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Alliance Claims to Block Gulf Fish Farming Proposals

US - Consumer rights group Food & Water Watch a collaborative campaining from consumers, conservationists and both commercial and recreational fishing groups has blocked the approval for the development of ocean fish farms in Gulf of Mexico

FWW claims that offshore aquaculture or open ocean aquaculture increases pollution, harms wild fish populations and threatens commercial and recreational fishing and has used these issues to gain opublic suipport against the Gulf proposals for aquaculture.

It says the plans fail to address basic matters like where these facilities will belocated and the types of fish that will will be produced. Thes parameters are usually basic requirements for planning applications and FWW says more information and consultation with interest-groups needs to be put forward

"Right now, the plan is primarily about money-making opportunities for aquaculture entrepreneurs, and that is inappropriate," said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food and Water Watch.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) are tasked with protecting and managing fish resources. Food & Water Watch claims the current plan does neither; It does not have strong safeguards, allows the maximum flexibility for the new fish farming industry with little regard for effects such activities may impart on the ocean environment or other user groups.

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Ellen Hardy

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