Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its non-military exploration and/or development of the Earth’s oceans.
This aff is pretty straightforward- don’t let the long-ish plan text fool you. It has Congress set up a system of financial incentives and permits (green lights) for offshore fish farming and specifies that the NOAA (a federal agency) has control over the process. I’ve included a list of terms to know that explains some of the more technical details of things like IMTA and the EEZ.
The most likely form of financial incentives that the plan gives would be trading credits mentioned in the Troell and Chopin 1AC cards, which reward producers for sustainable practices that cut down on waste.
If you need to cut down on time in the 1AC, feel free to re-highlight or cut out some impacts.
Have fun debating!
Terms to know
What is aquaculture?
The FAO has defined aquaculture as “the farming of aquatic organisms, including fish, mollusks, crustaceans and aquatic plants. Farming implies some form of intervention in the rearing process to enhance production as well as ownership of the stock being cultivated” (FAO 2000).
The difference between aquaculture and fisheries is that aquaculture involves harvesting all marine life (shrimp, oysters, etc.), while fisheries mainly involve fish.
What is integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA)?
Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) is a practice in which the by-products (wastes) from one species are recycled to become inputs (fertilizers, food and energy) for another…The major benefit of IMTA is the ability to reduce wastage while producing new cash-crops, ultimately resulting in improved operational sustainability…When IMTA is implemented correctly, fed aquaculture species (e.g. finfish/shrimps) are grown alongside selected organic extractive species (e.g. suspension feeders/deposit feeders/herbivorous fish) and inorganic extractive species (e.g. seaweeds). For example, the wastes emitted from the cage culture of salmon would be assimilated by shellfish and seaweed, which are also of commercial value.
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
The U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extends no more than 200 nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline and is adjacent to the 12 nautical mile territorial sea of the U.S., including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other territory or possession over which the United States exercises sovereignty. Within the EEZ, the U.S. has: Sovereign rights for the purpose of exploring, exploiting, conserving and managing natural resources, whether living and nonliving, of the seabed and subsoil and the superjacent waters and with regard to other activities for the economic exploitation and exploration of the zone, such as the production of energy from the water, currents and winds; Jurisdiction as provided for in international and domestic laws with regard to the establishment and use of artificial islands, installations, and structures, marine scientific research, and the protection and preservation of the marine environment; and Other rights and duties provided for under international and domestic laws.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a US federal agency that deals with (you guessed it) issues surrounding the oceans and atmosphere.
Aquaponics deal with growing fish and plants in unison.
Observation 1 is Inherency:
Global aquaculture is at a crossroads- new positive trends are key to solidify the industry
Thorsen 4-14-14 [Øistein Thorsen, Principal Consultant, Benchmark Sustainability Science, MSc in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics (LSE), spent several years at the United Nations representing Oxfam International, joined Oxfam in Oxford in 2006 working on global agricultural trade, “Investing in Aquaculture’s Future,” http://www.globalaginvesting.com/news/blogdetail?contentid=4070]
Aquaculture is at a crossroads. According to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the last three decades have seen global food fish aquaculture production expand “by almost 12 times, at an average annual rate of 8.8 per cent.” As a relatively new industry facing the pressure of driving higher rates of production per unit area, it has the opportunity to learn from others’ mistakes and embrace the development of a new set of sustainable management practices. Continued industry success and global expansion, Øistein Thorsen from Benchmark Sustainability Science argues, will come from identifying investment and early development opportunities focused on addressing aquaculture’s challenges around disease, feed and waste management. Disease: Like all forms of farming, aquaculture is a sector full of risks. The artificial ecosystems that aquaculture creates pose many challenges that can be addressed through equipment, technology and best stewardship practices that aim to accommodate the natural behaviors and environment of the farmed species. Facilitating welfare-focused fish production models can mitigate disease pressures and as a result produce better fish growth, more efficient food conversion, increased resistance to disease, and overall increases in survival. In this regard fish welfare is not simply an altruistic agenda, but rather the backbone of a healthy business. As a result opportunities will grow for developing health solutions that move away from reliance on antibiotics and other disease treatments to those focused on prevention – including vaccines and probiotics.¶ Feed: For the majority of finfish aquaculture operations, feed is generally the most costly input, and a rising one at that. In response to these increasing costs and environmental impacts associated with overfeeding, technologies monitoring food waste and effectively regulating food delivery have been developed and continue to evolve. This is just one example of how technological innovations coupled with good stewardship practices are driving industry profitability and sustainability. With regards to the larger issue of feed raw ingredient sourcing, such a quick fix has not been identified, though there are signs of progress. In 2004 one third of the world’s fish catch was used to produce fishmeal and fish oil primarily for the aquaculture industry according to WWF. The good news is that the industry’s reliance on fishmeal and fish oil is decreasing due to increased use of plant-based feed from major agricultural crops like soybean and corn. However, with rising and volatile commodity prices fueled by pressures on agricultural land use and a changing climate, reliance on such crops can prove risky and expensive for fish farmers. This provides biotech development and investment opportunities for using bacteria, yeast, algae, insects and animal by-products as feed ingredients. Early results include positive health benefits for farmed fish fed on yeast and bacteria grown on natural gas. By-and-large these initiatives are in their early stages and not yet ready for large scale industrial application, however, they should be encouraged as they could hold the key to effective protein production in a resource constrained world.¶ Waste: Similarly to traditional farming practices of all scales, fish farms produce waste and impact the environment in which they are situated. There is the risk that these wastes can become significant pollutants and a cause of conflict between fish farmers and their coastal neighbors. No one system in existence outperforms all others in all waste emission or energy use categories, showing the need for continued innovation in this field. Exploration in the design of systems that use waste as nutrition, fuel for secondary crops, or products like feed, fertilizer or energy continues to thrive. All of these opportunities are at an early stage and have not been proven at an industrial level yet, but they could have the potential to boost on-farm profits by reducing feed and electricity bills, and provide additional income streams by turning waste into sought after products like biogas, fertilizer, carbon credits, or secondary crops like seaweed.