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Thread: Fish farming is inevitable

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    Default Fish farming is inevitable

    The commercial exploitation of wild species as a food source cannot be the future of food production. Fish protein will progressively come from fish farms of a variety of type. World population is projected to reach 7 billion this September, and 9 billion some 40 years later. The house of cards called civilization is ever reaching a tipping point.

    I know wild fish stock fishing is a proud and honored tradition and occupation, but the cost of fish protein must come down. Wild stock costs will only go up.

    Are We Prepared as World Population is Set to Breach 7 Billion Soon?

    The 9 billion-people question

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    You have a point Leaky. Why don't we just cut to the chase and enhance the kenai systems w/ atlantic salmon and tilapia? After the Big Su dam floods the su valley we could plant carp!
    Here I'll repeat myself --
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    I don't know, what do you guys think would be quieter? if everybody in AK moved or we taped everybody in Juneaus mouth shut and took away their internet. I'm thinking the latter...





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    Lightbulb Other options . .

    Quote Originally Posted by LeakyBucket View Post
    The commercial exploitation of wild species as a food source cannot be the future of food production. Fish protein will progressively come from fish farms of a variety of type. World population is projected to reach 7 billion this September, and 9 billion some 40 years later. The house of cards called civilization is ever reaching a tipping point.

    I know wild fish stock fishing is a proud and honored tradition and occupation, but the cost of fish protein must come down. Wild stock costs will only go up.

    Are We Prepared as World Population is Set to Breach 7 Billion Soon?

    The 9 billion-people question
    Well, maybe and maybe not, Leaky. Speaking for our family—our son, daughter-in-law and four kids, our daughter, son-in-law and three kids, and my wife and I—if it came to that we'd skip the farmed fish, as we currently skip feed-lot beef, broiler house chickens, and hog-farm pork, and get our dietary needs from more veggies and grains.

    As it is now, a portion of "meat" to any of us is four ounces or less with some few meals each week being intentionally vegetarian . . can't get to vegan. Consider the burgeoning "farmer's markets" around the country and the growing trend to vegetarianism.

    So there is that option . . skip the "farmed" meat whether fish or whatever. But do not disturb the folks who do eat that stuff . . that is evolution-in-process . .

    Read The China Study . .
    http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=colin+campbell+china+study&tag=g ooghydr-20&index=stripbooks&hvadid=5165080887&ref=pd_sl_89 6x7l56lo_b

    When we do eat meat it's either wild or organic. Costs more, but we think it's worth it.

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    Default i agree

    i agree with what marcus said.

    i will find something else to eat. as i do now, as much as possible. something wild or organic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    You have a point Leaky. Why don't we just cut to the chase and enhance the kenai systems w/ atlantic salmon and tilapia? After the Big Su dam floods the su valley we could plant carp!
    Emotional hyperbole does not solve problems, and inevitably produces fake solutions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    Well, maybe and maybe not, Leaky. Speaking for our family—our son, daughter-in-law and four kids, our daughter, son-in-law and three kids, and my wife and I—if it came to that we'd skip the farmed fish, as we currently skip feed-lot beef, broiler house chickens, and hog-farm pork, and get our dietary needs from more veggies and grains.

    As it is now, a portion of "meat" to any of us is four ounces or less with some few meals each week being intentionally vegetarian . . can't get to vegan. Consider the burgeoning "farmer's markets" around the country and the growing trend to vegetarianism.

    So there is that option . . skip the "farmed" meat whether fish or whatever. But do not disturb the folks who do eat that stuff . . that is evolution-in-process . .

    Read The China Study . .
    http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=colin+campbell+china+study&tag=g ooghydr-20&index=stripbooks&hvadid=5165080887&ref=pd_sl_89 6x7l56lo_b

    When we do eat meat it's either wild or organic. Costs more, but we think it's worth it.
    The luxuries that cloud the thinking of 100s of millions of Americans is beside the point. The discussion is not one of simply shifting people's calorie source from one location in the food pyrimid to another. As your link to the book aptly points out this shifting is already done by societies in many parts of the world.


    The 800lb gorilla is the ever increasing fragility of the world food supply systems. The world cannot afford to rely on any one source. calories and nutrition must be gotten from a variety of sources.

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    I'll turn to tree bark and red squirrel sandwiches before I eat farmed fish.

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    Cool Change happens . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by LeakyBucket View Post
    The luxuries that cloud the thinking of 100s of millions of Americans is beside the point. The discussion is not one of simply shifting people's calorie source from one location in the food pyrimid to another. As your link to the book aptly points out this shifting is already done by societies in many parts of the world.

    The 800lb gorilla is the ever increasing fragility of the world food supply systems. The world cannot afford to rely on any one source. calories and nutrition must be gotten from a variety of sources.
    Luxuries or idiocies, Leaky, take your pick.

