Oct 24, 2009 7:24 AM by Associated Press

Hawaii regulators approve first US tuna farm

Hawaii regulators have approved a Honolulu company's plan to build the nation's first tuna farm in waters off the Big Island.

Hawaii Oceanic Technology aims to create an environmentally friendly open ocean farm for bigeye tuna, a favorite source for sushi and sashimi that's overfished in the wild. The state Board of Land and Natural Resources voted 4-to-1 Friday to give Hawaii Oceanic permission to install three large
underwater cages for the tuna.

But the board is requiring the company to return for permission to build an additional nine cages once it has demonstrated the idea works. Critics of the company's plan say they're worried about diseased farm fish escaping and contaminating wild stocks, and other potential negative affects on the environment.




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