Tell Biden to Revoke Trump’s Factory Fish Farms

Trump signed an Executive Order (EO 13921) in May 2020 that would fast track opening the oceans to factory-style fish farms. Instead of helping struggling fishing communities, Trump's EO aids already well-heeled corporations in finding ways to set up polluting offshore finfish farms.

Sign the petition below, telling President Biden to Revoke EO 13921!

Dear President Biden,

We, the undersigned, urge you to revoke Executive Order 13921: Promoting Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth. EO 13921 was issued by the Trump Administration on May 7th, 2020, and is still in effect today. As you have fully or partially revoked over a quarter of the Trump-era executive orders that could jeopardize your administration's work to improve our environment and economy, we are stunned that EO 13921 has not yet been repealed. By continuing to support this policy, your administration is putting coastal communities, marine ecosystems, and consumer health at risk. 

Offshore finfish farming crams thousands of fish into massive net pens in open waters. They will not benefit the United States as whole, but would siphon benefits from our shared resources to profit a few corporations in the industrial seafood and agriculture lobby. These megacorps are working to advance the same land-based food production models that pollute waterways, contribute to poor nutrition and human health problems, and force farmers to sell their land. Expanding their influence to our Federal waters is a serious threat to the health and wealth of U.S. coastal and fishing communities that are already struggling.

Industrial offshore fish farms would contaminate our marine waters with drugs, chemicals, and untreated wastes, while creating a breeding ground for pests and diseases. Due to the projected increase in pollution and other ecological damage caused by these farms, the value of wild-caught fish and wildlife populations could decline. Allowing this EO to stand could decrease seafood production, or replace wild caught fish with farmed fish, thus undermining historic fishing communities and offering the public low-quality fish

Current science supports these concerns. You previously promised to follow science as part of your election platform, so we urge you to consider the following:

  • Seventy-five percent of antibiotics used by the industrial offshore finfish farming industry are directly absorbed into the surrounding environment.
  • Offshore finfish farms treat sea lice with Emamectin benzoate (SLICE®), which has caused widespread damage to wildlife and reductions in crabs, lobsters and other crustaceans.
  • In August 2017, a Cooke Aquaculture facility in Washington State spilled more than 263,000 farmed Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound, threatening local wildlife.
  • In March 2017, an endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal died due to entanglement in net pens at Blue Ocean Mariculture, which is the NMFS research farm.
  • Fish feed consists of lower-trophic level forage fish, which are critical for healthy marine ecosystems, as well as genetically-engineered corn, soy, and algae.

Coastal communities and marine ecosystems should be protected by investing in independent fishing livelihoods, marine conservation, and small-scale sustainable aquaculture. We urge  you to instead focus on aquaculture systems that are site specific, scaled to benefit communities, and that don't conflict with traditional fishing, cause pollution, or harm human health. 

Your decision to maintain the aquaculture provisions in this Executive Order gives the green light to continue this Trump-supported dirty industry. EO 13921 is not the answer to the multiple social, economic, and ecological challenges we are facing as a nation, especially during an ongoing global health crisis and climate chaos. We respectfully ask that you fulfill your campaign promise to follow the science and revoke Executive Order 13921.

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