Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Aquaculture

What is the purpose of the division?

The Division of Aquaculture coordinates and assists in the development of aquaculture. In addition to providing technical assistance, the division has a broad range of regulatory authority over the industry, including certifying aquaculture facilities, ensuring compliance with best management practices, managing aquaculture submerged land leases, inspecting and ensuring the safety of shellfish processing plants, classifying and monitoring shellfish harvesting waters, and facilitating production of the annual Florida Aquaculture Plan.

Aquaculture is the process of farming or growing animals and plants in a controlled aquatic environment. Florida's five primary aquaculture products are tropical fish, aquatic plants, food fish, shellfish, and alligators. Florida is also the number one producer of aquarium fish in the United States.

What services are provided by the division?

The Division of Aquaculture is responsible for implementing Ch. 597, Florida Statutes, the Florida Aquaculture Policy Act, by:
  • developing and enforcing regulations governing commercial aquaculture and shellfish (clams, oysters, and mussels) harvesting, and processing;
  • leasing coastal state submerged land for marine aquaculture;
  • providing practical and technical assistance concerning regulations, species and system production information, financial assistance, and educational programs;
  • certifying and inspecting shellfish processing facilities to maintain compliance with the National Shellfish Sanitation Program (NSSP); and
  • classifying and monitoring shellfish harvesting areas, in accordance with the standards set forth in the NSSP.

What are some of the measures of division activity?

In Fiscal Year 2019-2020:

  • The division conducted 1,114 Shellfish Processing plant inspections and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Records reviews.  95.2% of inspected shellfish facilities were in significant compliance with food and safety regulations.
  • The division tested and classified 1,319,197 acres of coastal water for shellfish harvesting.
  • The division issued 786 submerged land leases.
  • The division issued 1,015 aquaculture certifications and renewals.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2021-22
Fund Salary Rate/ Position General Revenue Trust Funds
SALARY RATE
POSITIONS
SALARIES AND BENEFITS
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM GENERAL INSPECTION TRUST FUND
OTHER PERSONAL SERVICES
FROM FEDERAL GRANTS TRUST FUND
FROM GENERAL INSPECTION TRUST FUND
EXPENSES
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM FEDERAL GRANTS TRUST FUND
FROM GENERAL INSPECTION TRUST FUND
OPERATING CAPITAL OUTLAY
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM FEDERAL GRANTS TRUST FUND
FROM GENERAL INSPECTION TRUST FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
ACQUISITION OF MOTOR VEHICLES
FROM GENERAL INSPECTION TRUST FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
ACQUISITION AND REPLACEMENT OF BOATS, MOTORS, AND TRAILERS
FROM GENERAL INSPECTION TRUST FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
CONTRACTED SERVICES
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM FEDERAL GRANTS TRUST FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
OYSTER PLANTING
FROM GENERAL INSPECTION TRUST FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
RISK MANAGEMENT INSURANCE
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM GENERAL INSPECTION TRUST FUND
SPECIAL CATEGORIES
TRANSFER TO DEPARTMENT OF MANAGEMENT SERVICES - HUMAN RESOURCES SERVICES PURCHASED PER STATEWIDE CONTRACT
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
FROM GENERAL INSPECTION TRUST FUND
GRANTS AND AIDS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND NONSTATE ENTITIES - FIXED CAPITAL OUTLAY
BASCOM FARMS
FROM GENERAL REVENUE FUND
TOTAL
2,602,182
1,722,273

Updates

Largemouth Bass. The 2021 Legislature enacted Chapter 2021-79, Laws of Floridaallowing an aquaculture producer or a dealer with a nonrecreational license from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to sell Florida largemouth bass without restriction, including for human consumption, if the product origin can be identified.

Aquaculture Records. The 2021 Legislature enacted Chapter 2021-59, Laws of Florida, making confidential and exempt from public inspection and copying requirements certain aquaculture records held by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, including shellfish receiving and production records generated by shellfish processing facilities, audit records and supporting documentation required for submerged land leases, and aquaculture production records and receipts generated by aquaculture facilities.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports

2020 Florida Aquaculture Plan, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, with the Aquaculture Review Council.
Websites of Interest
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture Disease Information
Local Small Business Administration offices 

Performance Information


Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapters 570 and 597, and ss. 20.14 and 253.67 through 253.72, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Division of Aquaculture, 850-617-7600

Website