The article, “Why Salmon Eating Insects Instead of Fish is Better for the Environment,” by Heather Brady was posted onto National Geographic news on February 5, 2018. The article discusses the aquaculture of salmon and how replacing fish-based feed to insect-based feed has many positive effects on the fish and environment. Aquaculture is the process of raising fish for human consumption. It has been implemented around the world and has both good and bad effects on the environment. The article states that most of the salmon people eat come from aquaculture, displaying that it is a huge worldwide business. Normally, salmon feed consists of ground up fish and other nutrients that are required for the salmon to grow properly. Obtaining this kind of food is difficult and harmful towards the environment. This is due to the fact that the fish used in the feed must be caught, which can cause things like over fishing and the accidental catching of endangered marine species. The use of fish-based feed also has a negative impact on humans by introducing unhealthy toxins like mercury into the fish’s body which are later consumed. A Netherlands based company called Profix is aiming to fix this problem by creating their fish feed from insects. Insects are terrestrial creatures; therefore, they don’t contain human caused ocean toxins. They are also easier to raise and are an abundant source of protein for the salmon.
The insect-based feed is apparently more expensive, as of now, but is projected to lower in price due to the low cost of raising insects. The benefits of this type of feed are huge from an economic standpoint. The fishing industry contributes to a large portion of the world’s economy. Many coastal regions around the planet use fishing as their main source of food and economy. However, many human effects are causing the world’s oceans to be under an unsurmountable amount of stress. Things like over fishing is causing fish populations to dwindle as humans catch more fish than the population can sustain. At the same time, pollution from human waste and run off are causing the ocean to be littered with toxic materials. The heating of the climate is causing things like coral to die out, which is a basis for the marine ecosystem.
The integration of this new fish feed product helps cut out one of those environmental effects, while keeping the toxicity of fish at a lower level for human consumption. Farming fish proves to be a beneficial activity for producing enough fish to feed humans. By raising the fish for the sole purpose of being eaten, the over fishing of wild fish populations can be prevented, and since the feed does not have to be fished for, the accidental damage to other marine species can be prevented. The integration of this product in our global aquaculture systems may help elevate the ocean’s struggle to maintain biodiversity. This, in turn, allows for humans to have a more stable source of fish and benefits the global economy.