Say NO to Fish Farms in Federal Waters
A Fishes Article from

November 2020

This "environmental monstrosity" has been described as a 24/7 barge parked over a submerged fenced-in enclosure...boiling with disoriented fish and a festering stew of contaminants.

The comment period has been extended to 11/19/2020.

Fish farms

Pressure from activists has caused the government to accept public comments on a proposed fish farm that could set a precedent for allowing fish farms in U.S. federal waters.

Please submit a comment opposing it! Comments are being accepted through this Thursday, November 19. Please write today!

EMAIL comments to the attention of the District Engineer at: [email protected]

Click here for more information about the proposal.

The proposal is for the Velella Epsilon Aquatic Animal Production Facility to raise 20,000 longfin yellowtail (aka, "almaco jack") fishes in a chain-link mesh pen 45 miles southwest of Sarasota, Florida. This "environmental monstrosity" has been described as "a 24/7 barge parked over a submerged fenced-in enclosure...boiling with disoriented fish and a festering stew of contaminants destroys our Gulf [of Mexico] wilderness."

Talking points you can mention include:

  • Fish farming is notoriously inhumane for the captive fishes. Science has shown that fish can suffer fear and pain, yet there are no federal laws providing any protection for their welfare.
  • Untreated excrement, excess feed, antibiotics and other pollutants released into the Gulf will harm marine life, including by increasing the likelihood and potency of red tides.
  • Fish escapes, a common problem with fish farming, would also be detrimental to the ecosystem. The Gulf is increasingly experiencing more virulent storms, including hurricanes, that could harm the captive fishes and enable their escape.
  • Local communities are opposed to such a facility, fearing it will further endanger the environment and subsequently the economy there which is so dependent on the marine environment. The marine ecosystem there is already suffering substantial stress (e.g., dead zone, coral die-off, algal blooms) with yet more anticipated from climate change.
  • Fish farming is not a solution but instead is a huge part of the problem of overfishing since so many wild-caught fish are used as feed for farmed fish, particularly for carnivorous species such as the one proposed to be exploited at this facility.

Instead of promoting fish farming, the government should be promoting food production systems that are more healthful, humane, and environmentally responsible.

Visit Fish consumption is hazardous to human health.


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