Categories Farming

Is Fish Farming a Long-Term Solution?

When it comes to farming fish most people think this is the way of the future. That fish farming will help solve the problem of over fishing. Since over fishing in the ocean began, various fish stocks have collapse. This has left whole fishing towns with nothing. However, in some cases farming fish can have just as severe effects.

One of the most popular fish stocks to farm is the Atlantic salmon. Atlantic salmon is higher on the food chain compared to other fishing stocks like Tilapia. Atlantic salmons diet mainly consists of other fish. Tilapia and catfish, on the other hand, are mostly vegetarians. We get the fish to feed these farms full of salmon from the ocean. Fish like anchovies and sardines are caught by the millions and made into fishmeal. So the oceans are still being over fished. The fishmeal is then sent to various fisheries to support the growing number of fish farms in America. When it comes to feeding the salmon it takes approximately three pounds of wild fish to produce one pound of salmon, as stated by edf.org.

There is also the problem of pollution for most of these fish farms. These fish farms consist of many fish jam packed into a small area. As the fish grow there feces builds up quickly, and there is nowhere to put such a quantity of excrement. In the wild, the current will break down the poop quickly, and no build up will occur. Another problem for fish farms is the mercury content of this fish is more concentrated. This is mainly due to them only being fed fish. Wild salmon populations do eat fish; they also maintain a diet of many other organisms.

Where fish farming is making strides is in the catfish and Tilapia market. However, they still have problems with pollution it is not as severe. Monsterfishkeepers.com states that it only takes 1.2 pounds of food to produce 1 pound of Tilapia. Tilapia is lower on the food chain, so they do not need fishmeal as much as salmon do. However, more fishmeal is starting to be added to the diets of Tilapia to gain weight faster. The same thing is currently occurring with catfish.

Wild Alaskan Salmon is the better choice when buying salmon at the store. Sustainable fishing is strictly enforced in Alaska, which guarantees that the fish people are eating are not only better for eating, but they were harvested in a sustainable manner. While, Tilapia and catfish are excellent options when it comes to buying farm-raised fish.

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