Fish Farming

The cover story of the 2015 October 26 print edition of the Christian Science Monitor overviews the growth of aquaculture, fish farming.  I appreciated the focus on sustainable methods both in China and in the United States.  The article skirts the issues of slave labor used to harvest seafood (for human consumption and/or fish food), nutritional degradation of farmed seafood on species-inappropriate diets (such as corn), increased demand for animal proteins, and the imbalance of US seafood supply and demand (the US both exports and imports fish).  And while I appreciate that the aquafarmers in Sanggou Bay, China feed their fish seaweed, since that seaweed is wild harvested I have to question the sustainability outlook for those farms.  What’s the impact on the ecosystem around that seaweed?  What’s the environmental impact of the boats doing the harvesting?  What measures are being taken to ensure that heavy metals and other pollutants are kept out of that food chain?  Are the Chinese exploring farming seaweed – and producing value added products (such as algae oil) directly from that seaweed?

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