Kampachi Farms LLC is trying to become the poster child for offshore fish farming in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 40 miles from the coast of Sarasota, Florida, a move Friends of Animals vehemently opposes.
The company applied for a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to place its submersible, single-point mooring cage system called the Velella Epsilon in the Southeastern waters of the gulf for six- to-nine months. The experimental pen will be home for two back-to-back 20,000-fish batches of Almaco jack, a native species like yellowtail and amberjack.
We are asking our members and supporters to tell the EPA not to give Kampachi Farm a permit. Comments can be submitted any time before Feb. 4, either by email to:
R4NPDES.Kampachi@epa.gov, or snail mail to: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4, Water Division, NPDES Permitting Section 61 Forsyth Street S.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30303-8960 ATTN: Kip Tyler
Friends of Animals, which advocates for a vegan diet, is opposed to the project because it has the potential to kill several species of fish, sharks, whales, dolphins, birds and sea turtles. The project imposes known risks of entanglement, vessel strikes, noise disturbance and even accidental bycatch.
If that wasn’t bad enough, if the facility is approved. large amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous will be released into the open ocean, two elements notorious for contributing to the unchecked growth of red tides and other harmful algal blooms (HABs) that already routinely kill hundreds of marine species. They would be dumped in the epicenter of the areas consistently hit hardest by past HABs: Florida’s west coast.
Kampachi Farms would also have carte blanche to dump as many gallons of antibiotics into the ocean as it wants, and the EPA is relying on studies conducted more than 30 years ago—which look at only one of three potential antibiotics—to dismiss any possibility of ill effects of these pharmaceuticals.
Lastly, fish farms have a proven track record of having fish escape, often in large numbers. Escaped fish compete with wild populations for resources, can transfer parasites to wild fish and may even change the genetic structure of wild fish through spawning.