Can we take your order ...
Farmed or Commercial Fish?
Peut-on prendre votre commande...
Poisson élevé ou commercial?

Related / Relatifs:
Fishy Business!

Should the fish
farming industry
be closed down?
Ça sent le poisson!
Est-ce que l'industrie
de l'aquaculture
devrait être fermée?

(photo: NOAA)

Many people include fish as part of their diet. In your opinion is it better to eat fish caught commercially (possibly by dragging), fish grown through aquaculture, or to eliminate fish from your diet?

Plusieurs personnes ajoutent du poisson dans leur régime alimentaire. Selon vous, vaut-il mieux manger du poisson provenant de la pêche commerciale (peut-être même du poisson recueilli par les chalutiers dragueurs), du poisson provenant de l'aquaculture, ou bien tout simplement élliminer le poisson de votre régime alimentaire ?


Zack Wingfield
Campbell River,
April 7, 2005
Being a proud supporter of the farming industry, I still wonder how many of the people
submitting articles have been to a fish farm? As well as seen the strict government, global and company policies that the farms are regulated and setting standards in all resources. The fishing industry is on it's way out and how else can we get the salmon that the growing world conceives. Between Mad cow, Tobacco, chicken influenza and salmon farming, which one is doing the least damage to humans? I shouldn't have to say more!!! Choose farm fresh pacific salmon!! 
D Smith
West Virginia
United States
April 2, 2005
We own 310 acres at the head of a watershed, and will be establishing ponds in several of our "hollows". I think we don't have to worry about various pollutants as the ponds will be spring, rain, and runoff fed. Our property is 85% forested, and we are wanting to raise trout in a "natural way", and are willing to share with our neighbors (i.e. raccoon, heron, hawk, and the like). We hope to promote more wildlife in our area, and if there are a few fish to sell afterward then we will have accomplished our task. I would appreciate feedback regarding this new venture. Has anyone out there done the same? Do you think
people would be interested in purchasing our fish raised the natural way? Your thoughts?

Genève Léna
22 fev. 2004
Il faut INTERDIRE les produits polluants, la liberté du connsommateur de savoir ce qu'il achète devrait engager le producteur à dire clairement comment il obtient son produit. Devant la baisse des ventes (si les gens se sentent concernés), les producteurs seront obligés de respecter la nature.
May 29, 2003
I have read a lot of responses, which tend to be helpful and insightful, yet one main point is left out: there are commercial fisheries in the world that have a high rating given out by the WWF. Not all fisheries in the world destroy and/or deplete wildlife sanctuaries. The Alaskan Salmon fishery has the highest rating from the WWF. I also agree that farmed is an absolute NO NO. Its full effects are not known, both on our bodies and on our planet, and until we can start to understand those effects (which look awful bad), we cannot support the industry. Look what has happened to the cattle industry: hormones, antibiotics, mad cow disease. Please eat responsibly.
Susan Stephens
Environmental Geographer
Mar. 20, 2003
At this point and time with all the fisheries in bad shape, I would have to contend that eliminating (and I love fish!) fish would be the responsible thing to do. 
I do not feel the GMO fish are a viable alternative at this point and time.

Marilyn Powell,
Dec 30, 2002
I have been pondering this question for over a decade, and I have no desire to eat farmed
fish because of an ethic I adhere to in regard to any farming of animals which could do just as well in the wild....I believe that game farming, aquaculture, etc. are very dangerous practices and indeed threaten wildlife....through disease, etc. It is a very complex issue and I realize translates itself into the overcrowding and inhumane conditions now facing all our farmed animals...But I still believe if one must eat fish, then wild fish are better. Certainly there is the economic issue and the dragging concern but generally speaking, I cannot condone farming of fish or any other species normally found in the wild. Only recently have I even been confronted with farmed fish, but I can assure you they are making a big impact and the consumer is generally uninformed and willing to is interesting that fish have made a bigger impact on consumers than other farmed meat, such as emu or red deer but I believe that is because there has been less opposition by environmentalists and more support from government....disgraceful, in my opinion....But we can't all fight all the battles everywhere....

Serge Allard,
Fredericton, NB
Dec. 20, 2002
I agree that it's a matter of risk assessment. Do the benefits of eating farmed or commercial fish outweigh the potential negative implications to the human body? I think so. I prefer to eat
wild fish, but the reality is that it is not easy to find in Fredericton. 

Edmonton, Alberta
Dec. 19, 2002
Since fish are so high on the food chain and accumulate so many toxins that we throw into
the wild, I no longer eat wild fish. They are also overfished. As well, I wouldn't eat farmed fish unless I knew that it was raised in an environmentally friendly, sustainable manner. I don't know of any store in my town that can guarantee that about their fish. Hence, I no longer eat fish.

