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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

18/11/2014: 'Sustainable seafood' but not as we might imagine it!

by Josh Schonwald is a Chicago-based journalist and author of 'The Taste of Tomorrow: Dispatches from the Future of Food as reported on Time'


When you hear the term “sustainable seafood,” you might envision a fisherman pulling catch from a pristine sea.
Hint: it's not the open sea or a Norwegian fjord. ii
 
Seafood Watch’s stamp of approval may be the biggest yet for indoor, land-based aquaculture

A few weeks ago, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, arguably the world’s most influential arbiter of seafood sustainability, gave its highest stamp of approval to three companies that are about as far away from that fishing idyll as possible.

The Atlantic salmon deemed “Best Choice” by Seafood Watch were neither caught, nor from the sea. They spent their lives indoors in warehouses as far inland as Shepherdstown, West Virginia.


In the past, Seafood Watch has almost always advised consumers to avoid farmed salmon. But three indoor farms around the world have succeeded in eliminating the usual concerns about fish farming.

At these farms, there’s no risk of escapees mating with wild populations. There’s no risk of fish waste messing up the marine environment. There’s a vastly reduced risk of disease. Each of these farms recycles more than 95% of its water, and they use a smaller number of feed fish to grow their salmon than traditional farms.

There are other reasons to love these warehouse or “tank” farms. One of the farms, called Langsand Laks and located in Denmark, uses wind and geothermal energy for its electrical needs. The West Virginia farm, run by the Freshwater Institute, is using nutrient-laden fish waste to develop an aquaponic farm. And the British Columbia farm called KUTERRA, is touted as a an important job creator for Vancouver Island’s ‘Namgis tribe.
 

Seafood Watch’s stamp of approval may be the biggest yet for indoor, land-based aquaculture, but it’s not the first.

During the past few years, a growing number of supporters—from environmental groups, often hostile to aquaculture, to sustainability-minded chefs to marine biologists—have been talking up the virtues of indoor aquaculture.


Read more HERE.

The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the
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