Fish-eating birds are drawn to open aquaculture ponds as a source of food. Rather than using nonlethal measures to keep birds from eating the fish, such as netting the ponds, many aquafarmers simply kill the birds. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), which issues the permits allowing the birds to be killed, has no method in place to ensure that aquafarmers obey the permit limits for numbers and species of birds killed.
When the National Audubon Society investigated aquaculture sites, they found massive burial pits of dead birds—far more than USFWS permits allowed. Nevertheless, distinguishing between intended and unintended victims is arbitrary; animas don’t suffer any less because they get eaten.
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