The Future of Fish Farms

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations just released its annual impenetrable report on fishing. [PDF file]

The conclusion of this 176-page report is a scant two paragraphs, which features some of the worst writing I’ve ever seen. It’s like they took someone who’s read a few fish industry articles, got him drunk, put a gun to his head, and made him write two paragraphs about the future of aquaculture in 45 seconds or less:

There is little doubt that worldwide aquaculture growth will slow, albeit with growth spurts for particular species and regions. The success of the industry is bringing out constraints that were only potential when it started to grow. These obstacles will not simply disappear. Persistent efforts will remove or reduce them, but then others will arise. However, it is equally true that aquaculture will continue to grow in response to demand for fish and seafood generally. It will not come to a standstill.

As aquaculture entrepreneurs – large and small, modern and artisanal – and governments increasingly collaborate to remove knowledge constraints (those they are best equipped to handle and those that yield the best returns for the effort), the aquaculture industry will start to reduce its dependence on wild stocks. Currently, its need for broodstock, seed and feeds slows development. Once this dependence has been reduced, the industry will start to benefit from gains similar to those long enjoyed by the livestock industry, in particular those of selective breeding.

In response to this train wreck of a report, Discover Magazine has published a nice blog entry containing a number of useful links. Link.