On January 7, the Biden transition team announced the nomination of Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo to be the next Secretary of Commerce. The Commerce Secretary oversees the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), under which is the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). As such, Raimondo would oversee federal environmental and business policies that impact fisheries and coastal communities.
In response to the selection, the founding members of the Don’t Cage Our Oceans Coalition – Recirculating Farms, Friends of the Earth, and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance – issued a statement calling on the next Commerce Secretary to prioritize protecting the health of marine ecosystems, support sustainable seafood businesses, and abandon the Trump administration’s push for offshore aquaculture in federal waters around the U.S.
Marianne Cufone, Executive Director of Recirculating Farms said, “I urge Governor Raimondo to turn the page on the past administration’s unpopular agenda to push development of an unnecessary and unwanted marine finfish farming industry in the U.S. It’s long past time for our Commerce leaders to prioritize sustainable seafood production over development of an outdated industry that will likely bring health risks and pollution to our coastal communities and little else.”
See the full press release here.