The Aquaculture Industry
Extensive research shows that the escape of farmed sh
into the wild can result in competition for food andspace with native species.² In October 2009, for exam-ple, 60,000 salmon escaped from a Lighthouse Cale-donia facility in Argyll, Scotland – more than the totalnumber of escapes the previous year – raising concernsabout the spread of disease to threatened wild salmonpopulations.
In the United States, a study at a Hawaiian aquaculture
facility found that sh farm cages, even in deep oceanwaters, had “grossly polluted” the sea oor and “severely
depressed” marine life at some sampling sites very close
to the sh cages. Over the course of 23 months, these
effects had spread to sites up to 80 meters away.
KonaBlue Water Farms, an aquaculture company based inHawai’i, has a questionable track record – from killinga 16-foot tiger shark in the fall of 2005,
to losing cagesin the spring of 2011.
Hawai’i Oceanic Technology, a
sh farm that has a lease to grow tuna in Hawaiian statewaters, takes about 42 pounds of wild sh to create 10pounds of marine farmed sh.
The Soy Industry
The use of soy as a non-sh protein in aquaculture
feeds is growing. This trend is due to research fundingfrom various soybean industry groups.
Since 1995, theUnited Soybean Board has funded research to develop a
market in farmed-raised sh; this program has increasedsoybean meal in sh feed from 0 to 5 million metric tons
within ten years.
There are several U.S. soy industrygroups that are members of a trade organization thatadvocates for open ocean aquaculture
and could stand
to benet from the increase in feed that factory sh farms
would require. Europe is already over reliant on import-ed soy for its industrial livestock and poultry industries,and it should be moving away from its dependence onimported soy, not looking to increase demand for it with
factory sh farming.
The Copper Industry
The nutrient-rich water surrounding factory sh farm
cages enhances the growth of algae and other organisms,together called bio-foulants.
Copper is used in aquacul-ture to combat these foulants as well as a food additive.
Metal toxicity may impact the biodiversity of animals
living on the sediment near nsh farms.
The increasedmetals in the sediment can affect reproduction successand survival of individual organisms.
living on the sediment are food for other animals; met
-als like copper can bioaccumulate up the food chain.
Human consumption of too much copper creates healthproblems.
The International Copper Association is amember of a U.S. trade organization that advocates forthe open ocean aquaculture industry.
Cargill created a team dedicated to aquaculture feedproducts in the 1990s.
In April 2001, Cargill acquiredAgribrands International, Inc.
The Chairman and Chief
Executive Ofcer of Cargill stated that this merger was,
“clearly of strategic importance to Cargill.”
Combined,the two companies control 178 animal nutrition plants,108 of which were in the United States.
Purina is now producing several lines of sh feed un
-der the Cargill name.
In May 2004, Cargill acquired
another sh feed production company, Burris Mill. The
vice president of Cargill Animal Nutrition was quoted assaying, “Aquaculture is the primary focus of Burris Mill,and Cargill intends to increase its presence in this indus-try.”
Through Cargill’s business in feed production the
ffshore aquaculture is factory sh farming of the sea, growing sh in huge,
often over-crowded cages out in ocean waters. It can be problematic for boththe environment and the economy. The waste – fecal matter, uneaten food, and any
chemicals or drugs used in the operation – ows directly into the ocean, and theresult could be long-term damage to the seaoor.
Despite its negative impacts, the
following groups push for, or would prot from, factory sh farming in the United
States and Europe.
Who’s Benetting fromFactory Fish Farming?