All looks very dodgy if you ask me. The US government should be demanding more protection instead of opening possibilities for screwing around. How long till GE fish will be en-mass farmed in the open ocean?
U.S. wants to increase offshore fish farming
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration wants to allow ocean farming for shellfish, salmon and saltwater species in federal waters for the first time, hoping to grab a greater share of the $70 billion aquaculture market.
A plan being announced today by Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez would let companies operate fish farms three miles to 200 miles offshore but without some of the rules on size, season and harvest methods that apply to other commercial fishermen.
Fish farms already operate on inland and coastal waters as far as three miles into the ocean, which fall under state jurisdiction.
Environmental concerns have arisen about wastewater generated by such operations. Gutierrez, however, said the administration's proposal had safeguards and would permit states to ban fish farming up to 12 miles off their coasts.
"We believe we can do it in a way that is environmentally sound, that makes sense for our economy. And given that we are importing so much farm-raised fish, we might as well do it ourselves," Gutierrez said.
I shortened article as I'm pretty sure I'm not allowed to repost the entire thing here. The rest of the article can be found on http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003613732_fish12.html
A statement of the Pure Salmon Campaign (http://www.puresalmon.org/) regarding this news
Statement by Andrea Kavanagh, Director, Pure Salmon Campaign, on the Bush Administrations Plan to Open Federal Waters to Fish Farming
WASHINGTON, March 12 /-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Andrea Kavanagh, Director of the Pure Salmon Campaign:
Today at the International Boston Seafood Show, the Bush administration unveiled its plan to allow industrial-scale fish farming in the open ocean. If approved by Congress, corporations will soon be able to raise fish in open- net pens in waters three to 200 miles offshore.
"Once again, the Bush administration has failed to do its homework. It wants to turn our oceans into a giant collection of corporate fish farms, but it hasn't given any thought to what this means for the environment, consumers and local communities.
"The administration needs to do its due diligence and conduct an environmental impact statement before it pursues any plans that could devastate our oceans. We are only now beginning to understand the impacts of fish farms located closer to the shore. Putting these farms in the open ocean could present a whole new host of problems.
"These open-net pens are nothing but trouble. Waste from millions of captive fish empties directly into the ocean, polluting the water with untreated sewage, toxic chemicals and other wastes. Not to mention, millions of fish escape from these pens each year, spreading disease, interbreeding with and often out-competing wild fish populations. Any new system established in the U.S. for siting new aquaculture systems in the ocean must eliminate these critical environmental impacts.
"Fish can be farmed safely and with minimal ecological damage, but they need to be raised in closed systems with strict environmental controls. While we're not opposed to aquaculture, the administration's plan to open up our oceans to corporate fish farming is entirely the wrong way to go."
The Pure Salmon Campaign is a global project of the National Environmental Trust. It has partners in the United States, Canada, Europe and Chile all working to improve the way salmon is produced.