Farmed fish may be safe for humans but not for the oceans

So it looks like the FDA is going to approve the sale and consumption genetically altered salmon.

The AquAdvantage Atlantic salmon contains a growth hormone from the Chinook salmon, which causes it to grow twice as quickly as regular Atlantic salmon. By the way, you really should check out the company’s website; this is a company concerned about technology and intellectual property and the bottom line, not animal welfare.

Here is a photo that compares one of their salmon (background) to a normal Atlantic salmon (foregound).

Genetically modified salmon

Even if I did eat fish, I can’t imagine eating something that has been genetically modified to get fat quickly. Do we really know the long-term effects of “get fat fast” fish on human bodies?

But that’s not what I’m most concerned about.

I’m most concerned about the impact on the oceans of farmed fish.

The FDA said the these salmon “posed little risk to the environment.”

I find this assessment hard to believe, because the FDA doesn’t regulate the oceans. It can’t know the repercussions of an expanding salmon industry on the oceans around the world.

Farmed fish typically are fed food from the ocean. That is, fisherman suck up or net vast quantities of krill and sardines and other small creatures to feed to the salmon.

Yes, it is rather ironic that we must fish for food to feed to fish.

Already there are numerous signs that the overfishing of the oceans is having a negative impact on creatures that depend on these fish. Like the Magellanic and African penguins, which now must swim farther from their nests to find food for their young. The reason they’re traveling further is because the fishing boats are taking the food that is closest to shore.

And what if the farmed fish industry continues to grow? What will the impact on penguins be then? I doubt the FDA takes penguins into account when it approves genetically modified salmon. But it should. Until the regulators of the world take a more holistic approach to the fishing industry, we will continue to deplete the oceans.

Everything is connected.

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