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 wildsh populations. Plus, these sh farms are likely to fol-low existing seafood trade patterns and ship their productelsewhere for higher prots, 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.
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.
Pacic threadn inside a factory sh farm off the coast of Hawaii. Photo by theNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce.