Farm-Raised But Responsible Choice

The reputation of farm-raised fish and seafood is improving to the point that you may be eating more farm-raised seafood than you know. Unless it’s specifically labeled as wild caught, the seafood you’re ordering or purchasing is likely farm-raised. Today, half of the seafood eaten in the United States is farmed. The practice is growing quickly; just as cattle and chickens are raised for food, now seafood is being raised to meet the growing global demand.

The most sustainable type of aquaculture is done in land-based, closed-containment systems that recirculate and clean the water. Technology is improving to make these systems more affordable.

The problem with farm-raised fish in the past was that the fish were confined too tightly. These large pens of farmed fish also can cause disease and create waste and uneaten feed that go to the sea floor, causing negative impacts on crustaceans and other sea life.

But those practices are mostly in the past. Hy-Vee’s commitment to responsibly choose its seafood by the end of 2015 means our customers won’t have to worry about those harmful practices.

Modern aquaculture practices bear no resemblance to those past practices. When it’s done right and responsibly, aquaculture can be environmentally friendly and can be a crucial way to supplement wild-caught fish supplies.

Author: Kenan Judge

I’m Kenan Judge, and I am the group vice president of meat and seafood operations for Hy-Vee, and have been in the industry for 37 years. I’m also a member of the Sustainable Seafood Committee for the Food Marketing Institute. Part of my job at Hy-Vee is to respond to increased customer demand for sustainably caught seafood, but also help move the industry forward in this area.