Speakingout
Editor's note: This is part of a series of essays written by Floyd Dryden eighth grade students in Samantha Davis' class. One essay will appear each week in the CCW through April 29.
Farmed fish are too unhealthy to eat 021109 SPEAKINGOUT 2 Floyd Dryden student Editor's note: This is part of a series of essays written by Floyd Dryden eighth grade students in Samantha Davis' class. One essay will appear each week in the CCW through April 29.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Story last updated at 2/11/2009 - 11:38 am

Farmed fish are too unhealthy to eat
Floyd Dryden essay

Editor's note: This is part of a series of essays written by Floyd Dryden eighth grade students in Samantha Davis' class. One essay will appear each week in the CCW through April 29.

Do you eat farmed fish or know someone that does? Do you know how unhealthy farmed fish are and what are given to them? And did you know that farmed fish could pass cancer-causing chemicals on to you and make you more antibiotic resistant when you eat them? These are two of many reasons we as people shouldn't eat farmed fish.

First of all, farmed fish are very unhealthy to eat because of their high PCB levels and antibiotics that are fed to them. Farmed fish are fed antibiotics, artificial coloring, and pellets made from corn meal, soy, genetically modified corn oil, and other fish. All these things can pass from the fish to us when we eat them. According to the Environmental Working group, the first ever tests of farmed salmon from U.S. stores show that farmed salmon are the most PCB contaminated protein source in the U.S. food supply. The Environmental Working group also states that the average farmed salmon has 16 times higher levels of PCB's than wild salmon, 4 times higher levels than beef, and 3.4 times higher levels than any other seafood. The PCB's come from pellets fed to the fish largely made from fish oil and smaller ground up fish. Another thing is that farmed fish don't have as much omega 3's. People are usually encouraged to eat fish mainly because of all their omega 3's. But the farmed fish don't have as much because of their diets and lack of exercise.

Furthermore, farmed fish live very unhealthy lives The fish themselves live in small pens that are usually nets in the ocean; others live in complex hatcheries. Still all these places are filled with so many fish that they constantly bump into each other. For this reason, the fish don't get much exercise. Because of their lack in exercise and wild diet, they don't have pink meat and they become easily infected with disease and parasites.

According to Environmental Defense Fund, farmed salmon have 30 times more sea lice on average than wild salmon. The fish are fed antibiotics because they easily become infected with disease and parasites. The antibiotics make them more disease and parasite resistant. They're also fed artificial coloring to make their meat look pink like the wild fish that many people prefer.

Farming fish can destroy ecosystems and hurt wildlife. One way the ecosystems are destroyed is where in most cases more fish are consumed than produced at fish farms. More fish is consumed than produced because there are more small fish being ground up into the pellets for the lager fish, then the larger fish that eat them are sold to us. This depletes small fish populations in the wild and leaves less for wild fish and sea life to eat. The wild fish and sea life also have less to eat when the farmed fish escape and compete with the wild fish for habitat and food. The escaped fish can also infect wild fish with diseases and parasites.

Another reason wildlife is hurt from farming fish is that to keep seals, sea lions and birds away from their fish, the fish farmers use loud underwater speakers and firecrackers.These loud items can cause disorientation, pain, and sometimes hearing loss in the seals, sea lions, and birds decreasing their chances of survival. And sometimes the fish farmers even shoot the beautiful sea creatures. This could endanger beautiful and graceful sea creatures such as seals and sea lions one day. These are the reasons farming fish destroys ecosystems.

Now when you think of this issue you have to also think of your health, the health of the fish, the health of the ecosystems that are being destroyed by the farming of fish, and even sometimes people who commercial fish and have to compete against the people who farm the fish. So next time you reach for that can of farmed fish on that shelf in the grocery store, think of all the things it's done and could do to you. Do you really want these awful things to happen?


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