San Diego Coastkeeper's Position on Aquaculture
Offshore aquaculture facilities, or marine "fish farms," have expanded significantly over the past four decades as a response to increasing demands for seafood in the face of decreasingly robust wild fish populations.1 Not only is offshore aquaculture growing globally, but a major offshore aquaculture facility has been proposed in the San Diego area and Congress is debating federal aquaculture legislation. Based on the known impacts of onshore, coastal and foreign offshore aquaculture operations, offshore aquaculture has the potential to exacerbate the current ocean crisis caused by overfishing, poor fisheries management and pollution. San Diego Coastkeeper believes that offshore aquaculture should be pursued only after maximizing fisheries management practices such as conservation, sustainable fishing practices and ecosystem-based management efforts to help rebuild critical marine life and fish populations. Before domestic offshore aquaculture moves forward, the federal government must establish comprehensive regulations and develop a permitting system that addresses offshore aquaculture's risks. We also encourage robust public debate regarding all proposed offshore aquaculture facilities.
Please download the complete PDF of our position on aquaculture.
1 FOOD AND AGRIC. ORG. OF THE UNITED NATIONS, Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2008, iii; note 1 at 3; TC/M/I0250/E (2009) [hereinafter The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2008].