Shrimp farming

Discussion in 'General Global Topics' started by Said1, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. Said1
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    Said1 VIP Member

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    You have to read a lot of these reports with a grain of salt, but I still think aquaculture is a disgusting practice and is not beneficial in the long run.

    Article
     
  2. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    I'm not sure WHY you see aquaculture as a "disgusting practice". The fact is that this is the way of the future. We face two choices - we can either continue to deplete worldwide fish stocks at the present pace and face the complete collapse of the ecosystem in about twenty years or we can turn to saltwater farming.
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    http://www.un.org/events/tenstories/story.asp?storyID=800
    Overfishing: a threat to marine biodiversity
    Despite its crucial importance for the survival of humanity, marine biodiversity is in ever-greater danger, with the depletion of fisheries among biggest concerns.

    Fishing is central to the livelihood and food security of 200 million people, especially in the developing world, while one of five people on this planet depends on fish as the primary source of protein. According to UN agencies, aquaculture - the farming and stocking of aquatic organisms including fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants - is growing more rapidly than all other animal food producing sectors. But amid facts and figures about aquaculture's soaring worldwide production rates, other, more sobering, statistics reveal that global main marine fish stocks are in jeopardy, increasingly pressured by overfishing and environmental degradation.

    “Overfishing cannot continue,” warned Nitin Desai, Secretary General of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, which took place in Johannesburg. “The depletion of fisheries poses a major threat to the food supply of millions of people.” The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation calls for the establishment of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), which many experts believe may hold the key to conserving and boosting fish stocks. Yet, according to the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) World Conservation Monitoring Centre, in Cambridge, UK, less than one per cent of the world’s oceans and seas are currently in MPAs.

    The magnitude of the problem of overfishing is often overlooked, given the competing claims of deforestation, desertification, energy resource exploitation and other biodiversity depletion dilemmas. The rapid growth in demand for fish and fish products is leading to fish prices increasing faster than prices of meat. As a result, fisheries investments have become more attractive to both entrepreneurs and governments, much to the detriment of small-scale fishing and fishing communities all over the world. In the last decade, in the north Atlantic region, commercial fish populations of cod, hake, haddock and flounder have fallen by as much as 95%, prompting calls for urgent measures. Some are even recommending zero catches to allow for regeneration of stocks, much to the ire of the fishing industry.
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    Another excellent article on overfishing (granted that Greepeace is not exactly objective, but the facts in the article are corroborated):
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    http://archive.greenpeace.org/oceans/globaloverfishing/sinkingfast.html#1.1
    1.1. Overfishing and Fisheries Collapse

    For the first time in this century, world marine fish catches are declining. The downward trend in marine productivity stands in stark contrast to the remarkable growth in world catches during most of this century -- from about 3 million tons in 1900 to a high of 86 million tons in 1989, when harvests peaked. To fisheries experts, recent declines are a warning that current levels of exploitation have exceeded the productive limits of many of the world's marine ecosystems. 1 A 1990 U.N. survey of world fisheries confirmed that view, classifying nearly every commercial species it surveyed as fully exploited, over-exploited, or depleted.

    Then, in 1992, the unimaginable happened: after being fished without interruption for almost 500 years, one of the world's most productive fisheries, the Canadian Grand Banks cod fishery of Newfoundland and Labrador, was closed. A resource that once seemed inexhaustible, and whose abundance was legendary, has been fished to the verge of commercial extinction and remains closed today. The immediate impact has thrown 40,000 people out of work in the fishing communities of Canada's maritime provinces, at a cost to the Canadian public of C$2 billion in unemployment assistance and retraining programs. The long-term costs of social dislocation, lost biological diversity, and potential ecosystem collapse have yet to be assessed.

    The story of the Grand Banks cod fishery is only the most spectacular recent example of a phenomenon seen in other commercial fisheries across the North Atlantic, the North Pacific and Bering Sea, and the west coast of Africa, where four decades of historically unprecedented exploitation have been conducted by the industrial fishing fleets of Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Japan. Today, about 70% of the world's marine fish stocks are considered heavily exploited, over-exploited, depleted or slowly recovering, and nine of the world's seventeen major fishing grounds are in serious decline. Most are in the developed countries of the Northern Hemisphere, where these fleets have operated the longest. 2

    Fisheries collapse on this scale only becomes intelligible when we understand the extent of industrial fishing operations in recent decades, though other factors contribute to the decline and intensify its effects locally. Complex interactions between global climate and ocean cycles, such as the El Niño, can disrupt marine currents and alter the abundance of microscopic plant and animal life which form the base of the ocean food chain, with profound effects. Destruction of coastal habitat and spawning grounds has cascading effects throughout the marine ecosystem, as do industrial and agricultural pollution. All of these factors are at work today, and they prove particularly lethal in semi-enclosed, low-energy marine environments such as the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. 3

