Fish farming has become an increasingly popular form of regulating and cultivating fish stocks in both freshwater and saltwater locations. While fast becoming a popular way to produce fish for the ever growing demand, there have been questions raised about the sustainability of the practice and whether fish farming is an ecologically-friendly method of cultivating food sources.
Advantage: Reliable Food Source
As populations increase worldwide, the demand for fish products has also risen. Fish provide low-fat, nutritious food sources and essential oils for people of all ages. According to Environmental Expert.com, fish farming is already producing 50% of the fish used for human consumption and people will continue to depend on it for food sources as populations increase.
The advantage of fish farming is that it can be installed almost anywhere there is a clean source of water and also can be combined with irrigation practices. According to the website Aquaculture Production Technology, combining fish farming with irrigation reduces costs for businesses while providing water and fish as a food source for the surrounding area. This makes fish farming an attractive option for areas with both water and food shortage problems.
One of the disadvantages of fish farming is that most farms are put into natural lakes or saltwater coastal regions where local fish exist. The problem occurs when these farmed fish negatively impact the area by introducing toxic micro organisms which then infect local fish and put them at risk of being killed off. It is not widely known among scientists or fish farmers what the true impact of these fish farms will be on the local ecosystem, especially when the fish being introduced are not native to the area.
An increasing concern with fish farming practices has been the food source used to feed the farmed fish. Food for fish farms often consist of fish products derived from small ocean fish. This feeding method has not yet been determined to be a sustainable practice, according to EnvironmentalExpert.com. Scientists and individuals within the fish farming community are not sure whether this will also strain wild fish stocks and alter the food chain in the wild.