Congressman Don Young reintroduces the “Keep Fin Fish Free Act” to protect oceans from floating factory farms

WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska) reintroduced the Keep Fin Fish Free Act (H.R. 274), which places a moratorium on commercial permitting of marine finfish aquaculture facilities in federally controlled areas of the ocean. These facilities routinely cause massive farmed fish spills – like the recent escape of nearly 50,000 non-native salmon in Scotland after a storm destroyed the pens  – which threaten wild fish by spreading pests and disease, and increasing competition for food, habitat, and reproduction. Facilities also directly discharge a slew of toxins like untreated fish waste and pharmaceuticals; attract and entangle marine mammals and seabirds; and negatively impact wild-capture fisheries and coastal economies.

The reintroduction of this legislation comes as the incoming Biden/Harris administration is setting priorities for environmental policy which could curb the expansion of this unnecessary and destructive industry in U.S. waters. H.R. 274 would specifically prohibit federal agencies from permitting commercial finfish aquaculture facilities in marine waters offshore, unless and until Congress passes a future law authorizing such permits.

Members of the Don’t Cage Our Ocean Coalition, including the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, Recirculating Farms and Friends of the Earth, released the following statement on the reintroduction: 

If passed, this legislation could prevent the waste of time and resources continuously expended to fight development of industrial ocean finfish farming around the United States. Its reintroduction should encourage Congress and the new administration to move forward with additional actions, especially executive orders, to reverse the rubber stamping of these facilities leftover from the Trump administration, and stop  other harmful offshore aquaculture projects like Velella Epsilon in the Gulf of Mexico. We applaud Congressman Young for standing up against floating factory fish farms and protecting our waters, fisheries and coastal communities.

Communications contact: Claudia Hensley, [email protected]

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