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What is to Come of Wild Fisheries?

by Ellen Hardy
06 June 2008, at 1:00am

US - Pollution, habitat fragmentation and overfishing have caused some serious scientists to predict the collapse of most wild fisheries by 2050. Locally, seafood lovers can look at the decision to close the commercial salmon season along the entire West Coast this summer to get a sense of how this scenario might play out.

According to the Metro Santa Cruz, The cure for stressed wild fish stocks, many say, is more fish farms--a move akin to transitioning from hunting to cattle ranching.

Metro Santa Cruz says that these operations are already part of humanity's diet and will be for the foreseeable future; fish farms made up over 32 percent of global seafood production in 2004, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, and the industry has been growing at a rate of over 8 percent per year since 1970.

However, hatching and raising fish to maturity in close quarters can have negative impacts on the surrounding ecosystem, especially if the operations are in the open ocean. For the average consumer, it isn't clear whether it's a better environmental choice to buy from these factory farms of the sea or from overfished wild stocks.

View the Metro Santa Cruz story by clicking here.

Ellen Hardy