Rich Clayton, Extension Aquaculture/Fisheries Specialist, Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management
The focus of a Forum hosted by the North Central Regional Aquaculture Center (NCRAC) on November 15-16, 2007 in Des Moines, Iowa, was to address the policy, laws, and regulations whereby cultured aquatic organisms can be moved within a regulatory framework similar to that of traditional livestock, e.g., swine and cattle. Invited participants included private and public aquatic producers, traditional livestock health representatives from public agencies, and state agriculture and natural resource regulators from the North Central Region. The reason for this Forum was the effect of a federal order (October 2006) issued by USDA-APHIS on interstate transport and subsequent changes in state regulations due to outbreak of viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS). At the onset of the meeting, the facilitator assured an open dialogue amongst all participants, many of whom would not normally be sitting at the same table. Issues that the 37 Forum participants were in consensus on in rank order were: 1) No uniformity in state regulations, 2) Limited availability of fish health officials, and 3) No uniformity of testing standards among states.
An outcome of the 2-day Forum was the agreement by all participants to establish the Aquaculture Livestock Alliance (ALA) with the following mission statement: “The Aquaculture Livestock Alliance (ALA) exists for the purpose of promoting the interstate commerce of aquaculture livestock.” To formally create the ALA as a non-profit corporation, the participants approve the formation and membership of a six-person executive committee.
Des Moines, Iowa, November 15-16, 2007: The focus of this meeting was to address the policy, laws, or regulations whereby cultured aquatic species can be moved within a regulatory framework similar to other livestock.
Invited participants included private and public aquatic livestock producers, livestock health representatives, state agriculture and natural resources regulators from the North Central Region. Effort was made at the onset of the meeting to assure an open dialogue among all participants on common issues.
At the completion of the forum a proposed mission statement “The Aquaculture Livestock Alliance (ALA) exists for the purpose of promoting the interstate commerce of aquaculture livestock” was approved by all participants. The formation of the ALA Board was approved. The following Board members and their associated roles are noted:
• Academia – Ron Johnson, Wisconsin
• Vet & Dept of Ag – Tony Forsey
• Producer – Dan Longnecker
• DNR – Mike Mason
• Vet – Myron Kebus
• Web Master – Robert Baldwin
A summary of the proceedings was furnished to all participants and interested parties in January 2008. http://www.aquaticlivestock.org/ALA%20Report.pdf
The consensus of the 37 participants was the following:
#1 – No uniformity
#2 – Access to fish health officials
#3 – Uniformity of testing standards between states
A web site was created by the group -http://www.aquaticlivestock.org/
160 Natural Resources and Stewardship
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