Fish Farming - A Global Effort
Aquaculture is one of the oldest farming practices in human history, dating back many thousands of years. Farming fish was a small industry for centuries until the industrial revolution saw massive expansion and utilization. With this growth came industry growing pains. Antibiotics, disease and poor handling gave aquaculture a bad image decades ago. But, aquaculture has the potential to feed the world, so innovators and regulators have teamed up to build the modern aquaculture industry, rife with sustainable and healthy practices.
Modern aquaculture is changing and adapting rapidly. The sector is in its infancy compared to other areas of agriculture; however, this provides the opportunity to adjust quickly when necessary. Climate change is forcing the global food industry to find ways to be more sustainable, and the aquaculture industry has spent many years campaigning for change to ensure longevity and sustainability for future generations.
In 2016, the National Academy of Science predicted 50% of wild seafood stocks could be sustainable by 2050. The last decade has seen considerable developments in fishery management limits, species quotas and reduced bycatch through advances in fishing gear and technological equipment. NGOs such as the Marine Stewardship Council have worked tirelessly to improve this situation, and globally, there is amazing conservation work taking place to ensure that aquaculture and fisheries are becoming more sustainable.
Aquaculture is becoming more resource-efficient in terms of aquafeed, energy and water management. Indoor and land-based technologies are reducing water usage and gas emissions. By 2030, 62% of food fish will come from aquaculture (FAO). Sustainable aquaculture is part of the solution and will be the key to providing future generations access to healthy and sustainable protein options and employment opportunities.
This is the part where each of us, as individuals, plays a role in protecting our oceans. We have a responsibility, we all play a part in climate change and we need to work together if we are to influence current practices. That is why Svenfish sources seafood from responsible aquaculture operations to provide the most sustainable, healthy options available. Better for you and the environment.
Modern aquaculture has seen a significant shift in the last decade in terms of nutrition. Marine ingredients in aquafeed still exist, but some aquafeeds are made free of any marine resources while still maintaining the health benefits associated with omega 3 fatty acids and oils. The evolution of nutrition has allowed for the FIFO ratio to decrease significantly. The global FIFO factor for the fish farming industry is 0.27, which means 270 grams of wild-caught fish are needed to feed and produce 1 kilogram of farmed fish. This is calculated by dividing the fish caught for aquaculture feed production use by the farmed fish fed with these feeds. Aquafeeds are heavily regulated by every farming country and scientists collaborate globally to improve them every day.
No two seafood farms are alike. Hundreds of aquatic species are farmed, including oysters, salmon, halibut, trout and many more. Every species has unique water, feed and habitat requirements, which has led to farms specialized in region-specific species popping up all over the globe. There are, however, two overarching variations of aquaculture. Ocean farms and land farms.
- Farming fish on land requires artificial ponds or pool facilities. Many emplore recirculatory aquaculture system (RAS) techinques, wherein farms clean and reuse water to reduce their environmental footprints. Some land farms even utilize aquaponic strategies. Aquaponics farms fish concurrently with crops such as tomatoes or lettuce. By filtering water naturally through crop roots, a circular system forms that produces fish and produce. Incredible, right?
- Ocean farms make up the majority of fish farms since they can be scaled quite significantly. Ocean fish farms require large net pens nearshore where farmers can monitor their operations. Net pen farms are typically seen in high-current, cold water regions where high-demand fish like salmon and charr thrive. Bay farms for mollusks like oysters and clams are a New England staple. Our coastlines are covered with oyster farms making use of empty bays. This is one of the most sustainable farming strategies in the world. No feed, no waste, and bay farms even build habitats for other marine life in otherwise-empty, lifeless bays.
At Svenfish, our farmed seafood comes from some of the best waters in the world with sustainable, healthy practices. Our fish have no antibiotics, no dyes and no additives. We only work with industry leaders to get you the best fish our oceans have to offer.