Genetically engineered fish ‘a certainty in the future’

A super-sized genetically engineered salmon could be on sale in US grocery stores from next year. AquaBounty Technologies, who have grown and are marketing the fish, believe this could be a sustainable solution to over-fishing.

An article in BioGraphic argues that genetically engineered fish is not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’.

Companies such as AquaBounty have been working on genetically engineered fish for the past 30 years and now believe the product is ready for market. This is despite a New York Times poll showing that 75% of respondents wouldn’t eat GM fish.

The AquaBounty salmon is sterile and raised in land-based tanks so cannot breed with wild stocks. They claim to be very efficient at converting fish feed into protein.

The CEO of AquaBounty, Ron Stotish, believes that genetically engineered fish has the potential to change the fish farming industry: “we are providing technology to improve food production and make it sustainable.”

Genetic modification in food has drawn criticism from groups concerned about the potential unexpected or unintended consequences from altering DNA. GM Freeze, the UK-based not for profit organisation and Sustain member warn that genetic modification does not necesserily lead to sustainability or fairness in the food supply chain or for consumers.

Sustain’s Sustainable Fish Cities Campaign works to protect marine environments and fishing livelihoods without the use of genetically engineered farmed fish. 

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Sustainable Fish Cities: A campaign to protect precious marine environments and fishing livelihoods, and call for fish to be bought from sustainable sources. We want to show what can be done if people and organisations make a concerted effort to change their buying habits.

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