Sunday, July 08, 2007

Cod farming replacing cod fishing?

Hold onto your nets. As wild cod disappear from our oceans, farmed cod are being rushed to market to fill the seafood gap.

We've seen the results, good and bad, as farmed salmon replaced wild salmon in the seafood marketplace. Now, wild salmon has to be a specialty product to survive.

Will cod be the next fish to go the way of farmed salmon? Would it be a good thing if cod farms filled fish markets with cheap, reliable supplies of codfish?

Here's the real question...is ocean conservation better served by farms or catching wild fish? We can list the impacts of farms and fishing, and how they're weighed depends on perspective.

Is it better to have fish farms, with all their problems such as disease, pollution, escaped fish and excess fishing to make fish feed?

Or is it better to get our fish from the wild, with overfishing causing population crashes, gear that destroys habitat, and harm to marine mammals, turtles and other fish?

It's not an easy question. Many environmentalists say farms are bad and wild fish are better, but I'm not so sure. Farms done right might be better for our oceans than our current overfishing mess.

And when you dig deeper on salmon, you see that so-called "wild" salmon from Washington, Oregon, and California are mostly raised in fish farms called "hatcheries" for around half of their life. They're only half wild and they cause serious problems for the truly wild salmon they mix with.

Fish farms won't just go away. We need to learn to do fish farming right. It might be easier than getting people to start fishing right.

2 comments:

Michele said...

I used to think fish farming was dumb but through my years of fishing, I have seen what anglers have done by destroying the waters with pollution of boats and garbage and land around the waters with ATV's that affect the fish and their habitats. I have seen them break the rules on pulling out fish that were too small or that were not allowed to be pulled out or not releasing them properly and therefore died anyways or exceeding their daily quota. So with fish farming, at least we can give proper training and instructions to raising the fish and hopefully there will be a future to keeping it in our lives.
Fishing Fiesta

HODAD26 said...

we will be working on fish farming in Central America with the trapezoidal nets developed by U of Miami
and hopefully using hemp seed oil feed, 9 essential amino acids
and the water is very deep, so excrement problems are not a consideration as opposed to shallow water pens
we will see, with 6 billion people, this is the only way