Case Solvency



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Solvency

Solvency 1NC

Federal agencies already did the plan in 2011 – didn’t solve


Bryan Walsh – 7/8/11, senior editor at TIME, Can the U.S. Close Its Seafood Trade Deficit?, TIME, http://science.time.com/2011/07/08/can-the-u-s-close-its-seafood-trade-deficit/print/

The federal government has shown signs that it wants to jumpstart the domestic aquaculture industry. Last month NOAA and the Department of Commerce finalized a new set of national aquaculture guidelines, with particular attention paid to growing shellfish production and potentially opening aquaculture in the rich Gulf of Mexico. “This is going to provide a national approach to sustainable domestic marine aquaculture,” Larry Robinson, the assistant secretary for conservation and management at NOAA, told reporters last month.” By developing sustainable domestic marine farming we increase food security, keep dollars here and support working waterfronts.” All of those goals are possible, but it’s going to take more than official guidelines. Americans will need to decide that a domestic aquaculture industry is worth having, worth supporting—and worth the space. “”Fish farming is one of the most efficient ways to produce protein, and we can and should be doing more of it,” says NOAA’s Rubino. “But whether we choose that path remains to be seen.”

Plan doesn’t cause commercialization – not economical


James Kirkley – July 2008, Professor of Marine Science in the Department of Fisheries Science at the College of William and Mary, “The Potential Economic Ramifications of Offshore Aquaculture,” Offshore Aquaculture in the United States: Economic Considerations, Implications & Opportunities, http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/aquaculture/docs/economics_report/econ_report_all.pdf

Despite apparent evidence that offshore aquaculture is not only economically feasible but also capable of generating substantial contributions to the U.S. economy, there remain many obstacles which may hinder its development and adoption. In this study, it was demonstrated that production of five species popular with U.S. consumers is economically feasible, provided certain conditions prevailed. Foremost among these conditions is that prices received will hold at certain levels. Given the increasing level of imports, it is quite possible that prices received for the primary products will decrease. Also, if resource conditions do improve in the future, the landings of wild-caught cod and winter flounder would likely expand. The sea scallop resource is already at a high level of biomass. In addition, all of the species can be produced near-shore as opposed to offshore, and there are likely to be cost savings for inshore or near-shore operations. There remain many other concerns which may limit the development of offshore aquaculture outlined in other chapters in this report. There are potential uncertainties about obtaining loans, which will be necessary for satisfying up front investment costs. In all instances, these investment costs are quite high and will likely deter individuals or firms from investing in offshore aquaculture. There is considerable uncertainty about what constitutes best management practices (BMPs) for various operations. Present analysis does, however, support the development of offshore aquaculture in waters within 25 nautical miles of shore. Finally, it is concluded that operations farther offshore will require larger projects, or farms, and higher levels of investment.

States solve in the squo – California proves


Eric Bradley – 1/8/14, Press-Telegram, California Coastal Commission approves aquaculture facility off Long Beach shore, http://www.presstelegram.com/business/20140108/california-coastal-commission-approves-aquaculture-facility-off-long-beach-shore

The California Coastal Commission on Wednesday approved the state’s first aquaculture farm to be located in federal waters about eight miles offshore of Long Beach. Known as Catalina Sea Ranch, the facility by KZO Sea Farms will primarily grow Mediterranean mussels on 45 lines anchored in the sea floor and suspended horizontally by buoys from a depth of a few feet to 200 feet, in a 100-acre patch of ocean near two existing oil production platforms. The willingness of KZO to agree to extensive monitoring for its first-of-a-kind project helped earn unanimous approval from commissioners. Phillip Cruver, co-founder of Long Beach-based KZO, said the ranch, which was previously approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will “put a small dent” in the nation’s $10-billion annual seafood importation deficit. According to National Marine Fishery Service data, 33.7 million pounds of live farmed mussels were imported into the United States in 2012, most of it from Prince Edward Island in eastern Canada. “We could grow our own (mussels) and save that 3,500 air miles of carbon footprint,” Cruver told the commission. Organizations like Heal the Bay, though not opposed to the project, argued for frequent inspections and video reviews of the site. “I think it’s imperative that we are monitoring almost every aspect of this project,” said Dana Murray, a Heal the Bay marine and coastal scientist. She also was concerned about KZO’s plan to cultivate nonnative Pacific oysters, but Coastal Commission staff said the species, though not native, has already been introduced to California waters and is the No. 1 planted and harvested oyster in the state. Concerns were ameliorated further when KZO said it would consent to monitoring at the facility beyond the five years outlined in its consistency certification. Catalina Sea Ranch’s business plan calls for six years of operation to produce a good return for investors, though the life of the equipment is 10 years, according to Cruver. He told the Los Angeles News Group last year that the farm could produce 774,000 pounds of mussels and 18,000 pounds of oysters in the first year of operation worth more than $1.5 million.

