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Aquaculture Facility Licensing Details & FAQ


Importing Aquaculture Species into Michigan


Who needs a license?

There are two options for licensure, one is an Aquaculture Facility Registration and the other is an Aquaculture Research Permit. The differences are explained below.

An Aquaculture Facility Registration is required for commercial aquaculture activities. Here's a list of species that are approved for use in aquaculture facilities.

You will need an Aquaculture Research Permit if you wish to use an aquaculture species that is NOT on the approved list in the Michigan Aquaculture Development Act. If you are interested in applying for an Aquaculture Research Permit, it is recommended that you contact MDARD to discuss your project prior to submitting an application.

You do not need an Aquaculture Research Permit or Aquaculture Facility Registration for:

• a retail bait outlet,
• retail ornamental fish facilities
• using privately controlled waters for noncommercial purposes
• public aquariums or zoos
• portable retail fishing concessions.

How do I apply for an Aquaculture Facility Registration or Aquaculture Research Permit?
  1. Review the “AIM Roadmap through Regulation and aquaculture laws and regulations found on this page. If you have questions about where to start, call MDARD for assistance.
  2. Review and complete the Facility and Research Permit Registration Application providing all of the information requested. If a section is not applicable, please put a line through that section.
  3. Submit the completed application (and research protocol if applying for an Aquaculture Research Permit), along with a check or money order for the appropriate fee, payable to State of Michigan to:

    Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
    Animal Industry Division
    PO Box 30776
    Lansing, MI 48909-8276.
  4. As soon as your application has been approved and processed, a Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) employee will contact you to verify that your facility is ready for inspection. If the facility is ready for inspection, a MDARD inspector, typically a Field Veterinarian will contact you to schedule a pre-registration or pre-permit inspection of the facility. Two facility inspections can be done for an application. If your initial inspection finds problems that need to be corrected prior to approval, you will be given this information in writing and a second inspection can be scheduled.
  5. After receiving your registration or permit, you may conduct business as an aquaculture facility. Please note that your registration or permit expire yearly on September 30th. You must renew your registration or permit by September 30th each year or you may be subject to penalties. You will receive a renewal application by mail each year.

How long does it take to process my first-time application?

MDARD strives to provide a timely response to aquaculture registration and permit applications. Typically it takes 4-8 weeks to receive a registration or permit.

You can help speed the processing of your application by being sure your application is complete and includes the correct fee; by thoroughly reviewing the laws, regulations, and other documents provided here; and by making sure your facility is constructed and ready for inspection.


When does my registration or permit expire?

Both the Aquaculture Facility Registration and the Aquaculture Research Permit expire yearly on September 30th. You must renew your registration or permit prior to December 31st. Please note that applications received after October 31st will have to pay the initial registration or permit fee rather than the renewal fee.

Please note that you must apply as a new facility if there has been a change in ownership/management or facility address.


Is there anything I can so to speed the issuance of my registration or permit?

You can help speed the processing of your application by being sure your application is complete and includes the correct fee; by thoroughly reviewing the laws, regulations, and other documents; and by making sure your facility is constructed and ready for inspection.


What should I do if there are changes in type of aquaculture species on premise or in company ownership, name, or address?

If there is a change in facility address or ownership, the registration or permit does not transfer and a new application with the registration or permit fee must be applied for immediately.

If your business changes its business name under which it is registered or permitted, but remains under the same ownership and address, please submit a completed copy of the application, reflecting the changes so that the records can be updated. You will receive an new registration or permit in the mail reflecting the change.

If there is a change in species on premise and you have an Aquaculture Facility Permit, please submit a completed copy of the application reflecting the changes immediately so that we may update our records. Please note that the species must be approved aquaculture species under the Michigan Aquaculture Act. You will receive an updated registration in the mail reflecting the change.

 


Laws and Regulations

The laws relative to Aquaculture are (follow the links):

  • Act 466, PA of 1988, Animal Industry Act
    An act to authorize and require the appointment of a state veterinarian within the department of agriculture; to protect the human food chain and the livestock and aquaculture industries of the state through prevention, control, and eradication of infectious, contagious, or toxicological diseases of livestock and other animals.

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