The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a nationwide permit facilitating the rapid development and construction of large-scale commercial finfish aquaculture facilities in federal waters, among other major industries. The permit, which takes effect on March 15, 2021, will allow corporations to speed and scale up the development of industrial fish farms.
This form of aquaculture uses large, floating net pens and cages that allow pollution, like excess feed, fish waste and chemicals, to flow freely into open waters, damaging marine ecosystems and harming the local fishing communities and coastal economies that depend on them. The new rule follows the Trump administration’s executive order mandating federal agencies to fast-track development, while cutting environmental review processes and other conservation measures.
In response to the new rule, members of the Don’t Cage Our Ocean Coalition released statements, including the following from Marianne Cufone, Executive Director of Recirculating Farms:
“Congress has authority under the Congressional Review Act to evaluate problematic agency rulemaking. This rush by the U.S. Army Corps to push development of an unwanted new finfish farming industry is appropriate for Congressional review. We urge Congress to take action so that regulations support our existing local fishing communities and seafood production businesses, rather than promoting a new, unnecessary industry to further damage our already struggling marine ecosystems.”
See the full statements here.