Regulations not key – scientific hurdles offshore aquaculture development – Gulf proves


Kristen M. Fletcher2004, Marine Affairs Institute @ Roger Williams University School of Law, Law & Offshore Aquaculture: A True Hurdle or a Speed Bump?, Efforts to Develop a Responsible Offshore Aquaculture Industry in the Gulf of Mexico: A Compendium of Offshore Aquaculture Consortium Research, Bridger, C.J., editor, http://www.oceanrenewable.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/law-and-offshore-aquaculture.pdf

The legal and regulatory environment surrounding offshore aquaculture is cited consistently as one of the major hurdles to its development in the United States. Despite the adoption of the National Aquaculture Act in 1980, the lack of a sound legal and regulatory structure is still cited as the culprit for lack of a U.S. industry. In reality, the present regulatory regime is inadequate because it is based upon laws that were adopted to address issues or industries other than aquaculture. Because aquaculture facilities affect traditionally governed areas such as water supply, the use of navigable waters, food production, and environmental protection, multiple federal and state agencies have jurisdiction over the industry. While these agencies have excelled at regulating and permitting land-based aquaculture regimes with refined and stream-lined licensing procedures and regulations, the offshore aquaculture regulatory structure looks significantly different with no single lead agency and differences in regulations between states and regions. Many claim that these issues must be resolved before a sustainable industry can emerge. Law and policy research conducted in tandem with the environmental and technological research of the Gulf of Mexico Offshore Aquaculture Consortium revealed some specific legal mechanisms that need to be addressed but highlighted the reality that offshore aquaculture can develop within the present structure. This chapter describes some of these immediate legal hurdles but concludes that political and scientific issues serve as much greater hurdles than the legal and regulatory regime.

Fishing is inevitably doomed – climate change


MSC Mar 16, 2010 (Marine Stewardship Council, committed to being the world’s leading certification program for sustainable wild-capture seafood, “Climate change and fish” Mar 16, 2010. http://www.msc.org/about-us/program-improvements 7/4/14 J.M.)

Our oceans and fish stocks may be under threat from changing water temperatures. Fisheries and communities around the world could be affected.¶ If our climate changes, the temperature of oceans, seas and lakes will change too. We don’t yet know the full impact on fishing and marine ecosystems, but it seems likely that vulnerable marine species will be under more pressureMany fisheries will be seriously affected as the ecosystems that underpin them face new and uncertain challenges.¶ How will climate change affect fish and fisheries?¶ The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts thatas sea temperatures change, fish numbers will change and fish will move to different areassome species will go extinct in particular areaspredators and prey will move to different areas, disrupting food chainswetlands and other low lying habitats where fish reproduce will be covered by rising sea levelswater in lakes will get warmer¶ bad weather may stop fishers going to sea¶ These changes may affect fisheries worldwide, but the impacts are likely to be particularly damaging for fishers in developing countries.

Solvency – Plan Happened 2NC

Obama’s first term was a huge boost for the aquaculture industry – already created a framework for development


Erich Luening - 1/2/2013, “Obama's First Term Aquaculture Successes,” http://marthasvineyard.patch.com/groups/erich-luenings-blog/p/bp--obamas-first-term-aquaculture-successes

