Future Fish Farmers of America

After posting about the decline in West Coast oysters, I was happy to find this relatively upbeat urban aquaculture video from Good Magazine. Dr. Martin P. Schreibman, distinguished professor emeritus of biology at Brooklyn College, runs the Aquatic Research and Environmental Assessment Center, where he oversees some innovative aquaculture systems for freshwater and saltwater species. The freshwater tanks are mostly dedicated to tilapia, that sustainable fish farm favorite.

Schreibman’s vision of skyscrapers teeming with fish tanks is the kind of crazy that just might be infectious, especially considering predictions that all commercially available fish will be extinct in the next 35 to 40 years. Could DIY aquaculture someday be the equivalent of victory gardens? Schreibman, who has been pursuing his dream for a long while, thinks so; he also promotes urban aquaculture in New York as a way to help feed the homeless, ease environmental problems, and provide jobs.

Sadly, tilapia may not be the best choice for these future fish tanks, at least not the way it’s being fed now. Recent studies suggest grain-fed tilapia has an unhealthy fatty-acid profile.

According to the Good video, fish farms now supply half of all fish consumed. So we’d better find a way to get it right.

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