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Massachusetts Aquaculture Strategic Plan Chapter VI - Summary
The lack of a cohesive aquaculture strategy, the absence of aquaculture staffing in State government and a daunting array of regulatory requirements have effectively stymied the potential for the aquaculture industry in Massachusetts to flourish. While there are other constraints to the industry, the administrative issues mentioned above are central to the success of aquaculture in this state. Without focussed, consistent State support for the industry, the aquaculture sector of our economy will continue to be small, representing a fraction of its potential.
This Strategic Plan is a critical first step toward establishing an effective and responsive administrative and regulatory framework which supports aquaculture in its many forms. The recommendations below represent the general consensus of the Working Groups and address the larger administrative needs of the industry. These recommendations, in concert with the specific regulatory, economic development and environmental review recommendations provide the underpinnings of the Strategic Plan.
Complete Listing of Recommendations
2. Reactivation of the Municipal Shellfish Propagation Program.
3. Establish aquaculture positions at DFA and DFWELE.
4. Bond monies should be directed to Strategic Plan priorities.
5. Improve shellfish licensing terms and conditions.
6. Produce "Aquaculture Regulatory Handbook".
7. Establish an Aquaculture Coordination Team.
8. Establish an Aquaculture Advisory Group.
9. Hire an Aquaculture Coordinator at DFA.
10. DMF is lead regulatory agency for marine aquaculture.
11. DFW is lead regulatory agency for inland aquaculture.
12. DFA is lead agency for promotion and marketing.
13. Establish an Interagency Aquaculture Permit Review Group.
14. Amend ACOE Programmatic General Permit.
15. Encourage pilot projects.
16. CZM should clarify Consistency Review.
17. DMF should promulgate regulations for finfish aquaculture.
18. Maintain and assert position that the boundary between private tidelands and state-owned subtidal land in MLW.
19. Chapter 91 fee structure should be reevaluated.
20. MEPA should review the adequacy of existing thresholds as they apply to aquaculture.
21. DEM should review ACEC program as it relates to aquaculture.
22. Establish presumption that the interests of the Ocean Sanctuary Act are met if DMF, DEP and CZM approve a project.
23. Shellfish aquaculture licenses should be renewable.
24. Shellfish aquaculture licenses should be transferable.
25. Municipalities should be given the option to preapprove areas.
26. State should provide written guidance to municipalities.
27. Concurrent filing of applications is encouraged.
28. Increase shellfish licensing fees.
29. Improve shellfish reporting requirements.
30. DMF should develop pilot leasing program for restricted areas.
31. Develop NPDES general permits for aquaculture discharges.
32. Develop policy on water withdrawals.
33. Ensure federal-state coordination.
34. Establish revolving loan fund.
35. Expand existing DFA programs to include aquaculture.
36. Subsidize participation in Boston Seafood Show.
37. Establish curriculum grants program for secondary schools.
38. State sponsorship of seminars for finance community.
39. Develop a public relations campaign for aquaculture.
40. Allow finfish growers to sell their products at below minimum size restrictions.
41. Consider developing a limited access elver fishery.
42. Allow limited number of special collection permits for broodstock.
43. Reassess current restrictions of culture of non-native species.
44. DMF should publish its policy concerning shellfish seed certification.
45. Conduct an annual survey of Mass. aquaculture industry.
46. Establish a competitive grant program to foster research and development.
47. Fund a research and innovation center.
48. Earmark existing funds for aquaculture training.
49. Consider adding an aquaculture member to the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Board.
50. The state should provide aquaculture extension services.
51. Develop a Mass.- grown seal.
52. Establish internet bulletin board.
53. Initiate study of agriculture cooperatives.
54. Develop a buyers guide to aquaculture products.
55. Provide marketing seminars for growers.
56. Appropriate funds for degree programs in aquaculture.
57. Establish grant program for public aquaculture programs.
58. Establish regional aquaculture demonstration centers.
59. Establish a grants program for private/public programs.
60. Encourage municipalities to include aquaculture within the context of local planning efforts.
61. The state should encourage pilot projects.
62. A base-map of coastal/ocean features should be developed.
63. Adopt a three step environmental monitoring process.
64. Support funding for long-term marine monitoring.
65. Secure new resources for DMF.
66. Develop an aquaculture application packet.
67. All data collection should be consistent with Mass. Marine Monitoring Program.
68. Establish an environmental monitoring focus group.
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Published: September 1995