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Protect Our Oceans from Factory Fish Farms

Protect Our Oceans from Factory Fish Farms

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Support Senate Bill 3417, the Research in Aquaculture Opportunity and Responsibility Act of 2010
Support Senate Bill 3417, the Research in Aquaculture Opportunity and Responsibility Act of 2010

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: Food and Water Watch on Jun 09, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/11/2012

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Protect Our Oceans from Factory Fish Farms
Support Senate Bill 3417, the Research in Aquaculture Opportunityand Responsibility Act of 2010
What’s Wrong with Ocean Factory FishFarming?
Like factory sh farms on land, ocean sh farms are gener-ally big, dirty and dangerous.
Bad for the environment:
Uneaten sh feed, sh waste andany chemicals or antibiotics used in the operation owthrough the cages directly into the ocean. This can signi-cantly harm the ocean environment. Caged sh can escapeand overtake or interbreed with wild sh, altering naturalbehavior and weakening important genetic traits. Open-water salmon farms in the North Atlantic have over twomillion sh escapes each year — not an example we wantto follow in U.S. waters. Farmed sh, caged or escaped,can also spread disease to wild sh.
Bad for communities:
Factory sh farms can interfere withthe livelihoods of commercial and recreational shermenby taking over traditional shing grounds or harming wildsh populations. Plus, these sh farms are likely to fol-low existing seafood trade patterns and ship their productelsewhere for higher prots, leaving the United States withdamaged habitats, depressed local economies and no newfood sources.Ocean factory farming is unlikely to increase the domes-tic supply of sh, as the sh grown in such operations areoften carnivorous — they require animal protein to grow.Often farmed sh are fed diets that include small, wild sh,so the practice can reduce the amount of food in the oceanfor larger wild sh, marine mammals, birds and people too— especially in the various countries where smaller share a main source of protein. Often it takes many poundsof wild sh to grow just one pound of farmed sh. This re-sults in a net loss of seafood and ultimately decreases foodsecurity in the United States and across the globe.
Bad for our health:
Factory sh farms often produce lower-quality seafood using under-regulated antibiotics or chemi-cals that could threaten consumers’ health. Excessive useof antibiotics on sh farms can cause bacteria to becomeantibiotic-resistant, sometimes making human pathogensuntreatable with common medicines.
O
cean factory sh farming, also known as offshore aquaculture, involves growingthousands of sh in large cages and net pens in open ocean waters. Thesefacilities threaten coastal and shing communities, consumers, and the health of our oceans. A new piece of legislation would protect us as well as our marineenvironment by requiring a detailed report on the impacts from ocean factory farmsworldwide. The bill would also ban these facilities for up to three and half years in ourfederal ocean waters while the report is prepared and reviewed.
FISH
Pacic threadn inside a factory sh farm off the coast of Hawaii. Photo by theNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce.

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