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Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

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Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

Old 09-08-09, 09:38 PM
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Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

I don't expect this to generate much discussion, but I guess I have always found aquaculture fascinating. I briefly toyed with taking some classes in it in college but never did since the facility was miles away from the main campus.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0907162320.htm

Half Of Fish Consumed Globally Is Now Raised On Farms, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (Sep. 8, 2009) — Aquaculture, once a fledgling industry, now accounts for 50 percent of the fish consumed globally, according to a new report by an international team of researchers. And while the industry is more efficient than ever, it is also putting a significant strain on marine resources by consuming large amounts of feed made from wild fish harvested from the sea, the authors conclude. Their findings are published in the Sept. 7 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

"Aquaculture is set to reach a landmark in 2009, supplying half of the total fish and shellfish for human consumption," the authors wrote. Between 1995 and 2007, global production of farmed fish nearly tripled in volume, in part because of rising consumer demand for long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. Oily fish, such as salmon, are a major source of these omega-3s, which are effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the National Institutes of Health.

"The huge expansion is being driven by demand," said lead author Rosamond L. Naylor, a professor of environmental Earth system science at Stanford University and director of the Stanford Program on Food Security and the Environment. "As long as we are a health-conscious population trying to get our most healthy oils from fish, we are going to be demanding more of aquaculture and putting a lot of pressure on marine fisheries to meet that need."

Fishmeal and fish oil

To maximize growth and enhance flavor, aquaculture farms use large quantities of fishmeal and fish oil made from less valuable wild-caught species, including anchoveta and sardine. "With the production of farmed fish eclipsing that of wild fish, another major transition is also underway: Aquaculture's share of global fishmeal and fish oil consumption more than doubled over the past decade to 68 percent and 88 percent, respectively," the authors wrote.

In 2006, aquaculture production was 51.7 million metric tons, and about 20 million metric tons of wild fish were harvested for the production of fishmeal. "It can take up to 5 pounds of wild fish to produce 1 pound of salmon, and we eat a lot of salmon," said Naylor, the William Wrigley Senior Fellow at Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment and Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

One way to make salmon farming more environmentally sustainable is to simply lower the amount of fish oil in the salmon's diet. According to the authors, a mere 4 percent reduction in fish oil would significantly reduce the amount of wild fish needed to produce 1 pound of salmon from 5 pounds to just 3.9 pounds. In contrast, reducing fishmeal use by 4 percent would have very little environmental impact, they said.

"Reducing the amount of fish oil in the salmon's diet definitely gets you a lot more bang for the buck than reducing the amount of fishmeal," Naylor said. "Our thirst for long-chain omega-3 oils will continue to put a lot of strain on marine ecosystems, unless we develop commercially viable alternatives soon."

Naylor and her co-authors pointed to several fish-feed substitutes currently being investigated, including protein made from grain and livestock byproducts, and long-chain omega-3 oils extracted from single-cell microorganisms and genetically modified land plants. "With appropriate economic and regulatory incentives, the transition toward alternative feedstuffs could accelerate, paving the way for a consensus that aquaculture is aiding the ocean, not depleting it," the authors wrote.

Vegetarian fish

Fishmeal and fish oil are important staples at farms that produce carnivorous fish, including salmon, trout and tuna. But vegetarian species, such as Chinese carp and tilapia, can be raised on feed made from plants instead of wild-caught fish. That's one reason why farm-raised vegetarian fish have long been considered environmentally friendly.

In the early 1990s, vegetarian fish farms began adding small amounts of fishmeal in their feed to increase yields. However, between 1995 and 2007, farmers actually reduced the share of fishmeal in carp diets by 50 percent and in tilapia diets by nearly two-thirds, according to the PNAS report. Nevertheless, in 2007, tilapia and carp farms together consumed more than 12 million metric tons of fishmeal—more than 1.5 times the amount used by shrimp and salmon farms combined.

"Our assumption about farmed tilapia and carp being environmentally friendly turns out to be wrong in aggregate, because the sheer volume is driving up the demand,"
Naylor said. "Even the small amounts of fishmeal used to raise vegetarian fish add up to a lot on a global scale." Removing fishmeal from the diet of tilapia and carp would have a very positive impact on the marine environment, she added.

