As stated in the Florida Aquaculture Policy Act (Chapter 597, Florida Aquaculture Policy Act), "Any person engaging in aquaculture in the State of Florida must be certified by the department". The purpose of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Aquaculture Certification Program is to identify aquaculture producers and aquacultural products. An Aquaculture Certification number must be on all aquaculture products from harvest to point of sale. Certification identifies aquacultural products as an agricultural commodity and entitles the aquafarmer to the same benefits bestowed upon other agricultural producers. The certificate also exempts the aquafarmer from certain requirements of wild-harvested species, offers tax advantages and reduces the number of permits required from other regulatory agencies.
Aquaculture Certification is available to legitimate producers of aquaculture products on Florida farms and applications [PDF] for certification may be obtained online or by contacting the Division at 850/488-5471. The Aquaculture Certificate application requires: 1) name, address and phone number, 2) aquaculture facility location, 3) description of production facilities, 4) list of the products cultured and estimated annual production. Applications must be signed by the farmer to certify that the statements in the application are true and that the farmer agrees to abide by Best Management Practices for Aquaculture. The fee for Aquaculture Certification is $100, annually, expiring on June 30 of each year.