Categorized | Agriculture

Food & Water Watch praises fish farming bills

Statement by Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch:

On Monday, the Hawaii State Legislature introduced two significant bills: one to stop the reckless expansion of factory fish farms operating in the state’s pristine coastal waters (HB221) and another to require fish farming corporations to conduct and submit a full analysis of the environmental, socio-economic and cultural impact of their businesses (SB626).

Ocean fish farming, the mass production of fish in floating pens or cages in ocean waters, is associated with many well-documented ecological problems – water pollution, spread of diseases and parasites, interference with marine mammals and more. Unrestricted, industry production in Hawaii is set to increase by over 900 percent by 2015.

“Food & Water Watch applauds Reps. Mele Carroll (D-13) and Faye Hanohano (D-4) for taking a firm stance against the expansion of ocean factory farms and for recognizing the toll this highly subsidized industry has taken on both state taxpayers and on the ocean ecosystem.

In addition, we commend State Sens. Pohai Ryan (D-25) and Suzanne Chun Oakland (D-13) for introducing legislation (SB626) to hold fish farming corporations accountable by requiring they submit environmental impact statements.

The popular bill, which already has broad Senate support with eight cosponsors, would finally close the loophole allowing offshore aquaculture operators to obtain permits without this thorough review.

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For more information on the impact of fish farming in Hawaii, see Food & Water Watch’s 2010 report, “The Empty Promise of Ocean Aquaculture in Hawaii.”

Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.

– Find out more:
www.foodandwaterwatch.org

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