The big topic of our generation, and all generations to come, will be the environment. It will be about the challenges of going green and how to be more sustainable, and one of the big subtopics is that of food and fish farming. Despite all the evidence, all the arguments and all the new knowledge surrounding this topic and what it means for marine life, the demand for seafood is increasing by the day. This is partly because the global population is on the rise and partly because seafood is the only source of protein a huge portion of the population, especially those living below the poverty line in developing countries.
To meet this growing demand, aquaculture has been on the rise. In fact, the production of seafood through aquaculture methods have doubled in the past decade. However, they need to double again in order to meet the demands of protein and population.
As such, we have researched inspiring women and men who work in this sector at different levels and in different roles to determine how companies and governments are working to achieve sustainable growth in aquaculture.
One of the best ways to tackle the environmental problems surrounding this issue is to educate the consumer, and that is exactly what the Monterey Bay’s Seafood Watch Program aims to do. It educates people on what should be avoided in order to give sustainability a chance. For example, lake trout currently have populations levels that are way too low, while oysters are perfectly suited to aquaculture methods.
Farming Atlantic salmon has been a problem simply because it takes three pounds of wild fish to grow a pound of farmed salmon. That is not sustainable. However, genetically engineered yeast has now been developed that provides salmon with all the Omega-3 they need, reducing the need for feeder fish by seventy-five percent. The companies leading the way on this are DuPont, AquaChile, and Verlasso, whose joint venture was the first to receive the “good alternative stamp”.
The need for protein is going to grow by 40% between now and 2050. That is where farmed salmon can have a huge role to play in meeting this demand, and a huge reason why everyone with an interest in the environment should learn about the Global Salmoning Initiative, which aims to bolster sustainable aquaculture while simultaneously reducing the impact it has on the ecosystem. This initiative, which is made up of fifteen companies with a market share of over 70%, aims to achieve the necessary changes through collaboration, research, investment and the sharing of knowledge. It is a huge step forward in an industry that has proven it can grow.
Shrimp is a big issue, with the majority of it consumed in the US yet produced in Asia. Here the producers feed these shrimps wild fish and allow waste to be discharged into coastal waters. This could change thanks to a David Brune who has developed a way to produce shrimp more quickly and with less waste. It involves a paddle wheel that generates algae, which not only deals with waste but can also be harvested by brine shrimp that can be used as food for Pacific white shrimp. This development is both cost and time effective too.
Interesting post, Christy. I’m out of the loop on aquaculture.
Interesting post as always. I was involved in a test aquaculture project on a relatively large irrigation pond on a golf course several years ago. It was a relatively small pond originally. After dredging it to depths anywhere from 10-16 feet, I seeded it with natural aquatic plants and let it mature for one full year. Through much hoop jumping and negotiating I was allowed to supplement the pond with both river water and a natural flowing well. What had once been near stagnant water augmented with fresh water and aeration I was able to balance the pond enough to put approximately 3500 rainbow trout into a new home. They survived at at the end of each season I would hold a fish derby, then again place another order of new fingerlings the following year.
I did attend and obtain a degree in Aquaculture and eventually the pilot project was supported through grants and donors. I have been told today they are catching 6-8 pound trout and they are very good eating.
My concern comes with with anything that is genetically modified, plus the fact that fish farms can house high populations of fish in small areas. There are new diseases being created in close proximities such as these that fears they will also get into natural stocks. Just my concern, again a very informative article.
Thanks for taking the time to add to Christy’s content here from your personal experience. Enlightening.
(Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
“It takes a village to transform a world!”
Fascinating and important post, Christy – uplifting as well, which I really appreciate. And thanks so much for the links to more info. I’m a relative newbie to Aquaculture. Thanks so much for the education.
I knew you’d appreciate the uplifting tone :) And thanks for reaching out to fellow writer Rolly too with your comment here. He’s a long-time friend and author. You too share an optimistic nature that I gravitate towards xx
I’ve made up my mind to reach for the positive for the rest of my life. That’s why I like your blog and your comments, Christy.
Sustainability is so important, especially in regards to
our oceans. After the Fukushima meltdown we went
off seafood all together, since that nuclear waste is
STILL leaking into the Pacific Ocean regardless of
what the MSM reports on, & levels recently reached
an all time high (the decommissioning process
will apparently take another 40 YEARS) not good.
A nuclear meltdown doesn’t magically vanish overnight.
Christy, this is very valuable and informative…
On “going green” – was society green(er) in earlier years, was made non-green(er) by force, now it is looking to go back to being green(er)?
“because seafood is the only source of protein a huge portion of the population, especially those living below the poverty line in developing countries” – when you see reports which include people living below the poverty line, mainly in overseas countries (different countries may have different poverty lines), I do sometimes think they may have, although they may not realise it, a healthier diet than those on or above the poverty line.
I don’t know re going green(er) in previous generations but they certainly were less of a consumerist society so that was a good thing (on many levels, not just an environmental standpoint). Oh the second part of your comment makes me think about whether having more food options is a good or bad thing.. more unhealthy choices…
Interesting post, Christy. I do love seafood. Hugs.
Hugging back :) I’m a shrimp and salmon fan in particular. Seafood fest when I see you one day xx
LOL, you’re on, Christy. Hugs.
thanks for all the stats that people like me are too lazy to research.
Excellent post, Christy. Environmental and sustainability issues are so important to us all and I enjoyed your summary of aquaculture in relation to these. All types of seafood will probably be of great importance to future generations and you did a good job in highlighting some of the methods and issues surrounding the production of some of them. Thank you for an interesting post.
The environment is always on my radar, Millie. I’m glad it sounds like you’re much the same. It’s comments like yours that help generate awareness for the issues and potential solutions. Great to see you here
I’ve had a strange few months, Christy. My eldest daughter has been having chemo for breast cancer, and we’ve spent a lot of time with her and helping around her house and garden while she felt pretty rough. So finding time to get to people’s posts has been difficult. We cancelled all holidays but managed a short break in Derbyshire last week. I’m glad I eventually got to read a couple of your great posts. :)
I’ve been championing the salmon since I read the book A River Lost- The Life and Death of the Columbia by Blaine Harden. It tells of the devastation of the river and the salmon after the Grand Coulee Dam was built.
All of us
who one time
from the ocean
thank you :-)
Let’s not forget to propagate aquatic veggies such as seaweed! I do believe there is seaweed flour for baking! :D
Ohhhh that’s new to me :) Thanks hun!
Very interesting, Christy. I never knew about a lot of this information.
Great that you found it a helpful resource, Amy!
Great post however I believe commercial fishing even to buy farm raised is not a sustainable way for the world to live. Commercialized fishing has its risks with metals like mercury poisoning and also contributes heavily to the bycatch of marine life. Examples who drown in most if not all cases. It litters the oceans with huge nets that if not found and removed, keep working to catch victims and ultimately drown them out of sight- this is known as Ghost Fishing
I became vegetarian back in 1997 and gave up fish/seafood at same time I kicked meat to the curb. I believe fish and sea life to be sentient creatures
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