With the Obama Inauguration for a second term in January, a look at the aquaculture policy successes of the first four years of the administration shows significant momentum in establishing new policies for the industry among other positive developments. Under the first Barack Obama presidency the first National Aquaculture Policy (NAP) was adopted, along with the coordination of aquaculture and other marine stakeholders under the president’s National Ocean Council’s (NOC) Draft Implementation Plan, indicating a serious effort to push the domestic seafood farming sector forward, say aquaculture policy makers and industry members. Aquaculture professionals say there has been a change in how aquaculture is perceived at least on the policy level over the last four years. “I can see that starting to happen slowly now,” said Sebastian Belle of Maine Aquaculture Association, at the December Northeastern Aquaculture Conference and Expo. NAP was the most significant and most headlined aquaculture development under Obama’s first term, Dr. Michael Rubino, the Director of Aquaculture at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA, told Aquaculture North America but there were other accomplishments made on-the-ground that were important as well. “There was a fair number of the sort of nots in bolts things that happened too,” he said. “Certainly when Jane Lubchenco was appointed as NOAA director they asked us to look at everything we are doing, stakeholders and all, on aquaculture.” The NOAA went around the country and got input at several public meetings as well. “The federal government hadn’t done that in 10 years, and we got a broad economic view. NOAA policy was addressed on the kind of things we do as far as marine stewardship and engagement,” Rubino said. “Going back 40 years, there have been several commissions, all the way up to the establishment of the National Oceans Council in 2004, and others in between. They all have had aquaculture components, all saying the same thing. Aquaculture has to be done sustainably, with trade policy and good science behind it.” It’s fair to say that the adoption of the NAP came out of all of those commissions over the years enhanced by the efforts under Lubchenco to get NOAA officials out to different regions of the country to add their voices and interests to the dialogue around framing the new policy. In the summer of 2011, the United States National Aquaculture Policy was announced, making headlines as the first of its kind in a country that has 95,471 statute miles of tidal shoreline and 200 nautical miles from those coasts out to sea as part of the Exclusive Economic Zone, according to NOAA. The new aquaculture policy and its components, which reflect the public comments received after draft policies were released on February 9, focus on: encouraging and fostering sustainable aquaculture that increases the value of domestic aquaculture production and creates American business, jobs, and trade opportunities; making timely management decisions based on the best scientific information available; advancing sustainable aquaculture science; ensuring aquaculture decisions protect wild species and healthy coastal and ocean ecosystems; developing sustainable aquaculture compatible with other uses; working with partners domestically and internationally; and, promoting a level playing field for U.S. aquaculture businesses engaged in international trade, working to remove foreign trade barriers, and enforcing our rights under U.S. trade agreements.

Solvency – No Commercialization 2NC

Too many barriers to offshore aquaculture – no technology, investment risk, price competition, and foreign subsidization


Upton and Buck – 10, Harold F. Upton and Eugene H. Buck, Analyst/Specialist in Natural Resources Policy @ CRS, August 9, 2010, Open Ocean Aquaculture, http://cnie.org/NLE/CRSreports/10Sep/RL32694.pdf

