Comment on proposed fish farm locations – one off Siesta Key

June 7, 2022 —

On June 1, 2022, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries published a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement and conduct public scoping meetings. This impact statement seeks to assess the impacts of identifying Aquaculture Opportunity Areas (AOAs)in Federal Waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

This notice initiates a formal 60-day public comment period that will be used by NOAA to prepare the environmental impact statement, opened June 1, 2022 and closing Aug. 1, 2022.

Verbal comments can be made at three virtual meetings:

The first from 7:30 to 9:30 pm June 8. To access that webinar, go to https://bit.ly/3x1LBsJ or to listen and provide comment, dial l-800-857-5095 and use participant passcode 9612327.

The second from 6:30 to 8:30 pm June 16. For that webinar, go to https://bit.ly/3x72uSK or to listen and provide comments, dial 1-800-857-5095 and use passcode 9612327.

The third from 7:30 to 9:30 pm July 12., Go to https://bit.ly/3PWqL6E for the webinar or to listen and provide comments, dial 1-800-857-5095 and use passcode 9612327.

Electronic comments can be submitted at https://www.regulations.gov/ by searching for NOAA-NMFS-2022-0044. Enter NA in the required field if you want to remain anonymous.

Comments can be mailed to Andrew Richard, Regional Aquaculture Coordinator, NMFS, Southwest Regional office, 263 13th Ave. South, St. Petersburg, FL, 33701. Include “GULF AOA PEIS on envelope. Comments can include type of aquaculture for a site, potential adverse, beneficial or cumulative impacts of the aquaculture programs, monitoring and reporting requirements. For a list of more suggested areas for comment and more on how to comment, visit: https://bit.ly/3wWP9MQ.

Information and instructions on how to submit comments can be found on the NOAA Fisheries Gulf of Mexico AOA PEIS website. For questions about the Notice of Intent, contact Andrew Richard at Andrew.Richard@noaa.gov

Other helpful links:

NOAA Fishery Bulletin

Aquaculture Opportunity Areas

Gulf of Mexico Aquaculture Opportunity Area Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement

Maps Depicting the 9 Potential AOA Options in the Gulf of Mexico

Frequently Asked Questions: Aquaculture Opportunity Areas in the Gulf of Mexico

Get Involved: Aquaculture Opportunity Areas

www.fisheries.noaa.gov