|| A lot
of fish and seafood people eat comes from farms
(about 40% of the world production comes from
fish farms). At first glance and taking into account
of global overfishing, apparently a very encouraging
fact. However, such numbers are to be taken with
caution, because most fish farms are located in
China. Fisheries researchers suggest that China
reports much too high numbers for its aquaculture
to the FAO.
Due to declining fishing yields and rising demand
for fish products, the market reacts to the construction
of new fish farms and a number of certificates
that are intended to show that a fish product
was produced sustainably. But the conservation
organization Pro Wildlife warns from such eco-labels.
"Fish eco-labels convey the impression that
environmentally friendly fish consumption is possible",
says the pro-wildlife biologist Sandra Altherr.
In 1999 the WWF and Unilever launched the MSC
label (Marine Stewardship Council), which will
guarantee sustainable fisheries. Its symbol is
a blue fish, which now emblazoned on many products.
But by now organizations such as Pro Wildlife
criticize the label because in the meantime even
fish from the destructive bottom trawling is certified
by this label. In addition to that the label also
did not help the overfished stocks of blue hake
(hoki) in the Pacific and the Canadian sockeye
salmon. Even after these species have been MSC-certified
the stocks went back so strong that the quota
had to be reduced.
"With marine eco labels the consumer is suggested
that he protects the seas by purchasing a certified
product - but that does not work" says Altherr.
"It's no good if people do not start eating
less fish because the current demand cannot be
ecologically sustainable provided."
The average European consumes about 22 kilograms
of fish and seafood per year. Every year around
one hundred million tons of fish and seafood are
In many cases fish farms have catastrophic effects
on the marine ecosystem. Original areas are partially
destroyed to create fish farms and there is a
high demand for feed for the fish farms, because
the farmed animals are fed mainly with fish meal
and fish oil. Around one third of the fish caught
on the globe will be processed on these products.
But to produce one kilogram of farmed fish, four
to five kilograms of fish must be caught in the
Due to the extreme pollution of the Baltic Sea
the wild fish are no longer approved for human
consumption because they are extremely poisoned
with dioxin, PCP, heavy metals, mercury and pesticides.
These fish are now simply processed into dry food
(pellets) for farmed fish in fish farms, because
therefor the legal regulations are not so strict.
These farmed fish are then treated intensively
with pesticides against parasites and diseases.
Pesticides, known as neurotoxin, are also used
for this purpose.
Meanwhile the meat of farmed fish contains insecticides,
pesticides, antibiotics and other substances of
chemical products. By medication, farmed fish
grow twice as fast as normal and generate 3-6
times more fat than a normal fish. Medicines and
pesticides are enriched in fat and make the fish
one of the most poisonous foods ever.
Another problem is the feces of the fish and unused
fish meal, which trickle through the nets of aquacultures
on the seafloor and there smother life and mutate
massive the ecosystem on the seafloor.
Farmed fish repeatedly escape from fish farms
that are often not native to the respective areas,
and thus displace native fish species. Thus, the
wild stocks of salmon have declined by 45% in
the last 20 years.
However, since profit is still more important
than the health of the population, nothing is
done against these abuses. The times when fish
were a healthy food (whether wild or farmed fish)
are definitely gone.