Regulating safe and scientifically-sound marine and freshwater fish farming…
Grant Recipient: Ocean Conservancy
Project Support: Harnessing Momentum for a National Plan for U.S. Marine Aquaculture
The Ocean Conservancy believes aquaculture—the farming of marine and freshwater organisms such as fish, shellfish and even plants—can provide a safe, sustainable food supply as long as there are standard regulations to ensure safe and scientifically-sound production methods. The Waitt Foundation agrees and is supporting the conservancy’s efforts to educate policymakers about the value of creating a national framework to regulate aquaculture in federal waters.
Global Seafood Demand
Driven by a growing global demand for seafood, aquaculture is expanding rapidly, but its growth has come with negative environmental consequences: reliance on wild fish for feed, ecosystem impacts from escaped fish, disease transmission to wild fish, habitat impacts from nutrient release and threats to human health from the use of drugs and chemicals. There is also a growing awareness of the socioeconomic impacts of industrial fish farming on traditional fishermen and coastal communities. All of these issues must be resolved if fish farming is to supplement wild fisheries and reduce, rather than exacerbate, stress on marine and freshwater ecosystems.
Currently a small contributor to global aquaculture, the U.S. industry is expected to grow five-fold by 2025. Recognizing a window of opportunity to influence lawmakers before the industry becomes entrenched, the Ocean Conservancy wants Congress to develop national laws now to ensure the protection of wild fish and ocean waters. Believing a solid national vision will serve as an example for the entire world community, the conservancy opposes regional attempts to expand the network as piecemeal.
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About Ocean Conservancy
Taking a multipronged approach to science, communications and policy, the Ocean Conservancy has worked for more than three decades toward the goal of a wild, healthy ocean. Believing it’s time to look beneath the ocean’s surface to discover that all living things are connected to the ocean-and that going green starts with living blue-the conservancy also believes increasing public awareness about ocean issues is key to changing the way marine resources are managed.