NOAA has published its first five-year Strategic Plan for Aquaculture to guide the agency’s work from 2023-2028. The Strategic Plan was developed by the NOAA Aquaculture Program, which consists of NOAA Fisheries Aquaculture, NOAA Sea Grant Aquaculture, and the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Aquaculture. The plan also got inputs through public listening sessions to ensure the plan reflects the needs of a diverse range of users and stakeholders
This is the first Strategic Plan developed by all three offices in the NOAA Aquaculture Program and highlights shared goals to create conditions to boost a sustainable and resilient US aquaculture sector.
The plan envisions the aquaculture sector supporting jobs, expanding access to nutritious domestic seafood, and reinforcing healthy coastal and ocean ecosystems in a changing environment.
“Through this plan, NOAA will support a thriving, resilient, and inclusive US aquaculture industry as part of a competitive domestic seafood sector,” said Janet Coit, NOAA’s fisheries assistant administrator. “This plan will act as a framework to guide NOAA’s Aquaculture Program, set priorities to achieve our mission, and support NOAA’s vision of healthy and resilient ecosystems, communities, and economies.”
Four goals to expand sustainable aquaculture
The Strategic Plan includes the vision, and mission that will guide NOAA’s work. Furthermore, the new plan introduces four key goals, which outline NOAA’s top priorities over the next five years and will be achieved through collaborations between the program partners.
Goal 1. Manage Sustainably and Efficiently. Improve the regulatory processes for sustainable coastal and marine aquaculture through collaboration with partners.
Goal 2. Lead Science for Sustainability. Use world-class science expertise to meet management and industry needs for a thriving seafood production sector and share this knowledge broadly.
Goal 3. Educate and Exchange Information. Build awareness and support for coastal, marine, and Great Lakes aquaculture through two-way communication with diverse stakeholders and partners.
Goal 4. Support Economic Growth and Viability. Facilitate a robust aquaculture industry that thrives as a key component of a resilient seafood sector.
“Sustainable aquaculture encompasses the “triple bottom line” of economic viability, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility,” said David O’Brien, acting director of the office of aquaculture. “As the demand for seafood continues to increase, and climate change continues to pose a threat to food security, NOAA will continue supporting efforts to grow seafood on land, in coastal waters, and the open ocean in harmony with a healthy and resilient environment.”
Check out the plan here.