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Aquaculture made safe

Monday, February 15, 2010

Los Angeles Times

Op-Ed by Rosamond L. Naylor and George H. Leonard

If aquaculture is to play a responsible role in the future of seafood here at home, we must ensure that the “blue revolution” in ocean fish farming does not cause harm to the oceans and the marine life they support.

In December, Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) introduced in the House the National Sustainable Offshore Aquaculture Act, a bill that addresses the potential threats of poorly regulated fish farming in U.S. ocean waters. Her bill shares many of the features of a California state law, the Sustainable Oceans Act, which was written by state Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006. That legislation regulates fish farming in state waters, which extend three miles off the California coast. At present, all aquaculture operations in California and the U.S. are located just a few miles offshore. [...]

The Obama administration is currently developing a national policy to guide the development of U.S. aquaculture. The administration would do well to embrace the vision articulated by Capps and Simitian for a science-based and precautionary approach to help ensure a responsible future for U.S. ocean fish farming.

View the full story (Los Angeles Times)