The State Legislature in Hawaii is trying to fight the devastation that factory fish farming is bringing to local ecosystems. Two bills were introduced on Monday, one to stop the reckless expansion of the farms, and another that would require fish farming companies to conduct a full analysis of the environmental, socio-economic and cultural impact of their businesses.Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, made the announcement, adding that ocean fish farming is linked with ecological problems, from water pollution to the spread of disease and parasites to interference with marine mammals and surrounding ecosystems.
Food & Water Watch applauds Representatives Mele Carroll (D-13) and Faye Hanohano (D-4) for taking a firm stance against the expansion of ocean factory farms and for recognizing the toll this highly subsidized industry has taken on both state taxpayers and on the ocean ecosystem.
In addition, we commend State Senators Pohai Ryan (D-25) and Suzanne Chun Oakland (D-13) for introducing legislation (SB626) to hold fish farming corporations accountable by requiring they submit environmental impact statements. The popular bill, which already has broad Senate support with eight cosponsors, would finally close the loophole allowing offshore aquaculture operators to obtain permits without this thorough review.
Food & Water Watch has more information about the industry in a report, The Empty Promise of Ocean Aquaculture in Hawai`i, released last year.
As Sara has explained on TreeHugger before, Hawaii became the nation's testing ground for factory fish farming 20 years ago, and despite documented environmental repercussions, the industry has been expanding recklessly, with the potential for 900 percent growth in just the next three years.
More on fish farming
Industrial-Scale Fish Farming Still Damaging, Despite Environmental Progress
Factory Fish Farming in Hawaii Expected to Expand By 900 Percent
Ocean Fish Farms Won't Save Wild Fish & Can Easily Destroy Them