The Center for Food Safety announced in a Wednesday press release that it and a group of marine conservation organizations, trade groups, and the Quinault Indian Nation filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their failure to consider the impact of their industrial finfish aquaculture on endangered species.
Industrial finfish aquaculture is the concentrated farming/cultivation of captive finfish in containers such as net pens, pods, or cages, the release said.
Center for Food Safety Staff Attorney, Jenny Loda, stated, “Offshore industrial aquaculture is essentially factory farming of the sea because it has so many of the same problems we see with land-based factory farms. Large-scale aquaculture facilities wreak havoc on communities and the environment with their massive amount of waste and through their use of antibiotics, pesticides, and other toxic chemicals. Despite acknowledging these threats, the Army Corps ignored its duty to examine how these impacts may harm threatened and endangered species and contribute to their extinction risk.”
The press release states the Army Corps of Engineers issued a nationwide permit for the construction of finfish aquaculture facilities during the last days of the Trump Administration; this allowed them to skirt required environmental review to ensure the authorization of these facilities do not jeopardize the existence of species protected by the Endangered Species Act.
The plaintiffs in this lawsuit other than the Center for Food Safety include Don’t Cage Our Oceans Coalition, Wild Fish Conservancy, Quinault Indian Nation, Los Angeles Waterkeeper, San Diego Coastkeeper, Institute for Fisheries Resources / Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, and Recirculating Farms Coalition.