Fishery Management Plan for Regulating Offshore Marine Aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico

Gulf Aquaculture Plan




Click here for Statement on Recent Court Ruling on Aquaculture - September 26, 2018
NOAA remains committed to expanding sustainable U.S. aquaculture

The purpose of the Gulf Aquaculture Plan (PDF 596 pages) and final rule is to maximize benefits to the Nation by establishing a regional permitting process to manage the development of an environmentally sound and economically sustainable aquaculture industry in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.  The Gulf Aquaculture Plan allows up to 20 offshore aquaculture operations to be permitted in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico over a 10-year period.

Due to a recent court ruling, NOAA is not issuing permits for aquaculture in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, however, other federal permits do apply. Contact the NOAA Fisheries Regional Aquaculture Coordinator at or (727) 551-5755 for more information on aquaculture in Gulf Federal waters.

Guidance documents and other resources:

Permit Applicant Guide (PDF 21 pages, being revised)

Pre-Application Meeting Checklist (PDF 6 pages, being revised) 

Baseline Environmental Survey Guidance for Marine Aquaculture (PDF 9 pages, being revised)

Guidance and Procedures for Genetic Requirements (PDF 11 pages, being revised)

Interagency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (PDF 12 pages)

Gulf Council's Aquaculture Webpage 

NOAA Aquaculture Program Webpage






Last updated by Southeast Regional Office on March 15, 2019