Offshore Aquaculture Bill Debuts For Fish Farms 3-200 Miles Offshore
Ahoy, Mateys, NOAA and the Dept of Commerce
Call For The Promotion Of Fish Farms in the EEZ,
Once Known As “The Ocean,” 3-200 miles offshore.
Beware of sea lice, genetically altered salmon,
cities-worth of untreated pollution, insecticides in
your ocean, as the seafood deficit widens. . .
NOAA Announces Ocean Aquaculture Bill
On June 7, 2005, NOAA [National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration], which also gives us our buoys to predict the surf forecasts, and water temperatures,
and winds, etc., announced the release of its offshore Aquaculture bill.
Aquaculturists and investors, both American and foreign, are hoping for Congressional approval of allowing fish farms far out there toward the horizon,
beyond sight or sound of rational regulation.
Watch for genetically altered salmon to make their commercial debut at one of
these fish farms, 3-200 miles offshore. Because states like Oregon, California, and Washington on the west coast, have banned allowing such alien fish in
their state waters, which run 3 miles out from their shores. And there will be escapes. And interbreeding. Hopefully not ruining wild fish stocks, which have
stood the test of time and evolution.
And be aware that Alaska bans all fish farming, with their insecticides and dyes to make fish farmed Atlantic salmon [not native to Pacific waters] meat pink,
rather than the gray that they otherwise would be colored, due to unnatural confinement
of tens of thousands of the poor creatures in metal cages.
The Big Picture: Aquaculture started in China,
and melded with the culture and environment.
That began thousands of years ago. Eventually
aquaculture reached Europe. The Europeans raised
catfish, sole, turbot, cod, sturgeon, tilapia, in ponds and land-based tank systems.
Most of these fish were herbivores, not like salmon, which is a carnivore.
Carnivores fed fish: net loss of fish.
Herbivores not fed fish: no net loss of fish for the planet.
China still number one in volume of fish produced.
But THAILAND ranks number one in value of
EXPORTED fish and shellfish today.
For America, aquaculture is the fastest growing
segment of agriculture. Industry pundits predict
that by 2025 the majority of our fish products will
come from aquaculture ? and may even surpass the
amount of meat produced by slaughtering beef cattle!
Aquaculture: the bright light for American agriculture
for the future. But, why make it industrial agriculture again? With all its problems, and inhumane crowding and diseasing of the fish. Especially sea lice infestations.
Those sea lice sometimes affect
other non-caged fish in the surrounding environs. Norwegian researchers found ten times the sea lice infestation on WILD salmon discovered near salmon fish farms, compared to wild salmon not near fish farms.
Ireland?s Western Regional Fisheries Board stated:
“An increase in sea lice from fish farms [to be] the sole cause of [that region?s] sea trout collapse.”
Industrial aquaculture/agriculture. Just like the hogs and cattle we raise for meat and milk in ever increasing numbers, in confined spaces, not feeding on grass as is natural and normal for these animals, and worsemore, inject with recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone
every two weeks to speed up milk production, but damage the animals, our milk cows, so they die way sooner than they normally would. 22% of our milk cows are injected q2 weeks, folks. We really are going tooooooo
far with this profit at any cost inhumanity, are we not??
You can see the bill and various facets and summaries at the following places:
The main web-page for this roll out is
The press release is at
A one page summary of the bill can be found at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/aquaculture/docs/04_%20At%20A%20Glance%20Offshore%20Act%20FINAL.pdf.
The section by section marketing tool, err analysis, of the bill is at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/aquaculture/docs/05_Section%20by%20section%20analysis%20offshore%20Aqua.pdf (10 pages).
In the press release the government states that the USA imports over 70 percent of its seafood for our dinner plates. And at least 40 percent
of this is farmed fish from overseas. They claim they want to make this industry “sustainable,” into the future, when wild fish stocks will further
tumble down the slippery slope from overfishing, industrial fishing, and mislaid
subsidies by our same governmental agencies that are supposed to be doing
the cosmically wise thing here.
It should make you nervous when our government tabs the ocean,
or Federal waters, as “the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone [EEZ]”
in its promotional web page entitled
“The National Offshore Aquaculture Act At-A-Glance.”
And know that NOAA for some reason exists as a part of the Department of Commerce, so that the ocean or the “EEZ” might then be reaped and sown in commercial fashion, perhaps, rather
than be protected and kept as free from pollution as possible.
As for those genetically altered fish that you should expect approved by
our pro-business-no-matter-anything-goes Bush administration: what if they
do not survive over the long run? For, alas, there is no “long run” testing
to see if, and how they will survive. Then wild stocks may be ruined, the natural flow of evolution of these fish short-circuited, just for
experimental profiteering reasons. Friends of the Earth quoted a Purdue University study showing that if just sixty of these genetically altered salmon
escape and intermate with wild salmon, this could result in extinction in 40 generations of their lives.
Our fisherfolk do not like this, as the fish farms may
put them out of business. And the farmed fish will be using either fish meal at a very inefficient rate, or fish feed coming from grain – –
and who knows what other additives – – to fatten them up. Consumers, when they find out all the crap that could be going into their dinner entree,
will most probably prefer the wild variety of fish, especially salmon, to the farmed kine.
