Huffington Post article,
'9 Surprising Fish Farming Facts’:
March 31, 2010
In his photo-essay, ‘9 Surprising Fish Farming Facts’, Travis Walter Donovan (an intern at the Huffington Post) correctly points out that overfishing is steadily depleting the world’s wild fish stocks. With the global population on the rise, and with many wild fisheries in decline, the United Nations predicts a seafood shortage of 40 million tonnes by 2030.
Aquaculture – the farming of shellfish, finfish and sea plants – is already providing half the world’s seafood, and will play an increasing role in taking pressure off wild stocks.
Unfortunately, Donovan’s criticisms of aquaculture are broad and don’t account for responsible practices in specific countries. As a representative of Canada’s aquaculture industry, I can tell you that our farms are strictly monitored by five government agencies and governed by an extensive framework of 73 pieces of federal and provincial legislation. In short, our sustainability guidelines are second-to-none.
Under the header ‘Pollution’, Donovan warns of excess ‘waste’. The waste he refers to is actually rich in nutrients, and is closely monitored. Farms are located in well-flushed waters, and fish farmers use fallowing (similar to land-based agriculture), crop rotation and low stocking densities to limit nutrient pollution. He also warns of unconsumed feed. Did you know that Canadian fish farmers use underwater cameras and sensors to detect uneaten feed and adjust feed delivery to the appetite of the fish? Plus, farmed fish commonly grow to maturity without any use of antibiotics, and – thanks to vaccinations – antibiotic use on fish farms is far lower than that of any other agricultural animal producing industry in the world.
When it comes to raising salmon, Canadian feed manufacturers are developing new feeds that are replacing some of the fish-based ingredients with those from sustainable sources such as vegetables – yet still provide high quality, nutritious farmed salmon. We use an average of 30 percent fish meal and oil in our feed, meaning only 0.5 lb of wild fish meal and oil are needed to grow 1 lb of farmed salmon.
Aquaculture is a globally diverse industry. If you’re buying seafood farmed in Canadian waters, rest assured you’re getting sustainable product that helps – not hinders – the world’s oceans.
Our website, www.Aquaculture.ca, is full of current information about our proud, fast-moving industry.
Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance