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 Stop Trump from opening our oceans to Big Oil
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  • Oceans Protect our oceans from factory fish farms
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Latest News See All
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.

Social justice and environmental organizations call on US Army Corps of Engineers to hold open commenting for non-essential projects

Seventy-nine organizations submitted a letter today urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to extend comment periods and postpone public hearings while the country battles the coronavirus pandemic.

House Bill Would Carve Oceans into Floating Factory Fish Farms

Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN) has introduced a bill that would authorize the federal government to issue permits for industrial ocean finfish farms. These facilities would use giant floating cages to cultivate fish in ocean waters all around the U.S. coast.

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
International examples offer US a blueprint for aquaculture regulation in 2020
International examples offer US a blueprint for aquaculture regulation in 2020

For many years, powerful corporations, assisted by the very U.S. agencies tasked with protecting and managing our ocean resources, have collectively been pushing for development of industrialized fish farms off the coasts of our shoreline communities.

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.

Resources See All
  • US Army Corps of Engineers Sign-On Letter Regarding COVID-19
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  • Petition for Judicial Review
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  • Comments on Kampachi Farms Permit
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