Federal Government Steps Forward On Approving Harmful Aquaculture Facility Off San Diego, CA

SAN DIEGO — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) yesterday announced its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Pacific Ocean AquaFarms facility off the coast of San Diego, CA, bringing this risky project one step closer to reality. This announcement follows the agency’s recent decision to designate federal waters in Southern California and the Gulf of Mexico as Aquaculture Opportunity Areas (AOAs), a move toward pre-approval of these AOAs for aquaculture development with little review or oversight. Industrial open ocean aquaculture uses massive floating net pens to raise thousands of finfish, and allows fish waste and other pollution from antibiotics, pesticides and other chemicals used in the facilities, to flow freely into the surrounding ocean.

In response, Friends of the Earth, Recirculating Farms Coalition and Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, members of the Don’t Cage Our Ocean Coalition, issued the following statement:

The federal government is once again risking local ecosystems and coastal economies to expand industrial aquaculture without careful consideration of the many negative impacts. Industrial aquaculture facilities can disrupt ecosystems,  harm coastal economies and threaten the livelihoods of fishing communities. The government needs to stop prioritizing risky, dangerous and outdated methods of fish production at the expense of responsible seafood producers. We need to put the brakes on these unnecessary projects and not rubber-stamp industrial development in our oceans.

Contact: Claudia Hensley, [email protected]

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