On Bangladesh shrimp farms, climate adaptation gone wrong
Since the 1980s, as rising seas and storm surges started pushing saltwater through the banks of tidal rivers and ruining their crops, rice farmers in Bangladesh, backed by the government, began shifting to shrimp farming. As Stephen Robert Miller writes in FERN’s latest story, published with The Guardian, “It was a way to adapt, and for a while it worked. Commercial shrimp, known as ‘white gold,’ has become one of the country’s most valuable export commodities.” (No paywall)
Maine pulls plug on controversial salmon farm project
The Maine Department of Marine Resources on Thursday killed a proposal by a Norwegian-backed company to build two massive salmon farms in the middle of pristine Frenchman Bay, next to Acadia National Park. The decision ended a long-running saga that had generated considerable opposition in the community over fears that the farms would foul the water and ruin the local fishing and shellfish industries.
In Maine, residents rise up against industrial-scale aquaculture
A proposal by a Norwegian-owned company to build two massive salmon farms in the middle of a pristine bay next to Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine, has the community in revolt over fears that they will foul the water and ruin the local fishing and shellfish industries.(No paywall)
U.S. permit may jumpstart ocean aquaculture, despite concerns
Aquaculture companies seeking to cultivate finfish in the open ocean could soon have an easier path to approval under a nationwide permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers last week, despite concerns from environmental groups. The permit, which could create an industry for aquaculture in federal waters, was written in response to a May executive order by President Trump calling on agencies to deregulate and expand seafood production in the United States.
FDA must study what happens if GMO salmon escape, says judge
A federal judge in San Francisco ordered the FDA on Thursday to take a new and stronger look at the potential consequences on native salmon if AquaBounty's fast-growing GMO salmon escaped from fish farms and established itself in the wild.
Environmentalists, fishermen protest bill to allow open-ocean aquaculture
Environmental advocates, fishermen, and residents of several states on the Gulf of Mexico appeared at a virtual hearing on Wednesday protesting a bill and other measures to expand ocean aquaculture. Under the new legislation, which is looking to settle a long-running debate over the future of aquaculture in the United States, fish farming would be allowed in federal waters.
Poultry to account for half of world increase in meat consumption
Global meat consumption will grow by 12 percent in the coming decade, with lower-cost poultry accounting for half of the increase, said the OECD and FAO on Thursday. Their jointly produced Agricultural Outlook report also said that aquaculture would overtake "capture fisheries" as the leading source of fish worldwide by 2024.
Trump administration seeks overhaul of fishing industry with new executive order
As the coronavirus pandemic ravages the meatpacking sector, the Trump administration late last week made a major announcement about another essential food industry: seafood. With a late-afternoon executive order, the administration laid out a pathway for the approval of ocean aquaculture in federal waters, a controversial departure from existing policy that could reshape the country’s seafood production.(No paywall)
Trump issues executive order to speed up fish farming
Saying he wants to expand U.S. seafood production, President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday to streamline federal review and approval of aquaculture sites. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department announced $300 million in coronavirus relief funds for the seafood industry. (No paywall)
Consolidation and climate change threaten U.S. fisheries, say FERN panelists
While overfishing no longer threatens U.S. fisheries, other pressing sustainability issues, such as finfish aquaculture and consolidation, top the list of concerns among fishers and fisheries experts, according to panelists who spoke at FERN Talks and Eats in New York City on Monday.(No paywall)
Sarasota officials oppose EPA aquaculture pilot project
The city commissioners of Sarasota, Florida, decided Monday to send a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency opposing an aquaculture pilot project that sought to farm fish about 45 miles off the city's coast. In the letter, signed by Sarasota mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch, the commissioners file "strong and formal opposition" to the project.
Oceans could provide far more food in the future, reports say
Oceans could provide far more protein for the world’s food supply than they do now, especially from aquaculture, but aggressive action is needed to better manage fisheries and mitigate the impact of climate change, according to two reports released Thursday.
U.S. aquaculture: Smaller numbers, bigger sales
There are 161 fewer U.S. aquaculture farms than earlier this decade but their sales are up more than 10 percent, to $1.5 billion, according to USDA's Census of Agriculture. The 2,932 farms had average sales of roughly $517,000 apiece. Those farms occupy a combined 484,000 acres, or 756 square miles, divided nearly equally between freshwater and saltwater production.
With EPA permit looming, open sea acquaculture sparks fight
Americans eat an average of 16 pounds of fish each year, and that number is growing. But how to meet our demand for fish is a controversial question, one that is entering a new chapter as the Environmental Protection Agency seeks to approve the nation’s only aquaculture pen in federal waters.
UN report says global fish production will slow but aquaculture will grow
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in its 2018 report on The State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture, says that fish consumption and fishing is expected to increase in the coming 15 years, though at a slower rate than in prior decades.
Looming renewal of ‘fish bill’ reveals industry-advocate divide
More than 100 organizations submitted a letter to members of Congress on Wednesday asking them to oppose ocean aquaculture. The letter was delivered as the looming renewal of the “fish bill,” the Magnuson-Stevens Act, reveals divides between the fishing industry and environmentalists, ocean advocates, and other stakeholders about the future of fisheries regulation.
The cattle farmer who became the newest U.S. senator
The Senate is in recess so it will be another week before cattle farmer Cindy Hyde-Smith, a veteran of state politics, formally succeeds Thad Cochran as U.S. senator from Mississippi. She already has a Republican challenger in the November special election to serve the final two years of Cochran's term, and had a get-acquainted meeting with top White House officials last week.
Can the Arctic’s icy waters solve aquaculture’s sustainability problems?
In April, at a smelting factory in Arctic Norway, the world’s largest photobioreactor will begin churning out fish feed grown on pollution. The feed, or microalgae, will provide a critical source of omega oils for prized Norwegian farmed salmon, while digesting carbon dioxide from industrial smoke piped through the bioreactor, says Hans-Christian Eilertsen, a marine biologist with the Arctic University of Norway.
Genetic editing comes to aquaculture
Research into infectious salmon anemia could provide the pathway for genetic editing in aquaculture, says Undercurrent News. The chief executive of Benchmark Holdings told the site that genetic editing is a logical next step following a multiyear study to map the genome of salmon.