Don’t Cage Our Oceans

Don’t Cage Our Oceans (DCO2) is a coalition campaign fighting the ongoing threat of offshore industrial fish farming in the United States while advocating for community-centered seafood supply chains.

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Offshore industrial fish farming would increase the growing big-business monopoly on our seafood system, which is part of a global trend known as the “ Blue Economy.” A Trump-era executive order (EO 13921) - which President Biden has not revoked - would fast track industrial fish farms in federal waters. Additionally, international agribusiness top dog, Cargill, along with megacorps such as Sysco, High Liner Foods, and others, are pushing hard to get the AQUAA Act passed - a bill that would open the floodgates for US offshore factory fish farms (think CAFOs on the ocean). They claim America can’t produce enough seafood of its own. We call BS.

Local economies, public health, and the environment rely on healthy oceans. Factory-style offshore fish farms would threaten all of these. Massive open net-pens produce and discharge tons of filthy fish waste -- along with diseases, parasites, antibiotics, and pesticides -- into surrounding waters, contaminating native wild fish. Fish spills are another proven threat to the health and survival of wild fish. Adding insult to injury, these facilities attract predators and other wildlife that can get trapped in nets and die.

Currently, the most active policy for expanding factory fish farms is a Trump-era executive order – which President Biden has not revoked – that would fast-track permits for large-scale fish farms in federal waters without approval from Congress. The AQUAA Act is an additional threat. In 2021, the bill was reintroduced in Congress.

In April of 2022, Don’t Cage our Oceans organized more than 175 fishing groups, food advocacy groups, environmental organizations, and businesses to deliver an open letter to the White House , calling on Biden to revoke Trump’s executive order. We estimate that these groups represent at least 9 million individual members across the country and 250,000 businesses, including 5,000 fishing businesses and 70,000 food producers. The letter calls for new measures, like the Keep Finfish Free Act, to protect ocean resources and invest in sustainable fishing methods and small-scale, values-based fish farming.

NAMA’s Involvement

As a Steering Committee member of Don’t Cage Our Oceans, NAMA:

  • Provides staff and backbone support to the coalition.
  • Collaborates around legislative strategy
  • Amplifies hearings, demonstrations, letters, and other actions
  • Ensures synergy between DCO2, the Local Catch Network, Slow Fish, and others

Ways to Take Action

Get involved! Here’s what you can do:

  • Tell Biden to revoke Trump’s factory fish farms.
  • Contact your Congress members and ask them to oppose the AQUAA Act
  • Follow Don’t Cage Our Oceans on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Speak out against offshore fish farming on social media! Tag Cargill, Sysco, and NOAA fisheries.
  • Avoid eating factory farmed fish whenever possible.

Support Sustainable Seafood

Use the Local Catch Network’s seafood finder to find local sustainable, values-based seafood providers


Follow our Sustainable Seafood Guide when making seafood purchasing decisions