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Senate bill attacks U.S. fisheries and oceans policy

The Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act would bring floating factory farms to the U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) introduced a bill late yesterday that would allow the federal government to permit industrial ocean fish farming in the United States.

The AQUAA Act will improperly place the new program under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act — a law that has historically preserved our ocean ecosystems and protected wild fish stocks. Wicker’s bill already faces staunch opposition, including a broad coalition of more than 100 organizations, consisting of commercial and recreational fishing groups, indigenous populations and consumer advocacy, food, farming and conservation organizations.

Hallie Templeton, Senior Oceans Campaigner for Friends of the Earth, issued the following response:

Congress is devastating our oceans, coastal communities and marine-reliant industries. The legitimization of industrial ocean aquaculture in our waters will wreak havoc on ocean ecosystems and marine life. Introducing this harmful industry to our waterways will endanger sustainable fishing communities and introduce risks to both wild fish species and consumers.

The AQUAA Act affords no meaningful protections to the environment or our fishing industries. Instead, it allows corporations to commercialize and destroy our ocean ecosystems. Congress should support sustainable wild-caught fishing and seafood production methods. With sound policy, we can meet consumer demand without devastating our planet or harming local fishing economies.

For more information on the legislation and a breakdown of recent industrial ocean fish farm disasters, please see Friends of the Earth’s recent blog.

Communications Contact: Erin Jensen, (202) 222-0722, ejensen@foe.org

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