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Recirculating aquaculture advocate urges NOAA to stop supporting ocean open farms

The group is blaming a death of a Hawaiian monk seal on Blue Ocean Mariculture.

The executive director of the Recirculating Farms Coalition (RFC) is blaming open ocean fish farming for the death of an endangered Hawaiian monk seal that became trapped in a net pen belonging to Blue Ocean Mariculture.

"We're disturbed and saddened to learn that a [seal] has died after being caught in Blue Ocean Mariculture's net pen," Marianne Cufone said. "This unfortunate loss is yet another example of why large-scale open ocean aquaculture is detrimental to marine life and the overall quality of our oceans."

The RFC is an effort initiated in 2009 by the Food & Water Watch, a consumer advocacy organization

Cufone urged the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to reconsider supporting open ocean aquaculture and stop plans to expand finfish farming in federal waters.

"We urge NOAA to support more sustainable and scalable fish farming," she said.

Cufone's coalition is a collaboration of farmers, educators and non-profit organizations working to support eco-efficient recirculating fish farms.

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