Sunday, March 29, 2009

Farming the Gulf of Mexico

Recently the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council voted in favor of allowing aquaculture (i.e. fish farming) in the U.S.A. controlled waters of the Gulf. This would be done using large cages or pens, with the possibility of using obsolete oil rigs in the Gulf as operating stations for the farms.

There are a lot of pros and cons to this issue and most of the arguments on both sides have merit, obviously as with most issues there are extreme views on both sides which need to be tossed out by an intelligent observer.

As for myself, I am in favor of this proposal as long as it is sufficiently regulated to protect the ecosystem and not interfere with current commercial and recreational fishing activities.

I also feel that now that we have an administration that is more favorable to the environment, now is the time to enact this proposition into law. The U.S. is far behind on this industry compared to other countries with similar assets. With the use of modern techniques aquaculture is a great source of sustainable, Eco-friendly protein. It is an industry that can create new jobs and opportunities for the U.S. at at time when it is much needed.

Diligence will be needed to ensure we create the best aquaculture program possible for the Gulf of Mexico, but it is a much needed and worthy project.

Here is the FAQ about aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico presented by Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.

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