RE: NANFA-- How soon is now?

Bruce Stallsmith (
Tue, 09 Jul 2002 09:59:30 -0400

>I'm guessing that was John Volpe from Univ of Victoria. He's been right on
>it and done the important field studies. First response from the
>aquaculture industry was "They can't escape". They did. Then it was "They
>can't survive". They did. Then it was "They can't compete". They did.
>Then it was "They can't breed". They did.

Thanks Jay, it was Volpe. He's at the U. of Alberta now.

>I don't buy Atlantic salmon anymore, but I don't think a stop-buying
>approach will work. I'll take your advice a step further: Stop thinking
>cheaper is better. Atlantic salmon are yummy and cheaper in stores than
>wild-caught fish, so therefore are quite popular with consumers. If no one
>buys farm-raised fish the industry will fold. Who is going to feed the
>world then? One result will be that wild stocks already on the decline
>get slammed and never recover. I think we should encourage aquaculture now
>and in the future. I just think we need to hold the aquaculture industry
>higher standards-- don't allow escapees, treat effluent, and more-- and be
>willing to pay higher prices for their fish. The technology is there but
>Jay DeLong
>Olympia, WA

Volpe has an interesting economic analysis of cost/benefit for using
escape-proof nets for fish pens. Basically it doubles the cost of the fish.
Current nets ALWAYS have holes in them, probably even if they have divers in
the water 24/7 fixing holes. I thought it was hilarious that it's voluntary
for operators to report escapes; and fish that just "disappear" aren't even
counted as escapes! The numbers are in the tens of thousands annually for
fish releases.
Aquaculture could work, but there are huge hidden costs such as effluent
disposal that Jay alludes to. Exotic species introductions and physical
habitat alteration such as mangrove clearance are pretty common also. The
bottom line is that there are too many people on the planet, maybe by 5
billion or so... (Volunteers to go? HA!).

--Bruce Stallsmith
Huntsville, AL, US of A
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