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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
In August, 305,000 farm-raised Atlantic salmon weighing 8 to 10 pounds apiece escaped into Puget Sound when a net collapsed at a floating fish farm near Cyprus Island.
In a major new statement about the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture, the World Health Organization is urging livestock agriculture and fish farming worldwide to sharply cut antibiotic use, reserving the precious drugs for animals that are sick and then choosing only antibiotics that are not important to human medicine. (No paywall)
Cooke Aquaculture — the company responsible for the estimated 105,000 farmed salmon that spilled out of a ripped net and into Puget Sound this summer — offered to pay the Lummi Nation an extra $12 per fish if the tribe would not push for the prohibition of net-pen aquaculture.