Animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is working with "Seaspiracy" producer Kip Andersen, urging US President Joe Biden to undo an executive order issued by former president Donald Trump outlining measures to streamline fisheries regulations and promote the domestic offshore aquaculture industry.
In a letter sent Monday to the president, the groups asked that on behalf of the "millions of viewers disturbed by the revelations in the documentary Seaspiracy, to request that you revoke Executive Order 13921, which the Trump administration issued to support the proliferation of cruel and environmentally destructive offshore aquaculture facilities, limit environmental review of their development, and burden taxpayers with the cost of identifying locations in which corporations will be permitted to construct them."
While it remains unclear whether the Biden Administration will promote the domestic offshore aquaculture industry or do anything with the executive order, some projects such as Ocean Era's offshore aquaculture project set to be located off the Florida coast has hit a snag under the new administration.
In March, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Appeals Board judge ruled the project needed to be put on hold in part because of Biden's order to review past executive actions taken by Trump.
As of February Biden's administration has targeted about 100 Trump-era environmental policies, according to The Guardian. Those have included halting oil and gas leasing on public lands, and issuing an executive order that could prohibit commercial fishing across at least 30 percent of the nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by 2030.
"Your administration has already taken many actions to stay, suspend, or reverse Trump administration decisions that jeopardize wildlife and the environment. We commend you on those efforts and urge you also to revoke Executive Order 13921 to end this damaging policy in order to protect countless fish, other marine animals including birds, the sensitive marine environment, and potentially even human health from significant harm," the letter reads.
Seafood lobbyist Margaret Henderson, who works for the The Stronger America Through Seafood (SATS) advocacy trade group, told IntraFish last November that offshore aquaculture was receiving strong bipartisan support in both the US House and Senate.
But the group has so far been unsuccessful in moving major legislation for regulating domestic aquaculture beyond Congressional committees.
In April SATS launched its new "Essential Aquaculture" campaign urging Congress to support domestic aquaculture efforts, including offshore aquaculture.
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