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Gulf of Mexico fish farms move another step closer to reality

Open ocean aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico sparks debate.
Gulf of Mexico fish farms move  another step closer to reality

Open ocean fish cage off the coast of Puerto Rico: Image courtesy of NOAA/Snapperfarm Inc

The possibility of Gulf of Mexico aquaculture moved another step closer to reality this month. But the small step forward – mainly adding a few rules for the proposed fish farming – caused fishers and environmentalists to once again speak out against an idea they fear will unfairly compete against local fishers and pollute local waters.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, which advises the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service on fish and fishing in the Gulf, recently approved the final draft of its proposed rule to regulating offshore Gulf marine aquaculture. After some more federal review and an expected public comment period this summer, the idea is that sometime next year businesses could begin applying for permits to establish red snapper, grouper and other finfish-farms in Gulf federal waters, which in Louisiana extend from three to 200 miles offshore.

Read  more  at:http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/02/gulf_of_mexico_fish_farms_move.html

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