February 10, 2010

Aquaculture endangers wild fish

According to recent research led by Professor Rosamond L. Naylor of Stanford University in California, USA, more than 50% of fish consumed by humans now comes from fish farms, or aquaculture.

The report, authored by Dr. Naylor and other international scientists, indicated that between 1995 and 2007, production of farmed fish around the world nearly tripled in volume.

However, along with the rise in aquaculture has been a corresponding increase in fish meal used to feed the farmed fish, with five pounds of wild fish being consumed, for instance, for every pound of farmed salmon produced. Even vegetarian fish such as Chinese carp and tilapia are now given fish meal garnered from wild ocean fish, thus furthering endangering species such as anchovies and sardines.

The researchers warn that this exponential rise of aquaculture, once thought to relieve pressure from depleting wild fish, is now being seen as an additional threat to their survival.

Dr. Naylor and international team of scientists, we appreciate your factual account of the true cost of farmed fish. May we all be reminded that our planet depends on the oceans’ vibrant life and choose from the wide assortment of healthful and delicious plant-based foods. Concerned for our fragile ecosphere, Supreme Master Ching Hai highlighted again the critical need for the more considerate care of our fish co-inhabitants during a May 2009 videoconference in Togo.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Fish farms are like on-land factory farms. They have similar problems environmentally, with impacts that include polluting the bodies of waters. The farmed fish are contained in big netted areas off the ocean shores with uneaten food, fish waste, antibiotics, or other drugs and chemicals that pass into the surrounding waters where they harm our ecosystems and pollute our drinking sources.

Depleting wild fish stocks also. Fish like salmon that are eaten by humans are usually fed huge amounts of other fish like anchovies. This practice also endangers sea animals, like sea lions and birds

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Fish are God’s creations that we should also care for, respect, protect, not to eat. We should be looking for ways to help the fish, to protect them and all the marine life from the devastating effects of climate change. Once we start thinking in this way, we are in a better position for ourselves, for the fish and for the planet.


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