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As the coronavirus pandemic ravages the meatpacking sector, the Trump administration last week made a major announcement about another essential food industry: seafood. With a late-afternoon executive order, the administration laid out a pathway for the approval of ocean aquaculture in federal waters, a controversial departure from existing policy that could reshape the country’s seafood production.
The order sets in motion a process for approving finfish aquaculture projects in federal waters, establishes authority over those projects at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and aims to deregulate and expand seafood production.
Environmentalists and fisheries advocates say the order’s mandates could endanger ocean life and the independent fishing industry.
“This [order] is slashing through what it calls barriers, but those barriers are there to ensure public health, safety, and environmental safeguards,”... Read more