You?ve ordered a dinner of shrimp cocktail followed bybroiled salmon. Healthful for you, but not necessarily for the environment ifthe seafood came from fish farms rather than the wild. While aquaculture (fishfarming) is often touted as a means of relieving pressure on ocean fisheries, areview in the June issue of Nature reveals it can actually have just theopposite effect, causing a net loss of some wild species.
That’s because, for example, almost two pounds of wildfish are required, on average, to produce each pound of farm fish. Herring,mackerel and other small marine fish are the main source of fish meal and fishoils used in aquaculture, especially in salmon, trout and shrimp farms. Thisdirectly strains natural fish stocks and also threatens larger fish that feedon, for instance, the herring.
Among other surprising findings:
Take-Home Message. Farmed salmon and shrimp are the two worst environmental offenders. EN suggests selecting farmed fish with less environmental impact, such as catfish, carp, tilapia, clams and mussels. For more information, we recommend the new Seafood Lover’s Almanac from the National Audubon Society. (See EN, August 2000.) To order, call (888) 397-6649.
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