Call us crazy, but there used to be an understanding of the complexities involved in biological systems. This most recent announcement abolishing fish farms in a corridor of BC in the hopes of changing the outlook for native salmon populations is a single track approach to combating an issue not fully understood. Even scientists within Department of Fisheries and Oceans say they “don’t know the mechanisms that allow us to accurately forecast salmon”. While we advocate for stronger initiatives to farm local species and improve sustainable farming practices, we also know that any type of farming can change the landscape of the environment it’s in - look how the scale of cattle farming has changed huge parts of the planet. However, and this is the big one, to focus on aquaculture as the driver of decreasing salmon populations is simply narrow-visioned. Climate change, fishing pressure, habitat destruction, the list goes on. Perhaps if regulators took as hard a line on changing some of these things as they do about the “evil” that is fish farming, maybe the planet would actually survive long enough to improve the dynamics of aquaculture. Just fish for thought.
New Legislation proposed and passed giving more funding to be used for specifically inspecting foreign seafood imports. This is HUGE for the promotion of locally grown seafood here in the US. Keep our high quality seafood here on our plates.
Curious about seafood fraud and mislabeling? Check out this study. https://oceana.org/sites/default/files/National_Seafood_Fraud_Testing_Results_Highlights_FINAL.pdf
Are you sure you’re getting the fish you asked for? Maybe, maybe not, but do you know what’s worse? The fact that your seafood market or restaurant may not know that fish is definitely what it’s labeled as. They may not even know where it was really farmed or caught. Always ask questions - what is the fish, where it is from, how it was raised. “The GAO ranked imported seafood according to the worst results, noting that 12% of shrimp (67 out of 550 samples taken), 11% of tilapia (28 out of 258 samples), and 9% of catfish or pangasius (3 of 33 samples) tested positive for unsafe levels of drug residues.” (Undercurrent News article, link above) Support US farm raised and US caught! Read the fine print on packaging. Ask the grocery clerk at the fish counter who supplied their seafood and if they have ever verified where it comes from. You, and now, hopefully, a bit more of the FDA, are the frontline in the quality of the seafood on your plate.
Samuel Chen’s assessment of Recirculating Aquaculture Systems: a great option, but it comes down to proper management and being ready to troubleshoot and learn on your feet. While RAS has its benefits, it isn’t the crockpot of fish farming - you can’t “set it and forget it”. You have to be engaged in making the systems perform for your fish.