A broad array of questions is associated with the viability and impacts of open ocean aquaculture initiation and expansion. These concerns are further complicated by factors such as evolving production technology, uncertain economic costs and benefits, and environmental and social impacts. Generalizations are also difficult to make because of the variety of candidate species, associated technologies, and potential scales of operation. Major categories of concerns related to open ocean aquaculture development include (1) biological, operational, and business concerns related to development of a new industry; (2) potential social and economic impacts; (3) potential environmental impacts; and (4) the legal and regulatory environment.6 Biological, Operational, and Business Concerns Species and Technology Current species and culture techniques—including species selection, egg/larval production, and nutritional/dietary requirements—are somewhat limited. Development of open ocean aquaculture probably will need further research, and new culture techniques may be required for rearing species not presently grown. Many economically important species are currently being studied at various universities and research institutes for possible culture, including amberjack, black sea bass, blue mussels, cobia, cod, corvina, flounder, haddock, halibut, mahimahi, mutton snapper, red drum, striped bass, tuna, and yellowtail snapper. Other research topics being investigated include hatchery culture technologies; automated feeder design; culture of new species; disease identification and control; cages and husbandry technology for rough water environments; identification of alternative food sources; nutrition requirements; definition of carrying capacity of offshore waters; appropriate mooring systems; drifting and self-powered cages; federal regulatory structure; and environmental monitoring technology. Since open water aquaculture is a relatively new industry, many potential operators are inexperienced with the technical requirements for open ocean facilities. Historically, development has been limited by technology that requires water depths of 100-150 feet; this narrow band of acceptable depth exists from ¼ mile to about 50 miles offshore, depending on location. Open ocean aquaculture facilities, moored or floating miles off the coast in a high-energy environment, experience numerous environmental conditions that differ from nearshore aquaculture operations, including exposure to wind and wave action from all directions, short and steep wave patterns, strong currents, seasonal anoxic (oxygen-lacking) conditions, and other severe ocean conditions that can prevent operators from being able to access their cages for days to weeks.7 Systems have been developed to overcome these obstacles, including cage designs that do not deform under strong current and wave loads, submersible cages, and single-point moorings. Cage-mounted autonomous feeding systems have been developed that can operate both at the surface and submerged. Others have developed closed containment systems for open ocean use to address environmental concerns. Universities and private-sector research interests are developing automated buoys that can monitor the condition of stock and feed fish on a regular basis for weeks at a time. Other research groups are working on automated, floating cages that would travel with the currents and be tracked by satellite.8 These ship-like structures could float on favorable oceanic currents or be held in the same location with low-energy thrusters. Financing Estimating profitability and securing financing is difficult for new open ocean aquaculture companies because of an uncertain regulatory environment, the risk associated with operating in exposed open ocean locations, the risk of catastrophic events (e.g., severe storms), limited operational experience, and high capital start-up costs. Proponents of open ocean aquaculture development assert that, without some form of long-term (at least 25 years) permitting or leasing of the water surface, water column, and seabed, open ocean aquaculture will have significant problems in securing capital from traditional funding sources and in obtaining suitable insurance on the capital investment and stock.9 Such leasing may be problematic unless property rights beyond the territorial sea are clarified. The availability of insurance on stock and equipment is relevant to, and can facilitate obtaining, front-end capital for open ocean aquaculture. The insurance sector has more than 30 years of experience in managing and insuring risks to conventional aquaculture stock and equipment for a variety of situations and conditions. Although the insurance industry is unlikely to view pilot projects favorably, many say that the earlier the insurance industry is brought into developing open ocean aquaculture, the earlier insurers are likely to be comfortable with the risks that must be insured. Proponents of open ocean aquaculture suggest that, if profits are to be made, sufficient investment capital must be available as soon as property rights, permitting, and environmental concerns are resolved. More pessimistic critics suggest that open ocean aquaculture is unlikely ever to have an adequate economic return on investment, and that investment should rather be focused on improving nearshore or shore-based aquaculture. Eventually, the level of capital investment in open ocean aquaculture will likely depend on whether its rate of return is competitive with investment alternatives. Economic Potential The economic potential of U.S. aquaculture will likely depend on both operational costs and product prices. Costs will largely depend on several factors, including U.S. regulation, the technology adopted, and national and international economic conditions. Economic conditions will determine labor, energy, capital, and other input costs. Prices of U.S. aquaculture products will likely depend on world demand and the prices of competing products. Competing products include similar imported cultured products, similar wild species, and other agricultural product substitutes such as chicken, pork, and beef. The level of government support in other countries is often greater than that provided in the United States. Some say that government assistance could promote the initial development of a U.S. open ocean aquaculture industry, but global market forces would likely determine whether it matures or withers. The United States has been, for the most part, a technological innovator, and the use of marine resources to farm new species with high market value could give the United States a competitive edge. On the other hand, operating costs and environmental standards in other countries are often lower. In addition to capital costs, the location of aquaculture facilities further from shore will necessitate higher costs for fuel, security, and/or surveillance. Land-based aquaculture products are also likely to compete with offshore aquaculture. Most aquaculture production in the United States originates in freshwater ponds and raceways, such as catfish in the southern United States and trout farms in Idaho and North Carolina. Advances in more intensive culture techniques such as closed systems10 are another means to increase production with minimal environmental impacts. Cobia, a candidate species for offshore aquaculture, is currently being cultured in land-based tanks 300 miles from the ocean in freshwater by regulating its physiology.11 Initial reports documenting production are optimistic, but the commercial viability of this particular type of aquaculture is unknown. Shoreside Infrastructure Supportive shoreside infrastructure, including hatcheries and nurseries, does not exist and would need to be developed. Support industries have the potential to provide employment and other economic benefits to coastal communities. If open ocean aquaculture becomes viable, these businesses should also grow. However, the relatively high value of shoreline property could be an impediment to finding appropriate sites, especially waterfront sites in coastal areas. Development and Partnerships Fostering industry/academic partnerships may benefit open ocean aquaculture development.12 Some suggest that, for development to occur, open ocean aquaculture should be considered “big science” along the lines of atomic/nuclear physics research and the Human Genome Project. In this light, the developing open ocean aquaculture industry may benefit by seeking and promoting partnerships with multinational industrial, agricultural, and pharmaceutical corporations.13 Proponents argue that this is the most likely way for open ocean aquaculture to obtain the ocean engineering, marine technology, and floating platform infrastructure at the necessary scale of production. The developing industry will also need to refine biological methods related to commercial-scale hatchery and grow-out facilities. They also state that, without domestic financial support, aquaculture innovation will likely come from other countries already providing greater investment in technology development.

