July 25 event via Zoom to focus on proposals for ‘fish farms’ in Gulf of Mexico

Healthy Gulf nonprofit to host discussion

These are offshore aquaculture pens. Image courtesy of Healthy Gulf

At 7:30 p.m. on Monday, July 25, representatives of environmental organizations will host a Zoom forum on the latest efforts to establish “fish farms” in the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is pursuing an initiative to create multiple aquaculture projects in the Gulf, as The Sarasota News Leader has reported.

Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a permit to a Hawaii-based organization, Ocean Era, for a “net-pen” pilot project about 45 miles off the Sarasota County coastline. The company is awaiting a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit before it can proceed with that undertaking. (See the related article in this issue.)

Anyone wishing to watch the July 25 session may register on the Healthy Gulf webpage https://healthygulf.org/event/offshore-fish-farms-threaten-gulf-of-mexico/.

“The Federal government is proposing multiple offshore fish farms in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the health of Gulf waters and stocks of wild fish,” a news release says. “Join us as we learn about these proposed farms, their specific locations off Florida, Louisiana and Texas, and what is being done to keep them from harming Gulf waters and marine life,” it adds.

The speakers during the event will be James Mitchell, legislative director of Don’t Cage Our Oceans; Christian Wagley, coastal organizer of Healthy Gulf; and Andrianna Natsoulas, campaign director of Don’t Cage Our Oceans, the release notes.

“Don’t Cage Our Oceans is a coalition of 14 nonprofit organizations working to stop offshore fish farming while uplifting values-based sea-food systems led by local communities,” the release explains.

“Healthy Gulf is a nonprofit organization that works to protect and restore the Gulf of Mexico and the people and communities along its shores,” the release points out.