(a) As used in this section:

Terms Used In Connecticut General Statutes 22-11i

  • aquaculture: means the farming of the waters of the state and tidal wetlands and the production of protein food, including fish, oysters, clams, mussels and other molluscan shellfish, on leased, franchised and public underwater farm lands. See Connecticut General Statutes 1-1

(1) “Aquaculture producer” means any person who engages in the controlled rearing, cultivation and harvesting of aquatic animals or plants in land-based or marine-based culture systems, tanks, containers, impoundments, floating or submerged nets or pens and ponds.

(2) “Aquatic animals” means fresh or saltwater finfish, crustaceans and other forms of aquatic life, including jellyfish, sea cucumber and sea urchin, and the roe of such animals, and all mollusks, which are intended for human consumption. “Aquatic animals” does not include birds or mammals.

(3) “Aquatic plants” means fresh or saltwater algae and plants, including, but not limited to, aquatic macrophyte, microalgae and macroalgae (seaweed) species intended for sea vegetable, biofuel, animal feed, fertilizer, medical, industrial or other commercial applications.

(4) “Seaweed” means any species of marine macroalgae approved by the Commissioner of Agriculture for cultivation in the waters of Long Island Sound.

(5) “Seaweed producer” means any person who engages in the controlled rearing, cultivation and harvesting of seaweed.

(b) The Commissioner of Agriculture shall license and inspect aquaculture producers. The commissioner may prescribe the length of term, fee and application for such license. To receive an aquaculture producer license from the commissioner, each aquaculture producer shall: (1) Possess a registration with the United States Food and Drug Administration as a food facility, (2) meet all processing standards and inspection procedures for seafood processing facilities, including, but not limited to, compliance with the provisions of 21 CFR 123–Fish and Fishery Products, Subpart A and the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Food Code, as from time to time amended, and (3) pass an inspection conducted by the Department of Consumer Protection prior to the issuance of such license by the commissioner. The provisions of subdivision (2) of this subsection shall not apply to any seaweed or aquatic plant producer who possesses a valid license issued by the commissioner.

(c) Prior to receiving a license from the commissioner to be a seaweed or aquatic plant producer, an applicant shall receive species approval from the commissioner.

(d) The Commissioner of Agriculture, in accordance with chapter 54 and in consultation with the Commissioner of Consumer Protection, may adopt regulations to implement the provisions of this section.