Regulating fisheries

On the policy front, Naylor pointed to California's Sustainable Oceans Act and the proposed National Offshore Aquaculture Act, which call for reductions in the use of fishmeal and fish oil in feeds. She also applauded plans by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration to develop a comprehensive national policy that addresses fisheries management issues posed by aquaculture. "No matter how much is done from the demand side, it is essential that there be regulation on the supply side as well," Naylor said. "You won't prevent the collapse of anchoveta, sardine and other wild fisheries unless those fisheries are carefully regulated."
Old 09-08-09, 11:19 PM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

So long as they aren't grinding them up and feeding them to each other.
Old 09-09-09, 06:49 AM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

That doesn't surprise me very much. I work meat/seafood at a grocery store and we carry very few items that aren't farm raised. Cod is pretty much the only wild caught item we carry on a regular basis. We get wild salmon pretty infrequently.
Old 09-09-09, 07:45 AM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

very easy to tell the difference between wild caught and farmed salmon when they are side by side in the store
Old 09-09-09, 08:04 AM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post
very easy to tell the difference between wild caught and farmed salmon when they are side by side in the store
The farmed one is wearing overalls?
Old 09-09-09, 08:05 AM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

the wild caught has a darker red color. the farm raised is a paler red and almost pink. Salmon eat something in the wild that causes the red colored meat and in the farm raised they mostly have to use food coloring to make it look good
Old 09-09-09, 08:40 AM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

That's because they feed the farmed salmon too much fat, and not enough protein. They feed them corn, fercrissake.

Also, farmed fish don't get as much exercise, which makes the flesh paler. It's like light and dark meat on chickens. The muscles that get used the most are darkest. Dark meat on caged chickens is lighter than on free range chickens.
Old 09-09-09, 08:57 AM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
So long as they aren't grinding them up and feeding them to each other.
isn't that basically what fishmeal is?
Old 09-09-09, 09:46 AM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
That's because they feed the farmed salmon too much fat, and not enough protein. They feed them corn, fercrissake.

Also, farmed fish don't get as much exercise, which makes the flesh paler. It's like light and dark meat on chickens. The muscles that get used the most are darkest. Dark meat on caged chickens is lighter than on free range chickens.
On a related note, the Chilean farmed salmon industry is not doing so well due to disease and some other factors. Chile is the reason salmon has become to cheap in recent years. Here is an article in the NYT about it from earlier this year:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/05/wo....19948617.html
Old 09-09-09, 09:50 AM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

So what is the answer for the reasonably environmentally conscious individual? Don't eat fish?
Old 09-09-09, 10:30 AM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

Originally Posted by Pharoh View Post
So what is the answer for the reasonably environmentally conscious individual? Don't eat fish?
I check out Seafood Watch through the Monterey Bay aquarium and carry one of their pocket guides around. Though sometimes it just makes me feel guilty because I'll go ahead and order something they say I shouldn't. Just google seafood watch and it should come up at the top. I can't post links yet.
Old 09-09-09, 12:04 PM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post

Also, farmed fish don't get as much exercise, which makes the flesh paler. It's like light and dark meat on chickens. The muscles that get used the most are darkest. Dark meat on caged chickens is lighter than on free range chickens.
Uhhh, what? The pink color in the salmon/trout in the wild are from the diet - not the lack of exercise...that may contribute to fat content however.
Old 09-09-09, 12:43 PM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

Originally Posted by Pharoh View Post
So what is the answer for the reasonably environmentally conscious individual? Don't eat fish?
I can't keep my score card straight. One day the enviros are bitching about evil humans over fishing the oceans and eating all the fish up. Now they are bitching about them being farm raised.
Old 09-09-09, 01:36 PM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

Originally Posted by Nugent View Post
I can't keep my score card straight. One day the enviros are bitching about evil humans over fishing the oceans and eating all the fish up. Now they are bitching about them being farm raised.
Yeah, pretty much this. I don't worry about it too much.

