Commercial harvesters are stewards of our ocean. Their livelihoods depend on healthy, thriving marine ecosystems. They have a unique knowledge of the ocean that they pass on to their communities and down through generations. Commercial harvesters are at the forefront of ensuring food security, providing jobs, and supporting the well being of both the ocean they work in and the communities they feed.
Learn more about Chris Brown's perspectives on the state of U.S. fisheries and why American seafood is among the most sustainable natural resources in the world.
Read Togue's career profile to learn more about her path into the seafood industry, and download her Thai-inspired scallop crudo recipe.
Members of regional fishery management councils recommend actions to achieve sustainable fisheries under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Find out about Andy's work on behalf of the Alaska charter fishing sector.
Hear more from Hannah Heimbuch and other seafood community members in their podcast episode about sustainable fisheries.
Seafood farming—or aquaculture—is the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of animals and plants in all types of water environments. Just like farmers on land, ocean farmers work long days—in snow, ice, heatwaves, and during 3 a.m. low tides—to feed the nation with their harvests.
Using large, open-ocean net pens off of Kailua-Kona, Blue Ocean Mariculture sustainably raises a native Hawaiian Almaco jack species that they brand as Kanpachi.
Founded in 2010 by civil engineer Trevor Sande, Hump Island Oyster Company is a family-run business that farms oysters and kelp in Southeast Alaska.
Through Minorities in Aquaculture, CEO, founder, and shellfish farmer Imani Black leads efforts to increase access to a community members interested in aquaculture, career development opportunities, mentorship, and other ways to collaborate.
The Swinomish Tribe and other Coast Salish Indigenous peoples hold a rich history of practicing shellfish mariculture in Alaskan and Washington waters. For more than 3,500 years native communities created clam gardens, and a recent project is reviving these sustainable practices in Washington.
On the Gulf Coast of Florida, Two Docks Shellfish specializes in sustainably growing hard clams, Skyway Sweet Oysters, and Sunray Venus Clams.
Seafood Processors and Distributors
Seafood processors and distributors, both large and small, play a critical role in seafood supply chains. Retailers, restaurants, and consumers rely on these businesses to transform a raw resource into food that’s ready to cook (or eat!). These businesses serve an important role in making seafood available to consumers across geographic and socioeconomic regions.
In the chilly waters of the Gulf of Maine, Atlantic Sea Farms works with a close community of Maine lobstermen. They grow and harvest skinny kelp and sugar kelp and processes that kelp into culinary products.
Seeing a need in the shellfish market for distributors to more effectively manage and track harvests, partners developed an oyster tracker that quickly evolved into the BlueTrace tool for shellfish harvesters.
Fishadelphia is a community-supported fishery that also supports an after-school program at two high schools in Philadelphia. Listen to their podcast episode to learn more.
Learn from expert Dr. John Kaneko about fishing in Hawaii, the one-of-a-kind Honolulu Seafood Auction, and why U.S. consumers should have confidence in buying and consuming American seafood products.
There’s a community connection when chefs meet their customers at their tables—or in their homes through cookbooks. They use their dishes to tell the stories of local farms, working waterfronts, and food security. These culinary professionals are opening new channels of communication to increase our understanding of sustainable seafood.
Celebrate sustainable seafood and learn more from experts around the country, including culinary professionals like Christina Ng, with our collection of sustainable seafood videos.
Find out how chefs are opening new channels of communication to increase our understanding of fresh seafood and cultivate food security.
Members of regional fishery management councils recommend actions to achieve sustainable fisheries under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. Meet some of the members and learn about their favorite parts of the job.
Whether it’s out on the farm, on their boats, or in their hatcheries, seafood community members are often the first to notice small shifts in the environment that can lead to big changes to the resources on which we all rely. These cooperative researchers bridge the gap between seafood communities and academic and research institutions—contributing valuable tools and experience to the development of resource management options.
Holdfast Aquaculture co-founders Nate Churches and Diane Kim believe positive environmental change is possible when science is translated into action. Through research partnerships and industry collaborations, their hatchery produces native seaweed and shellfish seed for farms in California.
The Naguabo Queen Conch Hatchery in Puerto Rico is a collaborative partnership between Florida Atlantic University, Conservación ConCiencia, and Naguabo Fishing Association. It is the first of its kind in that it is located in a Fishing Association and the fishers assist with the operation of the hatchery. Listen to their podcast episode to learn more about their community-driven research.
At the Virginia Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Hampton, Virginia, extension specialists work with seafood industry and research partners to identify and respond to emerging needs and provide technical guidance to stakeholders in every level of the seafood supply chain. Visit career profiles of their experts to learn more about their diverse career paths and passions.
Ward Aquafarms hosts on-site educational tours, supports and participates in local science fairs, and engages in town programs to educate the public on the benefits and challenges of aquaculture. With support from grants like NOAA's Saltonstall-Kennedy program, they also conduct cooperative research on their farms to advance sustainable practices in the aquaculture industry.
NOAA Seafood Programs
Here at NOAA, we have no shortage of people passionate about sustainable seafood. Through collaborative engagement with partners across the supply chain, we work to ensure consumers can enjoy delicious, healthy sustainable seafood.
U.S. fisheries are among the world’s largest and most sustainable. Using the Magnuson-Stevens Act as our guide, NOAA Fisheries works in partnership with regional fishery management councils to assess and predict the status of fish stocks, set catch limits, ensure compliance with fisheries regulations, and reduce bycatch. As the Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries, Janet Coit is on go—engaging with fishing communities, industry, partners, Tribes, and agency staff around the country, gaining an understanding of their community, interests, expertise, and issues first-hand.
The National Seafood Strategy outlines NOAA Fisheries’ direction for supporting a thriving domestic U.S. seafood economy. It describes our approach to enhancing the resilience of the seafood sector in the face of climate change and other stressors. Public comments and stakeholder input were integral to finalizing the strategy and helping guide the direction of our work to support the seafood sector.
NOAA's Office of International Affairs, Trade, and Commerce engages other countries bilaterally and through various multilateral international fisheries organizations. The Office leads NOAA Fisheries' biennial report to Congress that identifies nations and entities that the United States will work with to address illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and forced labor activities, and to support effective management of protected species and shark catch.
Marine aquaculture is a critical component of NOAA's strategy to enhance economic and environmental resilience in coastal communities and support healthy oceans. The NOAA Fisheries Office of Aquaculture focuses on several distinct priority areas to advance NOAA's aquaculture vision, including regulation and policy, science and research, outreach and education, and international activities.
The Young Fishermen's Development Act of 2020 directed NOAA's National Sea Grant Office to establish a grant program to provide training, education, outreach, and technical assistance initiatives to young fishermen. Explore more about the program and its accomplishments since 2020.
Fisheries observers are professionally trained biological technicians whose work helps to ensure sustainable fisheries in U.S. waters. While their work is intense, their days can also be filled with once-in-a-lifetime experiences observing remarkable ecosystems and rare species. Check out these observer profiles and blogs to learn more about a day in the life of an observer!
The National Seafood Inspection Laboratory (NSIL) is a division of the Office of Sustainable Fisheries focused on two primary missions—promoting seafood product safety and quality and supporting seafood-related commerce and trade. Learn more about the NSIL experts that are addressing a number of issues critical to making sure that U.S. seafood is safe for consumers.