Aquaculture To Double Production But Will It Destroy the Oceans?

salmon_farmsBy Stephen Leahy

SAN DIEGO, U.S., Feb 16 (Tierramérica) РWith wild fish catches in sharp decline, aquaculture, which now accounts for nearly half of all seafood consumed, is expected to double production over the next two decades.

“Aquaculture is the future… [It] will be a major industry in the (developing) South and will be a major source of employment and income, replacing wild catch in terms of importance,” according to Jason Clay, a scientist with the U.S. branch of the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) predicts that per capita seafood consumption will increase 1.5 kilogrammes in the coming two decades, Clay told the nearly 500 participants in the recent Seafood Summit, held in the U.S. Pacific coast city of San Diego.

The international meet earlier this month, organised by Seafood Choices Alliance, gave fishers, fish farmers, multinational seafood corporations and seafood buyers a chance to mix with conservationists and scientists to debate Рand attempt to find common ground about Рthe question: Can aquaculture be environmentally and socially responsible? Continue reading

Fish Farms Pushing Wild Salmon to Extinction

courtesy Alexandra Morton

By Stephen Leahy

Dec 14 (IPS) – V
ast populations of pink salmon on Canada’s west coast will be extinct in four years due to infestations of parasites from open ocean salmon farms, scientists reported Friday in the prestigious journal Science.

Canadian officials seem likely to let the wild salmon go extinct, if past inaction is any indicator, Alexandra Morton, the study’s co-author and director of the Salmon Coast Field Station in Broughton, British Columbia, told IPS.

The Science study shows that infestations of sea lice have killed more than 80 percent of the annual pink salmon returns in British Columbia’s Broughton Archipelago, 300 kms north of the city of Vancouver, over the past four years. In another four years, there will be no more pinks if the infestations continue.

“If nothing changes, we are going to lose these fish,” said lead author Martin Krkosek, a fisheries ecologist from the University of Alberta. Continue reading