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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Can the U.S. Farm Fish Offshore Safely?
9 February 2011 5:32 pm
Worried about the U.S. trade deficit? After crude oil and natural gas, the third largest contributor to the deficit is seafood—the U.S. imports some $9 billion worth each year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hopes to reduce that deficit by fostering the growth of aquaculture in U.S. waters. But in a draft policy released today, NOAA says it wants to balance the economic vitality of the industry with protecting the environment. To do so, it's putting science at the top of its new priority list. By expanding NOAA research—now at about $10 million, but the agency requested a 50% boost for FY 2011—the agency would be able to do more ecological and technological analysis to improve and monitor the sustainability of aquaculture operations. Although the policy has a fairly detailed to-do list for NOAA researchers, it's vague on exactly how it plans to regulate the industry—just hinting, for example, that it will prefer "only native or naturalized species in federal waters" unless other species are proved to be safe to the ecosystem.
George Leonard of the Ocean Conservancy in Santa Cruz, California, called the policy a positive development, but said in a statement that "because the policy is largely discretionary there is no guarantee that future fish farms will meet the suite of policy guidelines proposed today."
The policy is open for public comment until 11 April.