Assembly Joint Resolution No. 24 (First Reprint)
A Joint Resolution declaring aquaculture an important economic driver for the State, and urging the State to include the industry in its economic development plans.
Whereas, Aquaculture, also known as fish or shellfish farming, refers to the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of animals and plants in 1[all] various1 types of water environments including ponds, rivers, lakes, 1and1 bays 1[, and the ocean]1; and
Whereas, The State’s history with aquaculture dates back to oyster culture operations in the early 19th century and the establishment of a private trout hatchery in the 1860s and an extensive freshwater finfish hatchery program in 1912; and
Whereas, New Jersey’s coastal location and its proximity to the largest consumer markets in the nation indicate that aquaculture can and should be a thriving and vital industry in the State; and
Whereas, Aquaculture plays an important role in meeting the dietary need of an increasingly health conscious and growing population, and fish farming can help supplement the harvest of wild caught fish to meet that demand; and
Whereas, Aquaculture is important to the future of 1[the seas] natural resources and the world’s food supply1 because it can provide reasonably priced, good quality, highly nutritious food while helping to maintain the long-term sustainability of wild caught fisheries; and
Whereas, The New Jersey Department of Agriculture established an Aquatic Farmer License program in 2004 to foster the growth of a viable and vibrant aquaculture industry in New Jersey; and
Whereas, The Office of Aquaculture Coordination in the New Jersey Department of Agriculture is promoting the development of aquaculture within the State by providing permitting guidance and marketing assistance to help new and existing growers; and
Whereas, New Jersey currently has over 160 licensed aquatic farmers who are producing a variety of finfish and shellfish for food, ornamental fish and plants for water gardens, and sport fish for stocking and fee fishing operations; and
Whereas, According to the Aquaculture Innovation Center at Rutgers, the State University, the total economic impact of aquaculture to New Jersey is as high as $36 million; and
Whereas, It is necessary and proper for the State to declare aquaculture an important State economic driver and to include the industry in its economic development plans; now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Aquaculture is declared to be an important economic driver for the State, and therefore the State is urged to include the industry in its economic development plans.
2. Copies of this resolution, as filed with the Secretary of State, shall be transmitted by the Clerk of the General Assembly or the Secretary of the Senate to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of Agriculture, and Commissioner of Environmental Protection.
3. This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.
Declares aquaculture an important State economic driver and urges State to include aquaculture industry in its economic development plans.