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CAP Report Considers Effect of Expanding Offshore Aquaculture

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By Milthon Lujan

Washington, D.C. USA.- As the United States considers expanding the commercial farming of fish, shellfish, and seaweed into federal waters, a new report from the Center for American Progress says policymakers should balance economic opportunity with environmental protection.

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Aquaculture offers major economic benefits, but it must be balanced with regulations to ensure the proper location, farm management practices, and species selection, the report says.

As climate change and coastal population growth puts pressure on traditional com­mercial fisheries, aquaculture has offered working waterfronts another avenue of economic opportunity. Policymakers must carefully consider the differences between unfed aquaculture systems, such as oysters and seaweed, and industrial fed aquaculture projects — including salmon — to ensure sustainable and environmentally conscious aquaculture practices are maintained in any offshore expansion of the industry.

Read the report: “American Aquaculture: An Overview of the Current Status, Environmental Impacts, and Legislative Opportunities” by Alexandra Carter and Miriam Goldstein. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/green/reports/2019/05/13/469730/american-aquaculture/ 

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