new version of a bill released by the Bush administration encourages fish farm development in order to meet a growing national demand for seafood.
According to Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, the bill would help native fish stocks to recover from over-fishing, as well as providing a new revenue source for local economies.
"The best way to meet … rising demand is by managing wild fisheries effectively, and by expanding our seafood production through aquaculture," Gutierrez told the National Fisheries Institute.
Unlike original legislation introduced in 2005, the new measure requires new environmental standards for aquaculture, provides an option for opting out of the law, and opens up fish farming beyond state waters into federal areas.
The U.S. currently operates at an $8 billion seafood trade deficit, as 70% of seafood consumed in America is imported.