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Press Releases: FishPress Releases Found: 130
February 8, 2013
Allowing Factory Fish Farms in the Gulf Will Replicate the Destructive Practices of Land-Based Industrial Food Production in Our Oceans
Statement: “With their decision to allow factory fish farming in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico Regional Fishery Management Council — the group that makes decisions about fish and fishing in the Gulf — have ignored the 2011 National Aquaculture Policy and the voices of tens of thousands of people opposed to exposing our oceans to the mass production of fish in overcrowded cages just offshore.
“Industrial scale production of agriculture has already wreaked havoc on land. Opening our oceans to this form of fish production would cause undue stress in the already vulnerable Gulf of Mexico. Allowing factory fish farming in the Gulf does not take into account the many additional factors, such as the BP oil spill, that have caused harm to Gulf waters.
“The implementation of the Council’s plan would allow inspections of fish farm facilities to be carried out by private companies that they hire, leaving the industry to police itself and contribute toward a culture of secrecy in an industry already lacking in transparency and one that shuns valuable public input. If this plan goes forward, this process may be used around the country to allow ocean fish farming in all U.S. waters.
“When factory farmed fish escape from their production facilities, they can alter wild fish behavior and the surrounding ecosystem and spread disease. Farmed fish also compete with wild fish for their food sources. An increase in factory fish farms can mean less food for marine wildlife. Factory fish farms typically use genetically modified soy to substitute for fishmeal or oil, which can have negative impacts on the marine environment.”
For more information on the potential dangers of factory fish farming, please visit: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/fish/fish-farming/
December 12, 2012
Consumer Group Urges President Obama to Select a NOAA Administrator Who Will Change Course on Catch Shares
Statement: “While National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA)’s Jane Lubchenco has just announced her resignation, the credentials her successor should possess has already been in the forefront of our minds for some time. We hope that President Obama takes this opportunity to select a new administrator who recognizes how destructive catch shares programs have been to our nation’s fishermen and that he is prepared change course in the area of fisheries management.
“As administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Lubchenco’s catch shares programs have unfairly portioned out the privilege to catch fish, threatening the livelihoods of current and future generations of independent fishermen and the communities they support. NOOA’s new administrator should acknowledge that fish are a public resource to which our nation’s fishermen should have equal access and should not support a program that puts fishermen out of work as it has in some of our most critical port cities over the last few years.
“NOAA’s controversial catch shares programs, which are responsible for thousands of fishermen being pushed out of business, have failed to directly improve the sustainability of our fisheries. Masked as a solution to the problem of overfishing various species of fish, catch shares — an allotment or quota given to a fisherman, usually leased out for profit — grant fishing privileges to private, commercial interests, therefore presenting commercial operations a competitive advantage over smaller, independent fishing operations.”
September 13, 2012
Food & Water Watch Applauds U.S. Commerce Department Decision to Provide Relief for Nation’s Fisheries
Media Statement: “Food & Water Watch applauds the U.S. Commerce Department for declaring a national disaster for New England’s fisheries. The move will allow the federal government to offer millions of dollars in relief for fishermen and their communities. While this assistance is much needed, it is not the permanent solution to the problem.
“No one could have predicted the collapse of the cod population in New England. What was predicted was the collapse of the region’s small-boat, independent fishing industry due to the catch shares management system. Catch shares, which has been promoted heavily nation-wide by the National Marine Fisheries Service, have forced smaller-scale fishermen out of business, paving the way for industrial fishing methods that can destroy sensitive ocean habitats. Without significant funds to compensate for these simultaneous disasters, catch shares combined with the cod collapse will be the end of New England’s traditional fisheries.
September 5, 2012
Media Statement: “On September 5, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging Amendment 16, which created a federal catch share program for a number of very important fish populations including cod, haddock, and pollock, caught in the waters off of the east coast of the United States. Food & Water Watch, a national consumer group that advocates for sustainable seafood, is an “amicus curiae” or “friend of the court” for this case because of its direct impact on the way the entire nation gets its seafood.
