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Hawai`i Introduces Critical Legislation to Protect State Waters from Destructive Factory Fish Farming Operations
Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
WASHINGTON - January 24 - "On Monday, The Hawai`i State Legislature introduced two significant bills: one to stop the reckless expansion of factory fish farms operating in the state's pristine coastal waters (HB221) and another to require fish farming corporations to conduct and submit a full analysis of the environmental, socio-economic and cultural impact of their businesses (SB626)."
"Ocean fish farming, the mass production of fish in floating pens or cages in ocean waters, is associated with many well-documented ecological problems - water pollution, spread of diseases and parasites, interference with marine mammals and more. Unrestricted, industry production in HI is set to increase by over 900 percent by 2015."
"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."
For more information on the negative impact of fish farming in HI, see Food & Water Watch's 2010 report, The Empty Promise of Ocean Aquaculture in Hawaii.