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Good article on Tilapia farming from NYTIMES

Discussion in 'Just Kickin' It Lounge' started by emartin, May 3, 2011.

  1. emartin

    emartin Members

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    At the bottom of the NYTIMES website this morning, despite being overshadowed by other big news today, an article caught my eye. The NYTIMES has an article going over Tilapia fish farming in Honduras, and goes over health benefits and the potential detrimental effects on health (from farm-raised tilapia) and environmental effects.

    Link to the article:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/02/science/earth/02tilapia.html?hp



    I'll probably never eat Tilapia from a typical market. I'm not a big fish eater, but if I was to buy tilapia for eating I'd either contact Steve :)D) about sending over a couple 3ft emperor cichlid fillets or get organic (or wildcaught) tilapia fillets from Whole Foods...just my opinion. Corn is just about the worst food to feed in bulk to any food-animal, and the fact that the article mentions that the farm-tilapia feed is about equivalent to a low-grade cheap poultry feed is quite disturbing to me.
     
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    We'e about two maybe three steps away from Soylent Green or something similar...

    ...just to get animal protein. Fish farms suck - almost always come at the expense of the natural world but then that's the defining hallmark of our species. Other than oysters/shellfish, can't think of any other aquacultural propositions that aren't more or less calamitous, except for maybe some CCA fishrooms where one can see members like our very own redoubtable Don Antonio de Las Vacas Sucias (a.k.a. the "Principio Concreto") fondle obscure Rift Lake species and strip them of their young. If it wasn't for community pillars like him am sure there'd be anarchy in the streets rather than just on Wall Street.
     
  3. dogofwar

    dogofwar Global Moderators
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    There are myriad threats to ecosystems in impoverished places.

    I'd like to think that there are more sustainable ways to farm fish and that NGOs and governments could promulgate (or regulate) these practices.

    Humans need protein to survive. And they'll find it. Whether it be all of the large fish in a lake (guapotes are hard to find in the wild for a reason), massive numbers of small fish (like Victorian haps)...or even bush meat (I read a study in which the consumption of bush meat was inversely correlated to the availability of fish to eat). Vegetable sources of protein also come with potential impact to the environment.

    As far as seafood goes, tilapia is among the better (i.e. more sustainable, less dangerous) choices.

    Matt
     
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    Until they get into the native streams/lakes?

    "There are myriad threats to ecosystems in impoverished places."
    Is that supposed to make fish farms OK?

    "I'd like to think that there are more sustainable ways to farm fish and that NGOs and governments could promulgate (or regulate) these practices."
    You make it sound so easy. Enforcement in developing nations by governments?! We aren't or are just barely even getting it done for elephants/rhinos/tigers/gorillas, let alone for lesser species, primarily on account of corruption and resource limitations.

    Humans need protein to survive. And they'll find it.
    Like I said, soylent green.

    I read a study in which the consumption of bush meat was inversely correlated to the availability of fish to eat.
    I hope that's not a suggestion that we need more fish farms in 'fish-poor' regions of Africa.

    Vegetable sources of protein also come with potential impact to the environment.
    No comparison - you can feed 10-20 people on beans/corn/rice for what it takes to feed one on red meat and anyone that ciaims otherwise owns cattle or pigs.

    As far as seafood goes, tilapia is among the better (i.e. more sustainable, less dangerous) choices.
    "Better" in that context is a little like saying a rapist isn't as bad as a murderer. If the links below qualify as "more sustainable, less dangerous" then we are well and truly hosed.

    http://www.cabi.org/Uploads/File/CABIDotOrg/gisp%20report/gispeconomicstudies071607(2).pdf

    http://www-public.jcu.edu.au/public/groups/everyone/documents/news_item/jcuprd_033047.pdf

    Any bets on how long before we have tilapia in US waterways? And at what prodigious expense for a fish that isn't even necessarily good for you, nevermind the effects (read as extirpation) on other species.
     
  5. Nathan

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    I dont get it, I want my fish to taste like fish.
     
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    Apologies Matt-

    -up against it with the work, please forgive the strident nature of my previous post.
     
  7. Buckcich

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    Excuse my ignorance but what is Soylent Green ?
     
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    Google Search

    Answers all
     
  9. dogofwar

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    #9 dogofwar, May 3, 2011
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
    No worries, Brother Sam - I'm happy to be educated :)

    There's mixed info on Tilapia out there: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/SeafoodWatch/web/sfw_factsheet.aspx?gid=27

    I didn't realize that WHERE it's farmed is so significant...

    A good report: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/...edia/MBA_SeafoodWatch_FarmedTilapiaReport.pdf

    I believe that most of the aquacultured Tilapia (in the US at least) is hybrid and infertile (both to prevent invasion and so that it will have desirable food properties and cold hardiness.

    Matt

     
  10. Tony

    Tony Alligator Snapping Turtle/Past Pres
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    :happy0158:
     
  11. AndyNarwhal

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    Tilapia are loose in Florida waterways at least as far north as Brevard County (we would catch them in nets regularly). Probably throughout the entire southeast. They are not that cold tolerant so there is little chance of them spreading much beyond that and a good solid freeze every few years will keep their numbers in check.

    Properly regulated fish farming is a vital solution to feeding the world. Particularly in impoverished countries where desertification is destroying land crops. Environmentally it is a much better source of protein than beef or poultry.

    Harvesting wild fish may be better nutritionally but fishing pressures have most fish stocks on decline or even on verge of collapse.

    Ultimately the best solution would be fish farming of native species in each country. This reduces the spread of invasives, grows fish ideally suited to the environment, and creates a less competitive export market for unique fish which brings in greater revenues for poor countries. The only difficulty is finding these fish (which may not be suited for aquaculture), creating the infrastructure, and creating a demand for them.

    I mean, who wouldn't want to go to a market and find Emperor Cichlid filets from Africa, Midas Cichlid filets from Central America, Pacu from Brazil, etc... Instead of nothing but Tilapia and catfish filets from 6 different countries.

    Andy
     
  12. mchambers

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    Soylent Green

    It's a cult science fiction movie from the 1970s starring Charlton Heston, of all people.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green

    Interesting (and scary) to see that it was set in 2022, which is 11 years off, if my math skills are still working.

    In the movie, food is a scarce commodity. Interestingly, there is an emerging school of thought that commodities in general are becoming overused and will be more and more expensive in the years to come.

    http://www.gmo.com/websitecontent/JGLetterALL_1Q11.pdf

    http://etf-investment-ideas.blogspot.com/2011/04/jeremys-grantham-quarterly-newsletter.html

    I thought Sam's reference to Soylent Green was a pretty neat way of making his point.
     
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    Not technology that is needed...

    Ultimately the best solution would be for humans and their societies to live within and reinforce natural systems/limits rather than continuously and ineptly investing in the slippery slope of lesser and inherently flawed/ecologically deficient alternatives required when the natural 'resource' is depleted/wiped out. Very little about modern farming (fish or otherwise) that is "sustainable" - which means that ultimately we'll face subsequent rounds of alternatives that continue the cycle of deficit spending on/depletion of the environment. Natural systems are self-renewing - virtually all man-made surrogates have yet to accomplish anything remotely as efficient/elegant/enduring. Not rocket science or even a technological issue - it's 99%+ behavioral.
     
  14. Buckcich

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    Thanks Matt. That clarifies the surreal post or doesn't.....
    IMO some source of protein is better tham nothing, in some countries.
    In our country you allways have the option of not eating tilapia, in other parts of the world you don't have that luxury
     

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