What Are The Pros And Cons Of Farmed Fish?


Imagine you are at the grocery store and are trying to decide if you should buy the wild fish or if the farmed fish. To decide you need to learn The Pros And Cons Of Farmed Fish. Keep reading to answer your question, and educate yourself.

Wild vs Farmed Explained

Wild fish are exactly what they sounds like, fish that live in the wild and are caught by fisherman. Farming fish on the other hand can take place in a variety of ways. Farmed fish can be held in ocean pens, as well as in inland ponds, lakes and tanks. Wild or farmed, both allow fish to be raised and harvested responsibly, if well cared for.

Today, farmed fish currently provide about one-third to one-half of the world’s seafood supply. This includes fish as well as shellfish. This number is still on the rise, and it allows producers to keep up with the demand for seafood.

Some types of fish are primarily farmed, whereas others are still fished from the wild in addition to farming. However, because demand is ever increasing for fish, farming is on the rise to keep up. Trout, tuna and salmon are often caught wild as well as farmed, in order to maintain a supply that meets the demand. Other types of fish such as tilapia and catfish are mostly farm raised. Below is a list of fish that are primarily farmed today.

Farmed Fish


Rainbow Trout


Mahi mahi
Sea Bass
Steelhead Trout
Yellowtail (amberjack, himachi)

Pros of Farming Fish

There are many benefits to farming fish. Farmed fish in general, tend to grow faster than wild fish. They also have a richer taste, and tend to be more tender when eaten. Another pro of farming fish is that, farmed fish can be harvested without the stress and damage that is caused when wild fish are harvested with a hook or net. Farmed fish are processed earlier and therefore more fresh, because they are cleaned closer to when they were caught. Also, farming fish allows the ecosystems to not be thrown off balance by overfishing the wild populations.

Cons of Farming Fish

While farming fish can be a better option, not all fish farmers handle it responsibly. There have been occurrences where contamination was spread from farmed fish in ocean pens. Salmon and tuna are often farmed in ocean pens and nearby water can sometimes become contaminated with waste products, food and antibiotics from the farmed fish. Fish meal that is fed to salmon and tuna, whether raised in the ocean or not, has been discovered to sometimes increase the levels of environmental toxins, specifically dioxins, such as PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl), in the flesh of farmed fish. Other fish, such as tilapia and catfish feed off vegetarian pellets, and don’t encounter dioxin problems.

While there are both positives and negatives to farming fish, if it is done responsibly it could actually be a good thing. Fish consumption is known to be a healthy meat alternative. Because of this, the demand for all types of fish is ever increasing. In order to keep up with the demand, farmed fish is a necessity and avoid overfishing the wild population.

Perhaps you have wondered What Are The Pros And Cons Of Farmed Fish? While there are many benefits, there are also negatives associated with farmed fish if the fish are not cared for responsibly. If cared for responsibly, farmed fish can be a great way to keep up with the ever increasing demand for various types of fish.

What is your favorite kind of fish?

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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