Multiple obstacles to commercialization – at best, the aff overcomes them by producing high-end fish that don’t solve food security


Clare Leschin-Hoar – 3/23/12, covers fishing and sustainable seafood for The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, and Scientific American, The big blue: Can deepwater fish farming be sustainable?, Grist, http://grist.org/food/the-big-blue-can-deep-water-fish-farming-be-sustainable/

“If we’re going to feed the world protein, aquaculture is the best way to do it, and someplace we ought to be looking is offshore,” says Michael Rubino, director of NOAA Fisheries’ Aquaculture Program. That may be easier said than done. In addition to challenges like nearly constant battering by ocean waves, high fuel costs for ships that maintain the pens (in the case of the Velella Project, a manned boat remained tethered to the pod at all times, to ensure it doesn’t float too far off course, and to house the staff monitoring the project), and an array of other technical obstacles, there’s the fact that no regulations have been put in place. Rubino would also like to see a set of laws that are specific to open water aquaculture. “Under current fisheries laws, aquaculture has been interpreted as fishing. We need new legislation,” he says. NOAA is interested in the progress being made by the Velella Project, but stresses the importance of gradual, step-by-step development of this technology. “If we can solve these regulatory issues, we’ll issue a certain number of permits, and if those work, then in the second 10 years, we’ll issue more. [NOAA] has a stewardship mission. This has to be done in the context of healthy oceans,” says Rubino. The other way that offshore aquaculture might expand, says Rubino, is if each regional fisheries management council (there are eight around the country) devises its own management plan for aquaculture. That’s something the Gulf of Mexico Council [PDF] has already done, putting the area first in line for commercial offshore aquaculture. Chris Mann, director of Pew Environment Group’s Aquaculture Standards Project, says that while the Velella Project does seem to have good results so far, the conversation really needs to be about scale. “We appreciate someone like Neil thinking about aquaculture in a different way. What we’re not crazy about is taking the CAFO model of livestock and putting it in the ocean. Fish poop in the water; if you have a massive industry, you get a lot of pollution and problems. If you have small scale, [like the Velella Project] with a lot of water flowing through it, you have fewer problems,” says Mann. Sims says he recognizes the need for scale, and the fact that offshore aquaculture means making use of a common resource. He’s recently applied for permits for the next step, Velella Gamma, which will involve mooring the pod to a single point on the ocean floor and may require less staff monitoring. This stage will also involve placing the pod closer, into water depths of 6,000 feet. And the goal will be to move toward more automation. “Machines can work better in rough sea than people,” he adds. In the end, economics will likely dictate whether or not offshore aquaculture truly takes off in the next decade. “The great promise of aquaculture – the ‘Blue Revolution’ – is that it can produce a healthy and abundant supply of protein for a world that’s going to need a lot more of it, but you can only do that if you make the right choices of species,” says Mann. He worries that producers of larger fish are more motivated by the marketplace, than by a drive to feed the world sustainably. “You feed the world with shellfish and tilapia,” he says. “Not salmon or shrimp for $15 a pound.” Either way, Sims will continue to push the envelope. As he sees it, there’s been a lot of fear-mongering about aquaculture. And, like all food production, he stresses the how in the equation. “There’s a ground swell of recognition that this is a direction we have to go,” he says. “Let’s just do it right.”

AQC Bad – Dead Zones 1NC

Offshore aquaculture causes dead zones – aff can’t solve without creating EXPLICIT regulations


Tim Eichenberg – 6/8/06, Director, Pacific Regional Office, The Ocean Conservancy, Testimony before the SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL OCEAN POLICY STUDY OF THE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION UNITED STATES SENATE, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-109shrg64706/html/CHRG-109shrg64706.htm

