Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Moratorium Proposed on Finfish Aquaculture Facilities

Legislation introduced by Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, would put a moratorium on commercial permitting of marine finfish aquaculture facilities in the federal exclusive economic zone.

H.R. 2467, the Keep Fin Fish Free Act, would prohibit the Secretaries of Interior and Commerce from authorizing such operations in the federal exclusive economic zone unless specifically authorized by Congress.

“The seafood industry is critical to Alaska’s economy and we must be doing all we can to protect the health and integrity of our state’s wild fish stock,” said Young, who introduced the legislation on May 2. “If not properly managed, industrial aquaculture operations threaten Alaska’s unique ecosystem with non-native and genetically modified fish species.

The Alaska Republican said his bill takes needed steps to prevent “the unchecked spread of aquaculture operations by reigning in the federal bureaucracy, and empowering Congress to determine where new aquaculture projects should be conducted.”

H.R. 2467 was referred to the House Natural Resources Committee.

Hallie Templeton, senior oceans campaigner for Friends of the Earth, which backs the bill, said efforts were underway to introduce a companion bill in the Senate. “NOAA is pushing to permit this disastrous industry at the expense of the environment and coastal communities, and has no authority to do so,” Templeton said. We applaud Congressman Young for fighting against floating factory farms and protecting our waterways and wild fish stocks.”

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