No more fish farm???
A couple of months ago I visited a magnificent salmon farm in the north of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I made an entry to that effect in Facebook and then got a flurry of abuse from many friends in the industry. This was actually warranted, as when I took a closer look into aquaculture in British Columbia I realized that although the farm was a great set up, it farmed Atlantic salmon. Even people with an elementary knowledge of aquaculture maintain the position that one should only farm indigenous species. So here was an Atlantic salmon farm in the Pacific. OK Atlantic Salmon is also grown in Chile, New Zealand and other areas. But, what you have in British Columbia is a wild salmon industry. One that is cherished and seen as a main stay of life, especially for the First Nation people.
There is a fundamental understanding by most people that aquaculture must take place so that we can meet an increasing demand for protein and seafood. This is now becoming ever so more important as the drive to lower carbon emissions take place, with a necessary focus on the reduction of cattle farming and main stay meats. But, it must be done carefully and with proper planning. Locations must be carefully selected and as in all farming the use of hormones, feed and anti-biotics monitored and controlled. But we can’t escape the need for aquaculture.
In saying this, there was an interesting press release from Denmark's Environment Minister Lea Wermelin in late August, which is covered in detail in an aquaculture periodical, ‘Hatch’. Although Denmark isn't one of the world's largest fish farming nations, its aquaculture industry has been on the rise, with annual exports of farmed fish worth now being over 200 million euros. However, the minister announced "Denmark has reached the limit of how many fish can be farmed at sea without risking the environment ... We must be a green pioneer, when it comes to fish farming, and therefore we must focus on sustainable development of the aquaculture sector."
Wonderful and sensible news. Although antagonistic to some in the industry, I would suggest that this move will prove beneficial in the future. Its great to see a smaller nation taking a necessary lead in on sustainable and environmental issues.
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