Many assume that wild-caught fish must be a lot better because it’s more “natural”, but there’s a lot to consider when we compared wild fish and farmed fish: environmental issues, food safety, sustainability, cost and obviously nutrition values.
Here, 5 questions and answers to know something more about wild and farmed fish.
- Is wild-caught fish more nutritious?
The nutritional differences between wild and farmed fish are not as great as you might imagine. Farmed and wild-caught rainbow trout, for examples, are almost identical in terms of calories, protein, and most nutrients. Also, some framed-raised fish, such as trout, have more vitamin A and selenium.
- Are farm-raised fish higher in contaminants?
The level of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl) – a potentially carcinogenic chemical – in the farmed fish was still less than 2% of the amount that would be considered dangerous. The other contaminant that most people worry is mercury: the fish that present the biggest concern are all wild-caught. The most common farm-raised fish all have low or vary low mercury levels.
- What about antibiotics and hormones?
Many countries prohibit the use of hormones and antibiotics to promote growth in farmed fish.
- Are farm-raised fish genetically modified?
It is also widely-believed that farm-raised fish are genetically modified. Sometimes, you can read about striped bass that have a zig-zag in their stripes. Well, this fishes aren’t genetically modified, but they are simply a cross between striped bass and white bass. Also, in many countries there are no genetically modified fish for sale.
- How do I know which are wild caught and which are farmed?
Certain species are more likely to be wild caught than others, so you should be able to establish the likelihood of them being wild caught or farmed. Usually, many of the “bread and butter” fish are farmed fish, such as guppies, mollies and platys. Line bred fish such as fancy goldfish are all farmed as these fish do not exist in the wild. Others, like the clown loaches are almost all wild caught as they are exceptionally difficult to breed in captivity. Finally, your retailer should be able to tell you where the fish come from.