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Offshore finfish farming operations can have “minimal impacts to the surrounding waters”, according to the results of a new study.

The conclusion follows the investigation into the waters from Open Blue’s cobia production site off the coast of Panama, by scientists at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

The researchers collected water samples at one upstream and three downstream locations from the submerged fish cages to investigate if there were significant or cumulative impacts resulting from locating fish farms offshore. Sediment samples were also collected to evaluate the effects of the aquaculture facility on the seafloor.

The data revealed that only small amounts of nutrients are released from the farm and demonstrated that – when appropriately sited – “commercial scale offshore aquaculture installations have the potential to operate in a way that produces a relatively small pollution footprint. The results also showed that any impacts from offshore fish farming are minimal compared to all other forms of animal protein production for human consumption.”…

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Courtesy of the National Aquaculture Association:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released revised advice about eating fish, which updates advice that FDA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) jointly issued in January 2017.
 
While it is important to limit mercury in the diets of women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and young children, many types of fish are both nutritious and lower in mercury. The revised advice highlights the many nutritional components in fish, many of which have important roles in growth and development during pregnancy and early childhood. It also highlights the potential health benefits of eating fish as part of a healthy eating pattern, particularly for heart health benefits and lowering the risk of obesity.

The advice is intended to help women who are or might become pregnant, breastfeeding mothers, and parents of children over 2 years of age make informed choices about fish that are nutritious and safe to eat. While the advice categorizing fish based on their mercury levels has not changed, the revised document further promotes the science-based recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans on the importance of fish in healthy eating patterns. It retains the easy-to-use reference chart that sorts more than 60 types of fish into three categories, based on their levels of mercury:“Best Choices”“Good Choices”“Choices to Avoid”The advice refers to fish and shellfish collectively as “fish.”

The FDA/EPA advice about eating fish has been expanded to highlight:Recommendations of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for AmericansNutritional value of fishPotential health benefits of eating fish The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans provides advice for people in the U.S. 2 years of age and older and recommends that adults eat at least 8 ounces of seafood (less for young children) per week based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Eating fish when pregnant or breastfeeding can also provide health benefits. For this reason, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding eat 2 to 3 servings (8 to 12 ounces) of lower-mercury fish per week. Fish consumption in the U.S., including among women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, is far less than the amounts recommended. Data have shown that more than 20% of women who were pregnant reported eating no fish in the previous month; for those who did report eating fish, half ate less than two ounces per week.
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Capitol Hill Ocean Week presented an opportunity for AFS to bring congressional staffers and environmental organizations together for “Mythbusting Marine Aquaculture,” a science-focused briefing in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center on June 6.  The briefing featured five experts in various aquaculture disciplines to highlight the advances in science, technology, and best management practices that have reduced the environmental footprint and increased the sustainability of marine aquaculture.

Experts challenged outdated perceptions on the use of antibiotics, sustainability of using fish meal and fish oils for feeds, water quality impacts and degradation of the seafloor, effect of fish escapes on wild stocks, and the potential transfer of disease from farmed to wild populations in marine aquaculture. These myths have limited the social acceptance and complicated efforts to advance federal legislation to simplify the regulatory landscape for offshore aquaculture.

Speakers included aquaculture experts Craig Watson, University of Florida; Guillaume Salze, Ph.D., Ajinomoto Animal Nutrition;  Mike Rust, Ph.D., NOAA Fisheries; Jennifer Molloy, US EPA; and Halley Froehlich, Ph.D., University of California Santa Barbara.

Learn more about the advances in technology and best management practices here and view AFS President Jesse Trushenski’s opening remarks here.

Source: Fisheries.org

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If we want to eat sustainably, aquaculture has to be part of the conversation

Demand for seafood is increasing across the globe, and the United States is no exception. Aquaculture, or aquatic farming, is increasingly meeting this demand and now supplies just over 50 percent of all seafood globally. In fact, it has been one of the world’s fastest growing food sectors for years.

