Sure – it already is. You can more readily buy farmed salmon for instance, over wild-caught salmon (which are both in the ocean and in freshwater). The most common farmed fish are salmon, tilapia, carp, European seabass, catfish and cod. It is a very successful industry and in 2008 yielded a global return of $60 billion.
In a report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, fish farming can be beneficial to the environment if done sustainably. Currently, fish farming has many adverse affects on the environment, which is a pity because it doesn’t have to. According to this article, sustainable fish farming can start with feeding fish plant-based food instead of grain or fishmeal, which is not a natural source of food for fish. Toxic materials, pesticides, antibiotics and thousands of pounds of fish waste products are also harmful byproducts of many fish farms. Fish that escape from fish farms can also be a threat to the environment when they interbreed with wild fish. The complications that arise from fish farming are mounting with the increase of the human population: there just aren’t enough wild fish in the world to feed everyone. It is problems such as this that confront humanity in this over-populated world, that lead many to the decision to stop eating fish, or animals for that matter, altogether.
Absolutely, primarily because there isn’t enough fish – naturally – to satisfy the increasing demand. Fish farming can increase the supply of fish without adversely impacting the populations of species in the oceans. Moreover, this industry offers legitimate economic power to developing countries as well as providing employment for many. The practice isn’t entirely efficient – there are always certain companies that don’t adhere to standards – but overall the development of aquaculture protects fish in the wild (given that seafood is so popular around the world).
Aquaculture, or fish farming, is a pretty viable way of getting edible fish to the public. The fish are generally healthier and larger. However, fish farming still relies on ocean farming to a degree. What many people do not realize is that to raise farmed fish, you must feed them fish. This is known as the fish in- fish out ratio, a ratio that fish farmers try to minimize for higher efficiency. What this means is that fish are still being caught at sea when you eat farmed fish, but it’s generally smaller fish, known as forage fish, which are fed to the farmed fish.
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