Frustration with Obama admin
Marine advocates, who expected the Obama administration to be more friendly to their cause, have been frustrated that Lubchenco and the National Marine Fisheries Service have not taken a more active position on offshore aquaculture.
"It is very disturbing that the NMFS has not come out with a policy on offshore aquaculture," said Marianne Cufone, director of the fisheries program for Food and Water Watch. "We were anticipating to hear a different take on things."
Last week, Cufone and other activists, clad in tall chef's hats, marched around the Commerce Department building in downtown Washington, protesting the proposed Gulf of Mexico plan. The group threw out organic lollipops and chanted through a bullhorn: "Need more solutions, not more pollution! What do we want? Sustainable seafood! When do we want it? Now!"
Some Commerce employees looked down out of their windows to see what the commotion was about. Many NOAA employees are based at a different office building in Silver Spring, Md.
But given the uncertainty on NOAA's action on the gulf plan, Taylor's bill would pre-empt the agency. It would separate aquaculture from existing fishing regulations, forcing a national permitting plan if any offshore aquaculture were to move forward.
"As common sense indicates and Representative Taylor's bill makes abundantly clear, aquaculture is simply not fishing," said George Leonard, director of Ocean Conservancy's aquaculture program. "If passed, [the bill] will stop the dangerous piecemeal approach currently under way."
Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500