One of the sad stories reflecting our plundering human nature is that of our over-fished oceans.
It seems that collectively, we can not control our urge to hunt fish to depletion, extinction, or at least, over-exploitation, and we accomplish this through the use of energy-embedded large ships, GPS, sonar technology, fishing lines that have thousands of large hooks, bottom trawling or deep fishing, and by using nets that are 50 meters wide. Furthermore, much that is caught is wasted. Ocean ecosystems have been destroyed in the process, with inadequate protection, regulations, and policing.
Our human appetite for fish has further led to a rapidly growing fish farming business worldwide. See the yellow area of the graph, below, which shows the aquaculture production of our fish that we consumed in 2010.
In 2012, global fish farming in tonnage, exceeded global beef production.
If industrialization continues to advance, that will include improving the techniques used for fish farming. The company, SalMar, is preparing to begin raising salmon off the coast of Norway using a rig similar to that used in deep water oil drilling. A former Statoil executive designed this new platform for SalMar which will be 220 feet tall and will use nets like those used to repel sharks, designed so that the salmon cannot escape. The salmon-lice parasite is a main concern, and a fish engineered to eat the lice will be attempted as a solution in this plan.
Norway is second only to China in farmed fish exports. Farmed fish now amounts to over 60 million tons, while captured fish levels have plateaued at 90 million tons. This total fish trade amounted to $217.5 billion dollars in 2010.
Some expect Norway’s salmon farming industry to expand six-fold by 2050, possibly surpassing its oil industry.
To learn more about Norway’s salmon farming and SalMar’s rig, you will want to watch the short video, below, provided by the WSJ.