Zintro fishing industry experts tackle complex concerns: Part 2

Fishing-Industry-New-ZealandWe asked Zintro fishing industry experts to provide an overview of the issues that keep them awake at night, whether it is ocean acidification’s impact on the shellfish industry, tighter regulations on the fishing industry, or new innovations in making the industry more sustainable and balanced for long-term effectiveness.

Anthony Costa, an expert in aquaculture, says that there are many issues facing the fishing industry, such as overfishing, tight regulations, pollution, and global warming as just a few. ”However, a new movement now focuses on land-based fish farming to create a productive and controlled closed aquatic environment. New businesses and technology need to be funded to produce high quality seafood and shellfish,” he explains. “Unlike land animals, fish must swim actively to gain mass and grow in order to keep up with the demand. Also, fish are sessile inhabitants and water circulation needs to increase for them to grow faster. Safe genetically designed seafood and shellfish are possible within a natural closed aquatic environment that utilizes 100 percent of scraps to create a healthy diet with seaweed and meat from harvested fish.”

William Christensen, an expert in fish processing, says that the issues impacting the oceans and, therefore, the fishing industry are complex. “For instance, we see fish species in pristine waters of Antarctica that have a high mercury content in elderly fish due their diet but not due to pollution in the area. And, sea temperature is rising in the North Pacific but there are healthier fish stocks,” he explains. “Our knowledge of what is happening has limitations, and we need to do more research and investigation, but we also need to accept that that we cannot wait and must act without knowing it all.”

Christensen thinks that the industry needs to access new technologies rather than enforcing and creating new regulations. And certain regulations are preventing growth, such as what happened in Seattle and Alaska in the 1990s when there was a blooming business with freezer trawlers. He says that today these trawlers are obsolete just because in the US we cannot import vessels from abroad, but many other countries do this.

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By Maureen Aylward

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