Open ocean aquaculture is promoted as a solution to the ocean's diminishing resources. However, it also poses significant risks, including escapement of fish, damage to the surrounding environment, harmful effects on native fish populations, and pollution. These risks, and their consequences, are largely dependent upon the location of the operation, its size or scope, the management practices, the capacity of the receiving water body, and the choice of species to be raised in a particular area. Fish Escapement: Perhaps the single greatest ecological and economic threat associated with the growth of offshore aquaculture is the potential to introduce invasive species to the surrounding ecosystem and nearby coastal communities. Millions of farmed fish escape from fish farms because of storms, human error, and predators. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and many other authorities, escapes result in harmful interactions with native fish, including competition with wild stock for food, habitat and mates; transfer of potentially deadly diseases and parasites to wild stocks; and genetic modification of wild stocks through inter- breeding.\6\ Farmed fish are vastly different and can weaken the genetic makeup of wild populations.\7\ Threat of Disease and Pollution: Offshore aquaculture also presents numerous additional biological threats to ocean ecosystems. Fish farms, like animal feed lots, produce enormous pollution. The excreta from an average floating cage farm can produce nutrients and fecal matter equal to a city of 20,000-65,000,\8\ and the potential wastes for a $5 billion U.S. industry--called for by NOAA--would discharge annually the nitrogen equivalent of the untreated sewage of 17 million people.\9\ Depending upon pollutant composition and the cumulative effects of similar cages in a particular area, discharges may cause harmful effects on the surrounding environment. Fish farms can change the chemical and biological structure of the sediment under net pens, and in severe cases cause ``dead zones.'' \10\ Additionally, outbreaks of diseases and parasites are a constant risk because the density of fish in aquaculture operations is so much higher than in nature. Disease, pathogens, and parasites multiply rapidly in crowded pens and can spread to wild fish stocks. Farmed species, depending upon species and diet, can even present increased public health risks to the people who consume them. Concentrations of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), toxaphene, and dieldrine have been found to be significantly greater in farmed salmon species than in wild species.\11\ Fish farms also use a wide variety of antibiotics, pesticides, parasiticides, hormones, anesthetics and other chemicals that enter the marine environment.\12\ Wild fish near fish farms accumulate higher amounts of mercury,\13\ and drugs can select for resistant bacteria, sometimes even in wild fish consumed by humans.\14\ Harmful Ecosystem and Marine Wildlife Effects: Seals, sea lions and other marine wildlife prey on farmed fish and are targets for predator controls and, in some cases, are shot. Acoustic deterrents such as seal bombs and intense underwater loud speakers cause disorientation, pain or hearing loss, and alter the behavior of marine species.\15\ Aquaculture operations also may require dredging, drilling, the use of large heavy anchors, and other disturbances to sediment and bottom habitats, which can displace ocean wildlife, smother bottom-dwelling animals, destroy hiding places for young fish, and cause other ecological changes to the sea floor. The use of fish meal to feed farmed carnivorous fish produces a net loss of fish protein, reduces wild fish populations, and can change the distribution and reproductive success of other species throughout the marine ecosystem. It can take from 2-5 pounds of wild fish to produce one pound of some farmed fish species.\16\ Farmed fish are fed 12 percent of the world's catch, and consume about 40 percent of the world's fishmeal supply (20 billion pounds of fish).\17\ California's ``Sustainable Oceans Act'' Our oceans are a public trust, and any commercial farming of them must be done sustainably and with precaution. Unfortunately, current regulations and mitigation strategies at the Federal level are inadequate to guide the aquaculture industry or manage its risks. Regulatory agencies with overlapping and conflicting authority have caused significant confusion regarding environmental requirements, siting considerations, leasing procedures and jurisdictional responsibility.\18\ Without careful legislative coordination of NOAA's jurisdiction and responsibilities with those of other agencies, we believe problems will persist, with potentially serious environmental consequences. Moreover, it is imperative that any management regime address specifically and comprehensively the potentially serious risks of offshore aquaculture to marine ecosystems, consumer health and safety, fisheries, and fishing communities.

Turns the case – dead zones destroy fish reproduction and cause species extinction


American Chemical Society – 3/29/06, Ocean 'dead zones' trigger sex changes in fish, posing extinction threat, http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-03/acs-oz032906.php

