The ocean is running out of fish.
WWF reported, “Two-thirds of the world's fish stocks are either fished at their limit or over fished. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that 70 percent of the fish population is fully used, overused or in crisis.”
In 2016, EcoWatch reported the average person is “now eating roughly 44 pounds of fish per year compared to only 22 pounds in the 1960s.” This increase in fish consumption has forced industrial fishing companies to adopt new strategies to keep up with global demand.
Advances in technology have allowed us to catch fish that are farther out at sea and live deeper in the ocean than ever before. This increase in tastes of deep fish has grave results for their populations. “Unfortunately, these deepwater fish don’t reproduce until they’re at least 10 years old, making them extremely vulnerable to overfishing when the young are caught before they’ve had a chance to spawn,” National Geographic says.
Deepwater fish aren’t the only species being impact by overfishing. In 2006, Science reported, “All species of wild seafood will collapse within 50 years, according to a new study by an international team of ecologists and economists.” Stanford says "collapse" was defined as a 90 percent depletion of the species' baseline abundance. “Wild fish simply can’t reproduce as fast as 8 billion people can eat them. So we need better management of fishing. Our ecosystems, food security, jobs, economies, and coastal cultures all depend on it,” National Geographic says.
Plummeting numbers of wild fish has led to an increase in aquaculture. According to the NOAA, aquaculture “refers to the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of plants and animals in all types of water environments including ponds, rivers, lakes, and the ocean.” The FAO report, The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2016, revealed that for the first time, more farmed fish were consumed than wild fish globally.
“Aquaculture provides reasonably priced, good quality, highly nutritious food while helping to maintain the long-term sustainability of wild caught fisheries and the environment. It is estimated that wild harvest fisheries have reached maximum sustainable yield while the world’s appetite for seafood is growing. U.S. aquaculture can satisfy that demand in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner," the National Aquaculture Association says.
One component of aquaculture is the use of ozone treatment in fisheries. Ozone is utilized in many Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) worldwide. “Increasing the daily water exchange rate in an RAS will remove accumulated colloidal solids, refractory organics and nitrite, to the detriment of water budgets and the cost of heating or cooling the system. The alternative method of removal is to breakdown these organic wastes using an oxidizing agent, such as ozone. Ozone is also widely used to sterilise supply and effluent water for RAS to remove pathogens," the New South Wales (NSW) Government says.
“Ozone removes fine and colloidal solids by causing clumping of the solids (microflocculation), which facilitates removal by foam-fractionation, filtration and sedimentation,” NSW Government says.
Benefits of using ozone in aquaculture:
- Removes fine and colloidal solids
- Removes dissolved organic compounds (DOC)
- Removes nitrate
- Disinfection to lessen the spread of diseases
Check out this post to learn how ozone extends the shelf life of fish.
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