“Food & Water Watch, believes this program has spurred massive consolidation of the fishing industry, granting preference to industrial-scale fishing operations that utilize environmentally destructive fishing practices over smaller-scale operations.
In its rush to push the program, the government also violated the law by ignoring that the program could only be implemented if approved by fishermen in a referendum. It also failed to adequately analyze the environmental and socio-economic impacts of the catch share program.
July 2, 2012
If proponents of soy in aquaculture alliance have it their way, soy will be used to feed fish in open ocean pens in federal waters, a move that would negatively impact the marine environment as well as the diets of both fish and consumers.
Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Europe’s new report, “Factory-Fed Fish: How the Soy Industry is Expanding Into the Sea,” shows how a collaboration between two of the most environmentally damaging industries on land and sea —the soy and open ocean aquaculture industries, respectively—could be devastating to ocean life and consumer health. And since much of the soy produced in the United States is genetically engineered (GE), consuming farmed fish would likely mean eating fish that are fed GE soy.
June 22, 2012
“On behalf of its Hawaiian members, who include consumers, commercial and recreational fishermen and Native Hawaiians, advocacy group Food & Water Watch filed an appeal today in its case challenging the legality of Kona Blue Water Farms’ Velella aquaculture project in federal waters off of Hawai’i. This means that the federal district court’s decision allowing the permit will be reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Food & Water Watch strongly believes that aquaculture facilities should not be permitted in federal waters, especially when a regional fishery management council does not authorize them. We do not think this is what Congress contemplated when they enacted our nation’s fishing laws.
April 30, 2012
Statement: We are very disappointed by the court’s decision, which seems to say that aquaculture facilities can be permitted in federal waters, even if not authorized by a regional fishery management council. We do not think this is what Congress contemplated when they enacted our nation’s fishing laws, and we are currently considering all of our legal options, including an appeal.
March 5, 2012
Kampachi Farms LLC Announces First Fish Farm Harvest, But Omits Law Suit and Illegal Operating Permit From Their Message
Statement: “Kampachi Farms Founder Neil Simm’s self-congratulatory announcement of the company’s first successful harvest from the first commercial offshore aquaculture facility in federal waters in the United States is an attempt to paper over the company’s problems. The announcement should have mentioned the lawsuit that was filed by Honolulu-based KAHEA: The Hawaiian Environmental Alliance and Food & Water Watch against federal agencies for allowing Kampachi Farms (formerly Kona Blue Water Farms) to operate their aquaculture farm in federal waters with an illegal permit.
February 1, 2012
New England Fisheries Can Blame Catch Shares for Revenue Consolidation and Underfunded Stock Surveys
Media Statement: Washington, D.C.—“Today, the New England Fishery Management Council takes up a nearly impossible task. Faced with a new, abysmal stock assessment for cod, the Council will be weighing their obligation to preserve fish populations for the future against their responsibilities of managing a healthy fishing industry. Unfortunately, the Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) have spent the last few years painting themselves into a corner. By initiating a catch shares system in New England, the Council and NMFS have restricted their flexibility to mitigate disasters like the dramatic decline of the cod population.
“Early estimates suggest that the allotment of cod for commercial fishermen in 2012 could be 90 percent lower than the catch allowed in 2010. This is likely to result in a 25 percent decline in income for groundfishermen, with fishermen in New Hampshire and Maine hit even harder (91 percent and 54 percent, respectively). The ill-conceived catch share program has already created economic havoc by consolidating the industry. In 2010, 7.6 percent of the fleet accounted for 50 percent of all groundfish revenues. 165 crew jobs were lost in the first year of catch share implementation and 73 boats left the fishery.
January 13, 2012
Food & Water Watch Says Obama’s Plan to Slim Down Government Hurts Oceans; Warns Against Consolidation of Food Safety Regulatory Agencies
Media Statement: “We are deeply concerned about President Obama’s proposal to move the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to the Department of the Interior, the same Department that brought us BP’s Deepwater Horizon.
“While the mission of NOAA is not consistent with the mission of the Department of Commerce where it currently resides, moving it to the Department of Interior will fail to eliminate any conflicts arising from dueling mandates.