NOAA recently announced it will implement a comprehensive regulatory program for aquaculture in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, effective February 12, 2016.
In the U.S., federal waters begin where state jurisdiction ends and extend out to 200 miles offshore. In this case, federal waters begin three nautical miles off Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama and nine nautical miles off Texas and the west coast of Florida.
The new rule authorizes NOAA Fisheries to issue permits to grow species such as red drum, cobia, and almaco jack in federal waters in the Gulf for an initial period of 10 years.
The rule implements environmental safeguards, including a baseline survey, monitoring, and reporting requirements.
In addition to a NOAA permit, farming fish in federal waters also requires permits from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). The agencies are working on a coordinated permitting process for the Gulf.
Commercial farming of marine species, such as oysters, clams, mussels and salmon, have operated in state waters for many years.
For more information, visit: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/stories/2016/01/offshore_aq_rule.html
source: NOAA Fisheries