World Aquaculture Society Meetings

Add To Calendar 24/02/2016 08:45:0024/02/2016 09:05:00America/ChicagoAquaculture 2016THE OCEAN STEWARDS, THE KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE, AND AMERICA'S INFATUATION WITH BEEF Champagne 2The World Aquaculture Societyjohnc@was.orgfalseanrl65yqlzh3g1q0dme13067DD/MM/YYYY


Neil Anthony Sims* and Gavin Key
 *  Kampachi Farms, LLC
 PO Box 4239, Kailua-Kona, HI 96745

These three elements - the Ocean Stewards Institute, the Keystone XL Pipeline, and America's infatuation with beef - rose in political discourse to varying degrees in the U.S. in 2015, yet are all connected at a vanishing point that lies beyond the blue horizon.

The Ocean Stewards Institute - as the open ocean mariculture trade association - has been a leading advocate for offshore mariculture in U.S. Federal waters, and beyond. We speak to the moral responsibility for America to grow more of her own seafood here, in her own waters, where we can have some control over the environmental, animal welfare, food safety, and workplace health and safety standards, and where we can use American innovation, investment and entrepreneurship to create American jobs.  Yet NOAA has taken almost seven years to move the Fisheries Management Plan for Aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico from its approval by the GoM Fisheries Management Council to the current position (as of writing) where the Rules for implementation of the Plan now sit awaiting one more final review from Office of Management and Budget.

The Obama administration recently rejected the application for construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, after a similarly lengthy consideration (7 years), largely because of the projected impacts on global climate from accelerated extraction of Canadian tar sands oil.

Aquaculture is far and away the least impactful form of animal protein production, in terms of feed efficiency, and land and water use, but particularly in terms of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). FAO estimates that 10% of global GHGs are due to cattle (beef and dairy) alone, with beef resulting in overall emissions of 300 kg CO2-equivalent/kg protein. Americans consume some 54 kg of beef per year, yet only 14 kg of seafood. In the seven years since the GoM FMC's approval of the FMP for aquaculture, American domestic beef consumption has therefore added 9.4 billion tons of GHGs to the atmosphere (CO2-equivalents).

Does anyone care? A consistent Administration policy - that showed genuine concern for earth's climate, diminishing resources and consumer health - would proactively promote domestic aquaculture, and would not let it languish. We Ocean Stewards need to assert the moral and environmental rectitude of our cause at each and every opportunity, to any and all who will listen … and even to those who won't.   

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