We Want To:

Stop Bad Legislation In Congress

In 2018, the AQUAA Act (H.R. 6966/S.3138) was introduced in Congress, which would allow industrial ocean fish farms in federal waterways. Thanks to our efforts, the bill did not advance. Unfortunately, Congress is gearing up for a reintroduction. But we are mobilizing again to stop this bad legislation from ever becoming law.

Stop Unauthorized Permitting

Federal agencies are prioritizing the growth of this harmful industry and are trying to permit these dangerous facilities without congressional approval. We support the Keep Finfish Free Act (H.R. 2467), which would stop the federal government from permitting commercial industrial ocean fish farms unless Congress expressly authorizes it.

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What is Industrial Ocean Fish Farming?

Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic plants and other marine life like oysters, seaweed and finfish. Some methods of aquaculture can be beneficial. However, a destructive form of aquaculture is being promoted by U.S. agencies and could soon take over our oceans. 

Sometimes referred to as open ocean or marine aquaculture, industrial ocean fish farming is the mass cultivation of finfish in the ocean in underwater or floating net pens, pods and cages. These facilities are essentially factory farms in water that significantly harm public health, the environment and the people, industries and economies which rely on the ocean and its resources. 

Other countries like Denmark and Canada have experienced countless harms from industrial ocean fish farming, and are now moving away from the industry. Net pens discharge untreated fish waste and chemicals, like pharmaceuticals, directly into the ocean. These pens are packed with finfish and can become a breeding ground for parasites like sea lice and fatal diseases. In response, industrial farms use pesticides and agricultural drugs, which further pollute the ocean and affect nearby marine life. These facilities routinely have massive escapes of farmed fish, which threaten the health of wild fish. Large-scale fish farms attract predators, seabirds and other wildlife that can get entangled and die in the nets. Around the world, the industry has adopted the factory farming business model, which centralizes corporate control and places profits above environmental protection, humane conditions and animal welfare, and social responsibility. These operations also impose an unsafe work environment and push out small-scale producers.

If we allow mega-corporations to take over our oceans with massive fish farms, fishing communities, responsible seafood producers and many others will suffer. Join our fight to keep our oceans free from industrial fish farms! Don’t cage our ocean!

Coalition Members

Latest News

Trump is exploiting a crisis to industrialize our oceans

The federal government continues to take full advantage of an unprecedented time for America to push forward controversial and shameful corporate agendas. As we face uncertainty in all aspects of life, from physical and mental health to the economic crisis and ongoing racial injustice occurring across the country, it is nothing less than unethical for the government to maintain any sort of ‘business as usual’ attitude toward legitimizing offshore aquaculture in the U.S.

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Trump Exploits COVID-19 Crisis to Advance Corporate Aquaculture Agenda

Today, amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the White House issued a controversial Executive Order to streamline offshore aquaculture permitting and gut other protective regulatory processes. The move threatens our ocean ecosystem, local fishing communities and coastal economies.

The Executive Order on Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth mandates federal agencies to craft a program for rapid authorization of industrial offshore aquaculture facilities, which use giant floating cages to cultivate finfish, allowing toxic pollution to flow into open waters.

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WhyHunger Podcast: Don’t Cage Our Ocean

In honor of Earth Day, our latest episode has us speaking with fellow member of the Don’t Cage Our Ocean Coalition, Hallie Templeton on behalf of Friends of the Earth, on protecting our food and waterways from the impact of industrial aquaculture & how you can get involved.

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House Bill Would Carve Oceans into Floating Factory Fish Farms

AQUAA Act paves the way for industrialization of marine waters, threatens local fishing businesses and ecosystems

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Collin Peterson (D-MN) has introduced a bill that would authorize the federal government to issue permits for industrial ocean finfish farms. These facilities would use giant floating cages to cultivate fish in ocean waters all around the U.S. coast. Chemicals, diseases and untreated waste from these farms flow into the open ocean and pose environmental hazards and health risks to people and wildlife and threaten the livelihood of local fishermen and coastal communities.

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Fish farm foes take heart from pledge to take aquaculture out of B.C. waters

Originally posted in The Chilliwack Progress

It was just one sentence about removing open-net fish farms from B.C. waters by 2025.

The PM’s letter pledges to: “Work with the province of British Columbia and Indigenous communities to create a responsible plan to transition from open net-pen salmon farming in coastal British Columbia waters by 2025, and begin work to introduce Canada’s first-ever Aquaculture Act.”

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Off Sarasota’s coast, a new industrial threat

Originally published in the Herald Tribune

Florida’s coast is in trouble: One of the worst and longest “red tides” in state history ran from 2017 to 2019, killing hundreds of marine mammals, turtles, and fish, and now it’s back; we also are experiencing the biggest Sargassum “seaweed” bloom in the world; and a devastating widespread coral die-off continues.

All of these are suspected to be related to pollution, as too many chemicals from sewage and other wastewater flow into ocean and coastal waters around Florida.

As the ecosystem struggles to recover, a new threat looms — one that will dump even more pollutants into marine waters and worsen the impacts of the red tide. It is a threat most Florida residents are completely unaware of: industrial ocean finfish farming.

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Broad coalition applauds new bill banning industrial ocean fish farms

Congressman Don Young’s “Keep Fin Fish Free Act” protects oceans from floating factory farms

WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Don Young (R-Alaska) introduced the Keep Fin Fish Free Act (H.R. 2467), which places a moratorium on commercial permitting of marine finfish aquaculture facilities in federally controlled areas of the ocean. These facilities routinely cause massive farmed fish spills – like the August 2017 spill of more than 260,000 non-native Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound – which threaten wild fish stocks by spreading pests and disease, and increasing competition for food, habitat, and reproduction. Facilities also directly discharge a slew of toxins like untreated fish waste and pharmaceuticals; attract and entangle marine mammals and seabirds; and marginalize wild-capture fisheries and coastal economies.

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