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Offshore Fish Farming Primer: OFF 101

April 21, 2023 @ 12:00 pm 1:00 pm PDT

Co-hosted with GRACE Communications Foundation and Don’t Cage Our Oceans

Offshore Fish Farming (OFF) – the mass cultivation of finfish in underwater or floating net pens, pods, and cages – raises critical concerns about climate change, government funding, corporate consolidation, and sustainable seafood. In this first of the two-part session, participants will learn the basics about these ocean equivalents of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and how they harm public health, the environment, and local economies. The industry block, Stronger America Through Seafood, is heavily promoting OFF and includes many of the same actors who brought us land-based CAFOs, including Cargill, Merck, and Sysco. They are looking for a new corner of the market through corn and soy-based fish feed, applications of antibiotics and chemicals, and global distribution systems.

Floating CAFOS are known to cause water pollution through antibiotic overuse and nitrogen-rich fish waste. For over 20 years, they have proven to be economically unviable, requiring millions of dollars in subsidies to stay afloat. And, they are environmentally unsustainable; known to have a large carbon footprint due to fish feed and antibiotic production, as well as service barges and fish processing. Around the world, many countries are pushing back, but the US is still embracing this risky business, claiming it will feed the world.

This webinar is intended as a primer or refresher for those newer to the concept, and will focus on the environmental, economic, and social issues surrounding OFF. It will also provide a high level overview on the state of fish farming in US federal waters within a historical context and highlight efforts to support sustainable seafood production and distribution instead of industrial fish farming. 


The panel will consist of people with unique perspectives on fish farming through an:

  • Buck Jones, Columbia River Inter-tribal Fish Commission
  • Natalie Parra, Oceanic Preservation Society
  • Jason Jarvis, South County Fishmonger & NAMA
  • Ephraim Froelich, AKWA-DC

The panel will be moderated by Don’t Cage Our Oceans.

This is the first webinar of a two-part series. The second webinar, The Policy, Economics, and Science Behind Offshore Fish Farming: OFF 201, will be on Wednesday, May 24

This is a free webinar. Registration is required.


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