New federal policy aims to expand US fish farming

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The federal government is moving to open up large swaths of coastal waters to fish farming for the first time in an effort to decrease Americans’ dependence on imports and satisfy their growing appetite for seafood.  More than four-fifths of the fish, clams, oysters and other seafood Americans ate in 2009 was imported.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Commerce Department issued new policies last month intended to open up federal waters to fish and shellfish farms and boost U.S. production. Federal waters generally begin three miles offshore. Federal officials and fish farmers say the new push will create jobs and help allay concerns about importing seafood from countries with weak environmental regulations. But conservationists worry that expanding fish farms far offshore will threaten the oceans’ health.

Source:  abc2news.com; 7/12/11

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