Among the numerous sources of food, fish has been an important source of food for human beings since ages. Fish provides a healthy and tasty diet to humans, so human societies across the world have included fishes in their diets. But the natural sources of fishes such as oceans, seas and rivers are unable to meet the demands of the ever-growing human population. To cope with this demand of fishes, fish farming is being done in various countries. In U. S. also, fish farming is being done on a large scale.
Although fish farming had helped in increasing the yield of fishes available for human consumption, the practices that are being employed while fish farming are causing environmental pollution in various ways. The consumers of the fishes produced from fish farming are also at risk, as consumptions of these fishes may lead to health problems. The additional marine life in the environment is also affected by the fish farming. Fish farming practices are not beneficial to the U. S. , as they are causing harm to the environment and to their consumers.
Harmful Effects of Fish Farming Fish farming is having harmful effects on the humans and their environments in numerous ways. As fish farming is done in areas which are near to the oceans, fish farming can have a negative impact on the oceans. In U. S. , fish farming is causing harm to the oceans surrounding the country. Fish farms are one of the major sources that are causing pollution in the ocean areas. The fish farms utilize chemicals and these chemicals get mixed in the ocean waters leading to pollution.
The polluted water affects the marine life which thrives in the oceans. Other waste products that are generated during the process of fish farming are also disposed in the oceans. This practice is harmful, as this can lead to poisoning of the water in the oceans. The containers which are used to store the fishes also have these chemicals. All these factors cause damage to the environment and the oceans. The other harmful effect that fish farming has on the human beings is the impact it has on the health of the people who consume these fishes.
The fishes that are produced at the farms carry diseases owing to the use of the chemicals. The chemicals aid in the mass production of the fishes at the farms but it also results in the onset of the diseases in the fishes. When these diseased fishes are consumed by human beings, it can cause diseases in the consumers also. The benefits of a healthy diet that a consumer gets when he/she eats wild fish is absent in the fishes reared in a farm. In the farms, the fishes are fed with wild fishes.
As these wild fishes are needed on large quantities in the farms, the smaller fishes in the oceans lose their source of food. This causes harm to the other marine life in the oceans, as the food chain is disturbed in the natural world of the oceans. Chemical imbalances are present in the fishes that are reared at the farm, as chemicals are being utilized during the process of fish farming to produce fishes in large amounts. Upon consuming these fishes, human beings can suffer from nutrients imbalances. Numerous researches have shown the high levels of chemicals in the farm fishes.
Judy Steed (2003) has mentioned in her article that, “Earlier, USA Today reported on another study by a Canadian scientist, Michael Easton, an expert in ecotoxicology, who found in a pilot study that farmed salmon, compared to wild salmon, “contained elevated levels of chemical contaminants, including PCBs – known carcinogens. ” (para. 10). The wild fishes feed on natural sources of food and grow up in natural habitat so there are no health hazards in consuming these fishes. But farm fishes are reared in an environment created by human beings, and with the aid of chemicals, so these fishes are not good for consumption.
Judy Steed (2001) had highlighted this aspect of farm fishes in her article, “The U. S. Environmental Working Group (EWG), as recently reported by CBS News, “found 70 per cent of (farmed) salmon tested contained PCB levels higher than EPA recommendations. ” (para. 8). Fish farming aids in producing fish on large quantities but it lowers the quality of fishes and causes damage to the environment. Positive Impact Although fish farming has numerous negative effects on the environment and the health of the consumer, there are certain positive impacts of fish farming on the human lives.
As the number of fishes in the oceans are depleting, fish farming can provide an alternate source of fishes. Fish farming can, thus, be used as a backbone to support the steady decline in supply of natural fish. Fish has become an important part of diet for human beings all over the world. But the natural sources of fishes are unable to supply fish in sufficient quantities. So in such situation fish farming can satisfy the demands of the growing human population. Fish farming, if done properly, can be a great source of healthy food. As fish farming increases the production of fish, it can be an advantage to the U. S. economy.
The increase in the production of the fish can provide an additional source of income for the U. S. Fish farming can also create more jobs, as manpower is needed to maintain and run the farms. This will also help the economy of U. S, as employment opportunities will bring down the rate of unemployment and lead to improvement in the standard of living of the people. With increase in the production of fish, there is no need for the U. S. to depend on other countries for fulfilling the demand of fish among its people. The cost of importing fishes from other countries will be eliminated completely. Fish farming in the U. S.
can be an activity which not only satisfies the demand of fish but also helps in boosting the economy of the country. Fish farming can also aid in preventing the extinction of marine species which are consumed by human beings on a large scale. If the consumption of wild fishes continues at such a rate, then sooner or later there were would be no wild fishes found in the oceans. Fish farming can bring down the risk of extinction by providing an alternate source of fish. Fishes which are eaten by human beings in large quantities can be reared at the farms, thereby allowing the same species of fishes to thrive in the oceans.
To eliminate the risk of diseases upon consuming farm fishes, some measures are being adopted in the farms. One among them is the process of seining which ensures that the farm fishes are healthy and fit for human consumption. We all agree that the process of seining is very through and precise and they take every measure to clean the fish of all disease before shipping them. If proper measures are taken during the process of fish farming, farms can be a vital source of fishes along with natural world of oceans and seas.
The growth in the human population has made it necessary to find other sources of food, as the natural sources are unable to meet the demands of the people. Fish farming can be that source of food which will support the natural sources of fish and help in coping up with the decline in the number of fishes available in the natural world. References Steed, J. (2003, September 29). AR-News: (CA) problems with fish farming. Retrieved April 19, 2009. http://lists. envirolink. org/pipermail/ar-news/Week-of-Mon-20030929/007253. html