Domesticating Fish

Home Forums Due September 24 by 11:59pm Domesticating Fish

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #195946

    Francis Galton’s criteria for the suitability of domesticating an animal are as follows: hardy, endowed with an inborn liking for man, comfort-loving, able to breed freely, needful of only a minimal amount of tending. Looking at these qualities for Atlantic salmon, I would say they are indeed hardy. Not only are they hatched at a relatively large size with a large egg yolk still attached, but even as adults they become large hardy fish, resilient to different water conditions. By contrast, Sea Bass are microscopic as fresh babies, require microscopic food, and the vast, vast majority die. Both of these fish, however, lack an inborn liking for man. As Greenburg states, “No human ever went down to sea and brought back a pet sea bass” (p91). While we do have aquariums, the fish in them still rarely show any inborn liking toward man. At best, the more voracious species may show a feeding response to their caretaker, but few people cuddle and pet their fish. Comfort loving is again another quality both species fail at, seeing how both species primarily live in large expansive oceans. Salmon in particular travel extensively, making them the opposite of comfort loving. Salmon do, however, breed freely. We know much about their breeding habits, where they breed, and they breed all at once. This means we can easily replicate their breeding habitat in captivity, and get them to breed when we want them to. Sea Bass, however, don’t possess these traits. We know much less about their preferred breeding habitats, and they do not lay all of their eggs at the same time, making breeding them much more difficult. Lastly, salmon, due to their hardiness throughout their whole life, make them fairly minimal to tend to. The newly hatched fish are large and have food to sustain them for a while. Compared to sea bass, which are microscopic and require specific miscroscopic food and need specific water conditions to live (and not grow up with crooked backs), are much more difficult. I think that salmon pass the test for being good for aquaculture, as I think that aquaculture innately needs a different standard than domestication. No fish is going to have an inborn liking for man, or really require minimal tending. All will have specific environmental conditions you need to regulate (like oxygen in the water, salinity, turbidity, temperature, etc) that, compared to every other animal we domesticate, are much more strenuous. For example, a cow isn’t going to suffocate because the temperature warmed up too much and de-oxygenated the air. The domestication criteria Galton lays out largely disqualifies all fish. But if you give more leeway to same of his criteria, then I would say salmon would be good for aquaculture, certainly much better than sea bass.


    I agree with this post because of it explaining all of the points in detail and agreeing with mine that the Atlantic Salmon does have the capability to pass the “test” that Francis Galton set up rather than the seabass passing the test.


    I also have to agree with this post that Atlantic salmon are a better choice overall and a more hardier choice aswell.

    Isabella Erickson

    Aquaculture really does need a different standard for fish that Galton’s test. All fish automatically fail one category, and fall far below most land animals in almost all of the others. However, I think fish surpass most currently farmed animals in breeding freely, simply because of the sheer number of eggs that they produce at a time.

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Fish and Fisheries in a Changing World