    As to a growing need to diversify humanity's food sources, I agree. Personally, I think food supplies will increasingly bypass animal protein, and I believe food sources will become more localized.

    Unless, of course, Monsanto has their way with us . .


    "We have lived by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. And this has been based on the even flimsier assumption that we could know with any certainty what was good even for us. We have fulfilled the danger of this by making our personal pride and greed the standard of our behavior toward the world - to the incalculable disadvantage of the world and every living thing in it. And now, perhaps very close to too late, our great error has become clear. It is not only our own creativity - our own capacity for life - that is stifled by our arrogant assumption; the creation itself is stifled.

    We have been wrong. We must change our lives, so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and to learn what is good for it. We must learn to cooperate in its processes, and to yield to its limits. But even more important, we must learn to acknowledge that the creation is full of mystery; we will never entirely understand it. We must abandon arrogance and stand in awe. We must recover the sense of the majesty of creation, and the ability to be worshipful in its presence. For I do not doubt that it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it. (pg. 20, "A Native Hill")"

    Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry)

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    Quote Originally Posted by nitroshrew View Post
    ... red squirrel sandwiches before I eat farmed fish.
    Is that a like pulled pork sandwich.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post

    As to a growing need to diversify humanity's food sources, I agree. Personally, I think food supplies will increasingly bypass animal protein, and I believe food sources will become more localized.
    This is a laudable goal. I wish it would solve the problem, but it can't. Human populations are reaching the point that local food supplies cannot possibly supply all the need. Shipment of calories must occur, just as shipment of water must occur.

    As I stated the world system we call civilization is more and more a house of cards.


    But even more important, we must learn to acknowledge that the creation is full of mystery; we will never entirely understand it. We must abandon arrogance and stand in awe. We must recover the sense of the majesty of creation, and the ability to be worshipful in its presence. For I do not doubt that it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it. (pg. 20, "A Native Hill")"


    — Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry)
    A mystical view of nature will not help us in the least.

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    Question Bottom line?

    But even more important, we must learn to acknowledge that the creation is full of mystery; we will never entirely understand it. We must abandon arrogance and stand in awe. We must recover the sense of the majesty of creation, and the ability to be worshipful in its presence. For I do not doubt that it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it. (pg. 20, "A Native Hill")" — Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry)
    Quote Originally Posted by LeakyBucket View Post
    A mystical view of nature will not help us in the least.
    But there's a big difference in admitting creation is full of mystery and saying nature is mystery. Berry is not a mystic, he's a farmer in, I think, Tennessee. And as such, Berry is quite aware of the non-mystical, practical aspects of agriculture.

    So what's your bottom-line here? That civilization will collapse and we'll all starve to death? Birth control? Euthanasia? Fish farming will save us? What's your point?

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    Speaking of squirrels i'm thinking we may need to start farming them to feed the Hmongs. I've been hearing the Hmong hunting gangs have been putting the hurt on the wild stocks





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    Propagandized alarmist positions like this thread will not convince us to praise fish farming. For one thing, the wild stocks of fish are not going to collapse from commercial harvesting (there's much greater danger from the tourist-driven "sport" sector, ya know). Humans have been commercial fishing for thousands of years. We regulate commerical fishing to take what the ocean provides, not what society needs. As long as escapements are met, we can continue commercial fishing forever.

    Similar to the concept of replanting corn every year, we can "replant" fish every year as well. Hatchery enhancement of natural salmon stocks is sound, practical, and it simply works. There's no need to resort to fish farming, especially when you consider that fish farms are a negative output operation. They must feed the salmon about 110% or more of the weight in fish protein from other sources than the final salmon product they get out. It's not much unlike wasting corn to produce ethanol at a net loss in energy while at the same time removing product from the food chain. For farming salmon, you have to remove another food source just to feed the salmon. It's a net loss and a foolish concept.

    No one is even going to notice this magic "7 Billion" mark when we get there. And 36% of those 7 Billion people are in stuffed in China and India. The United States has only 300 Million people, which is about 4% of the world's population. This is not "our" problem. This is Asia's problem.

    However, humans are part of the natural cycle and are subject to nature's laws. Even though we have the ability to work as a community, there is a point where the cycle must bust. Many places are already there and have been for quite some time. When there is not enough food for the local population, it dies off. You can hold up rabbit and deer cycles as classic examples of how this works in the wild. The young, old, and weak die off first. With humans, the bullies (think rebel groups armed with AK's) take the food and leave the young, old, and weak to die (or they just kill them outright).

