What’s Natural about Fish Farming?

Fish farming is becoming more and more prevalent throughout the world as an aquaculture industry. The most common fish raised commercially in tanks or enclosures are: carp, salmon, tilapia and catfish. Sadly, not all fish farms produce a high quality of product.

There are two types of aquaculture; extensive which is based on local photosynthetic production, and intensive which is a more expensive process because it uses fish food, not natural sources for feed.

Approximately 86% of seafood is imported into the United States and about half of those imports are raised on factory farms. Marine farming refers to farms that raise shrimp or prawns. Approximately 75% of the U.S. supply comes from Asia (China and Thailand) and 25% from Latin America (Brazil, Mexico, and Ecuador).

Be wary and watchful of where your fish supply is coming from, as recent findings have shown some rather disgusting ways in which Asian farmers are using shortcuts to save a few bucks. Articles from Bloomberg Markets and Tom Philpott suggest that many of the Tilapia farms in China are fed pig and goose manure – even though it contains salmonella and makes the tilapia “more susceptible to disease.” In Vietnam, farmed shrimp bound for the U.S. market are kept fresh with heaps of ice made from tap water that teems with pathogenic bacteria. Asian farmers, like U.S. meat farmers, are beginning to rely heavily on antibiotics, many of which are banned for use in the U.S.

The FDA does little testing – about 2.7% of incoming aquaculture is visually inspected, and even less, about 0.1% is tested for toxins. The FDA has neither the funding, or the desire, as this is also a political decision not to anger China.

The next time you go to your local grocer to purchase fish or seafood, read the labels and be careful with your purchase. Do your research. The majority of U.S. fish farms are managed and inspected properly. So if you are going to purchase farmed fish or seafood, consider a U.S. company.

Join me on Saturday, July 20 at 8:00 CST (not daylight savings) for my show Holistic Living w/Barb on 101.1FM the Bay Islands Buzz, or livestream at www.roatanradio.com. This weekend we will be discussing a highly controversial topic, “Vaccinations, Are They Safe?”