Just in time for Halloween, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council—advisory body that helps create fishing regulations in the region—is hoping to approve a scary ocean fish farming plan soon. The plan would allow destructive commercial-scale fish farming in Gulf of Mexico, and would threaten the environment, human health, and communities throughout the Gulf.
This past weekend a large fish—not actually a fish, but a Mardi Gras-inspired costume—visited the Voodoo Music Experience in City Park, New Orleans (as you can see in these photos), letting festival goers know about negative impacts associated with open ocean aquaculture, which involves dividing up and giving away our oceans to private, often foreign-based, companies that grow fish in large net pens and cages three to 200 miles of the coast.
Today, the fish is continuing on to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi along with fisher men and women, concerned citizens, elected officials, environmental advocates, students and scientists to express their concerns and urge the Gulf Council to seriously consider the risks involved with commercial-scale fish farming and to give the public more opportunity to comment on and participate in this process.
Food & Water Watch recently released a report entitled Offshore Aquaculture: Bad News for the Gulf that examines the possible negative economic consequences of ocean fish farming in the Gulf of Mexico. The report concludes that “based on experience elsewhere, the practice of offshore aquaculture, combined with the influx of farmed fish imports, could threaten the economic well-being of the Gulf‚ active fishing industries.”
Let‚ hope the Gulf‚ plan ends up RIP soon.
Then take action and tell the Gulf Council to do the right thing and seek more input before diving into uncharted waters. More than 8000 people have already written to the Gulf Council asking them to look before they leap into this dangerous new industry. Join them by adding your name.