Join Wildfish Network to Stop Ocean Fish Farming
1 December 2007
The “National Offshore Aquaculture Act” has been reintroduced into Congress. If passed, it would allow thousands of large scale fish farms in federal waters to the detriment of wild fish, coastal communities, water quality, commercial, tribal and recreational fisheries are at grave risk if the legislation passes as written.
Wildfish Network has been created to bring together fishing, conservation and consumer groups to educate the public, media and elected officials about ocean fish farming. Wildfish Network is providing a unified voice to ensure that industrial marine finfish and shrimp farming does no harm to ecosystem integrity, to existing wild fisheries, or to coastal communities. On those occasions where we do not agree on specific strategies, we will benefit from we will still benefit from working together.
People from the fishing industry are especially important in calling attention to this wide-sweeping movement towards sky-rocketing expansion of ocean fish farming that will open our publicly owned waters to privately owned marine feedlot operations.
Wildfish Network is launching a website that will have downloadable handouts, fact sheets and other information that can be put into letters to editors and provided to the media and members of Congress. Legal analysis of amendments, proposed bill changes and contact names will be provided so individual organizations can let their elected officials know their concerns. Nationwide regulations and permit applications will be monitored, and attendance at hearings, agency and advisory body meetings is encouraged.
Through conference calls and a secure discussion list, in addition to the coming web-site, the Wildfish Network is the place where strategies and perspectives can be shared with trusted allies. While some organizations may work towards modification of the pending legislation and others remain strongly opposed to any kind of fish farming in federal waters, Wildfish Network provides a place to share information and explore all options.
Wildfish Network has brought together diverse groups, from East Coast Angler organizations to Western Alaska Native and commercial fishing organizations. Other concerned groups such as the National Farmer’s Union have put their name on sign on letters that were partially facilitated by the Wildfish Network.
A strong voice is crucial if we are going to keep industrial fish farm operations out of our oceans. Please encourage your fishing organization and other organizations to join and become active in the Wildfish Network.