SustainAbility Newsletter

The New Fish Farming Policy

Fish FarmOn June 9, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a marine aquaculture policy in an effort to develop an offshore fish-farming industry.

Most U.S. fish farming now occurs in near-shore coastal waters or inland farms. Offshore aquaculture occurs only outside of U.S. waters. According to NOAA, the United States imports about 84 percent of the seafood Americans consume, half of which is grown in foreign fish farms.

The Obama administration hopes to encourage development of a marine aquaculture industry will create jobs in coastal communities as well as address the nation's $9 billion seafood trade deficit. However, concerned environmentalists cite concerns about the potential ill-effects of genetically altered fish escaping farms and breeding with wild populations, diseases that farmed fish could spread into wild fisheries, and the strain that offshore farms could put on the base of the oceanic food web.

The Gulf of Mexico would likely be first in line to see fish farming. In 2009, the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council approved an aquaculture plan. However, the policy was put on hold after environmental groups and Congressional leaders expressed concerns. Critics maintained that the law currently governing wild fisheries, the 1976 Magnuson-Stevens Act, was not sufficient to regulate offshore fish-farming. After the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Council approved its aquaculture plan in 2009, then-House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick Rahall (D-WV) sent a letter expressing concerns.

"Congress did not intend for the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to grant authority to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Regional Fishery Management Councils to regulate offshore aquaculture as fishing under the Act," Rahall said in the letter. Instead, Rahall called for "a national framework of laws and policies that dictate how aquaculture is sited, permitted, and operated in the marine waters of the United States."

Environmentalists have stated the new NOAA policy is a step in the right direction, but cautioned against moving forward without action from Congress to address environmental concerns.

For additional information on the policy, see:


References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles 

The International Sustainability Council 

Sustainability Campaign

Golfs Drive Toward Sustainability

World Migratory Bird Day

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America

The United States Golf Association (USGA)

Sustainable Golf & Development

Sustainable Forest Initiative

National Geographic

International Migratory Bird Day 2011


SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

Sustainable Business Tips

  • Save energy! Turn off the lights when it is sunny and use natural daylight. Use motion sensors, and leave emergency lights on at night. 
  • Save money! Turn off your equipment when not in use. Use power strips to connect equipment and turn the power strips off for any equipment that does not need to run overnight. Thus, you will save money by not paying for phantom loads. When electronics and appliances are plugged in, but are not in use, they still burn energy. 
  • Save time and supplies! Maintain your equipment. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs or LED lights that will last for years. Stop printing and faxing and use e-documents. Work with all third party clients to eliminate mail and pay bills online. This will save you time, money, and materials. You all win!
  • Build new opportunities! How can you reuse any material until it reaches its end of life or usefulness? How can you create new products and services from other people’s or your own waste? Can you make something new out of what you once perceived as junk or garbage? Can I buy products that are organic, recycled, remanufactured, or used?
  • Save Your Sanity! Educate and engage your employees and customers. Get them actively involved as you cannot do it alone. Build your network to gain new ideas and share success stories. 
  • Be Proud! Eliminate waste by recycling and offer products your customers can recycle. You can also compost to reduce landfill waste, reduce usage of raw materials, buy local, buy smart, and buy back. Toot your horn if you want. You now have a major competitive advantage. 
  • Buy smart! Buy reused, recycled, remanufactured, or energy efficient appliances.



References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles

The International Sustainability Council

The Daily Green

The Paramus Post

Sustainability Campaign

Energy Star


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A Coalition for Good - Spreading the Seeds of Sustainability

ISC-Audubon is a coalition of non-profit organizations and initiatives that include The International Sustainability Council (ISC), Audubon Lifestyles, Audubon Outdoors, Planit Green, Broadcast Audubon, and the Audubon Network for Sustainability. 

Funds generated through memberships and donations are used to provide fruit & vegetable seeds, wildflower seed mix, and wildlife feed & birdseed to urban and suburban communities around the world. These seeds are used by communities to establish fruit and vegetable gardens, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and for the beautification of urban and suburban landscapes by creating flower and native plant gardens.

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