From what I have read, however, the localized impact of these fish farms can be pretty bad though. For example, the Chilean salmon farms are usually located in protected inlets. As such, all those fish defacate in the same place in mass amounts. That, along with food waste, etc. can pretty much destroy the natural ecosystem of the inlets or bays where these farms are located.
Old 09-09-09, 01:51 PM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

Originally Posted by Pharoh View Post
So what is the answer for the reasonably environmentally conscious individual? Don't eat fish?
Allow your testicles to drop?
Old 09-10-09, 12:28 AM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
So long as they aren't grinding them up and feeding them to each other.
Originally Posted by D.Pham00 View Post
isn't that basically what fishmeal is?
?? For fish??
Old 09-10-09, 06:55 AM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

Related story:

Europe Moves Closer to Banning Bluefin-Tuna Trade

Probably a good idea. The Med stock of bluefin has been hugely depleted.
Old 09-10-09, 09:26 AM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
?? For fish??
but i thought recycling was good?
Old 09-10-09, 09:49 AM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

It's fine to grind up the fish and feed them to someone else's fish. Grinding them up and feeding them to the same lot the dead ones came from can, over time, breed some nasty viruses.

It's a bad habit that helped develop Mad Cow disease.
Old 09-10-09, 01:42 PM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

From Deep Pacific, Ugly and Tasty, With a Catch

By WILLIAM J. BROAD
Published: September 9, 2009

The answer to the eternal mystery of what makes up a Filet-O-Fish sandwich turns out to involve an ugly creature from the sunless depths of the Pacific, whose bounty, it seems, is not limitless.
The world’s insatiable appetite for fish, with its disastrous effects on populations of favorites like red snapper, monkfish and tuna, has driven commercial fleets to deeper waters in search of creatures unlikely to star on the Food Network.

One of the most popular is the hoki, or whiptail, a bug-eyed specimen found far down in the waters around New Zealand and transformed into a major export. McDonald’s alone at one time used roughly 15 million pounds of it each year.

The hoki may be exceedingly unattractive, but when its flesh reaches the consumer it’s just fish — cut into filets and sticks or rolled into sushi — moist, slightly sweet and very tasty. Better yet, the hoki fishery was thought to be sustainable, providing New Zealand with a reliable major export for years to come.

But arguments over managing this resource are flaring not only between commercial interests and conservationists, but also among the environmental agencies most directly involved in monitoring and regulating the catch.

A lot of money is at stake, as well as questions about the effectiveness of global guidelines meant to limit the effects of industrial fishing.

Without formally acknowledging that hoki are being overfished, New Zealand has slashed the allowable catch in steps, from about 275,000 tons in 2000 and 2001 to about 100,000 tons in 2007 and 2008 — a decline of nearly two-thirds.

The scientific jury is still out, but critics warn that the hoki fishery is losing its image as a showpiece of oceanic sustainability.

“We have major concerns,” said Peter Trott, the fisheries program manager in Australia for the World Wildlife Fund, which closely monitors the New Zealand fishery.

The problems, he said, include population declines, ecosystem damage and the accidental killing of skates and sharks. He added that New Zealand hoki managers let industry “get as much as it can from the resource without alarm bells ringing.”

The hoki lives in inky darkness about a half-mile down and grows to more than four feet long, its body ending in a sinuous tail of great length. Large eyes give the fish a startled look.

Scientists say its fate represents a cautionary tale much like that of its heavily harvested forerunner, orange roughy. That deepwater fish reproduces slowly and lives more than 100 years. Around New Zealand, catches fell steeply in the early 1990s under the pressures of industrial fishing, in which factory trawlers work around the clock hauling in huge nets with big winches.

Hoki rose commercially as orange roughy fell. Its shorter life span (up to 25 years) and quicker pace of reproduction seemed to promise sustainable harvests. And its dense spawning aggregations, from June to September, made colossal hauls relatively easy.

As a result, the New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries set very high quotas — roughly 275,000 tons a year from 1996 to 2001. Dozens of factory trawlers plied the deep waters, and dealers shipped frozen blocks and fillets of the fish around the globe.

Moreover, the fishery won certification in March 2001 from the Marine Stewardship Council, a private fisheries assessment group in London, which called it sustainable and well managed. The group’s blue label became a draw for restaurant fish buyers.

