La. Farm Bureau/Radio Network
February 14, 2014
New Group Strives to Bring Attention to Aquaculture Industry
The formation of the Coalition for U.S. Seafood Production was announced as the World Aquaculture Society meeting was taking place in Seattle this week. This soybean-industry led group is - to be known as CUSP - is an outgrowth of the Soy Aquaculture Alliance. Alliance Executive Director Steven Hart says it's crucial to establish relationships and build connections among soy, aquaculture and seafood value chain stakeholders to help aquaculture catch on. He says CUSP will encourage the executive branch and Congress to help expand U.S. aquaculture - which they say is needed to meet the growing demand for fish in the U.S. and other countries in the coming years. The goals of the coalition are supported by a recent World Bank, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and International Food Policy Research Institute report. The report predicted that 62-percent of fish for human food will come from aquaculture by 2030 because fish catchers in the wild are expected to level off amid rising demand for low-cost protein from a growing middle class. The FAO also found that the U.S. has some of the world's best potential locations for offshore fish farming. The coalition's goals include finalizing a fishery management plan for marine aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico, reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevenson Marine Fisheries Management Act - which guides the activities of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration related to aquaculture - and declaration of aquaculture as a specialty crop in the next farm bill.
NRCS Accepting CIG Pre-Proposals
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications for pre-proposals for Conservation Innovation Grants. The grants allow for the accelerated development of technologies and adoption of promising approaches that address natural resource concerns on private agricultural and forest lands. Priority will go to applications relating to nutrient management, energy conservation, soil health, air quality, climate change, wildlife, economics, sociology, environmental markets, food safety, historically underserved groups or assessments of past CIG projects. About 15-million dollars will be made available for these competitive grants nationwide. To learn more about this opportunity visit the NRCS website at www dot nrcs dot usda dot gov (www.nrcs.usda.gov). Click on the technical assistance link under the popular topics heading. Applications are due March 7th. To apply electronically - visit grants dot gov (www.grants.gov).
Final Rule on Imports and BSE Published by USDA's APHIS
A final rule amending import regulations for animals and animal products with regard to BSE has been published by USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The rule describes a new system for classifying regions in other countries as negligible, controlled and undetermined risk for BSE. It also revises the conditions for the specific importation of bovine products and removes restrictions on the importation of cervids and camelids - and products derived from such animals. Further - the new regulations prescribe the conditions under which certain commodities - as described in the rule - may be imported into the U.S. from regions designated as having negligible, controlled or undetermined risk for BSE. The final BSE rule goes into effect March 4th.