Florida Aquaculture is an extraordinarily diverse farming sector across the species, production systems and geographic locations found in the state. There are an estimated 1,500 species or varieties of fish, plants, molluscs, crustaceans, and reptiles grown. Florida aquafarms culture products for food and non-food markets that include seafood (fish and shellfish), freshwater and marine aquarium hobbyists, high fashion leather, water gardening, bait, biological control, biofuels, or as “seed” for national and international aquaculturists.
Florida Aquaculture Plan
As established in the Florida Aquaculture Policy Act (Chapter 597, Florida Statutes), aquaculture is agriculture and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is the lead aquaculture agency (visit http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/ for current Florida laws). The Act directs the Department to coordinate and assist in the development of aquaculture and to regulate aquafarms with the objectives of protecting or conserving Florida's natural resources. The Act also directs the Department to annually revise the Florida Aquaculture Plan [PDF].
Division Newsletter - March 2013 Edition
Oyster Resource Assessment Report for Apalachicola Bay
Best Management Practices for Marine Debris Clean-up
Florida’s Aquaculture Lease Program
The Governor and Cabinet, including the Commissioner of Agriculture, the Legislature, and many local governments have supported aquaculture as a practicable alternative to commercial fishing and conventional agriculture to foster economic development in rural and coastal communities. The legislature has also declared that it is in the state's economic, resource management, and food production interests to promote aquaculture production by facilitating the review and approval processes for leasing sovereignty submerged lands and water columns.