Experts urge cautious approach on Great Lakes fish farming

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – Experts have submitted five reports to Michigan agencies that are considering whether commercial fish farming should be allowed in the state’s Great Lakes waters.

The reports deal with scientific, regulatory and economic issues. None takes a position on whether so-called “net-pen aquaculture” should be approved. But the scientific report says if the state lets the industry proceed, it should begin on an experimental basis to allow careful monitoring of how the operations affect the environment.

Another report projects that two Great Lakes fish farming operations producing a combined 2 million pounds of trout a year would employ about 17 people and create perhaps 27 spinoff jobs.

Tammy Newcombe of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says a meeting to allow public comments will be held in November.

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