The National Sea Grant Law Center


  • Exploring Options to Authorize Offshore Aquaculture

  • In 2019, the National Sea Grant Law Center (NSGLC) received funding to plan and convene a collaborative learning workshop with legal scholars, federal Executive agency staff, Congressional staff, and industry representatives to tackle the uncertainty surrounding security of tenure for offshore aquaculture operations. As a legal concept, “security of tenure” can mean different things in different contexts. The NSGLC uses “security of tenure” to refer to the rights that aquaculture operators receive from the federal government to use and occupy federal waters for offshore aquaculture. The primary goals of the project are: (1) to improve the understanding of the property-related legal options for the development of marine aquaculture in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and (2) to identify potential approaches to implement those options.

    The “Exploring Options to Authorize Offshore Aquaculture” workshop was scheduled for May 12 – 13, 2020 in Washington, D.C. The workshop could not be held in-person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As an alternative approach, the NSGLC decided to host portions of the 1½-day workshop agenda virtually in May and plan a follow-up in person meeting for late winter 2021.

    The “Exploring Options to Authorize Offshore Aquaculture” virtual workshop consisted of two 3-hour workshop sessions held over the course of two days, May 12-13, 2020. On Day 1, participants focused on identifying the needs of government and industry relative to the authorization process. On Day 2, participants evaluated the identified needs against a range of available property rights mechanisms.

  • Download Initial Workshop Summary Report

  • Related Research

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    Offshore Finfish Culture Operations

    Questions from NOAA Aquaculture regarding permitting of mussel culture operations in offshore federal waters

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662-915-5267 (fax)