Aquaculture

aquacultureASA Positions

  • ASA supports implementation of marine aquaculture policies that will lead to development of a domestic offshore aquaculture industry.
  • ASA supports research on plant-based feeds to position soy as the economically viable and environmentally friendlier alternative to fish meal and fish oil.

Learn more about aquaculture from the Soy Aquaculture Alliance.

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Aquaculture is the fastest growing form of food production in the world, and most of this growth is offshore and overseas. Seafood imports are the second biggest contributor to the U.S. trade deficit — almost $9 billion per year. Major aquaculture-exporting nations include China, India, and Vietnam.

The soybean industry is the largest provider of protein for aquaculture applications, and ASA supports research on plant-based feeds to position soy as the economically viable and environmentally friendlier alternative to fish meal and fish oil. Since 1992, soybean farmers have funded market development activities for soy-based aquaculture diets, primarily in China. This program has increased demand for soybean meal for farm-raised fish from almost zero to an estimated 6 million metric tons annually, contributing to China’s emergence as the largest market for U.S. soybean exports and soy’s role as the largest U.S. agricultural export.

Soybean meal is a nutritional, high-protein source of aquafeed. Soy-based aquafeeds provide a product that is free of organic and inorganic contaminants that may be found in fish meal based feeds. As global demand for soybean oil for biodiesel continues to increase, soybean meal is likely – given the stability of the supply – to become even more competitive as an aquaculture feedstock.

The Department of Commerce and NOAA released national sustainable marine aquaculture policies in June 2011. One of the programs announced is the implementation of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Plan for Aquaculture, which includes the regulatory infrastructure needed for offshore aquaculture development in the Gulf. ASA applauds the release of the policies and will work toward their implementation.

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Reach out to your member of Congress on this issue:
Soy Action Center

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