Petition Closed

No 2 Ocean Fish Farming

[03/21/11 UPDATE: THIS ACTION IS STILL OPEN AND THE LINKS ARE STILL HOT in spite of what the action alert says.]

Protect our Oceans, Coastal Communities and Consumers
Ask Dr. Lubchenco to reject a reckless plan to allow ocean fish farming in U.S. waters.

In the past few years, more and more information has come to light about how industrial farming has been detrimental for both consumer health and the environment. 
Now, however, there is a plan to move the industrial agriculture model into the ocean by developing industrial ocean fish farms - growing thousands of fish at a time in net pens and cages in ocean waters. 
There are only a few days left to comment on a plan that will open up the Gulf of Mexico to this industry.

The Department of Commerce is currently reviewing a plan developed by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council - a regional federal advisory body that helps make rules about fishing. 
The comment deadline is August 3 - tell them now that we deserve healthy, sustainable seafood - not another industrially produced product.

Congress has been protecting us from widespread development of ocean fish farming by rejecting several bills proposed in past years that would have allowed the industry access to our ocean waters.
The Gulf Council's plan is a backdoor way to get around Congress' decision by claiming that the meaning of "fishing" includes "farming" and thereby bringing ocean fish farming into their jurisdiction. 

Tell the Department of Commerce that this decision is too big for a regional council to be making.
Consumers, coastal communities and the environment need to be protected. Submit your comments now.

Thanks for all you do,
Christina Lizzi

Learn More:

Factsheet on Ocean Fish Farming
Read the report
"Fishy Farms: The Problems with Open Ocean Aquaculture"
Contact Christina with any questions fish (at) fwwatch (dot) org

"Christina Lizzi, Food & Water Watch"
Subject:: Comment period ending on allowing ocean fish farming in U.S. waters
Date: 28 июля 2009 г. 14:45


                                                                     EDITIBLE PETITION TEXT:


Reject Ocean Fish Farming Plan - NOAA-NMFS-2008-0233

 Dear Dr. Lubchenco,

I urge you to reject the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s plan for open ocean aquaculture.  The plan has been in the works throughout the Bush administration, and is likely to benefit only a few private entities at the expense of our sensitive ocean ecosystems, the livelihoods of countless commercial and charter fishermen, and people who love and enjoy the Gulf of Mexico.  It is not based on the best science available, and the Government Accountability Office has already issued a report (in May of 2008) calling for further studies before we open federal waters to open ocean aquaculture. 

This plan envisions mass production of up to 64 million pounds of aquacultured fish annually. That’s twice the amount of ALL commercial wild fish caught in the Gulf each year.  Though this may sound like a way to increase seafood supply in the U.S., the Council has failed to complete a thorough study of potential socioeconomic impacts based on experiences of fishing and coastal communities elsewhere. The costs likely great outweigh any benefits.    

Additionally, there are few specifics in the plan – where the facilities could be located, the kinds of fish that may be grown, and what type of systems might be used are all left up to the discretion of National Marine Fisheries Service on a case-by-case basis. There are few meaningful safeguards to protect marine wildlife and coastal communities.

We do need to reduce our reliance on imported seafood – but we do not need to harm our oceans, push already struggling coastal communities out of business, and privatize a public resource to do it. We should instead be focusing on cleaner, greener, safer methods of fish production, like land-based, re-circulating aquaculture.
To ensure the best use of our public resources and to protect our oceans, I urge you to reject the Gulf of Mexico’s plan for open ocean aquaculture.





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