The fish farming industry would like us to believe that their products are better for the environment than seafood from natural sources. However, this is simply not the case. Simply put, anyone who tries to argue that fish farming works to correct the problem of overfishing that is currently threatening the world’s fish populations is either misinformed himself or being intentionally misleading. The fact of the matter is that, like other types of animal agriculture, fish farming is by nature extremely inefficient. It has been estimated that it takes 4.5 pounds of seafood from natural sources to produce a single pound of fish raised on a farm.
Of course, some fish farms are better than others. For example, vegetarian farms are a growing trend. At such farms, the fish do not feed on their ocean-caught cousin, but rather on vegetarian food pellets. However, even this is unnatural, especially since many of the fish being fed these pellets are carnivorous by nature. For this reason, these fish will not be as healthy for you as seafood from natural sources. Plus, these pellets are made out of ingredients like soy, corn, and other grains that would be put to more efficient use if consumed directly by people rather than indirectly through a fish. And with a lot of the world’s human population suffering from hunger, this issue should not be overlooked.
Also, unlike ocean-caught fish, farmed fish – regardless of what they are fed – create additional problems, such as unnatural concentrations of waste, disease, and chemicals that are caused by the confined conditions in which water is not allowed to flow freely in and out of the places where the farms are located. The result is an environmental catastrophe. Experts have conjured the image of a floating pig farm to convey just how dirty this practice is. It pollutes and destroys natural ocean habitats, which in turn leads to further depletion of the natural fish populations. Plus, the fish from these farms are themselves more likely to become contaminated because of all the pesticides, antibiotics, and parasites in the water. Sometimes the nets keeping these fish in malfunction and the escaped fish spread their disease and genetic modification to wild populations.
So, what is the proper solution to the problems facing the world’s marine life? As you probably know, fish is very good for you. It is full of nutrients that your body needs, and you should not stop eating it altogether. Instead, choose only seafood from natural sources that is caught by fisheries that do not employ overfishing methods.