Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: June 30, 2023

King bill would create national aquaculture office

2 people with lines of seaweed on boat File photo courtesy / Maine Sea Grant A bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, would create a designated office for aquaculture within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Maine shellfish harvesters and seaweed farmers would have a point person in the nation's capital to address any concerns under a bill sponsored by U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine.

The Sustaining Healthy Ecosystems, Livelihoods, and Local Seafood or SHELLS Act calls for creating a designated office for aquaculture within the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help aquaculture businesses, improve food security and strengthen coastal communities.

“For generations, Maine’s ocean economy has supported communities along our coast — aquaculture presents an exciting new opportunity to expand on this long tradition and create more good-paying jobs in the 21st Century,” King said.  

“This is a commonsense way to invest in Maine’s aquaculture farmers and harvesters, produce more world-class seafood products, and build on our state’s legacy of sustainable maritime innovation.”

The SHELLS Act also establishes an Aquaculture Advisory Committee to oversee program activities, support the development of best practices, provide technical assistance, and acknowledge the history, use, and preservation of Indigenous and traditional aquaculture practices and ecological knowledge.

Other sponsors of the bill include U.S. Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D.-R.I., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss.

Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Reps. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore.; Rob Wittman, R-Va.; Frank Pallone D-N.J.; and U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine 1st District.

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF