Monday, January 23, 2006

Aquaculture and Sustainability - Making Sense

A topic of considerable discussions and opinions, not all of which are based on facts, indeed some appear to be based largely on junk science. This is my starting post in a future series of posts presenting reference studies, articles and good science publications relating to Aquaculture.

From Experience: Fish Farmers are necessitated to become good stewards of the environment, the nature of their industry and businesses dictate that they do. Aquaculture requires clean growing waters to maintain a good level of production. Therefore, the industry must encourage environmentally friendly practices and has indeed taken many practical steps to protect local environments. In fact without ensuring protection of the environment, itself, the industry would suffer.

Exerts from George W Chamberlain in an article titled “FARMED SEAFOOD AND THE ENVIRONMENT: RESPONDING TO OUR CRITICS” published in the Global Aquaculture Advocate, December 1999, vol. 2, #6

…..Is it environmentally responsible to buy and sell farmed seafood? This is the question increasingly being asked of consumers and food retailers alike.
Consumers do need to know more about the seafood products they buy and the impact of their purchases. Unfortunately, only one side of the story is being told. As aquaculturists, often more focused on fish farming than public relations, we need to respond clearly with the facts.

Let's start with the most important fact: Aquaculture is the only sustainable mechanism to increase seafood production…..

….From the beginning, mankind turned to the seas for food, and the seas were plentiful. In the past 20 years, however, the oceans have reached their limit. World landings of edible seafood gradually have leveled off around 60 million metric tons per year. Additional fishing pressure only depletes wild stocks.

The solution to this crisis is farming - the same solution mankind developed ages ago when wild game became scarce. Aquaculture, the farming of aquatic organisms, relieves pressure on wild fishery stocks and raises food production in a sustainable way. It is a young industry, with a bright future.

In a recent New York Times interview, management guru Peter Drucker predicted that one of the new century's most exciting industries was not the Internet, but fish farming. Yet, just as our ancestors could scarcely imagine that the vast oceans would one day be fished to their limit, our own generation struggles to grasp the tremendous potential of aquaculture…..

Full article can be found at this Link