NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The first-ever federal regulations for large-scale fish farming in the ocean have been issued, opening a new frontier in the harvesting of popular seafood species such as red drum, tuna and red snapper.

The new rules allow the farming of fish in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The rules — in the making for years — were announced Monday in New Orleans by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan says the Gulf rules could spur similar rules in other U.S. waters. She says it's time for the United States to open up this new market, which she says could help the U.S. meet its seafood demands.

Fish farming is contentious, with fishermen and environmentalists warning it could harm the marine environment.

 

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