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Open Ocean Aquaculture

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Publication Date: August 2004

Publisher(s): Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

Series: RS21914

Topic: Agriculture, forestry and fishing (Fish industry)


Open ocean aquaculture, defined as the rearing of marine organisms in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, is seen as a viable option for supplying consumer demand for marine products while avoiding inshore user conflicts and addressing the growing seafood trade deficit. However, major barriers to open ocean aquaculture include 1) difficulties in obtaining sufficient front-end capital investment; 2) a multi-agency permitting process; 3) technical challenges in the design and construction of facilities able to withstand the marine environment; and 4) the social and environmental impacts of open ocean aquaculture.