Congress moves to ban ocean fish farming
United States Congressman Don Young has introduced the Keep Finfish Free Act which places a moratorium on commercial permitting of marine finfish aquaculture facilities in federally controlled areas of the ocean.
These facilities routinely cause farmed fish spills which threaten wild fish stocks by spreading pests and disease, and increasing competition for food, habitat, and reproduction. Facilities also discharge toxins such as untreated fish waste and pharmaceuticals, attract and entangle marine mammals and seabirds and marginalise wild-capture fisheries and coastal economies.
“This legislation will help protect our oceans and communities from industrial ocean fish farming,” said Hallie Templeton, senior oceans campaigner with Friends of the Earth.
“NOAA is pushing to permit this disastrous industry at the expense of the environment and coastal communities, and has no authority to do so. We applaud Congressman Young for fighting against floating factory farms and protecting our waterways and wild fish stocks,” she added.
"The United States is simply not prepared to manage offshore net pen fin fish aquaculture in the exclusive economic zone,” said Noah Oppenheim, executive director of Institute for Fisheries Resources.
“Without the relevant legal mandates and adequate environmental and economic scoping, Interior and Commerce are managing offshore fish farms in a legal grey area, enabling significant harm to wild capture fisheries and West Coast fishing communities. Thank you Congressman Young for introducing this sensible bill," he added.
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