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Industrial Ocean Fish Farming

Millions of Americans eat seafood in an attempt to consume healthier, more environmentally conscious meals. But what they don’t realize is that over half of the seafood we consume is farmed – the bulk of which is produced by industrial ocean fish farms that are fraught with environmental and social problems.

Industrial ocean fish farming – also known as open ocean or offshore marine aquaculture – is the mass breeding, rearing, and harvesting of seafood in net pens, pods, and cages. These are essentially underwater factory farms in our ocean, with devastating environmental and socio-economic impacts.

Friends of the Earth seeks to:

  • Shift the focus away from mainstream, industrial seafood production, and toward truly sustainable farming and wild fishing practices
  • Develop federal and state policies for sustainable aquaculture practices that exclude industrial ocean fish farming
  • Launch a market transformation for truly sustainable seafood


  • Oceans Stop Congress from industrializing our oceans with floating factory farms
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  • Oceans Protect our oceans from factory fish farms
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Latest News See All
Friends of the Earth and Earthjustice go to court over NOAA’s lack of FOIA transparency

Friends of the Earth today filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Maryland against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for violations of the agency’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act.

EPA publishes draft permit for floating factory farm

The Environmental Protection Agency announced plans for an industrial ocean fish farm to operate in the Gulf of Mexico late Friday afternoon.

Organizations threaten NOAA with lawsuit over industrial ocean fish farm funding

Friends of the Earth and Center for Food Safety today formally accused the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of violating the Endangered Species Act.

Impact Stories See All
Banning Industrial Ocean Fish Farming in Washington state
Banning Industrial Ocean Fish Farming in Washington state

In early March 2018, Washington’s state legislature passed House Bill 2957—a bill that bans all future industrial net pen operations by 2022. This bill should send a message to the aquaculture industry that its time is up.

Latest Blog Posts See All
Your tax dollars at work: The Trump administration just created a map showing mega-corporations where they should industrialize the ocean next
Your tax dollars at work: The Trump administration just created a map showing mega-corporations where they should industrialize the ocean next

Our oceans are home to important and endangered marine species, and shouldn’t be treated as mere uncharted areas for mega-corporations to industrialize.

It’s not deja vu. Congress really is trying to pass another failing industrial ocean fish farm bill.
It’s not deja vu. Congress really is trying to pass another failing industrial ocean fish farm bill.

We can continue to feed the global population without further industrializing our oceans by utilizing recirculating systems and through sustainable wild-capture fishing, agroecological shellfish, and plant mariculture in the open ocean.

Proposed senate bill would turn oceans into fish feedlots
Proposed senate bill would turn oceans into fish feedlots

The Trump Administration is making a huge push to bring destructive and polluting industrial ocean fish farming to U.S. waters.

Resources See All
  • Support the Keep Finfish Free Act (HR 2467)
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  • Final Endangered Species Act Notice Letter to NOAA
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  • Opposition to marine finfish aquaculture in US waters sign-on letter
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