Trump Exploits COVID-19 Crisis to Advance Corporate Aquaculture Agenda
Today, amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the White House issued a controversial Executive Order to streamline offshore aquaculture permitting and gut other protective regulatory processes. The move threatens our ocean ecosystem, local fishing communities and coastal economies.
The Executive Order on Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth mandates federal agencies to craft a program for rapid authorization of industrial offshore aquaculture facilities, which use giant floating cages to cultivate finfish, allowing toxic pollution to flow into open waters. The E.O. follows Rep. Collin Peterson’s introduction of the similarly-intended AQUAA Act (H.R. 6191) in the House.
In response, members of the Don’t Cage Our Ocean Coalition issued the following statements:
“Instead of supporting the corporate takeover of our oceans while they hope we aren’t paying attention, the President should be focusing on providing immediate support to fishermen and small businesses suffering from the financial impacts of the pandemic,” said Rosanna Marie Neil, Policy Counsel for Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance.
“The federal government should strengthen local food security during this health crisis by supporting sustainable seafood, rather than allowing corporations to pollute the ecosystems we depend on. It’s shameful that the President is using the current pandemic to push through dangerous short-cuts to regulatory processes, while communities struggle to stay healthy, pay rent and put food on the table,” said Marianne Cufone, an environmental attorney and Director of the Recirculating Farms Coalition.
“It is outrageous and unethical for the federal government to use the current public health crisis to bolster this polluting industry and its floating factory farms,” said Hallie Templeton, Senior Oceans Campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “Now is the time to prioritize our health, security, sustainable food systems, and American farmers and fishermen, not corporations.”
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