Global demand for seafood is projected to increase by 70 percent in the next 30 years, and harvests from capture fisheries are stable or declining. A consensus is growing that a dramatic increase in aquaculture is needed to supply future aquatic food needs. In cooperation with our land-grant university partners and diverse stakeholders, NIFA provides leadership and funding for aquaculture research, technology development, and extension programs.
The current NIFA aquaculture research and extension base is highly diverse in terms of funding mechanisms, areas of research, and species cultured. NIFA also provides leadership, on behalf of the Secretary of Agriculture, to facilitate the coordination of all federal programs in aquaculture. This is done through the Joint Subcommittee on Aquaculture, which reports to the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Office of the Science Advisor to the President.
NIFA's funding of scientific and technology transfer goals to support development of a globally competitive U.S. aquaculture industry includes:
- improving the efficiency of U.S. aquaculture production;
- improving aquaculture production systems;
- improving the sustainability and environmental compatibility of aquaculture production;
- ensuring and improving the quality, safety, and variety of aquaculture products for consumers;
- improving the marketing of U.S. aquaculture products; and
- improving information dissemination, technology transfer, and access to global information and technology in aquaculture.