Oxygen depletion in the world’s oceans, primarily caused by agricultural run-off and pollution, could spark the development of far more male fish than female, thereby threatening some species with extinction, according to a study published today on the Web site of the American Chemical Society journal, Environmental Science & Technology. The study is scheduled to appear in the May 1 print issue of the journal. The finding, by Rudolf Wu, Ph.D., and colleagues at the City University of Hong Kong, raises new concerns about vast areas of the world’s oceans, known as "dead zones," that lack sufficient oxygen to sustain most sea life. Fish and other creatures trapped in these zones often die. Those that escape may be more vulnerable to predators and other stresses. This new study, Wu says, suggests these zones potentially pose a third threat to these species — an inability of their offspring to find mates and reproduce. The researchers found that low levels of dissolved oxygen, also known as hypoxia, can induce sex changes in embryonic fish, leading to an overabundance of males. As these predominately male fish mature, it is unlikely they will be able to reproduce in sufficient numbers to maintain sustainable populations, Wu says. Low oxygen levels also might reduce the quantity and quality of the eggs produced by female fish, diminishing their fertility, he adds. In their experiments, Wu and his colleagues found low levels of dissolved oxygen — less than 2 parts per million — down-regulated the activity of certain genes that control the production of sex hormones and sexual differentiation in embryonic zebra fish. As a result, 75 percent of the fish developed male characteristics. In contrast, 61 percent of the zebra fish spawn raised under normal oxygen conditions — more than 5 parts per million — developed into males. The normal sex ratio of zebra fish is about 60 percent male and 40 percent female, Wu says. "Reproductive success is the single most important factor in the sustainability of species," Dr. Wu says. "In many places, the areas affected by hypoxia are usually larger than the spawning and nursery grounds of fish. Even though some tolerant species can survive in hypoxic zones, they may not be able to migrate out of the zone and their reproduction will be impaired."

Species loss causes extinction


Warner 94, Paul Warner, American University, Dept of International Politics and Foreign Policy, August, Politics and Life Sciences, 1994, p 177

Massive extinction of species is dangerous, then, because one cannot predict which species are expendable to the system as a whole. As Philip Hoose remarks, "Plants and animals cannot tell us what they mean to each other." One can never be sure which species holds up fundamental biological relationships in the planetary ecosystem. And, because removing species is an irreversible act, it may be too late to save the system after the extinction of key plants or animals. According to the U.S. National Research Council, "The ramifications of an ecological change of this magnitude [vast extinction of species] are so far reaching that no one on earth will escape them." Trifling with the "lives" of species is like playing Russian roulette, with our collective future as the stakes.

AQC Bad – Dead Zones – Enviro XT

Aquaculture harms the environment – Inadequate coordination and management of development leads to environmental degradation.


Barg ’05 "Fisheries and Aquaculture Department (FID)" under the ownership of "FAO" and is part of the "Fisheries Issues" data collection. Member, Fisheries Department FAO. Fishery Resources Officer. Technical Secretary of GESAMP Working Group FAO. Board Member BIM/Irish Sea Fisheries Board FAO Technical Secretary GESAMP. Uwe Barg. World inventory of fisheries. Impact of aquaculture on environment. Issues Fact Sheets. In: FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department [online]. Rome. Updated 27 May 2005. [Cited 26 June 2014]

Aquaculture in common with many other sectors uses natural resources and interacts with the environment. However, aquaculture is increasingly confronted with issues of environmental protection. It is now generally accepted that increasing efficiency in resource use and minimizing adverse environmental interactions will be major goals for the next decades, which will require commitment and willingness to collaborate by all those involved, either directly or indirectly, in aquaculture development. Much of the current controversy is centered around environmental degradation resulting in some cases from inadequate coordination and management of development, as well as from irresponsible practices by some entrepreneurs risking to bring the whole aquaculture sector into disrepute. Major environmental impacts of aquaculture have been associated mainly with high-input high-output intensive systems (e.g. culture of salmonids in raceways and cages) the effects of which included discharge of suspended solids, and nutrient and organic enrichment of recipient waters resulting in build-up of anoxic sediments, changes in benthic communities (alteration of seabed fauna and flora communities) and the eutrophication of lakes. Large-scale shrimp culture has resulted in physical degradation of coastal habitats, for example, through conversion of mangrove forests and destruction of wetlands, salinization of agricultural and drinking water supplies, and land subsidence due to groundwater abstraction. However, misapplication of husbandry and disease management chemicals, collection of seed from the wild (bycatch of non-target species occurring in the collection of wild seed) and use of fishery resources as feed inputs, are also causing concern. Mollusc culture has been held responsible for local anoxia of bottom sediments and increased siltation. Aquaculture is the principle reason for the introduction of freshwater fishes and experience has shown that the introduced species will eventually enter the natural ecosystem (either through purposeful release or accidental escape). Thus, non-native species in culture can adversely impact local resources through hybridization and loss of native stocks, predation and competition, transmission of disease, and changes in habitat, e.g. burrowing, plant removal, sediment mobilization and turbidity. Environmental interactions between aquaculture farms, can include self-pollution and transmission of diseases can occur in areas where the high density of farms forces use of water contaminated by neighbouring installations, with significant losses of farmed stocks and financial returns. Effects can also occur at a distance with interchange of living material between farms and a consequent spread of disease. The pressure to use resources more efficiently, to increase competitiveness and to respond to market forces is resulting in some areas in trends toward intensification of aquaculture production. These are associated with more sophisticated farm management, shift to monoculture of high-value species, and the targeting of more affluent consumers. There is an increased risk that such trends to intensification will increase environmental impacts if inappropriate planning and management of such farming systems and, in particular, the inefficient use of resources and inputs such as equipment and chemicals, are not avoided.

