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Fish farm regulations await Schwarzenegger's signature

CALIFORNIA - California will become the first state in the nation to adopt comprehensive controls on future fish farming in its coastal waters, if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signs a tough set of environmental standards that state legislators have approved.</b> <br><br> The Sustainable Oceans Act would install provisions for siting and operating aquaculture businesses that produce finfish _ such as halibut, bass or tuna _ for the retail market. <br><br> About 100 aquaculture businesses operate in California, but none of the farms raise finfish. Farm-raising salmon or genetically engineered fish is illegal in the state. <br><br> SB201, by state Sen. Joseph Simitian, D-Palo Alto, requires the state to prevent fish farms from interfering with wildlife and marine habitats or with commercial fishing. Farms would have to minimize the use of fish meal and fish oil taken from the ocean, and prevent the spread of disease or the escape of fish into the environment. <br><br> Regional water-quality boards would issue permits and regulate against pollution discharges to the ocean. <br><br> <i>Source: Shns</i>

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