Fish Farms Do Not Add to the World Fish Supplies
A recent paper in Nature magazine reports that global production of farmed fish and shellfish has more than doubled in the past fifteen years. Many people believe that such growth relieves pressure on ocean fisheries, but the opposite is true for some types of acquaculture. Farming carnivourous species such as salmon requires large inputs of wild fish for feed. Some aquaculture systems also reduce wild fish supplies through habitat modification, wild seedstock collection and other ecological impacts. On balance, global aquaculture production still adds to world fish supplies; however, if the growing aquaculture industry is to sustain its contribution to the world fish supply, it must reduce wild fish inputs in feed and adopt more ecologically sound management practices. We spoke with Rosamond Naylor, one of the authors of the Nature article, about the ecological costs and potential benefits of aquaculture.