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Which is better? Farmed or wild fish...


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Esther Davidowitz of the Bergen Record takes on this issue by speaking with restaurant owners and fish dealers. She concludes by saying "it depends", but her sources aren't anywhere near as reticent.

 

--avoid anything from China, India, Thailand, etc

--avoid anything with unnatural sheds of red such as salmon

--understand that farmed salmon may have higher Omega-3 levels than lean, wild caught salmon

--assume that any catfish, tilapia etc you eat will have been farmed

--organic + farmed can be a good combination

 

FWIW, I'll treat Irish, Icelandic, and Norwegian organic salmon as equivalent to wild caught. I'll have US caught swordfish every few weeks (Dee won't eat it). Shrimp and scallops have to be US, wild caught. Right now, I'll only buy fish at Fairway and my local Shop-Rite. I know the fish mongers, and they'll direct me to fish they think I'll find interesting. (Caldwell Seafood, my former regular dealer, is currently off my list. They do have excellent fish, though.)

 

 

On its website, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) assures that there are "strict regulations" of and "rigorous standards" for fish farms in the U.S., and that "the use of antibiotics and other drugs has been reduced dramatically." However, nearly 90 percent of the seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported, often from countries that don't have strict standards, the National Aquaculture Association notes on its website.

Thus, many don't trust fish farms.

"I'm not comfortable with farm-raised," said Peter Panteleakis, executive chef at Oceanos restaurant in Fair Lawn and Taverna Mykonos restaurant in Elmwood Park. "There are thousands and thousands of fish farms. Maybe you can count on one hand the number of good ones. I'm much better with wild fish. The water is cleaner, the fish are out in the ocean, and they're down at the bottom, eating the good stuff," he said. Popular wild items, he said, include black sea bass, halibut, grouper, red snapper, scallops, and shrimp. "We also sell a lot of swordfish – 200 pounds of it a week," he said.

While the manufactured environment of fish farms may not be Panteleakis' preference, the ocean doesn't exactly let all seafood lovers off the hook, either.

- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/food-and-dining-news/food-news/which-is-better-for-you-farm-raised-or-wild-caught-fish-1.1024444?page=1#sthash.tZHLElpi.dpuf

 

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Esther Davidowitz of the Bergen Record takes on this issue by speaking with restaurant owners and fish dealers. She concludes by saying "it depends", but her sources aren't anywhere near as reticent.

Probably it was caught by enslaved fisherman.

While on a Tab Benoit music cruise around Manhattan, Tab wanted to know why no one on board had a fishing pole. When told about the quality or lack thereof of what is swimming in the East River and th

I once got farmed striped bass from Texas at The Lobster Place. I did not ask about the conditions under which it was farmed. It was okay, but much smaller than and nowhere near as delicious as wild-caught striped bass from Long Island or rockfish further south. I probably won't get it again, just because I like the seasonality of the wild stuff.

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I think Hidden Fjord is from the Faroes

 

Its like any other farmed protein - there are varying quality levels at different price points. The fish welfare rule in the Northern Hemisphere are pretty consistent across the board. Chile is more problematic. Realistically outside of Norway and Chile farmers can only survive by going up market.

 

as a general rule any farmed prawns from SEAsia are problematic. The Ecuadorian and Panamanian stuff is supposed to be ok, but given when I know about Chile and Salmon, I don't really believe that.

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I find the whole topic quite frustrating. I try to keep up with the WWF recommendations but they seem to change constantly and several species are either very good or very bad depending on region but not necessarily correctly labelled (if labelled at all) at the fishmonger. I would certainly pay a premium to a good fish dealer who did the research for me, but given the massive amount of labeling fraud worldwide, especially with expensive stuff like fish...who knows? In any case, I only buy whole fish, and try to stay away from the obviously bad stuff. Also I can buy MSC-labelled fish in the supermarket but then it's frozen and I don't find it really worth eating.

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There is the whole frozen thing -- "apparently" all commercially available wild fish in the US has been frozen at some point; though I find that hard to believe. I really don't understand what goes on:

If it comes of a big boat in the North Sea that has been out for two weeks, then what? If it was caught on day one?

 

Supermarket fish in the UK is pretty disgusting, and I buy from a very expensive fishmonger near me; there is also a stall at a market that sells pretty good fish allegedly from day boats etc but with a very narrow range.

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The topic of "fresh, never frozen" for fish that was caught 7,000 miles away does lend itself to stretching the truth. Especially if it is Copper River salmon that's been out of season for four months. My feeling is if I don't trust the store, I don't buy their fish.

 

My fish monger, Anne at Fairway, is pretty good about telling me where her fish comes from. And, she'll have boxes available to document the fact (yeah, I know). The swordfish from yesterday came from Currituck, NC, for example.

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I suspect it's inevitable wild fish will become a luxury. Even with completely wasteful fisheries management programs wild catch is flat over the last 30 or so years.

 

Tragedy of the commons and all that.

 

Yes

 

The book Cauldron of Asia looks at the fishing opportunities of the south China Sea, and considers them to be of equal value to oil for the nations involved.

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There is the whole frozen thing -- "apparently" all commercially available wild fish in the US has been frozen at some point; though I find that hard to believe.

<snip>

The sushi chef at a restaurant where I used to work always coated his sides of wild-caught salmon in salt, then froze them. To kill any potential worms, he told me. He got his fish from a Japanese distributor; the Western side of the restaurant bought from The Lobster Place (which is why I still buy from them).

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