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Food & Water Watch turns its guns on soy in aquafeeds

New report accuses soy industry of expanding soy-fed aquaculture at the expense of the environment

July 3, 2012


New report accuses soy industry of expanding soy-fed aquaculture at the expense of the environment. 

According to the report: "Many of the species grown by the  ocean finfish industry are highly valued carnivorous fish, which have typically been fed diets consisting of fishmeal and oil made from smaller, wild fish .

The excessive use of wild fish to grow farmed fish can make aquaculture inefficient . Further, aquaculture has been accused of spurring the depletion of these small fish, which is problematic not only for their own populations, but also to the other animals that rely on them for food .

With little public scrutiny, soy has been hailed by some as a sustainable alternative to feed based on wild fish, thus supposedly solving some of the fish farming industry’s sustainability problems.

In this report, the first to address the relationship between the soy and factory fish farming industries, Food & Water Watch reveals that, while the soy industry stands to make large profits from the expansion of factory fish farming, there is no guarantee that soy-based aquaculture feed can consistently produce healthy fish or promote ecological responsibility . In fact, by causing fish to produce excess waste, soy could lead to an even more polluting fish farming industry .

By supporting factory fish farming, the soy industry could not only help to expand an industry that degrades marine environments, threatens wild fish populations and damages coastal communities, it could also extend its own negative impacts . Already,  industrial soy production has led to the prevalence of genetically modified crops on U .S . farmland and in consumer food products,

 caused massive deforestation in South America and displaced indigenous communities living in areas now used to grow soy .

Rather than actually promoting sustainability in a developing industry, the involvement of soy associations in aquaculture could spur the growth of two industries that have extremely negative impacts on our land, our oceans and the communities that depend on them". 

Download the report: Factory-Fed Fish: How the Soy Industry is expanding Into the Sea from the link below (PDF)

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