Fish farms are the bane of environmentalists all over the world, and for good reason. Fifty percent of the world fish supply emanates from fish farms.
They are generally overcrowded, the fish are given antibiotics and hormones, they suffer from sea lice, they live in polluted water, and they are frequently fed an unnatural diet. Farmed fish are often fed pellets containing things like ground chicken, something a fish would never naturally eat.
This diet is one reason why there’s no organic fish certification in the U.S. The other reason is that the U.S.D.A has deemed that conditions in the ocean cannot be standardized, which is true.
If you see organic seafood on a menu you should know that (a) it is false, or (b) it is certified organic by another country which goes by different criteria.
Most importantly, the health benefits of farmed fish are greatly inferior to the health benefits of wild fish. The fat of the fish, where the coveted omega-3 fatty acids are stored, is often contaminated with PCB’s, pollutants & pesticides.
(Click Read More for Bad Fish Situations 2 & 3: Mislabeling and Genetically Engineered Salmon, as well as your best Alternatives.)
A large percentage of fish were mislabeled on menus and in the supermarket as a different type of fish than what they really are. Between 40 and 55% of the fish in this country are mislabeled.
Thankfully not on the market yet, but probably coming to your plate in 2013, is genetically engineered salmon. Genes from an ocean eelpout have been crossed with a salmon, and the growth which would normally take three years can now be accomplished in just half the time. Already approved by the FDA as safe for the environment as well as human consumption, this fish is currently in the 60 day phase where the public can oppose it. The company also has tilapia and trout in the works. There are at least 35 other species of GE fish in development around the world. How will it be labeled if it comes to market: who knows? Will it be identified at all on a menu: doubtful.
So what are your alternatives?
Option #1 - You can fish. And some people do. Or they buy wild fish directly from people who fish. Wild fish is your best choice for nutrition and sustainability.