Senate Bill No. 236
(By Senators Williams, White, Stollings, Chafin,
D. Facemire and Kessler)
[Originating in the Committee on Agriculture;
reported February 2, 2010.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §19-32-1, §19-32-2,
§19-32-3, §19-32-4 and §19-32-5, all relating to promoting
aquacultural development in West Virginia; creating the
Aquaculture Development Act; providing definitions; setting
forth legislative findings and purpose; setting forth the
powers and duties of the Department of Agriculture; creating
the Aquaculture Advisory Board; and setting forth the duties
of the board.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §19-32-1, §19-32-2,
§19-32-3, §19-32-4 and §19-32-5, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 32. AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT.
§19-32-1. Legislative findings and purpose.
The Legislature finds and declares that aquaculture has the potential for reducing the United States trade deficit in fisheries
products, for augmenting food supplies, for expanding employment,
for promoting economic activity, for improving public health, for
augmenting existing commercial and recreational fisheries and for
producing other renewable resources, thereby assisting West
Virginia and the United States in meeting its future food needs and
contributing to the solution of world resource problems. It is,
therefore, in the state's interest and it is state policy to
recognize aquaculture as agriculture and to encourage the
development of aquaculture in West Virginia.
§19-32-2. Short title
This article shall be known as the Aquaculture Development
As used in this article:
(1) "Aquaculture" means the propagation, rearing, and/or use
of aquatic species in controlled or selected environments primarily
for commercial purposes related to food production, recreation,
research, importation, exportation, marketing, transportation and
(2) "Aquaculture facility" means any land, structure or other
appurtenance that is used for aquaculture, including, but not
limited to, any laboratory, hatchery, rearing pond, raceway, pen,
incubator, or other equipment used in aquaculture;
(3) "Aquatic species" means any species of finfish, mollusk,
crustacean, or other aquatic invertebrate, amphibian, reptile, or aquatic plant, and including, but not limited to, "fish" and
"fishes" as defined in this chapter.
(4) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Agriculture;
(5) "Department" means the West Virginia Department of
§19-32-4. Lead agency; powers and duties.
(a) Aquaculture is a form of agriculture and thus the
Department of Agriculture is designated as the lead state agency in
matters pertaining to aquaculture.
(b) The department shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) To provide aquaculturalists with information and
assistance in obtaining permits related to aquacultural activities;
(2) To promote investment in aquaculture facilities in order
to expand production and processing capacity;
(3) To work with appropriate state and federal agencies to
review, develop and implement rules, policies and procedures to
facilitate aquacultural development;
(4) To facilitate the formation of an Aquaculture Advisory
Board consistent with the provisions of section five of this
(5) To coordinate the development and implementation of a
state aquaculture plan which shall include prioritized
recommendations for research and development as suggested by the
Aquaculture Advisory Board, the department, public and private
research institutions and the West Virginia University Extension
(6) To develop memoranda of agreement, as needed, with the
Department of Environmental Protection, the Division of Natural
Resources, the Department of Agriculture and other groups as
provided in the state aquaculture plan; and
(7) To develop and propose to the Legislature, if necessary,
legislation required to implement the state aquaculture plan and
to otherwise encourage the development of aquaculture in the state.
§19-32-5. Advisory board.
(a) There is created within the Department of Agriculture the
Aquaculture Advisory Board, to consist of the following
(1) The Commissioner of Agriculture or the commissioner's
designee who shall serve as chairman of the board;
(2) A representative from the Division of Natural Resources;
(3) A representative from the Department of Environmental
(4) A representative from the West Virginia University
(5) Two industry representatives currently conducting for-
profit aquaculture or aquaculture related activities in West
(6) One at-large member appointed at the discretion of the
(b) Clerical and other assistance shall be provided by the
Department of Agriculture.
(c) The board shall review state and federal policies, laws and regulations affecting aquaculture and recommend changes which
may be necessary or useful to carry out the purposes of this
(d) The board shall present its recommendations to the
Department of Agriculture.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is promote aquaculture
development in West Virginia. The bill gives the Department of
Agriculture, as the lead agency, powers and duties in matters
pertaining to aquaculture. An Aquaculture Advisory Board is also
§19-32-1, §19-32-2, §19-32-3, §19-32-4 and §19-32-5 are new;
therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.