As shrimp begin to gain a foothold in Minnesota’s agricultural economy, additional work is underway to help aquaculture grow across the state in the years to come.
The House Agriculture Policy Committee learned more about what’s hoped to be another step toward that goal Wednesday, hearing the details of HF3472, a bill meant to help the state better regulate saltwater aquatic agriculture.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R-Ghent), would create requirements for transportation permits issued by the Department of Natural Resources to farms that produce saltwater aquatic life such as shrimp that would be different than requirements for farms that produce freshwater species.
The bill was amended by the committee, then laid over pending a fiscal note.
Swedzinski’s bill would also provide that saltwater aquatic farms and processing facilities be classified as agriculture operations for permits issued by the Pollution Control Agency.
HF3472 contains another provision that says increasing private saltwater aquaculture production and processing in the state is in the “public interest” and would benefit the rural economy by creating new jobs and economic activity.
Swedzinski said the regulatory changes are needed because aquatic agriculture is growing quickly and laws must stay ahead of that growth to help facilitate it.
“This is a new and exciting industry for the state and we want to roll it out correctly,” said Rep. Paul Anderson (R-Starbuck), chair of the committee.
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