September 10, 2019 at 6:18 pm #195731Ron SheldonParticipant
Although AquaAdvantage and Salmo Domesticus are both Salmon and both commercially farmed they are distinctly different fish. Salmo Domesticus is still a genetically unaltered salmonid. It has been cultivated through selective breeding that favors certain desirable traits. Much like many of our domesticated farm animals have been bred to grow faster and display a better temperament. These salmon have been selected over the years so that only those who show fast growth and their ease of captivity are bred on to the next generation.
AquaAdvantage salmon are different. Although they posses the same desirable traits for cultivation they gained them through gene manipulation. Genetic modification of their gene structure highlights specific traits and turns off others. Just as corn and soybeans have been modified to grow larger, require less water, and be disease resistant.
So, do I think “genetic engineering is the obvious next technological step in the history of humans’ cultivating of food’? Well, it seems to be the trend in agriculture so why not in aquaculture? Let me start by saying I am opposed to the current status quo of salmon farming let alone doing it with genetically modified fish. Not because it is a bad idea but because there are too many potential cascading effects. To think that we can turn away from salmon as a food source or figure out how to grow wild stocks large enough to meet market demand is kind of silly. Instead we should be devoting time, energy, and resources to figuring out how to lessen or eliminate the environmental impacts salmon farming comes with. For example, dedicate more research into symbiotic relationships that will clean up fish waste and produce more biomass of harvestable species in the process. Or put more resources behind developing fish food that is plant based and not caught from the sea.September 10, 2019 at 10:10 pm #195742bmmatalaParticipant
This description of the phrase we were meant to define I completely agree with. I think that along with this we should be looking at ways to fix what we have now before we try and start something completely new and something that could not be so good for us, we should not give up on the salmon species as a whole we should try and patch it up.September 11, 2019 at 11:49 am #195761Isabella EricksonParticipant
I agree that we should try to learn how to lessen the environmental impact of farmed salmon before trying to genetically modify salmon specifically for farming. I think it is important to work out the kinks in the system before taking it to another level, like the cheaper AquaAdvantage would if it were introduced to the market.September 11, 2019 at 12:19 pm #195763AJParticipant
I think salmon farming has great potential if improved upon. In that regard, something that really struck me from Greenberg’s book was Thierry Chopin’s work in integrated multitrophic aquaculture. He described this as an “ecosystem-management approach to aquaculture”. The idea of using the focus of farming salmon to produce multiple outlets is brilliant. Greenberg goes further to mention that this “…polyculture for some reason got lost.”. I think re-embracing this idea would be an incredible part of improving current farming.September 11, 2019 at 6:32 pm #195770aknoblochParticipant
Very well put Ron. While i believe genetic engineering has found a stable place within the agriculture industry, I’m not sure i feel the same way when it comes to livestock. Selective breeding is one thing but genetically altering a species is another. I think our efforts would be better off pursuing a viable option to the way we farm fish. One of the main issues i see is having farmed fish sharing habitat with wild stocks. Producing an economically efficient closed system would benefit farmed fish and wild fish more so than genetic engineering in my opinion.
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