Maine rejects petition to increase regulation of fish farms

The Maine Department of Agriculture has rejected a bid by animal welfare groups to increase the regulation of fish farms, by aggressively enforcing animal cruelty laws on the aquaculture sector.

152 registered Maine voters signed the ‘Citizen Petition for Rulemaking’, which had called on the state agriculture department to impose new rules requiring inspections and enforcement of strict rules for fish grown for commercial operations.

The petition was the latest challenge to the fish farming sector in Maine, as numerous aquaculture companies attempt to expand in the region but have been faced with virulent local opposition. Companies looking to invest in the state include Dutch-owned Kingfish Zeeland, local Maine firm Whole Oceans, Norway’s Nordic Aquafarms and Norwegian-backed American Aquafarms.

The petition, formally submitted in August by Animal Outlook claimed there’s “troubling vacuum in oversight” by the state. However, the petition was rejected by the state, which called the claims “incomplete and defective.”

The major objection issued by the state claimed that the group had failed to provide the text for the rule it wants the state to introduce.


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