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1st September, 2003
Already on sale in some British supermarkets, is farmed cod really the long-term solution to the problem of declining wild populations.
Marks and Spencer has recently sold the UK’s first farmed cod to consumers. The cod came from the UK’s first commercial cod farm – situated on the shores of Scotland’s Loch Striven (pictured right). Many more cod farms are proposed, particularly in Shetland, and large numbers of salmon farmers are considering diversifying into this new branch of aquaculture.
By Tom Hargreaves
Historically, it used to be possible to catch vast numbers of Atlantic cod supposedly just by lowering a basket into the ocean and scooping them out. Today, wild populations of the fish are almost extinct. The EU is constantly reducing fishing quotas for cod, but it may be that the only way wild populations will recover is through a complete ban. Cod farming is being hailed as the salvation of the dwindling cod fishing industry, but the broader truth is that we eat too much of the fish.
Captive females are mated with wild-caught males. Artificial light is used to encourage spawning out of season. Once hatched, juvenile fish are given antibiotics and vaccinated against diseases before being stored in seawater-filled tanks. For “on-growing” to market...
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