Éric, Québec, QC
19 dec., 2002
Le piage des ressources halieutiques par les armateurs de même que les pratiques d'élevages de plus en plus intensives sont inacceptables et vont à l'encontre des principes de bases associées à la protection de l'environnement. Le végétarisme, pratiqué sur la base d'une agriculture biologique, constitue certes la seule avenue possible au maintient des populations actuelles tout en minimisant l'impact sur notre environnement.
Gillian Dykeman,
Quispamsis, N.B.
Dec. 12, 2002
I agree, the environmental degradation associated with the catching of wild fish as well as
the hazards of farming fish is reason enough to cease consuming these animals.

de Kent, N.B.
Nov. 28, 2002
I have been treating Wastewater with Biotechnology since 1990. I always had a passion for
water and since the age of about ten, I always had more questions than answers. The one thing I learn over the years is Where does water come from?  We do not get new water EVERYTIME we get rain; we use the same water. In the environmental world the final answer is the answer that is answered by the last WHY. About a month ago I lost my sister in law. She was THE person that was eating responsibly right in all aspect. She died of cancer. WHY.
Food for thought.

Dr. Paul D. Maugle,
Nov. 20, 2002
Eat fresh caught or reared shellfish or fish daily. Preferably raw if still alive! Fish are a great source of heme iron enhancing learning ability and stamina and shellfish are a great source of zinc to help protect from upper respiratory infections. Both are great sources of unsaturated fatty acids, primary constituents of our cell walls. The nutritional benefits of regular fresh locally caught or reared shellfish and fish consumption out weigh the potential negatives.
Amanda-Dawn Richardson 
Edmonton, AB
Nov. 20, 2002
Well this is a hard issue to think about we all know that forest fires and illegal
poaching are a main factor in animal depletion. in zoos they are treated "unfairly" in different
ways so animals should be in zoos for their own well being until we as people and learn to live with them in our environment.

Paul Falvo,
Yellowknife NWT
Nov. 19, 2002
I've heard nothing but bad things about farmed fish. Since it is hard to know sometimes where the fish comes from, I eliminated it from my diet altogether.
Now, I am fortunate to live very close to a source of fresh, wild fish, from a virtually pristine
lake (Great Slave). I am finally able to eat fish again without harming my conscience. Even then, one must pay attention of course to the source and type of fishing.

Terri Wolfe,
Save Our Springs
Nov. 18, 2002
Farmed should be less toxic...depending on history of land used for pond. 
The secrets lie in the history. 

Stanley Swaim,
East Burke, 
Vermont, USA
Nov. 16, 2002
I have wild salmon flown from Arkansas rather than eat farm raised salmon. Also,
every time I pass a fish counter in a grocery I pointedly ask if there are any wild salmon which usually gives me the opportunity to explain the truth about farm fish!

D.M. Paterson
Cape Breton
Nov 15, 2002
While a rod and line won't meet the world's fish needs, there is nothing environmentally wrong as such, providing that line/hooks/weights etc aren't left behind, so, fish can still remain on the menu for some. However, I'm old fashioned and will stick with commercial fishing, not fish farming. As I'm not a salmon addict, nor trout, I guess my choices are still out there, somewhere, free, or just about to be caught!
Paula Waqainabete
Nov 15, 2002
Well Fish is a major source of protein to the human and animal body, while supplying a number of vitamins and minerals, but sadly not as much as for vegetables and fruits.
If we eliminate fish for our food sources, we will have a devastating result due to the lack of protein in our diet. However, the choice of individuals on food preference such as fish is on texture, color and taste, whether deep fried, boiled, of oven baked.
I disagree with the notion of deleting fish from any diet because of the above factors.
thank you

Graham Smith
Brookside, NS
Nov 14, 2002
It is clear that aquaculture is not the salvation for wild stocks that we once hoped for. In the case of inner Bay of Fundy rivers, the disappearance of wild salmon is linked to the rapid growth of fish farms along the migratory path. Problems include concentrations of predators, of disease, and genetic degradation due to mixing of wild stock with farm escapees.
There are also concerns regarding the hormones added to the feed of the farmed fish and environmental problems associated with the farms.
All of this leads me toward favouring other means of catching fish and away from aquaculture. However we then need to focus on other problems. Overfishing is an international concern that keeps getting worse. Gill nets, including drift nets, and bottom dragging all need to be eliminated in favour of trapping and other selective harvesting methods.
If we are to continue to rely on farmed fish, then some big changes are needed. The pens need to be off the migratory path of wild fish; better yet is to place them on land where they can be properly managed. Consumers need to pay a little more for the product.
Thanks for the invitation to speak.

David Cozac,

Nov 14, 2002
In my opinion it is better to eliminate fish from your diet.

