Large fish farms off Gulf seem likely to go ahead
Fish farms off the Gulf of Mexico will likely receive approval to become the first ocean large-scale fish farm in the United States.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council will vote next week on whether to allow this offshore farm, but so far they look eager to approve it.
This has been a six-year long debate among fisherman, scientists and environmentalists as there are many dangers associated with fish farming, and of course the debate continues about access to fish stocks.
So far, fish farming has been limited to experiments close to shore. The Gulf council is proposing sweeping regulation that would open up waters far offshore.
Former President George W. Bush's administration pushed for opening U.S. waters to fish farming and succeeded in drawing support for the idea. Advocates say the United States has fallen behind other nations in the burgeoning field.
But environmentalists and fishermen have resisted, arguing that growing fish in large pens and cages in the open waters poses pollution risks and could harm wild stocks.