    At any rate, humans are not even close to the most populous critters on this Earth. Not only by quantity, but by shear weight, we are far outnumbered by everything from ants to birds to fishes in individual populations. The Earth produces enough food for all of them plus all of us every year. The difference being, in the wild the animals move to the food sources, while humans have restricted themselves on movement when a few claim ownership of huge tracts of surface area and then don't let other humans enter these areas. So, the food must be harvested remotely and moved to where the people are stuck. This is a population self-limiting behavior and the reason why such a large percentage of humans are starving to death, even today. And it's not just as simple as sending just $29.95 per month to feed these isolated populations. At best, that is a short-term band-aid for only a handful of people.

    Now, here's something for you to think about when considering the world population... you can take these 7,000,000,000 people and put all of them in our smallest state of Rhode Island (which covers 776,957 acres or 33,844,246,920 square feet) and each person can have a full 4.8 square feet of ground to themselves. Wouldn't even be as crowded at Disneyland on a hot summer weekend. Though it doesn't leave much room for portapotties, so that's gonna be an issue.
    Winter is Coming...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    . . There's no need to resort to fish farming, especially when you consider that fish farms are a negative output operation. They must feed the salmon about 110 percent; or more of the weight in fish protein from other sources than the final salmon product they get out. . .

    Now, here's something for you to think about when considering the world population... you can take these 7,000,000,000 people and put all of them in our smallest state of Rhode Island (which covers 776,957 acres or 33,844,246,920 square feet) and each person can have a full 4.8 square feet of ground to themselves. Wouldn't even be as crowded at Disneyland on a hot summer weekend. Though it doesn't leave much room for portapotties, so that's gonna be an issue.
    Good post, JOAT.

    And that's the problem with the production of nearly all animal protein . . net loss.

    Thomas Sowell said, a few years back in one of his books, that you could take every person in the world, arrange them in groups of four to represent a family, put each group on a piece of ground 100' X 150' to represent a city lot, and they'd all fit in the state of Texas. The world's food "problem" isn't production, it's distribution.

    Life will go on . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    Propagandized alarmist positions like this thread will not convince us to praise fish farming.
    But will the laws of economics ever be realized by the hunter-gatherers of our society?

    Alaska banned fish farming here due 100% to the power of the commercial fishing interests in this state. Did it stop reality? Farmed salmon has just recently overtaken farmed shrimp as the world's largest aquaculture product:

    http://www.umb.no/statisk/ior/ageconlaks.pdf

    The Japanese (who eat 40% of the world's salmon harvest) prefer fresh farmed salmon over frozen wild salmon. And so it was that the Alaska salmon market price crashed as the farmed salmon industry grew. Alaska wild salmon prices are just now slowly rebounding and still not where they were at their high in the late 1980's. There simply isn't enough demand as Americans won't eat salmon at the outrageous prices demanded.

    The evolution of man from a hunter-gatherer society to an agrarian society in Mesopotamia some 5,000 years ago is still ignorantly defied by many in Alaska. As long as the population here remains so low, Alaskans might continue to fool themselves. But those days are slowly coming to an end.

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    Cool Not so fast . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by boomerang View Post
    But will the laws of economics ever be realized by the hunter-gatherers of our society?

    Alaska banned fish farming here due 100&#37; to the power of the commercial fishing interests in this state. Did it stop reality? Farmed salmon has just recently overtaken farmed shrimp as the world's largest aquaculture product:

    http://www.umb.no/statisk/ior/ageconlaks.pdf

    The Japanese (who eat 40% of the world's salmon harvest) prefer fresh farmed salmon over frozen wild salmon. And so it was that the Alaska salmon market price crashed as the farmed salmon industry grew. Alaska wild salmon prices are just now slowly rebounding and still not where they were at their high in the late 1980's. There simply isn't enough demand as Americans won't eat salmon at the outrageous prices demanded.

    The evolution of man from a hunter-gatherer society to an agrarian society in Mesopotamia some 5,000 years ago is still ignorantly defied by many in Alaska. As long as the population here remains so low, Alaskans might continue to fool themselves. But those days are slowly coming to an end.
    The report you cited, boom, was written eight years ago, and things change. Does farmed salmon still enjoy the market position, price advantage, and so-called customer preference today that it did eight years ago? I doubt it for more reasons than one. Consider the following, more recent bit of information:

    Kaiten Sushi: how to have fun and eat safely in “sushi bars” (Part 1)Japan has introduced many novel ideas to the World’s food culture, including sushi and sashimi. These fresh, raw pieces of fish are enjoyed with soy sauce and some horseradish. Sushi, where the fish is placed on top of rice, has become especially well-known outside of Japan. In this issue we take a close look at the safety problems related to farmed salmon.
    The most important advice is to avoid the farmed salmon. The reason sushi bars prefer farmed salmon is that they do not contain a certain parasite, which thrives on natural salmon. Also, farmed salmon is generally cheaper than when salmon is caught wild in rivers or in the ocean.

