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The simple truth part II
Tuesday,13 July,2010 15:19:10
On my last post, "The simple truth," someone anonymous made the following comment: "Like any other human activity, we can screw it up. It's up to us to do it right. It makes no sense to foul your own nest."
I began my own short response, which quickly grew into something more fitting as its own post. So here it is.
Thanks, anonymous for your comment. Of course, you're right. People can screw it up. And there are plenty of examples out there of how NOT to operate a fish farm, from over use of pesticides in Asian fish farms to the overcrowding in the Chilean salmon farming industry that led to its own demise. But those opposed to open-ocean fish farming in this country use those examples, plus the argument that people screw it up, to oppose any expansion of this industry, no matter the motives of the fish farmers. Using the same logic, those same people should oppose any industry that impacts the environment.
We need to evaluate each fish farm on an individual basis: Does it operate in as sustainable manner as possible? Does it make efforts to reduce disease and subsequent use of antibiotics by farming at a low density? Does it source its feed from vendors who use fish meal and oil from sustainably-managed fisheries? Is it using Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture?
Then, we as consumers, make the choice of where we want to buy our fish, just like we do with any other farmed product. Do we want to buy fish from a Chinese farm with questionable practices (80% of seafood is imported in this country and the FDA inspects roughly 2% of it)? Or do we want to buy a fish from a local fish farm that makes an effort to operate in as sustainable a manner as possible?
I agree that people can screw up. But I also believe some people have the right intentions and are working to farm fish in a sustainable manner.
(First post) The simple truth
"There is nothing inherently unsustainable with aquaculture as long as the producers choose to operate on a sustainable basis."
This simple comment, made by University of Stavanger Professor Frank Asche, in recent remarks at the AquaVision conference in Stavanger, Norway, pretty much sums up the issue for me. Like in any industry, it's the people who decide whether they operate in a sustainable matter. In the case of aquaculture, it behooves people operating fish farms to do it in a sustainable way because, in the long run, fish farmers need clean water and healthy fish.
Anonymous: Like any other human activity, we can screw it up. It's up to us to do it right. It makes no sense to foul your own nest.
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