Marianne Cufone

Marianne Cufone is an environ- mental attorney from Florida and the director of the Fish Program at Food and Water Watch, a national consumer--advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Recent Articles

Ocean Fish Farms and Public-Resource Privatization

Industrial aquaculture poses new threats to U.S. waters and fishermen.

The U.S. government has a pattern of allowing big businesses exclusive use of common properties for individual profits. Frequently, this occurs regardless of whether such projects help or harm the general public. Public resources are increasingly being treated like private property -- and our oceans are no exception. Quota programs allocate "shares" of fish to only a handful of fishing businesses, and oil companies' rigs overwhelm parts of the Gulf of Mexico and California coast, causing pollution on nearby beaches and ruining vistas. Now ocean fish farming is at the forefront of debates over equitable use of public ocean resources. Ocean fish farming, also known as offshore aquaculture or open-water aquaculture, is the mass production of fish in large floating pens or cages in ocean waters. The fish-farming concept is not new. Five thousand years ago, Chinese villagers trapped carp in artificial lakes that formed when flooded rivers receded. Around 600 A.D., the Menehune of Hawaii...