The resources and education needed to raise aquatic food may make this appear like an innovative breakthrough within mass food production. However, the fact is that aquaculture has actually been around for centuries. Plus, the volume of its production is not small either.
As our planet populations increase, we depend more on aquaculture as a vital food source. This is where we might turn to oysters as a solution. Thus, it is critical to understand the implications of oyster farming – both advantages and disadvantages – on our human race and the surrounding environment. Read on to discover more!
Take a snoop below to discover some of oyster farming’s most significant advantages:
Growth of US job creation
The US government publicly declared that they aim to decrease the trade deficit concerning seafood. This looks good for the aquaculture industry in the US regarding possible job creation. While the US ranks as one of the smallest seafood production generators, this could be adjusted with relaxed rules on approving fish farms within federal waters.
The majority of mussels, oysters, and clams worldwide come from aqua farming, and the demand for these products has been increasing for over four decades. Oyster shells are known for acting as carbon sinks, storing carbon dioxide in their shells in a way that other shellfish cannot. If this wasn’t enough, oysters are an excellent protein source with other health benefits, and they also filter dirty water, allowing them to impact our ecosystem positively.
Less harmful than other factory-farmed animal proteins
Oysters are less harmful to our environment than alternative protein products out there. The environmental devastation caused as a by-product of factory farming should not be overstated. Billions of animals out there raised and slaughtered yearly generate millions of tons of waste. This waste creates methane, one of the most polluting greenhouse gases and a key contributor to global warming. Thus, maintaining a seafood supply will offer consumers protein sources that will reduce the need for harmful factory-farmed beef and chicken.
Formation of reef structures
Oysters have the ability to construct artificial reefs – the building blocks of biodiversity in our world’s oceans. You might not first consider an oyster cage to be an efficient reef system, but research shows that these cages are frequently used by finfish that would otherwise make a home out of rocky reef structures.
After taking a peek at why oyster farming can be so fantastic, you now need to balance out this perspective by looking at the negatives! Read below to find out more.
Vulnerability to parasites and disease
Parasites can sometimes be an issue in marine farming when environments become dirty and overcrowded. Chemicals are frequently utilized to target parasitic problems. However, introducing foreign chemical substances into the surroundings also introduces something that the marine wildlife would not have otherwise come across in the wild. This could have negative implications of its own.
Oyster farming requires resources and maintenance
This type of farming includes rearing marine species for consumption; raising carnivorous fish from being infants. One of the more significant issues with this procedure is providing the growing fish with suitable food sources. Though our worldwide catch from wild fisheries has indeed remained continuous, humans still have to extract natural resources to subsidize farmed raised fish. However, it’s worth noting here that this process isn’t all bad – after all, some species of these fish can be raised on a plant-based diet.
Enhanced pollution possibilities
While oyster farming cannot be considered as polluting as other protein source processes, you must think about every aspect of it. Abandoned oyster cages and rigging equipment can be a problem in oyster farming, where resources are left behind, materials are wasted, and the process is thus not utilized to its total efficiency.
- Coastal degradation and pollution triggered by the aquaculture industry have a mix of harmful and sound elements. The environmental impact depends mainly on the process’ location, species, and scale. Oysters and other mollusk farming is usually more environmentally friendly since the inherent advantages of bivalves overshadow the downsides.
- Next, businesses may be able to benefit by getting involved in oyster farming. Since consumers are now constantly looking for eco-friendly alternatives to protein sources like chicken and beef, oysters could be just what they have been looking for!
- Finally, research and education are critical to our journey towards sustainability. By being aware of each farming process and what it involves, consumers can go on to make sensible decisions with low environmental impacts.