Over the past decade, people have become increasingly conscious about the environmental, cultural and economic repercussions of their food choices, and a movement has emerged to support more diverse, sustainable options. This movement has extended to choices about seafood, as people take note of issues such as overfishing and the environmental ramifications of different types of fish farming.
Despite this, the U.S. government continues to subsidize the development of open ocean aquaculture, a type of factory farming that threatens the health of our oceans, coastal communities and consumers. Factory fish farming involves the production of as many as tens of thousands of fish in cages off the coastline.
This report revisits the four U.S. taxpayer-supported factory fish farming experiments — in Hawaii, New Hampshire and Puerto Rico — that are described in Food & Water Watch’s previous reports, Seas of Doubt and the first edition of Fishy Farms.Because all of these research and demonstration projects have previously received government funding to advance the industry, we have traced the operations’ histories for lessons that can be drawn about the feasibility of ocean fish farming.