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Fish Farm Plan Raises Concerns

by Ellen Hardy
14 December 2007, at 12:00am

US - Most of those, who gathered at a public hearing, Wednesday, cited environmental concerns over a plan to allow seafood farming operations to use large submerged cages to house live fish off the Mississippi Coast.

The Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council is drafting a plan to allow commercial groups to place large numbers of fish in submerged cages out in the Gulf and the farmers would raise them there to sell. The operations would be allowed from within three to 200 miles from the barrier islands, if the current version of the plan is adopted.

Some of the popular models of the cages are about 80 feet by 100 feet, according to a report from Food and Water Watch, a Washington-based group that opposes the plan. There would be large zones in the Gulf filled with the cages, some gathered at the meeting feared. They said it would create environmental problems and also disrupt fishing practices.

Paula Vassey said she was concerned that people already are giving up too many government-owned lands and waters in the name of economic development, and this plan would be another example of that.

"We shouldn't have to give up the resources so some guy can make more money than another guy," Vassey said.

Source: SunHerald.com

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Ellen Hardy