Fish Farming

July 27, 2007 • Volume 17, Issue 27
Is it safe for humans and the environment?
By Jennifer Weeks

Introduction

The new face of farming: Butch Medlin of New Haven, Ill., is all smiles after switching from raising hogs to striped bass. “Both are an awful lot of work,
The new face of farming: Butch Medlin of New Haven, Ill., is all smiles after switching from raising hogs to striped bass. “Both are an awful lot of work," he says. (AP Photo/Kevin J. Kilmer)

Global demand for fish products has doubled since the 1950s and is still rising. Today more than 40 percent of the world's seafood comes not from wild catches but from land-based and offshore farms. With many wild fisheries already overharvested throughout the world, aquaculture is an important food source — especially for poor countries — and has made seafood more abundant and affordable. But some fish farms pollute surrounding waters, and escaped farm fish compete with wild stocks and spread diseases. Moreover, raising carnivorous fish can use up more fish protein for feed than it produces, further stressing wild fisheries. There are also growing concerns about whether imported seafood is safe to eat and whether the United States regulates fish imports strictly enough. Congress is considering legislation to expand ocean aquaculture, but many fish and marine experts urge caution, saying we know little about the potential impact on the oceans.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Aquaculture and Maritime Policy
Oct. 2007  Oceans in Crisis
Jul. 27, 2007  Fish Farming
Nov. 04, 2005  Saving the Oceans
Aug. 02, 2002  Threatened Fisheries
Sep. 27, 1985  Whaling: End of an Era
Jul. 16, 1982  Troubled Maritime Industry
Jun. 07, 1974  Oceanic Law
Sep. 29, 1965  National Maritime Policy
Sep. 04, 1963  Fishing Rights and Territorial Waters
Oct. 05, 1955  Territorial Waters and the High Seas
Jul. 21, 1954  Plight of the Maritime Industry
Jul. 10, 1935  Merchant Marine Policy of the United States
Jan. 15, 1929  Sea Power and Sea Law
Jul. 24, 1928  Government Aid to the Merchant Marine
Oct. 17, 1925  The Merchant Marine Problem
Apr. 26, 1924  The New Merchant Marine Situation
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Agriculture and the Environment