UN Says Aquaculture Could Solve Fish Collapse

aquaculture pond fishAquaculture, especially in ponds, may help preserve ocean fish species

Catching wild fish in the sea is now threatening to deplete many fish species from the world’s seas and oceans, including illegal tuna fishing in the Mediterranean Sea. With world population figures now topping 7 billion, an increasing demand is being made for fresh fish as a source of protein. This demand has resulted in an increase in fish farming, or aquaculture both in the oceans and seas themselves and in salt and fresh water ponds on dry land.

Aquaculture has grown significantly in North and South America, Europe, and in the Far East; particularly in Asian countries such as Thailand and China. Countries such as China grow carp; with China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and India growing  shrimps and prawns. Norway and Chile are growing salmon in aquaculture projects as well. These projects were noted  recently in a news report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The report sent to Green Prophet highlights the importance of aquaculture in supplementing the world’s growing demand for protein, especially fish.

Netting high protein

The high protein content of fish, plus nutrition supplements such as Omega 3 fatty acids are vital to health and help prevent conditions of malnutrition, increased brain function, and deterrents of heart disease and cancers.

Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries like Turkey, Israel, and Egypt, especially fresh water species like Tilapia, known as “musht” in Arabic, is helping countries like Egypt feed its growing population.

An FAO report entitled World Aquaculture Growth 2010  goes into detail regarding various aquaculture projects being carried out by countries all over the world. The report adds that:

“Achieving the global aquaculture sector’s long-term goal of economic, social and environmental sustainability depends primarily on continued commitments by governments to provide and support a good governance framework for the sector.”

Even areas where land availability is at a minimum, such as population dense Gaza, are also engaged in aquaculture. In Gaza, a small aquaculture project is being carried out by a Gaza marine engineer and sea captain, Sohail Ekhail who has been trying to provide his fellow Palestinians with nourishing fish by operating a fish farm on the outskirts of Gaza City.

Ekhail’s fish farm

While growing fish in the sea may cause some damage to coral and other marine habitations, as occurred with a fish farm in the Red Sea, off Israel’s coastal city of Eilat, the ultimate solution is growing fish in ponds instead of in the sea.

Or in your own tanks inside apartment buildings, like one Israeli entrepeneur has proposed.

With this in mind, the future of aquaculture looks bright, and will help to feed and nourish an increasing world population.

::FAO

Read more on aquaculture and related issues:

Accelerating decline of world oceans: Why it matters for the Middle East

Seaside, Gaza Fish Farmers Grow Own Fish

Fish Farming Isn’t so Evil After All

Eilat Fish Cages: Out of the Frying and into Ashdod harbor

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