Allowing Factory Fish Farms in the Gulf Will Replicate the Destructive Practices of Land-Based Industrial Food Production in Our Oceans
Statement by Mitch Jones, Common Resources Director, Food & Water Watch
Washington, D.C. – “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/
Contact: Rich Bindell, 202-683-2457; [email protected]