October 28, 2016 — 6:01 AM EDT
If someone offered you a chance to invest millions of dollars in a business nobody wants, would you take it?
If you’re the U.S. government, the answer is a resounding yes. Since 2007, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—despite major political, social, and environmental headwinds—has poured almost $100 million (PDF) into aquaculture, also known by the more pedestrian moniker of fish farming.
Currently, American aquaculture is done only in state waters within a few miles of the coast. (Think farmed salmon.) But the government is trying to go further out to sea, into federal waters, to create an offshore aquaculture industry. After NOAA, under both presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush tried—and failed—to push national aquaculture legislation through Congress, NOAA decided to do an end run around Capitol Hill, creating a controversial aquaculture permitting system in the Gulf of Mexico that promptly drew litigation as well as the ire of fishermen, boaters, and environmentalists.
Read the rest at Bloomberg