Farmed fish

November 17th, 2014

Fish and shrimp grown in hatcheries

Fascinating front page story in the weekend Wall Street Journal November 15-16, 2014 on “More Fish Make the Leap From Farm to Table“. The article details the “broader revolution in aquaculture that is radically changing the world’s food supply” indicating that with “a decade long global consumption boom depleting natural fish populations of all kinds, demand is increasingly being met by farm-grown seafood.”  They throw out alarming stats indicating the global output of farmed fish grew from 13.4% (1990) to 25.7% (2000) to 42.2% (2012); farmed shrimp now at 56%; farmed oyster production growing, and Atlantic salmon farming 99% of world-wide production. However, the main research focus of this feature is the amazing success story with Pacific Bluefin tuna by the Kinki University Nursery Center in Japan. This endangered coveted “sushi” fish has sold at auctions as high as $3ooo per pound. Now “Toyota footed the bill for larger facilities where baby fish hatched at the university’s labs could be raised in large number for about four months. At that point, the juvenile fish are stable enough to be sold to commercial tuna ranches, where they are fattened in round pens around 100 feet in diameter and 30 feet deep for three to four years before being sold for slaughter.” At that stage as adults they can be “3 feet long and weighing 65 pounds or more. Some fish may eventually reach 10 feet long and weigh up to 900 pounds.” Expecting 40000 juvenile fish next year. “Demand is certainly rising for the farmed tuna from gourmet stores and sushi restaurants in Japan.” Note: “Bluefin tuna require 15 pounds of feed fish to produce 1 pound of meat”. Weigh in with your thoughts about the controversial subject of eating farmed fish vs. wild-caught.

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November 17th, 2014

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