The Aquaculture Myth: Seafood Farming's Impact | Choose Right Today

Today, aquaculture supplies half of the world’s seafood

Is it sustainable?

Feeding fish with fish

For every kilogram of a carnivorous fish species,
3 to 15 kg of wild fish feed is required.

These wild fish are often juveniles of other commonly consumed fish species, such as herring, sardines, and anchovies.

Some aquaculture operations may also source juvenile fish from the wild to grow out in farms.

Source: FAO SOFIA 2020, Research report on China’s trash fish fisheries Greenpeace East-Asia 2017,
The use of wild fish as aquaculture feed and its effects on income and food for the poor and the undernourished,
FAO Technical Guidelines For Responsible Fisheries

Habitat destruction & pollution

Mismanagement of aquaculture destroys and pollutes the very environment we raise our fish in.

Shrimp mariculture is responsible for 38% of the world’s mangrove loss.

Packing lots of fish together in one small space pollutes water with a mix of uneaten food pellets, dead fish, fish droppings. Overstocked pens also give rise to diseases and parasites, which are then controlled by using antibiotics and harmful chemicals.

Source: Mangroves: Nature’s Defence Against Tsunamis



As a new, rapidly growing sector, aquaculture is not yet managed and governed effectively.

In some countries, there are no dedicated legislation and regulations to control aquaculture practices. When there are, administration often spreads across several departments.

The enforcement of laws and regulations is also hindered by difficulties in obtaining an aquaculture license and the poor participation of local communities such as producer associations.

Source: FAO Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries

What you can do?

All of the above problems stem from the mismanagement of fisheries and aquaculture.

As consumers, you can help by:



Reduce the amount, frequency, and variety of seafood consumption



Choose sustainably caught or farmed seafood

Sustainable seafood is seafood that has been captured or farmed in a way that:

  • Minimizes harm to the marine environment
  • The population of the target species is not being overfished
  • Comes from well-managed fisheries or farms so that our oceans remain healthy

Choose right today

so fish and shellfish populations will thrive and be available for future generations.

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