Fish Farming Safety and Humans: The Bad and Evil
Fish farming is a dirty business, literally. For example, a small salmon farm can produce as much pollution as a large one. Just like pollutions that are made in the city, these salmon farms produce concentrated pollution in a small area of the ocean. Along with pollution, this dense blob of pollutants also carries diseases and parasites, such as the sea lice.
While the outside world is relatively unaware of these conditions, one particular case captured the world’s attention. Parasite sea lice infection caused by the salmon farm in British Columbia’s Broughton Archipelago caused a 99% infected rate of the wild salmon population. This event resulted in a 4 generation collapse of wild salmon population in that area, which was practically equal to local extinction of wild salmon. While those flaws of fish farming safety only have an indirect effect on humans, through the mean of environment, there are much more direct impacts that fish farming has on humanity.
The evil in fish farming is antibiotics. Due to the density of fish stocks in fish farming, operators are forced to face two choices: reduce stock density - thus reducing profit or use excess amount of antibiotics to keep the density high. Just like using antibiotics in cattle, the effects on human through consuming these antibiotic treated fish is unknown. Also, the antibiotic level in fish farming is higher and more consistent than cattle, due to the unnatural density of fish. Furthermore, the use of antibiotics in human food can also lead to antibacterial resistance in human diseases. Research has shown that bacterial resistance to antibiotics has increased drastically in some human cases.