Saturday, November 28, 2015         


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Isle fish farming good for environment and economy

By Bill Spencer


Hawaii Oceanic Technology has devised a new way to farm seafood that is environmentally sound and economically sustainable.

Our fish farm is out in the deep ocean where there are desert-like conditions and huge volumes of water where the nutrients in fish excrement are quickly taken up and mineralized, feeding plankton and other microscopic marine creatures that form the basis of the ocean food chain.

In its Nov. 16 commentary, Food and Water Watch (FWW) characterizes the lease granted to Hawaii Oceanic Technology by the state as "insane" ("Factory fish farming: A track record of costly, messy failure," Star-Advertiser, Island Voices).

It calls us a "massive factory fish farm" with fish eating and excreting into our local marine environ-ment, destroying our oceans and coastlines and killing our tourist industry.

Yes, fish live, eat and excrete in the ocean, and if you have not noticed, the seafood the world depends on is quickly being depleted. One third of all seafood consumed in the world is farmed, mostly in Asia where food safety is not a top priority.

FWW is not a scientific body but a multimillion-dollar activist organization in Washington, D.C.

It has been attacking -- and paying local activists in Hawaii to attack -- Hawaii's aquaculture businesses since the state adopted a policy in favor of open ocean aquaculture and enacted a regulatory framework to implement that policy.

FWW is anti-private industry, anti-progress and anti-technology -- and it is trying to stop aquaculture in Hawaii before our open ocean aquaculture law becomes a model for the nation.

Do these D.C. activists know what's good for Hawaii or our oceans?

The FWW writer has never attended an official public hearing about Hawaii Oceanic Technology's permit and lease applications, sending paid local activists instead.

We have gone through a very rigorous process to comply with the law. FWW has no scientific standing or evidence about our project that could justify stopping it.

This is why state regulators have granted our permit and lease applications.

FWW argues the "precautionary principal": "Better safe than sorry. Can't be too careful. We have a right to proof, and if you can't prove it before you try, then you can't do it."

The Wall Street Journal calls this the "paralyzing principle," because it allows activists like FWW to pit massive amounts of money and endless speculation, fantasy and fear mongering against modern science and technology.

Hawaii Oceanic Technology plays by the rules. We have met the highest standard the state can impose and the state has determined that our project will have no significant negative environmental impact.

We provide food security and economic benefit for the people of Hawaii.

For this, the state has granted us the right to prove our concept.

FWW has no legitimate basis to continue its attacks; the argument raised by it has been settled.

Its commentary just tips the scales far from truth or balance, and allows public access to bullies, pandering junk science, fear and fantasy.

Enough already.

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