New York bass could be path to “U.S. offshore salmon”

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A handful of U.S. fish farmers and conservation groups appear to be supporting “Norwegian-style” offshore aquaculture, judging by a report hosted by a publishing arm of Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Manna Fish Farms appears to have the support of New York state officials for an offshore striped bass farm, and if successful, it could open the way for salmon grow-out off the coastal U.S. A December 2017 photo shows a new feeder and a grow-out array with buoys already in place somewhere offshore.

The project is the idea of Donna Lanzetta, a lawyer, however the report suggests that while she has state approval for a development lease, she lacks federal support for a permit to run the farm. So, while she may have purchased an automated feed system that can be run from shore, there’s still one key regulator hurdle.

“Now all she needs to do is … an act of Congress to exempt her business from a law, aimed at protecting wild fish stocks, that makes it a crime to possess striped bass in federal waters,” the article’s author reported.

“Nothing is easy about developing aquaculture projects in U.S. federal waters, which cover the area between three and 200 miles offshore.”

However, the project — or at least offshore farming, generally — has the support of the WWF’s Aquaculture Stewardship Council; Conservation International and U.S. based, The Nature Conservancy.