Fishermen Call on Congress for Protection from Net Pen Finfish Aquaculture
WASHINGTON, D.C. – American fishing industry groups and individual fishermen from across the country today delivered a letter calling on both houses of Congress to oppose any attempts to legitimize open net pen finfish aquaculture.
“American commercial fishing and marine finfish aquaculture cannot coexist,” said Hallie Templeton, senior oceans campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “A single marine finfish farm will impact fisheries for hundreds of miles around it. These floating feedlots pollute the ocean and have devastating impacts on the environment.”
Industrial ocean fish farming concentrates fish of the same species in net pens, pods, cages or other devices in the ocean. Finfish aquaculture in marine ecosystems poses significant challenges to the economy of wild capture fisheries.
In the letter, fishermen warn that this type of farming will have long-term impacts on their industry.
“We are concerned about the economic burdens that aquaculture, an emerging industry, poses to our long-established industry, America’s oldest,” the fishermen write. “Marine finfish aquaculture facilities aim to produce large amounts of fish at the lowest cost possible, which places downward pressure on seafood prices, harming our wild capture seafood markets.”
The letter is signed by over 130 fishermen and industry groups looking to protect American coastlines from this new factory farming method. The letter was delivered to members of Congress as part of a visit to Capitol Hill this week by fishermen looking to protect their industry.