America Ponders Farmed Fish Dependance

US - Before the stampede to develop high-seas fish ranches out to the federal limit of 200 miles gets under way, Americans ought to ponder why they are now so dependent on farmed fish for food. </b> <br><br> The answer, of course, is that wild fish stocks have collapsed because of overfishing, pollution and other human causes. The rush to tame and stake out the oceans with fish pens ought to be seen for what it is: a concession that the United States and the rest of the world have badly damaged and mismanaged the ocean&#39;s bounty. <br><br> The damage has been done, but much of it is not irreversible. One promise of the fish farms that the Bush administration envisions in its draft proposal is the possibility of feeding a hungry nation while relieving some of the pressure on wild fish stocks. <br><br> Done carefully, with proper restrictions, fish farming will not necessarily cause widespread damage to the ocean environment or the Northwest commercial fishing industry. The challenge now is to restrain the rush to develop fish farms while carefully developing environmental rules to help avoid the serious environmental and health issues seen in Canada, Norway, Chile and other nations that have raised vast numbers of fish in their waters. <br><br> <i>Source: The Oregonian</i>

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