As part of our ongoing series of partnerships with research and advocacy organizations, Food and Water Watch has established an informative page on offshore fish farming legislation on Congresspedia. Here's FWW's Andrianna Natsoulas (who edits SourceWatch and Congresspedia under the name Anatsoulas) to explain why they think this is an important issue:
Why do we care about open ocean aquaculture? We care because it can hurt our health and our oceans. How? Think about this: what happens if tens of thousands of animals are crammed into industrial size cages offshore, wild fish are ground up and tossed in for feed, and all the fish waste (and the occasional escaped fish) is washed out to sea or pollutes the sea floor.
With such an intensive method of farming, disease is prone to run wild – which means you, the consumer, may have your grilled halibut with a side of antibiotics. In the past few months, we have been hearing more and more about the fragile state of our wild fish populations. Latest scientific research projects that by 2048 all the commercial fish we love will disappear if we don’t protect the oceans and conserve wild fish. One pound of farmed fish eats two to six pounds of wild fish. Some farmed fish, like tuna, require up to 20 pounds of wild fish for one pound of farmed! We don’t need to create an unnecessary stress for the wild fish.
Curious to find out more? Visit our website.
There's a bill currently winding its way through Congress, the National Open Aquaculture Act of 2007, that would dramatically change American policies on offshore fish farming. While Food and Water Watch has a definite point of view on the bill, they have made a commitment to follow SourceWatch's standards on sourcing and other policies and the information they've posted should be useful to any citizen. If you'd like to contribute more information to the article on fish farming legislation, jump right in or get in touch with Andrianna on her user talk page. If you are a member, employee or supporter of an organization that works on legislative issues, we've got a special page set-up to explain how to contribute materials to Congresspedia.