Here are some numbers and facts:
Today, almost one third of all fish caught in the world becomes fish meal and fish oil.
As of one year ago, 40% of fish meal and 60% of fish oil is consumed by penned farmed fish.
When fed fish, often it is upwards of five kilograms of fish like anchovies, mackerel
and sardines, consumed by farmed carnivorous fish like salmon to produce but
ONE kilogram of salmon. Net loss of fish then. And the oceans and many people depend on these “lesser” fish to keep the food chain going, and themselves living, eating them to survive.
One quarter of all fish scooped
or netted from our seas, often by massive industrial trawlers, ends up lost as “by-catch.” Shrimping is the worst offender here — about 33% of all by-catch comes from shrimping, yet shrimp only contributes two  percent of the world?s
Washington, California, and Oregon ban
any production of genetically altered fish.
By plonking their net pens beyond the
three mile limit, fish farming companies
can then circumvent such bans, but there
are so many escapes from net pens:
Just for Washington state waters from
1996-1999, 600,000 non-native Atlantic
Salmon escaped from salmon farms, to
swim and mate with their naturally
adapted born and bred Pacific brethren.
The AquAdvantage salmon most likely
will be the first genetically altered fish
to be allowed onto the market. Not yet
though. Especially not in the waters of
California, Oregon or Washington.
But if the offshore siting is allowed,
things will be much easier…..
A study done by Professor Emeritus
Arthur H. Whiteley of the Department
of Zoology at the University of Wash.
showed that four fish farms produced
as much waste as 830,000 Seattle
residents. However, the Seattleans
waste had to be treated. The fish
farm waste just drops under and out from
the cages to pollute the seas surrounding the pens. Just like those industrial hog farms, with
all the stink and toxic fumes produced.
Salmon are migratory fish. Remember?
They spawn by swimming up rivers, to
mate somehow somewhere relatively far
from ocean shores. Would it be good
to site fish farms three miles and one inch
off of Alaskan rivers, with some genetically
altered farmed fish trying to get his big
lumbering body up around the rocks and
branches to find a mate that is ready to
procreate with him? Would the progeny
survive? What about Daddy fish?
Remember that Atlantic salmon are meant
to live in Atlantic ocean waters, not Pacific.
They have trouble out of their native waters.
Yet, dams have decimated Atlantic salmon
in America. Tough to swim through that
concrete, or jump over it. “Audubon Magazine
reported that in Maine “there are more dams
than salmon” and today farmed Atlantic salmon
outnumber wild Atlantic salmon 85 to One.”
Health reason to eat fish:
good ratio of omega-3 to omega-6
fatty acids. Omega-3 good for
your heart. Fish like WILD salmon
typically 2.5 – 5: 1 omega – 3 to omega-6< Farmed fish often only 1:1, especially
if fed grains instead of fish. Grains
cheaper. But do they have genetically
altered corn or soy or canola oil in them??
To adversely affect DNA and organs
and villi of the intestines?? And possibly
lead to intestinal disease, or exacerbation of
your intestinal disease that you already have, or
even cause cancer via accelerated proliferation
of those villi in your intestines??
Meat, chicken, pork have a reverse ratio from
1:8 to 1:13 of omega-3 to omega – 6 fatty acids.
With crashing of the salmon market due
to lower value of junkier farmed salmon,
Alaskan fisherfolk, as an example, have
had to turn elsewhere to feed their families.
Thus, some areas have actually asked for
oil exploration in Alaskan
waters. Which further will adversely
affect wild fish from pollution, as will
such an industry [oil] adversely affect
the overall natural environment,
traditional cultures and economies.
And when the oil runs out…..
A little moderation is good. Slow down
the technocrats and bots, and
think truly SUSTAINABLE.
For now, go for the wild fish. Support your local
fisherfolk. And ask your fishmonger what kind of fish
she or he is selling you. And if it is farmed, tell her or him about farmed fish
from what you know. Ask about where it comes from, what it is treated with, if it has the dye [called astaxanthin] in it to make that slightly off unnatural pink color of those farmed fish, if it is Atlantic or Pacific Salmon [Pacific would be wild, if it truly is Pacific]. And currently, there is NO authenticatible way to deem fish “organic.”
More to come on this issue. See subchapter in my book
?The Most Important Issues Americans THINK They Know Enough About.. . . . . Part I? on Aquaculture.
Also see the Anne Mosness article at http://www.pccnaturalmarkets.com/sc/0504/sc0504-fishfarming.html
plus “Report on the Status of World Fisheries”
by Patrick Burns, National Audubon Society
P.O. Box 2616 Friday Harbor, WA 98250
If this upsets you, call your Senators at 202-225-3121 and tell each of them what you think about all this.
And call your Representative too at 202-224-3121, and do the same.
There may also be a web person/address to send NOAA the Dept of Commerce on the issue with your thoughts and feelings.
On the web page they say call Susan Buchanan at 301-713-2370, probably of NOAA. Stand up, Stretch,
and do what your soul tells you
to do. This is still America. It is your beloved nation. Sit and let the remote control you, and the democratic paraphernalia we have at our
disposal will rust and fall into waste.
Conrad Miller M.D. copyright 2005