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Stevens presents fish farm permit proposal to Congress

ALASKA - Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens supports a new fish farm permitting system proposed by the Bush administration, but wants states to have the option of banning the industry within 200 miles of their shorelines. </b> <br><br>The state has no say about what goes on in federal waters under the current legislation, Stevens said at a hearing on the bill. <br><br> Stevens sponsored the bill, but wants it amended to give states the veto power, he said last week. <br><br> He also wants regional fishery management councils to have more authority over offshore farms. The eight regional councils set fishing rules in U.S. coastal oceans and are largely made up of state, federal and industry representatives from the areas they regulate. <br><br> The administration bill recommends, but does not require, that the U.S. Department of Commerce consult with the councils on fish farming environmental questions. <br><br> An amendment from the bill&#39;s co-sponsor, Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, would require such consultation. <br><br> <i>Source: The Anchorage Daily News</i>

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