Pure Salmon Campaign demands impact studies on open ocean aquaculture plans

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
13 March 2007, at 12:00am

WASHINGTON - At the International Boston Seafood Show, the Bush administration unveiled its plan to allow industrial-scale fish farming in the open ocean.

If approved by Congress, corporations will soon be able to raise fish in open- net pens in waters three to 200 miles offshore.

Director of the Pure Salmon Campaign, Andrea Kavanagh has raised a number of concerns, stating.

"The administration needs to do its due diligence and conduct an environmental impact statement before it pursues any plans that could devastate our oceans. We are only now beginning to understand the impacts of fish farms located closer to the shore. Putting these farms in the open ocean could present a whole new host of problems.

"These open-net pens are nothing but trouble. Waste from millions of captive fish empties directly into the ocean, polluting the water with untreated sewage, toxic chemicals and other wastes. Not to mention, millions of fish escape from these pens each year, spreading disease, interbreeding with and often out-competing wild fish populations. Any new system established in the U.S. for siting new aquaculture systems in the ocean must eliminate these critical environmental impacts.

"Fish can be farmed safely and with minimal ecological damage, but they need to be raised in closed systems with strict environmental controls. While we're not opposed to aquaculture, the administration's plan to open up our oceans to corporate fish farming is entirely the wrong way to go."