Fish Farming

Dan Barber’s TED Talk, ‘How I Fell In Love With A Fish’, gave a perfect example of fish farming done right. I thought it was particularly interesting that Miguel saw the flamingos feeding on his fish as a necessary part of the system’s cycle. Sustainable fish farming seems to make as much economical sense as it does ecological sense, yet according to NPR and the Scientific American some salmon fish farms are actually taking fish from the wild to feed their salmon.  The Scientific America writes, “To grow one pound of farmed salmon requires roughly three pounds of wild caught fish…. In short, these farms use up much more fish flesh than they produce and therefore cannot replace capture fisheries.”

Farming salmon would probably  pose other challenges, considering their life cycles and how salmon spawn. Miguel would probably expect to see bears feeding at a successful salmon farm, but how many fish farmers would allow for that?

There seems to be some dispute about whether or not salmon fish farms should be blamed for the affect on the wild salmon’s population, but if it’s being done right I don’t see how it could have a negative impact. It seems to me America does need more fish farms, but perhaps most importantly, we need fish farms that truly are sustainable, like the one Barber visited.

Pink_salmon_FWS

Image from commons.wikipedia.org

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