Trump Order Could Allow Floating Fish Farms in the Gulf of Mexico

An executive order by President Donald Trump could pave the way for fish farming in the Gulf of Mexico and other marine waters, potentially disrupting fragile ecosystems but broadening markets for the seafood industry.

Trump’s order, signed on Thursday, makes it the policy of the federal government to “identify and remove unnecessary regulatory barriers” restricting aquaculture in federal waters.

A cumbersome permitting process and opposition from environmental groups and catchers of wild seafood, including Louisiana shrimpers, have kept floating net pens from proliferating in the Gulf’s deep waters. Fish farms in marine waters are blamed for increased pollution and escapes that can harm wild fish populations. They’re also considered an efficient, highly profitable means of producing large numbers of popular fish species, including salmon and tuna.

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