Fish farming is the part of aquaculture where fish are raised in an artificial setting and are distributed solely for commercial profit. This method has been used to supplement the depleting fish population in the seas. Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia have found, after sifting through 124 years of regular fishing loads in the United Kingdom, that fish intakes have decreased by nearly 70 percent.
BBC reported that the number of global fish stocks that have been over-exploited has reached 85 percent.
The report continued by acknowledging another statistical report by the marine biology department, which warned that possibly only 100 codfish over the age of 13 exist in the North Sea between the United Kingdom and the Scandinavian region.
This depletion of the fish population serves as a serious issue especially when the average person today eats five times as much of fish now as they did in 1950. Fish farming has become a solution this issue and has developed into a process which can oversee the growth of over 100 different species of fish. The most common method in aquaculture is using hatcheries to raise the fish and is usually separated into two levels.
The first level would be for the farmed fish population and the lower level would be for the bottom feeders, in order to best simulate an environment that the fish would be most familiar with. China currently holds majority control over the aquaculture market by supplying nearly 61 percent of all artificially raised fish.
China’s production is 77 times the farmed fish population of the United States. Moreover, 45 percent of consumed fish in the United States are imports from abroad, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
All the production from aquaculture equates to about 66 million tons of fish which is greater than the global beef production in 2015. When analyzing the growth rate of the industry the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization reports that the aquaculture industry will growth by 50 percent over the next 15 years.
This means that by 2030 90 million tons of the world’s fish population will be produced in artificial habitats. Some aquaculture enthusiasts are taking advantage of the situation by experimenting with ways to alter the DNA strands of fish as a way for it to produce more offspring over certain time periods.
The genetically modified organisms that do exist in some aquaculture farms have gained concerns from organizations like the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).