Aquaculture in squo hurts the environment


Fisheries and Aquaculture Department – 2014, “Impact of aquaculture on environment,” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, http://www.fao.org/fishery/topic/14894/en

Aquaculture in common with many other sectors uses natural resources and interacts with the environment. However, aquaculture is increasingly confronted with issues of environmental protection. It is now generally accepted that increasing efficiency in resource use and minimizing adverse environmental interactions will be major goals for the next decades, which will require commitment and willingness to collaborate by all those involved, either directly or indirectly, in aquaculture development. Much of the current controversy is centered around environmental degradation resulting in some cases from inadequate coordination and management of development, as well as from irresponsible practices by some entrepreneurs risking to bring the whole aquaculture sector into disrepute. Major environmental impacts of aquaculture have been associated mainly with high-input high-output intensive systems (e.g. culture of salmonids in raceways and cages) the effects of which included discharge of suspended solids, and nutrient and organic enrichment of recipient waters resulting in build-up of anoxic sediments, changes in benthic communities (alteration of seabed fauna and flora communities) and the eutrophication of lakes. Large-scale shrimp culture has resulted in physical degradation of coastal habitats, for example, through conversion of mangrove forests and destruction of wetlands, salinization of agricultural and drinking water supplies, and land subsidence due to groundwater abstraction. However, misapplication of husbandry and disease management chemicals, collection of seed from the wild (bycatch of non-target species occurring in the collection of wild seed) and use of fishery resources as feed inputs, are also causing concern. Mollusc culture has been held responsible for local anoxia of bottom sediments and increased siltation. Aquaculture is the principle reason for the introduction of freshwater fishes and experience has shown that the introduced species will eventually enter the natural ecosystem (either through purposeful release or accidental escape). Thus, non-native species in culture can adversely impact local resources through hybridization and loss of native stocks, predation and competition, transmission of disease, and changes in habitat, e.g. burrowing, plant removal, sediment mobilization and turbidity. Environmental interactions between aquaculture farms, can include self-pollution and transmission of diseases and occur in areas where the high density of farms forces use of water contaminated by neighbouring installations, with significant losses of farmed stocks and financial returns. Effects can also occur at a distance with interchange of living material between farms and a consequent spread of disease. The pressure to use resources more efficiently, to increase competitiveness and to respond to market forces is resulting in some areas in trends toward intensification of aquaculture production. These are associated with more sophisticated farm management, shift to monoculture of high-value species, and the targeting of more affluent consumers. There is an increased risk that such trends to intensification will increase environmental impacts if inappropriate planning and management of such farming systems and, in particular, the inefficient use of resources and inputs such as equipment and chemicals, are not avoided.

Chemicals used in aquaculture spread – environmental degradation ensues.


NPI ‘01

NPI National Pollutant Inventory. (2001) Emission estimation technique manual for aggregated emissions from temperate water finfish aquaculture. Environment Australia, June 2001.



Outbreak of disease is more common in farming operations than the wild as a result of higher levels of stress in fish, high stocking densities and establishment of conditions conducive to incubation of disease organisms. Aquaculture provides opportunity for amplification of disease, though notably it also facilitates early detection of outbreaks due to frequency of testing to protect valuable fish stocks. Additionally, increased food resources near farm cages attract large concentrations of escaped and wild fishes, which may act as vectors for the transfer of disease and parasites to other native fish. The use of chemotherapeutants, such as antibiotics, is a concern because residuals not absorbed by the fish can potentially enter the environment in uneaten feed and faeces. Information regarding the environmental effects of this is limited, and accumulation adjacent to farms is a concern. There is currently an insufficient understanding of the impacts of chemotherapeutant compounds used in aquaculture, and growing concerns over potential environmental effects necessitates careful selection of compounds used. Chemicals are used in finfish aquaculture for a wide range of applications. Not only are they used in fish health, but also to control nuisance organisms on equipment such as nets, and to disinfect and improve water quality. The use of such chemicals raises a number of environmental concerns, and they must be registered with the National Registration Authority before use.


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