As you may know, fish are a vital part of the ecosystem. In addition, they can play a role in a healthy diet. However, overfishing has created a problem worldwide, as many species of fish aren’t given enough time to repopulate.
Many people propose fish farming as a solution. However, some are now saying that fish farming creates more problems than it solves. There is evidence that fish farms are polluting the aquatic environment and spreading the disease to wild fish. In addition, some think that farmed fish provide fewer healthy nutrients and contain more toxins.
The Case Against Farmed Fish
In 2004, a global assessment of Farmed Salmon found 13 organic pollutants in the flesh of the fish. In addition, the study found that polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations (PCB) in farmed fish were eight times higher than in wild fish. PCB is listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the Environmental Protection Agency as potentially carcinogenic, or cancer-causing. It was these two findings that made the authors suggest that the consumption of farmed Atlantic salmon could be a health risk.
Polychlorinated Biphenyl Concentrations
The Center for Disease Control in the US has connected PBC with a number of health conditions through animal studies. These include cancer, immunosuppression, neurotoxicity, and reproductive and developmental toxicity. While more research, including human research, is needed. This trend leads some to believe that fish could be a health risk instead of a health boon.
Here’s the Issue
This new research has lead to a conundrum. First, we can eat wild fish. This option might be healthier; however, it can also harm the ecosystem. Overfishing is a real problem with severe consequences for the ocean. To combat overfishing, we can use farmed fish. While this might be better for the fish population, it might be hurting us more.
Fish are Healthy
There are many known health benefits for fish. Unlike many other types of meat, fish is naturally high-protein and low-fat. In addition, the oils in fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help maintain cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation, and reduce depression, to name a few.
What Can We Do?
So, what are we as health-conscious and earth-conscious consumers to do? In truth, there is no right answer. Perhaps we can look at supplements that can assist us in limiting the amount of fish that we eat. However, if you do this, make sure your supplement is from purified fish oil. This was it can be harvested sustainably from a farm without risk of PCBs. On the other hand, we can work on better farming methods. Finally, we can work to reduce the overfishing problem. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.
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