I recently read an article from Max Goldberg in the USA “TAKE ACTION: Organic Fish May Be Coming Soon and it is a Horrible Idea”, (November 2014) where Max Goldberg has concerns about the USA approval of ocean based fish farms. It is a confusing topic and every time I purchase fish I have a barrage of questions for the salesperson. So what does organic farmed fish mean?
I approached one of our community members, THIS FISH, who run a family owned business focused on providing clean, organic fish that is great for you, delicious and friendly to the environment to get there thoughts.
Here is This Fish’s perspective on the subject.
In the good old days there was no need for classification for organic fish. And while the world community has only recently viewed aquaculture as a potential solution to the dilemma of depleted oceans, it is in no way a new practice. In fact, the beginning of aquaculture dates back millennia.*
It grew out of necessity – foraging and hunting were not sufficient to provide a stable source of food to local communities. While there are many parallels to agriculture, the development of aquaculture has progressed more slowly than terrestrial farming because of the unfamiliar nature of the ocean terrain and characteristics of aquatic organisms.
Wild fish populations worldwide are down and with an increased human population in the future it’s unlikely and unfeasible that wild fish populations will be sustained as a food source. Unless one advocates for not eating fish at all, fish farms are a necessary reality. All of the outrage in the world is not going to change those facts and trends. After all, we are looking at feeding over 9 billion people within the next 50 years…
Aquaculture offers one way to supplement the production of wild caught fish and it will continue to increase in importance as demand increases in the future.
Organic Fish Farming is one way of addressing the pressing issues of modern life just as much as ‘The Marine Stewardship Council’ is doing its part for greater sustainability for the catching of wild fish.
The aim in Organic Fish Farming is to manage natural resources in such a way that harmful effects on the environment are minimised or avoided altogether. Strict guidelines are adhered to and all processes are fully controlled. Many organic farms are also part of social projects, comparable with Fairtrade, and are helping people get back on their feet with a ‘clean’ approach to doing business. Organic seafood means that it is:
- Hormone free
- Antibiotic free
- High in natural and untainted omega 3 & 6
- and from sustainable aquaculture
Organic aquaculturists carefully select areas with the right temperature, salinity and fertility where organisms can flourish. Organic or Natural, Non-organic or commercial, whatever word one chooses to use, as long as people try to do the right thing in the restraints that are inevitable in an already heavily polluted and degraded world, we should welcome all approaches that are in balance with nature, for its protection and restoration.
All we are asking for is to keep it clean, sustainable, ethical and as natural/organic as possible. We can all but try to do the right thing – but the right thing will have to be decided by YOU – the buyer, the human in this web of a very complex life.
Should you have any questions please contact THIS FISH at firstname.lastname@example.org
*(Thought to have started in the Mediterranean region even back dating to ancient Egyptian civilisation. In the Etruscan culture (Italy) the earliest extensive marine farms date back to the 6th century BC. Growing of molluscan shellfish was practised in the 5th century BC by the Greeks. In the ancient Roman civilization seabass, seabream, mullets and oysters were cultivated or simply kept alive off the Italian coast in enclosed facilities.)