Jared Huffman, Mary Peltola introduce bill in US Congress to support seaweed farming
U.S. Representative Jared Huffman (D-California) and U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Alaska) have introduced the Coastal Seaweed Farm Act of 2023, a bill directing NOAA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to produce a joint study evaluating the benefits and impacts of coastal seaweed farming.
The bill would also create the Indigenous Seaweed Farming Fund, a grant program to reduce cost barriers for indigenous communities to get involved in coastal seaweed farming.
“The climate is changing, and as we work to mitigate its impacts and reduce damage, we also have a responsibility to find smart, sustainable alternatives to how we do things. Coastal seaweed farming has tremendous potential to serve as a sustainable replacement in food products, fertilizer, and animal feed; and it comes with a myriad of benefits for coastal communities – supporting local economies, providing food security, and regenerating marine ecosystems,” Huffman said in a press release. “We also want to ensure equity in this field so that indigenous people can continue benefiting from the industry – so our bill creates a grant program to reduce cost barriers for native communities, many of whom have farmed seaweed for thousands of years.”
Specifically, the Coastal Seaweed Farm Act directs NOAA and the USDA to study and publish a report on the benefits and impacts of coastal seaweed farming on the marine ecosystem; Develop regulations and establish evaluation metrics based on the study to ensure coastal seaweed farming, siting, and operations maximize potential benefits and avoid adverse impacts on the ecosystem, wildlife, fisheries, and local communities; Collaborate with the Interagency Working Group on Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge, states, tribes, local governments and other federal agencies on best practices; Develop food safety regulations on farmed seaweed in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; And provide educational materials for the training of incoming coastal seaweed farmers, prioritizing indigenous communities after the study is complete.
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By: Cliff White
Source: Seafood Source
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