|Colombia fish disaster highlights importance of pond-raised aquaculture, says producer|
06 March, 2007 - A Seattle-based aquaculture company has highlighted the significance of pond-raised aquaculture, following reports that around three million cage-raised tilapia suffocated due to drought in southern Colombia.
The fish reportedly died after a four-month drought drastically drained water levels, leaving too little oxygen to sustain dozens of hatcheries.
Commenting, Norbert Sporns, CEO of HQ Sustainable Maritime Industries, Inc. said: "This environmental tragedy sadly highlights one of the ongoing debates in the aquaculture industry today about the advantages of pond-raised vs. cage-raised farmed fish. Advocates of cage-raised practices assume that fish in cages are raised in a constantly flowing water supply which reduces the effects of algae cultures and leads to better-tasting, healthier fish. But in fact, this reliance on an uncontrolled water environment can lead to many problems, one of which is horribly dramatised by the disaster in Colombia."
According to Dr Claude E. Boyd - Professor of Agriculture and Environment at Auburn University, Alabama, and a long-time consultant to numerous domestic and international organisations including the World Aquaculture Society and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation - conflicts in management of water resources can result in such a kill-off.
Dr Boyd, who is Butler Cunningham Eminent Scholar in Auburn's Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquaculture and the author or co-author of numerous scientific books on pond aquaculture, said: "In general terms, pond culture is more environmentally friendly than cage culture, because it enables greater control of the water environment and effluents that impact the health of the fish."
HQ Sustainable is a leader in toxin-free integrated aquaculture and aquatic product processing. The Seattle-based company's tilapia farm operations are pond-based and located in Hainan, China.