Advantages and Drawbacks of Aquaculture

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

There are several distinct advantages to aquaculture. Above all, it allows the producer unequaled control over the condition of the fish and the circumstances of the harvest, both of which can result in better quality in the market. Farmed fish can be carefully selected for rapid growth and other desirable characteristics, and raised to a uniform and ideal stage for eating. By adjusting water temperature and flow rate and light levels, fish can be induced to grow far more rapidly than in the wild, and a balance can be struck between energy consumption and muscle-toning exercise. Farmed fish are often fattier and so more succulent. They can be slaughtered without suffering the stress and physical damage of being hooked, netted, or dumped en masse on deck; and they can be processed and chilled immediately and cleanly, thus prolonging their period of maximum quality.