    Overwhelmingly, however, the global fisheries crisis is a product of industrial overfishing. Modern factory fleets have transformed fishing into a globalized extraction industry dominated by multinational corporations and industrial economies of scale. Their combined fish-catching capacity is such that major fishing nations of the European Union could cut their fishing fleets by 40%, and Norway by 60%, with no reduction in harvests. 4 In the United States, overcapacity is a problem in many major fisheries; in the largest U.S. fishery, the North Pacific pollock fishery off Alaska, the Seattle-based factory trawling fleet has the capacity to harvest two to three times the total allowable catch every year. 5 In every major fishing nation the situation is the same: too many boats and too much fishing pressure on already stressed stocks are accelerating the downward spiral of fisheries production.
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    Yes, there are problems with aquaculture. Your article touches on one - the exhorbitant and inefficient use of space and the destruction of habitat. Other problems that have been brought to light are the concentration of fish feces, water contamination due to high ammonia content, disease in captive stock which spreads to the wild population, uneaten feed accumulation and oxygen depletion.

    But we have to rely on aquaculture not only to feed ourselves, but to prevent the extinction of many fish species. The effort needs to be in the area of improving aquaculture so that it uses less space and it's unpleasant and detrimental by-products must be controlled so that the environment is not polluted.
     
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  3. Said1
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    Holy term paper Merlyin! A for effort.
    At the present time I don't think it's sustainable, causes far to much environmental damage, and puts enormous pressures on wild fish stocks because they provide feed, escaped GM fish reproducing with wild species, spread of diseases, the use of anti - biotics ect. I am for sustainable development, but presently, I think aquaculture is becoming to widespread without viable solutions addressing environmental and health problems it creates for those invovled.
     
  4. Merlin1047
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    :) Sorry, but I wanted to provide a bit more than just my opinion, because you know what they say about those.

    I don't deny that there are problems with aquaculture endeavors as they are currently practiced. But I believe that aquaculture is presently in a stage much akin to the industrial revolution when it first got underway. Factories were dangerous, polluting places where workers were treated like a component of the machinery. Aquaculture is in its infancy and there will surely be a learning curve. I guess the trick is to ensure that environmental groups and government keep an eye on the corporations and develop methods of farming which have minimal impact on the environment.

    But I absolutely believe that without an extensive aquaculture effort we run the very immediate risk of fishing our oceans to extinction.
     
  5. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    I agree Said, but something about this article reminds me of all the warnings about eating canned tuna, and that in turn would kill all of the dolphins in the ocean.

    I often wonder just who's intrests some environmentalists are really concerned with.
     
  6. Said1
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    No problem, I was serious, I've seen the Green Peace item before. Was it my tone and the use of the word disgusting that you didn't like? J/K :D

    Risk assesment is still being developed in many countries, while at the same time continued attempts to use fisheries as the key to solving social and economic issues sometimes misses the basic fact that if these resources are overfished, they will not sustain either social or economic development. You are right, there is still much to be learned, but the speed with which the industry is growing and being implemented is not addressing serious problems which could arise in the future.Standarized enivronmental policies are a good start, although many argue that developing countries can't afford it, and developed nations will lower their enivrionmental standsards in order to compete calling it a bad thing - I don't agree there at all, total bullshit.

    Also, I'm am no stranger to Cod crisis in Atlantic Canada. The 200 mile expansion of the economic exclusion zone sharply cut back competition from foreign fleets, and Canadian fishermen just went nuts, and continued to do so even when serious depletion was noticeable in the mid 80's. Concrete measures attempting to rectify the situation were not adopted until the early 90's, and the industry has not recovered despite attempts to let stocks replenish themselves. Some fishermen switched to fishing crustations, but entire communities were devastated by their total dependence on cod fishing. I'll never forget watching the scenario unfold, knowing the future these people faced.

    So yes, I would have to agree that without aquaculture there is a serious risk of permenant depletion, but there is also a need to slow down the practice until cleaner and safer methods can be adopted.


    At the end of the day environmental groups are like any other business selling something. If there is no public interest, there isn't going to be a lot of funding. I agree most of these groups use exaggerated numbers and scare tactics, but in the case of fish farming (especially shrimp) protective measures have not caught up to the expanding use of farms and growing demand for shrimp, which is now not the luxory item it once was. As it stands now, I still think it's long term benefits are limited.
     
  7. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    I wonder when someone is going to claim that shrimp farms contributed to a higher death count from the recent earthquake disaster?
     
  8. Said1
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    Said1 VIP Member

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    Since it's an industry dominated by Euros, I think the war in Iraq will be the cause of higher death counts. :poke:

    I say blame it on Canadians, there's nothing happening up here these days. :D
     

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