Friday, November 04, 2016

Almost ten years to catch up.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Back in September 2006 I blogged about salmon farming and how the fish were given chemicals to achieve the level of colour that they got naturally by eating krill and wondered how long before it was realized it was cheaper to feed them the krill.

It wasn't long. Antarctic krill is already being overharvested to feed farmed salmon. Krill are tiny shrimp like creatures and are the staple diet of polar marine animals including penguins and whales. The krill are already under threat with the loss of the sea ice and parts of the ice shelf which forms the krill nursery.

The US National Enviromental Trust says fishing-industry figures indicate that a catch of 746,000 tonnes will be made n the coming season, 25 per cent above the quota set by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

The krill eat phytoplankton, everything else eats krill or the creatures that feed on krill. It's all about balancing the environmental ecosystems that exist in polar waters. I'm all for stopping whale hunts but we also have to take a good look at the smaller picture. 

Well anyone who watched the ABC programme this week will now know about the chemical they give Salmon for it's nice pink colour so we will pay a fortune for it.  Also the other stuff they feed the salmon instead of free ranging for food.
I'm all for Aquaculture but feeding great fish to Tuna so that it can be sold to some snobby Japanese or Australian restaurant for more money than I could rake up is right there with the salmon.
If the salmon don't get the krill or the chemical, the flesh would not be the bright jewell like colour everyone adores but just an ordinary fishy grey. I think it's nuts to find fish to feed other fish so we get to feed the profits.  Fish is a treat for me, I love it but not salmon, too rich and not raw tuna so I'm no fish snob.  Throw me a Barramundi like sardines to penguins and I would catch it without hesitation.

A gourmet meal for me is fish and chips from Queenscliffe, which has the best shop on the Bay. Find a nice corner on the sand, out of the wind, watch the waves and if one does want to put on airs, two paper napkins instead of one.


Elephant's Child said...

Feeding food that is not in the natural diet for our own greedy purposes doesn't usually end well.
Mad Cow Disease leaps to mind.

River said...

I'm with you, fish and chips on the sand. I'll bring my own blanket, okay?
Perhaps EC will join us?
I had no idea salmon weren't just naturally pink, didn't know the colour comes from krill.
Perhaps they could market plain fish colour salmon as environmentally friendly and/or a rare new species; that would have the Japanese sit up and take notice, they'd probably pay extra for it.
Fish farming is as problematic as any other food industry I guess. "They" want the biggest, brightest, best, and those who supply them want the profits.
It's all about the money.

Andrew said...

I felt very concerned when I first saw krill capsules on the chemist shelves. I thought, hey, the whales need them. We shouldn't be taking it from the sea. Little did I know how large the issue would become and how many creatures depend on krill, directly or indirectly. Humankind never stops, does it, as it continues to repeat its disastrous history.

Good post.

JahTeh said...

El Chi, What about the pink slush they used in Britain and America to fill out hamburgers. It was all the odds and end left over on the carcase?

River, I would kill for fish and chips right now. Flamingoes are pink from eating krill as well.
Canada had/has a problem with their farmed salmon escaping into the wild sea as they weren't supposed to be able to mate with their wild cousins, nature finds a way. The problem was if their 'non-producing genes' produced wild salmon who couldn't produce.

Andrew, I wouldn't take them either and who would know if they weren't farmed Krill just for the oil.
Do you remember the fuss of the butcher who was prosecuted for putting too much meat in his sausages? Apparently there must be a certain percentage of bread crumbs to meat and his gourmet snags were meat overload.

Ann ODyne said...

I wonder how the red salmon gets red.
when the krill hit town it's called upwelling and the whales come too - Portland, Vic has turned it into a traffic jam.
I'd kill for fish n chips right now as well.

DK said...

I understood that butchers were meant to put bread in the middle of their sausages so that they could make both ends meat.