A panel of scientists, economists and other experts are recommending a measured approach to Great Lakes fish farming, according to the Associated Press. They make the recommendation, along with others, in several reports presented to Michigan state officials considering allowing the practice to begin in Lake Michigan waters.
The type of fish farming that could begin is called “net-pen aquaculture,” which allows for passage between the enclosures and the surrounding environment.
“There are a lot of concerns that would have to be addressed for any type of net-pen facility to move forward,” said Tammy Newcombe, senior water policy adviser for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, to the AP.
Members of the panel recommend undertaking pilot projects that could be closely monitored and setting up strict requirements for net location, waste control and disease prevention. This would give a chance to work out the kinks before larger-scale operations began.
“If one thing goes wrong, it could sacrifice the quality of the Great Lakes for years to come,” said Sean Hammond, deputy policy director of the council, to the AP.