This framework will authorize the possession and harvest of farmed-raised Atlantic salmon in the EEZ to allow for implementation of Atlantic salmon aquaculture projects in federal waters.

The Council prioritized this work in December 2021, initiated the action in September 2022, approved a range of goals and objectives in December 2022, and selected a final preferred alternative in April 2023.

The preferred alternative is to allow possession of farm-raised Atlantic salmon through a letter of authorization (LOA) issued by NOAA Fisheries and require that wild-capture fisheries gear onboard vessels participating in offshore aquaculture operations be properly stowed and not available for immediate use as defined in existing regulations.

Atlantic Salmon Preliminary Submission - May 3, 2023

  1. Goal and objectives approved December 2022
  2. Background information

The Atlantic Salmon Fishery Management Plan (FMP) prohibits possession of wild Atlantic salmon. This action considers adjustments to the management measures in the FMP that prohibit the possession and harvest of this species to enable Atlantic salmon aquaculture operations to be carried out in federal waters. As necessary, management measures will be added or adjusted to ensure aquaculture projects are conducted in a manner consistent with the goals and objectives of the FMP.

The action will also identify specific concerns related to Atlantic salmon aquaculture in the EEZ that may require monitoring or reporting and develop management measures to address concerns. The action will clarify, add, or adjust management measures, as necessary, to ensure that federal dealers are not restricted from purchasing, possessing, and/or selling Atlantic salmon harvested from authorized EEZ aquaculture operations.

The Council’s intent is to avoid duplication of existing state and federal enforcement, monitoring, and reporting requirements and mechanisms while meeting the conservation and management objectives for Atlantic salmon. The Council will ensure adjustments to the FMP are done in a manner that applies generally to Atlantic salmon aquaculture operations and allows for flexibility associated with future changes in enforcement, monitoring, or reporting technologies and methods.