promoting aquaponics has warned that an executive order from the White House, which aims to streamline environmental review and permitting processes in the aquaculture industry, could have “negative consequences.”
The Aquaponics Association issued a statement indicating its concern with certain provisions of Executive Order 13921, Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth. The order was issued by President Donald Trump on May 7 this year with the stated purpose of improving the competitiveness of American industry; ensuring food security; and providing environmentally safe and sustainable seafood.
Among other things, the order deals with removing barriers to aquaculture permitting, limiting environmental review to two years, and reviewing existing regulatory measures.
The Aquaponics Association said the executive order “addresses important goals”, however, “the method of achieving this goal risks severe negative consequences.”
“We do not support the de-regulation of off-shore fishing proposed as a means to boost production,” the group said.”Prioritizing short-term gains over meaningful, long-term viability of aquaculture is contrary to the spirit of the industry aquaculturists have worked so hard to build.”
The Aquaponics Association pointed out that there have been numerous examples of how unmitigated off-shore aquaculture have been harmful to overall fish supply and environmental health.
The association recommended that the government consider the following:
- Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), freshwater pond, and aquaponic seafood culture as sectors of co-equal importance to marine culture.
- Establish regular lines of contact between the NOAA Fisheries offices, Regional Aquaculture Center network, USDA Extension Services, and the USDA Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production.
- Continue to support regulation and oversight of American marine aquaculture to ensure the long-term safety and viability of our natural waters.