Today, there are many prejudices about artificially grown fish. Many believe that it is less useful and can contain harmful substances. To understand the mythology and reality of aquaculture, let’s see how aquaculture works and the quality of the resulting products.

Aquaculture – breeding and cultivation of aquatic organisms (fish, crustaceans, shellfish, molluscs, algae) in natural and artificial reservoirs, as well as on specially created marine plantations.

In practice, it is almost impossible to detect external differences between fishes grown in aquaculture (except for those with strongly selective features, such as mirror carp and gold trout) and those caught in natural water bodies.

There is no doubt that the flavour of aquaculture products, especially those produced using mixed feeds, will be different from that of wild fish or shrimps of the same species.

However, it is not the first century that people have been using livestock and poultry products produced on farms and in industrial farms. It also differs in taste from wild buffalo, wild boars and pheasants. But this is not an obstacle to the predominant use of agricultural products in people’s diets.

The nutritional value of wild fish and aquaculture products will not differ if mangrown fish are fed a nutritionally balanced diet.

Can you tell by the smell that the fish is artificially grown?

The unpleasant smell of the product can be found both in fish caught from natural water bodies and in fish grown in aquaculture.

For example, this may be due to the fact that some pollutant (oil, phenol, etc.) has been released into the water body. The smell will appear in the fish that were in the natural reservoir and in those that were in the pond or pools, where the water from this reservoir was pumped.

How does a fish grown artificially differ from wild fish?
Of course, if fish farmers contain fish in water with unsatisfactory hydrochemical parameters, the smell of rot or silt may be detected.

However, this is usually a rare situation, as the low quality of water leads to a decrease in the growth rate of fish, increased mortality and a decrease in the volume of products produced.

The conditions under which fish are grown

In terms of product safety, aquaculture offers greater opportunities for product safety than natural catches. The whole process of aquaculture production is supervised by veterinarians and the Ministry of Agriculture’s supervisory bodies, which are responsible, inter alia, for food safety.

Food safety of the feed used and the quality of water supplied to the aquaculture farm must be monitored. And the owners themselves are primarily interested in providing the most favorable conditions for the maintenance and feeding of their aquaculture facilities!

Regardless of the origin (whether caught in nature or grown in aquaculture), products that do not meet food safety requirements should not be allowed on the market!

Why are aquaculture products usually cheaper?

Rather, it is a question of supply and demand. Both wildlife and aquaculture products have their own pricing features. However, because of their biological value, fresh or chilled products are more useful.

Fresh wild fish, especially for most urban dwellers living off the coast, is rare or seasonal. Almost always, if you are not buying frozen fish, we buy aquaculture products!

Many countries have shown that mass-produced aquaculture products (e.g. salmonids, seabasses, dorada, many others) are of lower value than wild fish of the same species.

But this is not due to the poor quality of aquaculture production, but to the use of highly efficient technologies, feed and logistics. All of this reduces the cost of production and, consequently, the price.

In contrast, the cost of oysters from aquaculture will be higher than that of wild oysters. Consumers prefer a sink with the right shape, standard sizes, and a well-formed, refined taste. All this in mass quantities can be obtained only in aquaculture.

The cost of sturgeon aquaculture production is currently higher than the cost of fish and caviar caught by poachers.

Which fish species are most often grown artificially?

  • Carp (domesticated form of carp)
  • Sturgeon fish (Siberian sturgeon, sterlet, Russian sturgeon, sturgeon hybrids)
  • Some salmon species, such as trout
  • Atlantic salmon (salmon)
  • Sigue fish species – pellet, whitefish, nelma
  • Vegetated eating fish (carmons and fatheads).

Aquaculture also includes bivalves (mussels, oysters, scallops), crustaceans (shrimps, crayfish), echinoderms (trepangs, sea urchins) and aquatic plants.

Ned L. Bennett