Thursday, May 25, 2006

Responsible Aquaculture Program

I spent time lately reading many of the arguments "pro and con" that that seem to pop up when Aquaculture is the topic. Numerous opinions have been expressed and there doesn't appear to be a shortage of media attention in certain areas. That robust activity is welcome. It exists in discussions of any industry or of any practice. As educated consumers we are entitled to review information, decide one way or another and make our choices.

Aquaculture isn’t a new idea, people have practiced Aquaculture for a few thousand years, yet in the modern world today, we still debate just about every news release on the subject. Sometimes we read news statements that are generally based in fact and other statements that contain a few elements of truth designed and emphasized to trigger certain feelings within the population.

Sadly there are a few attention focused presentations within the media that carry very little true research value or census value, and lean toward a more mumble and jumble “argument” that almost always attempts to pigeon hole an industry while presenting the “we told you so attitude” directed at the normal consumer. The reasoning behind this isn’t within my ability to explain.

Last year I wrote a few pages concerning the history and needs satisfied by Aquaculture. In other writings I also talked about the need for improvement.

The Global Aquaculture Alliance efforts to improve the way that Aquaculture is conducted should not go un-noticed.

Statements from the website:

The Responsible Aquaculture Program was developed to promote best management practices for aquaculture operators. The RAP program encourages the culture of safe, wholesome seafood in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. More importantly, it is also intended to improve the efficiency and long-term sustainability of the aquaculture industry.

The Responsible Aquaculture Program began as a straightforward set of "Guiding Principles for Responsible Aquaculture" that promote a cooperative approach to establishing aquaculture operations that reflect environmental, economic, and social sustainability. The principles call for minimal ecological impacts, water conservation, improved feed and drug use, and reductions in effluents.

The Global Aquaculture Alliance is an international, nonprofit trade association dedicated to advancing environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture. GAA recognizes that aquaculture "the culture and farming of fish, shellfish and other aquatic organisms" is the only sustainable means of increasing seafood supply to meet growing food needs.””

Give the link a look.

If we didn’t farm anything period, full stop, where would we be? Can we feed 6 billion people on politics or advertising? Everyday people supply veggies, meats and fish to the world. Managing the resources will play a major factor in the future. Increasing the "food" and ecomonic value of the resources is a factor best left out of media spins.

Rob Freeman

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