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Aquatic Farmer License Workshops Scheduled

For Immediate Release: June 23, 2004


Lynne Richmond




(TRENTON) – Following the adoption earlier this month of new rules that established an aquaculture policy framework to foster the full development of the growing aquaculture industry, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture has scheduled free workshops to assist the agricultural community in obtaining the new Aquatic Farmer License.

The Aquatic Farmer License was established to allow producers to demonstrate definitive ownership of the organisms being cultured and reduce the possibility of the introduction of exotic pests that may be detrimental to wild stocks and other aquatic farms.

Aquaculture is a form of agriculture involving the propagation, rearing, harvesting, processing, packaging and marketing of aquatic organisms – such as shellfish and fish -- in controlled or selected environments.

“Aquaculture is an economically viable form of agriculture that is essential to providing a sustainable source of food production,” said Agriculture Secretary Charles M. Kuperus. “Aquaculture development also promotes a healthy environment and is compatible with tourism and other recreational activities since shellfish need high quality water to thrive.”

The workshops will help current and prospective aquatic farmers in completing the application for the new license, including requirements and exemptions. New materials that have been developed will be distributed. There is no fee associated with either the workshop or the Aquatic Farmer License.

“Fish and seafood are high value crops that can allow farmers to diversify their businesses,” said Secretary Kuperus. “Expansion of the aquaculture industry is expected to result in increased tax revenues, generate thousands of additional jobs, and add to the food supply.”

The Aquatic Farmer License Workshops will take place:
· July 8, 1-4 p.m. Lewis Morris County Park Cultural Center, Morristown
· July 13, 6-9 p.m. Tuckerton Seaport, Hunting Shanty Classroom, Tuckerton
· July 20, 6-9 p.m. Cumberland County College, AITC, Vineland

The workshops are sponsored by the NJDA, Rutgers Cooperative Extension and New Jersey Sea Grant.

RSVP for these FREE workshops by contacting the New Jersey Department of Agriculture at 609-984-2502 or joseph.myers@ag.state.nj.us. Please contact the NJDA for venue information or directions