Global demand for seafood is increasing. Supply from wild caught sources has been essentially flat for twenty years and, depending on the specific fishery, in decline for many species that are considered fully exploited or over-exploited. As the fastest growing sector of world food production, aquaculture is increasingly playing a major role and currently accounts for nearly half of the total ... [Show full abstract] aquatic production worldwide. Marine cage culture in particular provides an opportunity to utilize vast amounts of the world’s surface area to produce fish, shellfish, and plants, while avoiding land-use conflicts in crowded coastal regions. Currently in the US, very small volumes of marine fish are produced and very large volumes are imported. This trend shows no signs of slowing down with an ever increasing annual seafood trade deficit. In an effort to initiate more domestic production, private companies, research institutions, and government agencies have all been involved in various types of aquaculture production. Aquaculture can be generally categorized as land-based, near shore, or offshore. Offshore marine fish culture utilizing cages has been conducted on both the east and west coast of the US as well as in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Specifics on the projects in the GoM are described in the following sections.