The great team at Fishwise offered to help us tell the sometimes confusing story about farmed fish. We lean on Fishwise to guide our seafood purchasing decisions, and advise us on how to explain these choices to our guests. They work tirelessly towards our understanding of the ever-changing wisdom on what we should and shouldn’t be taking from our oceans, lakes and rivers. Thanks to Bill Wall for contributing the below!
Farmed vs. Wild Seafood: few issues elicit more passionate discussion amongst seafood lovers worldwide. Regardless of your views on farmed seafood – positive, negative or maybe somewhere in between– one thing is for certain: aquaculture is only going to become more important in the future as a source of protein. In the last few years aquaculture production has greatly increased and now accounts for half of the seafood production worldwide.
Without question, some farmed seafood is unsustainable. Many of you are probably aware of the removal of mangrove forests to make space for large-scale shrimp farms in Southeast Asia. Then there’s the disease, waste and fish escape issues associated with farmed Atlantic salmon in places such as Canada, Chile and Norway.
While improvements are needed for some farmed shrimp and salmon practices, sustainably farmed seafood is also plentiful. The U.S. is leading the way in sustainable farming practices with many species such as channel catfish, striped bass, rainbow trout, oysters and freshwater prawns. All of these are ranked green “Best Choice” options on the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch listings. These species are not only sustainable in using the best management practices when farming; they’re also sustainable to our lifestyles since they’re easy to cook and taste fantastic!
To learn more about sustainable seafood, visit www.fishwise.org.