Fish Farming VS Commercial Farming

Fish farming or pisciculture is the process of raising fish commercially in tanks for a source of, usually, food. At first, one would think that this practice is a perfect solution to protect wild fish and marine animals, but at a closer look, it's not as perfect as we thought.

One question in The Omega Tree’s World Ocean Day survey was, “Do you think fish farming is safer and more conservative than the fish from fishing docks, despite the chances of the fish being genetically modified?”

Lalith’s response was, “I think fish farming is a much safer and healthier approach because so many fishermen die every year because of fishing.

As a matter of fact, statistics show that from 2000 to 2014, there were 632 deaths, bringing up an average of 46 deaths per year. Commercial fishing takes the throne being one of the most dangerous jobs. Its fatality rate is shockingly 23 times higher than other occupations. The reasons behind these deaths are vessel sinkings, which account for over half of fishing fatalities and falling overboard, resulting in drowning and hypothermia. Fishermen are also susceptible to fatal injuries when working with heavy machinery. This goes to show that fish farming is safer for the wellbeing of people.

Selvambiga, 10th grade, however, said,” Fish farming is not safe as it would affect the gene pool of the species."

Yes, the chances of farmed fish being genetically modified organisms are very likely. If these GMOs escape fish farming sites and breed with wild fish, their genes will pollute the gene pool. This can negatively impact the fitness of the fish's population. However, using GMOs will increase their growth rates and can reduce the pressure on wild fish populations. Using farmed fish is sustainable to an extent until we get careless on the impacts.

Farmed fish are indeed vastly sustainable compared to commercial fishing. Fish farmers are careful about maintaining fish tanks, feeding proper food to the fish, and preventing any damage outside the farms. Creating a controlled area can surely bring about positive advantages, as almost any fish can be farmed in any variety, and this practice potentially can create a smaller carbon footprint.

To conclude, fish farming, like any other development, has its pros and cons. The challenge is how we promote the pros and suppress the cons in our power.