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Re: NFC: Fw: Aquaculture

<Is aquacultre a good thing?In other words, can farm grown fish provide humans with fish to eat thereby relieving the pressure on wild stock?I am having a hard time getting a clear view of this issue. >
To get a better view on aquaculture and what it can be, go pick up a copy of "From Eco-Cities to Living Machines" by Nancy Jack Todd and John Todd. You can see how integration of aquaculture into society can bypass great amounts of machinery that in the end results expel toxic waste products. One example they use was in an experiment where a biological breakdown system (an aquaculture system) was used to process waste water from a household, eliminating the need for a waste water treatment plant.
Relieving pressure off commercial fisheries, speaking from my position I hold in the U.S. Coast Guard inspecting commercial fishing vessels, I can say no... I have not encountered a single commercial fisherman in my AOR that has converted from commercial fishing to an aquaculture based system. Two common quotes I hear from them are  (draw your own conclusions from where their train of thought is...) "It is too technical and expensive" and "Who would like to buy a fish that swims in its own excrements all day".  Nice logic huh? The only pressure relief is regulatory agencies and their rulebooks.
Now from the other end of the spectrum, look at tropical fish farming.  It relieves pressure off wild stocks, but the fish are utilized for a different purpose. In lower harvesting numbers compared to           commercial fishing operations of the world as a whole. If it wasn't for aquaculturists there would not be so many varieties of tropical fish, look at the varieties of a fancy guppy, without all genetic mapping and selected breeding we wouldn't have so many varieties to chose from.
Aquaculture just hasn't caught on yet on (as a whole or an industry, like American beekeeping) its not trendy or recognized like it should be. I am all for it and can see benefits on the horizon, but in reality it will take lots of legislation and enforcement policies to scale back commercial fisheries harvesting to make aquaculture more viable.  Then again look at aquacultureists that bring back endangered species populations......
I don't think anyone can legitimately say it is a bad thing. Unless you start dumping your exotic over breeding into the local lakes, ditches, ponds and streams (or allow them to accidentally escape into such). That's a whole other topic for another day.......
Be safe and happy fish hunting....
Chris Guppenberger
"Aquaculture is a durn good thing....."