Toni Roberts
New Brunswick,
Nov 13, 2002
The obvious environmental choice is to remove fish from your diet. If we are committed to environmentalism, discontinuing the eating of non-human animals (and their derivatives such as milk), makes the most sense. It goes without saying that this is also good for non-human animals. And yes, non-human animals are more than able to maintain and monitor their own populations. Too bad that humans were not able to do so (over six billion and counting).
Christina Calder
Nov 13, 2002
I think farmed fish (aquaculture) has great potential. But before everyone jumps on the bandwagon, thorough environmental impact studies need to be done on EACH type of aquacultural process and on each of the potential sites. Over farming could be as big, if not a bigger problem than over fishing.
Ben Richards
Nov 13, 2002
Fish has been an essential part of mans diet. Industrialization of the fish industry has unfortunately over fished the oceans and seas. Net and ship sizes have increased. Leaving stocks dwelling close to collapse. It would seem however that fish farming would be the answer, but the environmental impact of fish farming is high, also the genetic effect on natural fish stocks.  Could the answer be as drastic as that mentioned by the EU, to ban all Cod fishing. So that stocks recover.
Dave from B.C.
Nov. 13, 2002
Everything in moderation, both farmed fish and commercially caught fish (when done
so in sustainable manners, and this can be done) will continue to be fed to my family.

Sharon Flatt,
Citizens Coalition
for Clean Air
Nov 13, 2002
Hello Forum!
About 8 years ago when I became pregnant, I was informed by various childbirth materials to avoid the consumption of fish. The reasons varied but were common in that the reasons were health based. Whether it was because of the high levels of mercury, or a number of other toxics it became clear to me that the health risks far outweighed any benefits that I might get from consuming fish. Bottom feeders like lobster, shrimp and crab are included in the health warnings for pregnant women and children. Now, with the obvious environmental degradation that accompanies farmed fish and sea fishing techniques, one has to wonder if anyone should consume fish ever again. I for one and my children for two more shall not. I am also a childbirth educator and include all fish products on a list of other unhealthy food choices to avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Thank You

Stephanie Coburn,
Nov 13, 2002
We have almost eliminated fish from our diet for those reasons; either you eat something that is caught unsustainably, or you eat something that is grown unsustainably. Also, farmed fish is vastly overrated--the Omega 3-5-9- content of fish fed an unnatural diet is very scewed, not at all as healthy as wild fish; there is almost no reason to eat it at all, since the kinds of fat on that kind of fish are not natural either.
Club ornithologique
du Madawaska
13 nov. 2002
Le poisson est l'animal le plus sain pour la santé. Cependant, il a été pêché si intensément qu'il serait un sacrilège de continuer de le cueillir en mer, même en quantité réduite. Il faudrait d'abord assurer la survie de toutes les espèces pélagiques, puis après, et après seulement, recommencer une pêche extrêmement contrôlée. 
Pour ce qui est des poissons d'aqua-culture, ils sont tellement entassés qu'ils sont sujets aux maladies. On les gave alors sans-doute d'anti-biotiques qui passent ensuite dans notre organisme. Ces poissons ont été sélectionnés selon des critères précis et ont un bagage génétique peu varié. Lorsqu'ils sont atteints de maladie et qu'il arrive à certains d'entre eux de s'échapper, ils vont ainsi infectés les poissons sauvages. Sans compter que des poissons originaires de d'autres régions peuvent eux aussi se mélanger avec des poissons autochtones s'ils s'évadaient eux aussi. 
Il faut mentionner également que les poissons d'eau douce provenant de l'aqua-culture nécessitent une quantité incroyable d'eau potable, richesse qui doit être préservée. 
Le poisson, non merci. Ainsi que toutes les autres viandes provenant de l'industrie alimentaire. Il y a trop de possibilité d'être infectés par des maladies.
Vaut mieux opter pour le végétarisme !

Susanna Fuller
Halifax, N.S.
Nov 12, 2002
The best choice would be to eat fish that is caught sustainably. Many groundfish, such as cod, haddock and halibut can be caught through hook and line. This not only reduces bycatch of other species, and does limited damage to the sea floor, but also selects for larger fish. Aquaculture fish is problematic for several reasons - high levels of toxins (BC salmon have been found to contain PCBs), habitat destruction (anoxia of the benthos), nutrient enrightment of surrounding waters (leads to blooms of algae), not to mention antibiotics and trace metals that are given to the salmon and eventually get into the environment and into people. Through consumer awareness and an increase in the amount of hook and line caught fish - we can sustain our coastal communities and continue to eat fish. 
Next time you go to the grocery store, ask them if they have hook and line fish. Get all your
friends to ask too. If there is a demand for this, similar to that for organic vegetables, the
market will deliver. 

Janice Harvey
Nov 12, 2002
Interesting question. I wonder, however, how much people know about fish farming? For example, it is really easy to know what fish are caught by dragging and what aren't, if you have any idea at all about the fishing industry. And there may be some farmed fish that aren't so bad in terms of environmental impact. You need to be an informed consumer to be able to answer the question.
Not mentioned is also the issue of mercury and other -persistent organic contaminants in certain wild (ie. tuna) as well as farmed fish. So dragging isn't the only issue to be concerned about. These issues are complex.

Gary Griffin,
Nov 12, 2002
Having done a lot of research on Farmed Atlantic Salmon and their effects on their wild counterparts - Farmed fish are a definite NO NO, especially when you know what the growers are feeding them. Dragging is also an environmentally damaging practice so I guess there is only one choice, Give up Fish !!

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