    PCBs and farmed salmon

    Farmed salmon is a serious matter. In 2003, the US consumer organization Environment Working Group (EWG) has released a report on dangerous chemicals in farmed salmon. The report tested farmed salmon and found high levels of PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) at levels that exceeded safety recommendations. PCBs are thought to cause cancer. Especially farmed salmon from Europe were found to be really high. EWG recommends that one should not consume farmed salmon more than once a month.

    The problem is the feed. The fish feed contains low levels of PCBs that accumulate in the fat of salmon. Fish fat is generally to be recommended as very healthy, but not when it comes from farmed salmon. In Japan, salmon sold in supermarkets and fish shops has to be clearly labeled to give the consumer a choice between farmed and wild salmon. In the sushi bar, however, you do not get such labels.


    Second, the transition over the past five millennia from hunter-gatherer to agrarian societies does not represent "evolution" in any classic sense but is more understood as "development," and history is replete with any number of failed developments. Whether farmed salmon is sustainable economically and biologically over the long haul remains yet to be seen. Time will tell. Heck, do we even know whether feed-lot beef is sustainable economically and biologically over the long haul?

    Life goes on . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    The report you cited, boom, was written eight years ago, and things change. Does farmed salmon still enjoy the market position, price advantage, and so-called customer preference today that it did eight years ago?


    The trend continues:

    http://www.thefishsite.com/articles/12/can-quality-revitalize-the-alaskan-salmon-industry

    Moreover, the agrarian approach to seafood will follow the agrarian approach that has overtaken every other type of foodstuffs, whether it's animal protein or agriculture.


    I doubt it for more reasons than one. Consider the following, more recent bit of information:


    Second, the transition over the past five millennia from hunter-gatherer to agrarian societies does not represent "evolution" in any classic sense but is more understood as "development," and history is replete with any number of failed developments. Whether farmed salmon is sustainable economically and biologically over the long haul remains yet to be seen. Time will tell.
    Indeed, but I'm already pretty convinced. If the industry fights the inevitable, it will simply take longer to "evolve" or "develop" to fit, whichever you prefer.

    Heck, do we even know whether feed-lot beef is sustainable economically and biologically over the long haul?


    I think the subsistence issue here in Alaska pretty well settles that question, doesn't it? Certainly people in the Midwest aren't eating wild bison anymore. They eat beef. Ranched beef. So it will be here eventually.

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    Thumbs up Farming the oceans . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by boomerang View Post
    . . Moreover, the agrarian approach to seafood will follow the agrarian approach that has overtaken every other type of foodstuffs, whether it's animal protein or agriculture.

    I think the subsistence issue here in Alaska pretty well settles that question, doesn't it? Certainly people in the Midwest aren't eating wild bison anymore. They eat beef. Ranched beef. So it will be here eventually.
    For what it's worth, we eat (ranched) bison . . raised and butchered in the midwest, brought up here in freezers early every summer by the rancher, and sold locally. True story. But we're an obvious exception, and your point is well-taken.

    However, at the same time, people still eat lamb, and lamb is still the original, free-range animal. Try thinking, thus, of wild salmon, given our management of them, as really free-range, farmed fish.

    Allowing lamb to range free doesn't make us primitive hunter-gatherers any more than does our active management of free-range fish. Managing the oceans' productivity is really a form of agrarianism. We're, as it were, farming or ranching the oceans.

    Keep in mind the mandate given our fisheries' managers: Sustained Yield. Same mandate any rancher works under.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus View Post
    But there's a big difference in admitting creation is full of mystery and saying nature is mystery. Berry is not a mystic, he's a farmer in, I think, Tennessee. And as such, Berry is quite aware of the non-mystical, practical aspects of agriculture.
    Then he should have picked his words better.


    So what's your bottom-line here? That civilization will collapse and we'll all starve to death? Birth control? Euthanasia? Fish farming will save us? What's your point?
    My point is exactly as stated. Fish farming is inevitable. Nothing more grandiose than that. World demand will drive it and not local politics.

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    Smile Fish farming in Alaska . .

    Quote Originally Posted by LeakyBucket View Post
    Then [Berry] should have picked his words better.
    Well, that's quite a statement considering Wendell Berry is one of the most articulate men and most widely read authors in America today . .

    ( http://www.amazon.com/Wendell-Berry/e/B000AP9MQS )


    Quote Originally Posted by LeakyBucket View Post
    My point is exactly as stated. Fish farming is inevitable. Nothing more grandiose than that. World demand will drive it and not local politics.
    My point stands as well . . that fish farming, driven by the market, is already here, in Alaska and elsewhere, in pens and free-range.

    Let me leave you with another quote from Berry:

    "We can not live harmlessly or strictly at our own expense; we depend upon other creatures and survive by their deaths. To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of creation. The point is, when we do this knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament; when we do it ignorantly, greedily, clumsily, destructively, it is a desecration...in such desecration, we condemn ourselves to spiritual and moral lonliness, and others to want."

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