As part of our deep love for all things aquaculture, we're profiling the companies and people making a difference in the future of farming. Today we're talking about The Freshwater Institute, the Seafood Watch-approved indoor salmon farm that is changing the way we think about raising fish.
THE INDOOR ISSUE
Indoor fish farms cost an enormous amount of money to maintain, whereas penned-in ocean farms are comparatively cheap. But ocean farms raise a whole host of problems -- fish need antibiotics, waste is spilled into the sea, and fish that escape can mate with wild populations and ruin ocean ecosystems.
Furthermore, the immense cost of indoor fish farming (3 times more expensive) makes it a difficult venture for earning profits. Indoor salmon farms have historically shut down without making much money.
FRESHWATER INSTITUTE TO THE RESCUE
So how did they do it? First, they paid close attention to their environmental footprint. The beauty of aquaculture is understanding that "waste" doesn't have to be wasteful. As aquaculture becomes more and more prevalent, the technology to effectively use fish waste to grow plants has become readily available.
And in an age where water is an increasingly precious commodity, The Freshwater Institute's has already proven that water re-use is a viable avenue for fish farming, and they are committed to increasing their water re-use system. Coupled with recent claims that indoor farmed fish die less frequently and grow more quickly, indoor farming might become the wave of the future -- at home and abroad.
Because the market for sustainable, quality fish is growing, and consumers are happier to pay top-dollar for food that they know is well raised. So next time you are looking for salmon, consider land-fish!
Nicholas Geisler is a writer and filmmaker from Oakland, CA. Check out his other work on http://www.highmeadowsproductions.wordpress.com