The Magnuson-Stevens Act fosters long-term biological and economic sustainability of the US marine fisheries out to 200 nautical miles from the shore.
NOAA considers appealing ruling on offshore aquaculture
Thursday, September 27, 2018, 22:10 (GMT + 9)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is considering whether to appeal the Eastern District of Louisiana’s finding that the entity does not have regulatory authority to regulate aquaculture under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
The ruling was decided in response to a lawsuit presented by a coalition of fishing and public interest groups challenging the United States Department of Commerce's rules that would have permitted, for the first time, industrial finfish farms offshore in US waters.
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana has twelve authorized active judgeships with two current vacancies, four senior judges and five magistrate judges. (Photo: laeb.uscourts.gov)
The Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana ruled that existing fisheries management laws were never intended to regulate aquaculture, concluding that the Department of Commerce "acted outside of its statutory authority…"
NOAA points out that given conflicting court decisions and the desire for regulatory certainty, the agency supports congressional efforts to clarify the agency’s statutory authority to regulate aquaculture.
The federal entity stresses that it remains committed to expanding the social, environmental, and economic benefits of sustainable marine aquaculture in the United States and considers it is important to note that this ruling is not a prohibition on marine aquaculture, either nationally or in the Gulf of Mexico.
“We will continue to work with stakeholders through existing policies and legislation to increase aquaculture permitting efficiency and predictability,” expressed NOAA in a statement.
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