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Aquaculture feeds the world

there are some salmon producers in British Columbia that are using far, far less wild salmon, and are still producing a product that's a) delightful to eat, and b) has an amazing high omega 3 fatty acid content, which is saving lives from cardiovascular disease."

September 16, 2009

Aquaculture feeds the world

We're eating more fish every day. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization predicts that by 2030, globally consumption of fish will grow by 70%. The increasing reliance on aquaculture to fill this growing demand is supported by a recent study in the 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Science' which states that one-half of all seafood consumed is now cultured.

In a CBC radio interview last week, one of the study's authors, Dr. Tony Farrell, Chair of Sustainable Aquaculture at UBC, states that aquaculture can and is being done more sustainably and uses the reduced reliance on wild fish to feed farmed fish as an example: "…there have been tremendous advances in the way in which we have stopped feeding wild fish to farmed fish, and in particular the major gains have been in the salmon world. And there are some salmon producers in British Columbia that are using far, far less wild salmon, and are still producing a product that's a) delightful to eat, and b) has an amazing high omega 3 fatty acid content, which is saving lives from cardiovascular disease."

Dr. Farrell stresses the need for better communications about the science behind sustainable aquaculture practices to the media and public: "…the onus is just as important, not on collecting the information and publishing in the scientific world, but I think giving the facts to the public in a way, a responsible way, and a truthful way, and an open way…" The interview finishes with Dr. Farrell pointing out the tremendous role and responsibility of the media in forming public opinion and in letting them know "that good things are happening out there".

To read the study abstract click here

To read the complete transcript of Dr. Farrell's interview click here

While the study provides an overview of the importance of aquaculture for providing food, it does contain some inaccuracies. One of these was addressed by the International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organization (IFFO) in a recent Seafood.com article.

To view this article click here

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