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Michigan AG: Great Lakes net-pen fish farming not allowed

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says state law doesn't allow for net-like commercial fishing enclosures in the Great Lakes. In an opinion released Tuesday, Schuette said net-pen aquaculture operators would have to register with the state, and laws related to aquaculture don't permit registration of such facilities in Michigan's Great Lakes waters.

Schuette says raising fish for commercial purposes is permitted in private waters, but the Great Lakes are part of the "public trust." The opinion came in response to a request by Republican state Sen. Wayne Schmidt. The Associated Press emailed Schmidt seeking comment.

State agencies last year recommended against net-pen aquaculture, saying it would pose risks to the environment, recreation and tourism. Michigan has received aquaculture proposals.

There are no net-pen fish farms in U.S. Great Lakes waters.

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