Florida Congresswoman Helps Launch the Aquaculture Caucus on Capitol Hill

With her first term in Congress wrapping up, U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., helped launch the Aquaculture Caucus last week.

Cammack joined U.S. Reps. Ed Case, D-Hawaii, Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., and Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., in leading the new group.

“The caucus will serve as a resource and forum to educate and share the potential for growing sustainable, innovative domestic aquaculture. It will also provide policy updates and share initiatives in Congress that support U.S. aquaculture and work to make it more competitive at the global level,” Cammack’s office noted.

“Aquaculture should be one of the United States’ priorities as we grow our focus on food security. In Florida, we’ve seen the benefits of aquaculture firsthand, breeding, raising, and harvesting shellfish, fish, and aquatic plants in our waters. We’ve demonstrated that it’s possible to provide healthy, fresh food that’s produced sustainably at home to support our growing population,” said Cammack. “The Aquaculture Caucus shares our enthusiasm for pushing these industries and their innovations forward while growing our infrastructure and market domestically.”

“Aquaculture has always held great promise to help us achieve our broader goals of creating sustainable food systems and responsibly managing our marine resources,” said Case. “Congress should focus more directly on how best to mold federal policy to realize the full potential of American aquaculture. Our new Aquaculture Caucus will provide that focus as we clarify often confusing and contradicting regulatory schemes while ensuring that we protect our marine environment.”

“Since first introducing the Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture Act (AQUAA) in 2018, the conversation on expanding our nation’s aquaculture industry has only grown,” said Palazzo. “The fact of the matter is, the United States is missing out on an incredible economic and sustainable opportunity to grow aquaculture on our own shores, creating more American jobs. I’m proud to be a part of the new Aquaculture Caucus and look forward to the conversations and ideas this caucus moves forward.”

“It is reported that we import well over three-quarters of the seafood that we consume in the United States. Aquaculture can play an important role in reducing our reliance on other countries for fish and increase our consumption as well as our domestic production of sustainable seafood,” said Panetta. “The bipartisan Congressional Aquaculture Caucus will work to create policies to support not just a sustainable source of food that can create jobs, but also ensure that it’s economically feasible and environmentally friendly.”

Stronger America Through Seafood (SATS) and the National Aquaculture Association are backing the new caucus.

Nine other U.S. House members have joined the caucus including U.S. Reps. Scott Franklin, R-Fla., and Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla.

Cammack burst on the Florida political scene in the 2012 election cycle when she helped guide Ted Yoho to a primary victory over longtime U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., in one of the biggest upsets in the Sunshine State’s political history. After serving as an aide to Yoho for eight years, Cammack won the seat in 2020 when he retired.

Kevin Derby
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