PROBLEM: Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture Act, S. 1861 or the “AQUAA Act” was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Wicker (R-MS) with cosponsor Sen. Schatz (D-HI). The House companion, H.R. 4013, was introduced by Rep. Cammack (R-FL) with cosponsors Reps. Case (D-HI) and Ezell (R-MS). Its objective is: “to establish a regulatory system for sustainable offshore aquaculture in the United States exclusive economic zone, and for other purposes.”
In reality, it opens the floodgates to industrial fish farming and is an assault to our oceans and coastal communities. The Bill requests $350 million for world-wide media activities, research & development, and, administration.
Offshore Finfish Farming – OFF – is the mass cultivation of finfish in marine waters, in underwater or floating net pens, pods and cages. This industry has adopted the factory farming business model, which centralizes big corporation control and places profits above environmental protection, worker rights, animal welfare, and social responsibility. OFF requires huge capital investments, which is not how we build our local food systems.
AQUAA brings industrial ocean fish farms just off our coasts, all around the US, which can directly discharge untreated fish waste and other toxins right into our waters, endanger marine life, spread lethal pests and disease, compromise wild fish populations with catastrophic farmed fish spills, and jeopardize wild-caught fishing industries.
SOLUTION: Aquaculture can play an important role as part of a sustainable food system. We should focus on supporting responsible seafood production, including encouraging more domestic seafood to be kept and sold in the U.S, promoting working waterfronts, supporting values based aquaculture, such as bivalves and seaweed, and facilitating properly scaled and sited recirculating aquaculture on land, which recycle waste and water.
ACTION: Act Now - tell your Members of Congress No to the AQUAA Act
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