Farmed Fish Vs Wild Caught Fish
As you walk down the seafood aisle of the supermarket, you will spot labels such as “locally farmed” or “wild-caught”. The end product may look similar but how they end up in the supermarket is very different. Here are some key distinctions between farmed and wild-caught fish:
At restaurants, “wild-caught” fish are more expensive, but do they really taste better? It really depends on personal preference.
Wild-caught fish tend to have a more complex flavor due to the variety of its diet. They are usually leaner because of the time spent swimming in the ocean and escaping from their predators. Leaner fish also means firmer meat which is perfect for certain dishes.
Farmed fish are kept in tanks or pens and do not encounter any predators or currents. Thus, they contain more fats and have a slightly buttery taste. They also have a milder flavor due to the type of feed they consume.
Older generations believe that farmed fish have a “muddy taste” but this is no longer true. With modern technology, our farming techniques and requirements have changed and most of the farmed fish are required to be raised in clean water.
After all, whether we prefer the more "fishy" taste of wild-caught fish or the fattier meat texture of farmed fish is a matter of personal preference.
Fact: Both farmed and wild-caught fish have a high nutrient content.
According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States (FAO), the nutrient content of both farmed fish and wild caught fish are similar, with amount and quality of fat in the fish being the main difference.
Based on a study in the United States, farmed fish have higher fat levels, including omega 3 fatty acids. This is primarily due to less strenuous movements and the feed provided. Farmed fish may have slightly more diverse nutrients than wild-caught fish, depending on the quality of the feed.
Although the farming methods for both wild-caught and farmed-raised fish may appear to be self-evident, there are some details that you may not be aware of.
For instance, there are many methods to capture wild-caught seafood directly from the ocean, rivers, and lakes, which is also known as commercial fishing. One of them is trawling with nets and traps, as well as the traditional pole and line method.
Whereas, farmed fish is kept in a controlled setting, like pens or tanks in the ocean, river or lakes. The water quality is checked on a daily basis to ensure that the fish remain healthy and fit for consumption. Of course, the quality of the water, as well as the care and feed given to the fish, varies from farm to farm, so it's crucial to know where your farmed fish comes from.
Some might find that “wild-caught” fish are more natural, but the commercial fishing process has the potential to harm the environment. This is because trawling can disrupt the whole marine ecosystems including animals such as corals and turtles, and can even result in unforeseen deaths. Despite the fact that some countries have adopted higher-tech equipment to reduce the impact on marine life, commercial fishing still poses a risk.
Although the pole and line method is more environmentally friendly, it is typically used to catch tuna and other large fish species. This is because it is inefficient compared to trawling, which is why trawling is more popular.
However, we also can't assume that farmed fish are always sustainable, as the farm standards vary greatly.
Now that you learnt about the difference between wild-caught fish and farmed fish, do you know where your favourite seafood comes from?
Here at nature’s hug, our seafood are antibiotics-free, chemicals-free and 100% traceable. We use a patented natural farming method (MixotrophicTM System) to ensure higher yield and healthy shrimp. Take a look at our shrimps here!
The Sustainable Seafood Project - Farmed Fish Vs. Wild Caught Fish - The Sustainable Seafood Project (eatsustainable.co)
Food and Agriculture Organisation - https://www.fao.org/in-action/globefish/fishery-information/resource-detail/en/c/338772/
PubMed - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25108414/
Alltech - https://www.alltech.com/blog/farmed-vs-wild-busting-fishy-salmon-myths
Dave Asprey - https://daveasprey.com/farm-raised-salmon-vs-wild-salmon/
Insanely Good - https://insanelygoodrecipes.com/side-dishes-for-salmon/
New Scientist - https://www.newscientist.com/article/2116650-sustainable-tuna-fishing-is-bad-for-climate-heres-why/
Animal Welfare Institute - https://awionline.org/content/wild-caught