Gulf Council Delays Offshore Aquaculture Vote
Federal fishery regulators on Wednesday delayed a vote on an offshore aquaculture proposal for the Gulf of Mexico - a plan that has drawn concern over the potential environmental impact of raising fish in underwater pens.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council officials said they will consider the plan during a January meeting in Bay St. Louis, Miss.
The proposal would create a permitting process for developers to raise fish in federal waters stretching from 3 miles to 200 miles offshore.
Offshore aquaculture supporters favor raising fish in the ocean to ease pressure on overfished wild stocks.
But the Gulf plan has faced opposition from environmental groups and commercial fishermen concerned about pollution and other potential harms. Some critics have also questioned the Gulf Council's legal authority to create aquaculture permits in the region.