Organic Consumers Association

California May Ban Ocean Fish Farms & Frankenfish

California would ban ocean salmon farms, gene-altered fish under bill The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO -- California would ban ocean farming of salmon, exotic and genetically modified fish off its coast if Gov. Gray Davis signs legislation sent to him Wednesday on a 21-14 Senate vote.

Pen-raised salmon in particular have been sharply criticized by environmental groups and fishermen, but aquaculture experts say salmon farming is impractical off California's shore.

Oregon has a similar ocean farming ban, but salmon are raised commercially off the coast of Washington and British Columbia, as well as on the East Coast and in South America and Europe.

The bill's author, Sen. Byron Sher, D-Stanford, said he hopes other states and nations follow California's lead. But he said properly regulated onshore fish farms can help ease the pressure on wild fish.

The bill was supported by the California Aquaculture Association, along with fishermen's associations and environmental groups.

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