Aquaculture in the Great Lakes? What Next?

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As a charter fisherman and a long-time resident of the Great Lakes area, which includes Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, I am concerned with Michigan’s lawmakers apparent support of this kind of business in our pristine waters.

Consider these Environmental Concerns:

  1. Drugs added to the fish pens

Fish are raised in crowded pens, so antibiotics, hormones, anesthetics, pigments and vitamins are added to the waters to make them grow faster and prevent disease. In addition, herbicides are added to prevent algae growth on the net-pens.

  1. Non-native species of fish

Imported seed stock is often used and these often escape into the surrounding waters and can wreak havoc with local fisheries. Sometimes new diseases and parasites are inadvertently introduced to the waters from these seed stock.

  1. Oily fish feed

such as anchovies and mackerel contaminated the waters.

Crowded fish


See: Graphic of a Typical Net-pen for a graphic of this to better understand the potential hazard.

Other areas, overseas, have had them for years, and they have proven to be hard on the environment. I would hope that we can stop the pens before they have a chance to start here.

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About Brian Helminen

Brian is the owner and Captain of Sand Point Charters, LLC. He also owns and operates Designotype Printers, Inc. with his wife, Margaret. They have a cottage on Lac La Belle that can be rented by the week in the summertime.

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