Proposed Sarasota Fish Farm Permits Stall While EPA Reviews Environmental Effects

A proposed fish farm in federal waters off Sarasota’s coast hit a snag March 24 when a federal appeals board put a hold on the company’s permits.

Ocean Era, a Hawaii-based company, plans to raise 88,000 pounds of almaco jack fish each year in a single net pen in the Gulf of Mexico about 45 miles southwest of Sarasota. If approved, it will be the first aquaculture facility in federal waters.

Neil Sims, co-founder of the aquaculture company, has said there is a pressing global need to expand food production in the U.S., and his facility will create opportunity.

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