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Fish farming is no environmental nightmare

With a far lower environmental impact than any terrestrial means of meat production, aquaculture is one of the most efficient methods of producing animal protein.

DUBAI-LIVESTOCK-SALMON
A fish farm for Atlantic salmon was built in Dubai.
Giuseppe Cacace /AFP via Getty Images

David McGrath’s recent op-ed in the Sun-Times misinforms and overlooks the facts about the sustainability of offshore aquaculture and its minimal environmental impact.

The aquaculture industry utilizes science-based practices to most efficiently produce farm-raised seafood, which helps protect and preserve our natural resources in a changing climate.

Proper siting, management, monitoring and the use of modern technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, have made aquaculture a safe and environmentally sound approach to increasing the world’s growing seafood supply. We must produce 30 million tons of seafood to keep up with population growth and increasing consumption of seafood.

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With a far lower environmental impact than any terrestrial means of meat production, aquaculture is one of the most efficient methods of producing animal protein.

There is an increasing set of scientific evidence that demonstrates the low impact of farmed fish production on the environment. A study released in 2019 from the University of Miami School of Marine and Atmospheric Science found minimal environmental impacts to the surrounding waters from properly sited fish-farming operations.

Also last year, in a state of the science briefing on U.S. Marine Aquaculture prepared for members of Congress, the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Seafood for the Future program reported that shellfish and seaweed aquaculture help clean the water, which improves water quality and supports healthy ocean environments and shorelines. Their research also shows seaweed aquaculture may help counter the effects of ocean acidification.

Support for offshore aquaculture in federal waters is growing. Bipartisan federal legislation was recently announced that would authorize a fair and judicious permitting process, environmental protections and oversight for aquaculture to thrive in the U.S.

As momentum builds for the industry, American communities should have an accurate representation of aquaculture’s sustainability.

Sean J. O’Scannlain, President & CEO, Fortune Fish & Gourmet, Bensenville

The rich won’t ever pay a Fair Tax

Illinois voters are either set to vote on the so-called “Fair Tax” amendment, or they have already voted through early voting. Let’s hope everyone votes “no” to this fiscal insanity, which is simply a blank check with no real government accountability built in.

If this tax hike amendment was truly meant to help Illinois taxpayers at middle or lower income levels, then there would be meaningful pension reform and property tax reform attached to it. Also, there would be more talk, concurrently, about consolidation of the excessive units of expensive government that exist in Illinois.

Instead of meaningful reforms proposed to go along with this laughably named “Fair Tax,” all voters hear from the pro-tax hike crowd is that regardless of party affiliation, Illinois needs a more progressive tax system. Malarkey! What Illinois really needs is a government that can better manage the money it already brings in.

I hope most voters realize millionaires and billionaires won’t be paying the new progressive taxes. They already enjoy many corporate tax loopholes bestowed upon the businesses they own, which is how many got to be millionaires and billionaires in the first place. And they most certainly will begin living in their sunny, out-of-state vacation homes and making their permanent residences outside of Illinois.

So who, then, will really be getting a tax increase when those with clever accountants and lawyers advise them well about how to legally dodge the new taxes, the billionaires or you? If you guessed you, Joe and Jane middle-class taxpayer, then you’ll vote no on the misleading tax hike amendment that lacks meaningful government accountability.

Angela Rose, LaGrange Park