Aquaculture waste

Aquaculture, or commercial fish farming, is a rapidly growing industry that produces much of the seafood products we eat. Most of the shrimp, shellfish, trout and salmon currently consumed by Americans are raised either in large enclosed pens, ponds or land-based fish farms. Both of these systems often discharge large amounts of nutrients, chemicals and waste into our local waterways. Among other problems, these discharges may cause algal blooms which reduce oxygen in the water and kill marine life. It has been estimated that a farm with 20,000 salmon creates more waste than a city of 60,000 people.

It has recently been decided to allow commercial fish farming to operate in federal waters. However, some farmers are moving their farms out of the ocean and onto land, away from sensitive habitats. With these land-based systems, farmers can filter and treat wastewater, and reduce their impact on the surrounding ecosystem. Opponents of large aquafarms warn of significant damage to coastal environments from large volumes of wastewater that is constantly released from these operations.

Proposed Legislation: Reintroduction of H.R.274 - Keep Finfish Free Act of 2021
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. Sean Casten (IL)

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May 22, 2023
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