My name is [Your Name] and I am your constituent. I write to you today to kindly request you oppose the recently introduced Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture Act (H.R.6258) and instead support the Keep Finfish Free Act (H.R.274) to protect our federal waters from the dangers and cruelty of underwater factory farms.
As you may know, back in May 2020, the Trump Administration signed an executive order paving the way to industrially cage fish in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, a stretch of ocean located 3 to 200 miles off our coastlines. While conservationists, fishermen, and animal welfarists have been vocally opposed to offshore aquaculture for years, corporate interests continue to push this unsustainable, exploitative form of seafood production.
These underwater factory farms would be a nightmare for coastal communities, ocean ecosystems, and the fish trapped within them.
Raising fish in ocean cages produces exorbitant amounts of untreated waste that pollutes the surrounding water and fuels toxic algal blooms, which devastate local wildlife and other ocean industries, such as tourism and traditional fishing. Fish raised in factory farms are kept in extreme confinement at high densities, causing high stress and lowered immunity that aids the spread of infection, disease, and parasites, such as sea lice, that can impact native fish populations. In a misguided effort to manage these consequences, these operations use harsh chemicals and antibiotics that further pollute the ecosystem, harm wildlife, and increase the risk of antibiotic resistance.
The ocean nets and cages used to confine farmed fish can also entangle, harm, or kill wildlife, such as endangered sea turtles and dolphins. Additionally, when these enclosures break or the invasive fish otherwise escape into the environment, they can compete and interbreed with local populations, disrupting or potentially destroying the natural ocean ecosystem.
Considering this, it’s clear these underwater factory farms are not a sustainable investment for our country—and they must not be permitted in federal waters.
I request you stand up for our oceans, coastal communities, and precious aquatic wildlife and firmly reject the Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture Act (H.R.6258), and instead support the Keep Finfish Free Act of 2019 (H.R.274), which would expressly prohibit the development of these industrial aquaculture operations in the US Exclusive Economic Zone.