Factory Fish Farming | Food & Water Watch
Factory fish farming — also known as aquaculture — is generally big, dirty, and dangerous, just like factory farming on land. Around half of the seafood eaten in the entire world comes from these types of facilities as producers attempt to produce fish as cheaply as possible. Massive amounts of antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides are required to keep disease at bay just to keep fish and shrimp alive in overcrowded conditions (typically in nets, cages, or ponds). The risk of contamination is high, both to the surrounding water and within the enclosures themselves. Multinational corporations have forever changed the way food is grown on land to the detriment of public health, the environment, local communities and food quality itself, and they are poised to do the same in the water.
Unfortunately, even though people have become increasingly conscious about the environmental, cultural and economic repercussions of their seafood choices, the U.S. government continues to push for the development of open ocean aquaculture. The federal government has already spent millions to promote this troubled industry, despite poor results.
Bad for the environment
Uneaten fish feed, fish waste, and any antibiotics or chemicals used in fish farm operations flow through the cages directly into the ocean. This can significantly harm the ocean environment. Caged fish can escape and compete for resources or interbreed with wild fish and weaken important genetic traits. Farmed fish can spread disease to wild fish.