Killer Fish Farms

A recent report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization found that almost half of all the fish eaten worldwide are raised on fish farms rather than caught in the wild. It is likely that consumption of no other fish has soared more than that of farmed salmon, with production surging by almost 300% in 20 years.

Salmon are carnivorous, however, and to feed the voracious appetite of these legions of farm-raised fish, the aquaculture industry increasingly has turned its attention to a small crustacean commonly known as Antarctic krill. But that’s bad news for leopard seals and Adelie penguins, humpback and blue whales, and many other species, because most organisms in the Antarctic marine ecosystem eat either krill or something that eats krill.

Found in the cold waters of the Southern Ocean, krill constitute a key ingredient in fish oil and feed. Unfortunately, recent research indicates that expanded krill fishing might put the Antarctic ecosystem at risk. Representatives from the world’s major fishing nations, meeting this fall in Australia, have an opportunity to limit krill catches, thereby helping creatures that need krill to survive.

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