Seafood is one of the most widely consumed proteins in the world today. Some populations get 20% of their caloric intake from the bounty of the sea. This also means that the wild fish populations have been greatly over-fished in some areas to meet this demand. This had led to the development of aquaculture, which we call fish farming.
There are some advantages and disadvantages to consider with fish farming. Let’s take a closer look.
The Pros of Fish Farming
1. It provides a source of needed protein without affecting ocean life.
Seafood is a cost-effective protein for people and fish farming allows them to have access to this food. In return, the over-fished areas of the oceans will have a chance to recover.
2. They can be placed almost anywhere.
Fish farms can be built in virtually any location. As long as there is a natural setting, an artificial setting can be created where the fish can be cared for just like any other form of livestock.
3. It is financially beneficial to multiple groups.
People who specialize in fish farming can make money with this venture. People who need food to eat can still have an affordable source of protein that meets their needs. This means that everyone comes out ahead financially at the end of the day.
The Cons of Fish Farming
1. They must be carefully managed to prevent contamination.
The enclosures for the fish must be carefully constructed and monitored frequently to ensure that waste byproducts from a fish farming venture aren’t reaching the fresh water supplies of a community.
2. Farmed fish may also be contaminated with certain items.
Wild seafood might have a mercury issue to think about, but farmed fish have a pesticide issue to think about. Farmed fish are often treated with antibiotics and are exposed to the chemicals that farmers put on their crops.
3. It may create genetic abnormalities within the food chain.
Farmed fish have a limited gene pool from which to work, which increases the chances of mutation. In response, scientists are looking at genetic engineering options on farmed fish to limit this issue, which may have its own unintended consequences.
Fish farming can solve a lot of problems, but it may also cause new problems that need to be solved as well. By evaluated the pros and cons of fish farming, we can adapt and adjust as necessary to make sure all of our food needs are met in a save way.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.