81st Annual Meeting: June 21-24, 2013 in Las Vegas



WHEREAS, fish is a highly nutritious animal protein, and the American Heart Association and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating at least two servings of fish (seafood) each week; and

WHEREAS, approximately 25% of world’s marine capture fisheries are considered over-exploited and an additional 50% are fully exploited and may not be able to sustainably meet the demand for fish as the global population continues to grow rapidly; and

WHEREAS, worldwide aquaculture production has expanded at an average rate of 8.8% per year over the last three decades while aquaculture growth in the United States has remained flat since 2003; and

WHEREAS, 2012 was the first year in which world fish supply from aquaculture was projected to surpass supply from wild fisheries; and

WHEREAS, the United States currently holds a nearly eleven-billion dollar trade deficit in fish and other seafood products; and

WHEREAS, the United States imports about ninety percent of its seafood supply, half of which is from aquaculture, and many of the 125 countries from which most products are imported do not have comparably rigorous environmental and safety standards for aquaculture production; and

WHEREAS, growing demand for aquaculture products signals a significant opportunity to promote aquaculture in the United States in support of economic development, jobs creation, and a safe and environmentally sustainable fish supply; and

WHEREAS, many major cities across the country, including Chicago, Milwaukee, and Los Angeles are supporting urban aquaculture with aquaculture and aquaponics projects; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program is currently developing new national organic regulations for aquaculture products similar to those for livestock products and other food items,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the US Conference of Mayors urges additional federal funding be committed toward research, development, marketing and promotion of aquaculture, to support and encourage a thriving US aquaculture industry able to better sustainably support domestic demand for fish; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the US Conference of Mayors supports greater federal, state and local investment in the development of innovative aquaculture feeds which are produced in an environmentally sustainably way; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the US Conference of Mayors urges the development of national organic standards for aquaculture products, and widespread promotion and marketing of organic aquaculture production; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the US Conference of Mayors urges cities to examine regulations and zoning ordinances to determine the feasibility for local urban aquaculture development, and streamline, update and modify regulations, codes and ordinances where applicable to encourage increased aquaculture production to better and more affordably provide healthy aquatic animal protein to their residents; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the US Conference of Mayors urges cities to develop markets for sustainably produced aquaculture, so that their residents may have greater access to healthy and sustainably produced aquatic animal protein.