The U.S. is the largest importer of seafood in the world, and some of Americans’ favorites—including shrimp, salmon and tilapia—are predominantly farmed these days. Yet, we contribute less than 1 percentof the world’s total aquaculture production. This means we rely heavily on other countries to satisfy our appetites for seafood…

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Senator McGuire, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (JCFA), is announcing the upcoming JCFA hearing on May 3, 2019 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center, Room 203, Eureka, CA.  The Future of Offshore Wind Energy and Fisheries in the Golden State: Challenges, Opportunities and Perspectives is an informational hearing that will include presentations and discussions of offshore wind energy and fishery compatibility in California.  More detailed information will be provided in the upcoming weeks and will also be posted on our web site.

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Senator McGuire, Chair of the Joint Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (JCFA), is announcing the upcoming JCFA hearing on March 21, 2019 from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., State Capitol, Room 3191, Sacramento, CA.  The 46th Annual Fisheries Forum is an informational hearing that will include presentations and discussions of fishery and aquaculture issues from throughout California. More detailed information will be provided in the upcoming days and will also be posted here.

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ABOVE THE SAN PEDRO SHELF — The Pacific Ocean is mountain-spring clear here six miles off the coast of Huntington Beach, Calif., where Phil Cruver has been ranching for a few months now.

Dangling between buoys that rise on the occasional swell are sweeps of lines, some strung horizontally, others plunging vertically toward the sea plateau’s floor 150 feet below. The depth drops into oblivion about a mile to the west, and what rises are nutrients that make this prime farming territory. The proof is on the lines — the thick coils of mussel, Cruver’s livestock and his bet that deep-ocean ranching is the future of the world’s food supply.

This 100-acre patch of Pacific is the Catalina Sea Ranch, the first commercially viable aquaculture operation in federal waters. The first mussel harvest was this summer, and it is expanding to a planned 30 times its current size…

Read more at The Washington Post

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CFSI members and others from industry lined up to oppose the open budget issues at the Senate subcommittee #2 on Resources, Environment, Energy and Transportation on May 18th. It was an impressive showing by industry on short notice to testify in opposition. Members of the committee voted unanimously to reject the administrations tax hike plan, and recommended a different route to be followed – direct the department to recommend other funding sources to solve their over-spending budget deficit and report back to the legislature by October 1, 2017 on how they can solve their chronic funding problems.

The battles are not over yet as the assembly budget subcommittee can take a different course that will put the issue before the full Budget Conference Committee for final action. But for the moment, we can be grateful for the support of the industry by Senators McGuire, Mendoza, Nielsen, and Wiekowski.

Any questions, info on next steps, call Rob Ross, 916-812-4455.

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OEHHA has received a request from the International Association of Color Manufacturers to issue a 60-day extension to the period for submitting information on the neurologic and neurological impacts of synthetic food dyes. OEHHA is granting this request and is extending the period for submitting information on the neurologic and neurobehavioral impacts of synthetic food dyes to 5 pm Tuesday, February 19, 2019.

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ABOVE THE SAN PEDRO SHELF — The Pacific Ocean is mountain-spring clear here six miles off the coast of Huntington Beach, Calif., where Phil Cruver has been ranching for a few months now.

Dangling between buoys that rise on the occasional swell are sweeps of lines, some strung horizontally, others plunging vertically toward the sea plateau’s floor 150 feet below. The depth drops into oblivion about a mile to the west, and what rises are nutrients that make this prime farming territory. The proof is on the lines — the thick coils of mussel, Cruver’s livestock and his bet that deep-ocean ranching is the future of the world’s food supply.

This 100-acre patch of Pacific is the Catalina Sea Ranch, the first commercially viable aquaculture operation in federal waters. The first mussel harvest was this summer, and it is expanding to a planned 30 times its current size…

Read more at The Washington Post

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