A New Hampshire group wants to be the first to bring offshore fish farming to the waters off New England, But critics fear the plan could harm the environment. The practice of raising and harvesting fish in controlled settings, takes place in coastal waters or on land, in tanks and ponds. New Hampshire-based Blue Water Fisheries wants to place 40 submersible fish pens in water about 7.5 miles off Newburyport, Massachusetts, on two sites that total nearly a square mile. The farm would grow millions of pounds of Atlantic salmon and steelhead trout and would be the first of its kind off the East Coast. Supporters of the farms tout them as a new method of sustainable fish farming, but environmental groups have voiced concerns about pollution and the possibility of projects releasing non-native species. The project would yield “up to 25.6 million pounds of a combination of steelhead trout and Atlantic salmon annually,” the documents state. The company’s year-round operations would take place out of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
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