US sees fu­ture in off­shore fish farm­ing

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MOVES in the US to de­velop off­shore fish farms in fed­eral wa­ters are be­ing backed by the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The US Com­merce De­part­ment is to hold meet­ings around the coun­try through­out Novem­ber to talk about its strate­gic plan for fish farms, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Alaskafish­ra­dio.

The Ad­vanc­ing the Qual­ity and Un­der­stand­ing of Amer­i­can Aqua­cul­ture (AQUAA) Act was in­tro­duced in the sum­mer to fa­cil­i­tate the per­mit­ting process for aqua­cul­ture farms in fed­eral wa­ters, and fund re­search and devel­op­ment to ad­vance the aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try.

The new Na­tional Oceanic and At­mo­spheric Ad­min­is­tra­tion (NOAA) di­rec­tor, Chris Oliver, said at a re­cent ses­sion in Juneau, Alaska, that wild har­vests can’t keep up with global de­mand.

‘Aqua­cul­ture is go­ing to be where the ma­jor in­creases in seafood pro­duc­tion oc­cur, whether it hap­pens in for­eign coun­tries or in United States wa­ters,’ he said.

Alaska bans fish farm­ing in state wa­ters, but Trump is push­ing for sites in fed­er­ally con­trolled wa­ters, from three to 200 miles off­shore.

Un­der Sec­re­tary of Com­merce Tim­o­thy Gal­laudet also backed the devel­op­ment of fish farms.

‘Some of the changes in the en­vi­ron­ment are af­fect­ing fish stocks,’ he said. ‘They are ei­ther mov­ing or they’re not thriv­ing and so this aqua­cul­ture, done the right way and sci­en­tif­i­cally based, pro­vides a means for em­ploy­ment of fish­er­men who are los­ing some of their gain through these chang­ing con­di­tions.’

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