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5 Strategies for Sustainable Fish Farming

Article provided by: Nick Denek, editor of Seekwee.com

Fish is one of the most efficient and plentiful sources of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It's very nutritious and healthy, and the modern world has definitely noticed this a long time ago. Because of this, especially in the last few decades, demand for fish has skyrocketed. While this has had a very positive impact on the obesity crisis in the West, it has also devastated the sea-life1 around the world. Farming practices have become more unhinged and destructive since it's very hard to meet the demand for fish in today's world.

Of course, this doesn't just apply to the west. In general, fish is very efficient to farm, since the price and quality of food needed to farm fish are much lower than the actual nutritional value (and money) gained from seafood. This needs to be regulated, and certain strategies for sustainable fish farming need to be implemented.

The strategies

There are a number of things that can be done in order to save our ecosystem, and a great part of it centers on sustainable farming. Here, you will see certain strategies devoted to making fish farming more sustainable.

Subsidies. This strategy hinges on one thing - rewarding good behavior. Made on a local or federal level, it doesn't matter. We need to find a way to incentivize sustainable fish farming. This can be done by, for example, offering free training and education for farmers to be more sustainable. Now, this is an indirect strategy, but will certainly yield great results. An addition to this would be that governments create harsher measures when people fish in illegal areas. If they set up their farms in areas that are not as "spent " of fish and vital micronutrient found in the water, this will be a step forward in the right direction.

Use our technology. This is to say, branch out. Developed countries have access to satellites, to mapping technologies, scanners and computer mapping models. All these can help understand and develop sustainable fish farming a lot faster. We will learn where to fish, where fishing will overwhelm a population of sea life and not give it the opportunity to repopulate, and where they will regain their numbers just fine. Not only that, but we can also use this to track more easily the behavior of corporations who avoid sustainable farming just to make a quick buck.

Eat a variety of fish. This is closer to the micro, individual level. Fish farming usually focuses on just a few types of fish, usually the most popular kinds, salmon, for example. This creates a problem since then farmers are incentivized to farm only one type. This means that they over-farm one type, ignore others, which creates a chain reaction affecting the entire eco-system. However, other types are just as good. Carp, tilapia, catfish, these are great to eat and also very good for you. There is no reason to focus on one type, its best to spread out.

Innovate. Fish farmers should try to be as up to date as possible with modern technology and science (relating to aquaculture). While this may be pricey, some aspects of are not. Educating oneself on efficient breeding of fish, improving their size, using food that nourishes the fish and the surrounding sea-life, all this will mitigate the damage done, and make fish farming more sustainable.

Community. Understand that you, as a fish farmer, are not alone. If there is a spot where there is plentiful fish to be farmed, then there must be many others close by. Sometimes, all that makes a fish farm unsustainable, is too many people in one place making small mistakes. Not following just one of all the possible guidelines for sustainable fish farming may not be such a big deal, but if 20 farmers in the same area do the same, the results can be catastrophic.

Conclusion

Hopefully, the world will take heed of the tips and strategies placed in the text above. The future of sea-life and our oceans depend on us taking aquaculture more seriously. Yes, fish farming is a very good choice as far as food is concerned, but abusing it may cause great problems to our planet. Destroying the very ocean floor 2, irresponsible and unsustainable fish farming has far reaching consequences.s

References

1. Holmer, Marianne, and Erik Kristensen. " Impact of marine fish cage farming on metabolism and sulfate reduction of underlying sediments ." Marine Ecology Progress Series, March 3, 1992, 191-201.

2. Naylor, Rosamond, Jurgenne Primavera, and Rebecca Goldberg. "Effect of aquaculture on world fish supplies." Nature. June 29, 2000. Accessed August 24, 2017. https://www.nature.com/.



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