Tilapia, fish farming and sustainability. In a recent post on sustainable wild caught walleye, I reported that Paul Greenberg, author of Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food, said that fish farming or aquaculture will overtake wild catch in the next few years. As much as this is necessary – we are simply running out of wild fish – aquaculture is not without its considerable challenges. Concerns about threats to the environment, protecting species diversity and wild populations and producing healthy fish have all been raised. But as we rely more and more on farmed fish, solving these problems and getting aquaculture right is something we must do.
Fortunately, the world’s largest producer of farmed tilapia is getting it right on many levels. In fact, Regal Springs Tilapia is the first aquafarm in the world to meet the International Standards for Responsible Tilapia Aquaculture (ISRTA), a rigorous set of standards that ranks fish farms on seven principles of environmental and social impact. Working with the World Wildlife Fund, fish farm industry leaders created the ISRTA’s high standards. The World Wildlife Fund published the set of standards in 2009; you can find a downloadable version here.