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Aquaculture and Aquaponics

Aquaculture is the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of fish, shellfish, algae, and other water organisms under controlled conditions for at least part of their lifecycle. Aquaculture is a sustainable farming practice that supports the U.S. agricultural economy by providing jobs and business opportunities.

Aquaponics is the practice of combining aquaculture and hydroponics (growing plants without soil) into one system. 


Resources about Aquaponics


Aquaculture is federally defined in the National Aquaculture Act of 1980 as the “propagation and rearing of aquatic species in controlled or selected environments, including but not limited to, ocean ranching (except private ocean ranching of Pacific for profit in those States where such ranching is prohibited by law).” 16 U.S.C.A. § 2802 (1)

Research and Selected Resources

External links relevant to aquaculture, organized by federal agency
U.S. Department of Agriculture

USDA Aquaculture
Seventeen USDA Agencies fall under eight Mission Areas to support aquaculture through their program leadership. USDA primarily supports aquaculture through the programs administered in the Mission Areas and Agencies outlined on this site, including the following:

U.S. Department of Commerce

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

NIOSH Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Program (AgFF)
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducts research and proposes practices to reduce occupational diseases, injuries and fatalities among workers in the aquaculture industry.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Aquaculture: NPDES. []

Provides information on aquaculture production; best management practices; and regulatory requirements and compliance. EPA stresses aquaculture-related environmental requirements.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Aquaculture Funding Opportunities


Aquaculture farmers and researchers may be eligible for grant or financial assistance programs. 

Special Collections at NAL

Selections from the Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection

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