I understand from my friends at Food and Water Watch that NOAA/NMFS is poised to issue Kona Blue Water Farms (an open ocean aquaculture company) a fishing permit for the purpose of establishing the first ocean fish farm in federal waters. The 10-day comment period on the associated environmental assessment ends Sunday night.
The details as relayed to me : NOAA’s Pacific Island Regional Office received an application from Kona Blue in late 2010 for a Special Coral Reef Fishing Permit to raise 20,000lbs of Kona Kampachi in federal waters off of Hawaii. The fish would be raised in unmoored cages attached to an 80ft boat and move through a 7,200 sq mile area. NOAA is calling the cages a new ‘gear-type.’