As an avid scuba diver, the health of the marine environment has always been important to me. Scuba diving changed my entire perspective on the ocean, showing me its beauty in ways otherwise impossible. That’s why the NOAA Aquaculture Opportunity Areas are concerning to me.
These proposed fish farms are essentially floating confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). They advance the same industrial production methods that have degraded our waterways and soil, taken land away from small farmers, and produced unhealthy food. Because of the conditions that the fish are kept in, these floating CAFOs incubate and proliferate diseases that are extremely harmful to the marine environment and wild-catch fisheries.
It’s time we follow the lead of Washington State and keep harmful industrial-scale aquaculture out of our water— federal and state. It is time for Californians and Americans at large to say no to industry and say yes to our oceans — for those whose livelihoods currently depend on them and for those who wish to one day share them with their children.