“Most Americans have no clue that hoki is often what they’re eating in fried-fish sandwiches,” SeaFood Business, an industry magazine, reported in April 2001. It said chain restaurants using hoki included McDonald’s, Denny’s and Long John Silver’s.

Ominous signs of overfishing — mainly drops in hoki spawns — came soon thereafter. Criticism from ecological groups soared. The stewardship council promotes hoki as sustainable “in spite of falling fish stocks and the annual killing of hundreds of protected seals, albatross and petrels,” the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand said in May 2004.

When the stewardship council had to decide whether to recertify the hoki fishery as sustainable and well managed, the World Wildlife Fund, a Washington-based group that helped found the council, was strongly opposed. “The impacts of bottom trawling by the hoki fishery must be reduced,” the fund said.

The wildlife fund was overruled, and the council recertified the fishery in October 2007. At the same time, the New Zealand ministry cut the quota still further, reducing the allowable commercial catch from roughly 110,000 tons to about 100,000 tons.

Some restaurants cut back on hoki amid the declines and the controversy.

Last year, Yum Brands, which owns Long John Silver’s, issued a corporate responsibility report that cited its purchases of New Zealand hoki as praiseworthy because the fishery was “certified as sustainable.”

Now, Ben Golden, a Yum Brands spokesman, said hoki was “not on the menu.”

Denny’s said it served hoki only in its New Zealand restaurants.

Gary Johnson, McDonald’s senior director of global purchasing, said hoki use was down recently to about 11 million pounds annually from roughly 15 million pounds — a drop of about 25 percent. “It could go up if the quota goes up,” he said in an interview. He noted that McDonald’s also used other whitefish for its Filet-O-Fish sandwiches.

Mr. Johnson called the diminishing quotas a sign not of strain on fish stocks but of good management. “Everything we’ve seen and heard,” he said, “suggests the fishery is starting to come back.”

The Ministry of Fisheries agreed. “If you look at the current state of the fishery, it’s apparent that the string of management actions that we’ve taken, which came at severe economic impact, have been effective,” said Aoife Martin, manager of deepwater fisheries.

But the Blue Ocean Institute, a conservation group in East Norwich, N.Y., that scores seafood for ecological impact on a scale from green to red, still gives New Zealand hoki an unfavorable orange rating. The fish is less abundant over all, the group says, and the fishery “takes significant quantities of seabirds and fur seals.”

Mr. Trott of the wildlife fund was more pointed. He called the fishery’s management “driven by short-term gains at the expense of long-term rewards” — a characterization the ministry strongly rejects.

But he, too, held out the prospect of a turnaround that would raise the hoki’s abundance off New Zealand and significantly reduce levels of ecological damage and accidental killing.

“We are currently working with both industry and government to rectify all these issues,” he said. “Our hope is that we will see great change and willingness by industry and, importantly, government to improve the situation dramatically.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/10/sc...o_interstitial

_____




who's next in line to order a hoki-o-fish sandwich!
Old 09-10-09, 02:27 PM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

Originally Posted by Pharoh View Post
So what is the answer for the reasonably environmentally conscious individual? Don't eat fish?
For some reason environmentalism always comes back to vegetarianism.
Old 09-10-09, 02:58 PM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

You don't mean.... the vegetarians are right?
Old 09-11-09, 10:48 AM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
You don't mean.... the vegetarians are right?
Yeah, but think of the poor plants.
Old 09-11-09, 11:05 AM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger View Post
You don't mean.... the vegetarians are right?
Meh , just means it fits perfectly with their incessant circle of bitching, moaning and attempts to spread their own guilt and self loathing on others.
Old 09-11-09, 11:08 AM
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Re: Half of all fish consumed globally now raised on farms

Originally Posted by jondog21 View Post
I check out Seafood Watch through the Monterey Bay aquarium and carry one of their pocket guides around. Though sometimes it just makes me feel guilty because I'll go ahead and order something they say I shouldn't. Just google seafood watch and it should come up at the top. I can't post links yet.

thanks

Here is the link:
http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/c.../download.aspx

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