November 13, 2020
Kampachi Farms has been awarded a permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to establish a fish cage in the Gulf of Mexico to grow 20,000 Almaco Jack. This statement pertains to Permit No. FLOA00001 and more broadly to plans for offshore aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico.
Bonefish & Tarpon Trust is an international, science-based, 501(c)3 non-profit, conservation organization headquartered in Miami, FL. BTT is dedicated to the conservation of the economically and culturally important finfish species bonefish, tarpon, permit—the species, their habitats, and the larger fisheries they support. We work in a broad geography that spans the southeastern US, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Basin, and western North Atlantic.
The recreational fisheries for bonefish, tarpon, and permit are economically important. For example, the flats fishery has an annual economic impact that exceeds $465 million in the Florida Keys, and $55 million in Belize. These species are a major component of the recreational fishery in the Everglades region with an annual economic impact exceeding $1 billion. The bonefish fishery in The Bahamas has an annual economic impact exceeding $160 million. The annual economic impact of the tarpon fishery in Charlotte Harbor, FL exceeds $120 million. More broadly, the annual economic impact of saltwater recreational fishing in Florida exceeds $8 billion. These fisheries depend upon healthy habitats, high water quality, and disease- and contaminant-free waters.
It is BTT’s position that the proposed offshore finfish aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico insufficiently protects our recreational fisheries and their habitats, and this inadequate strategy is reflected in the recently permitted finfish cage culture operation by Kampachi Farms. Our top concerns with this and other offshore finfish aquaculture in the Gulf of Mexico are:
Aquaculture activities that are currently suitable are those for oysters and clams, which have proven to be sustainable with minimal environmental impact.
Consideration should be given to land-based fish culture. Land-based operations allow the control of effluent, thus avoiding many of the concerns with open ocean cage culture.
FL Compliance Statement
Financial information about Bonefish & Tarpon Trust can be obtained by writing to us at 2937 SW 27th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, FL 33133 or as stated below: BONEFISH & TARPON TRUST FLORIDA REGISTRATION # CH15047: A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE, 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) OR BY VISITING THEIR WEBSITE AT: https://csapp.800helpfla.com/cspublicapp/giftgiversquery/giftgiversquery.aspx REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE STATE.
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Bonefish & Tarpon Trust (BTT) Governing Documents and Financial Statements are available for review at the BTT office.