Why do we deplete amount of fish in the sea, but land animals, we eat thrive in numbers?


Why do we deplete amount of fish in the sea, but land animals, we eat thrive in numbers?

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Fish in the sea breed naturally. Animals on land we farm intensively, pump them full of growth hormrmones so they grow bigger quicker, selectively breed them, and cram as many as we can in a small space, feeding them as much as possible to make them grow bigger faster.

Farming land animals is a lot easier than farming fish. We’ve also had a lot longer to perfect the art of farming animals, as up until relatively recently, there have been enough fish in the sea that we haven’t particularly needed to breed them.

When we farm animals, what we’re doing is artificially inflating and sustaining the population so that we can eat them. Land animals we don’t typically farm, like deer, are being depleted just like fish are, because we kill them faster than they can make new ones. If we made new ones for them, that’d be farming.

We protect the land animals that we eat from predators, from illness, we give them shelter and we feed them. This artificially inflates their numbers so that we can eat them without depleting their numbers. Over generations we have made them even easier to care for, faster growing, more docile, and more productive on less land.

There are many difficulties with farming fish. First, there isn’t a cheap food we can grow for them like hay or corn. Fish eat fish. Second, fish require a lot of space to remain healthy and it’s not very easy to round them up if you let them loose in a large space. Third, it is difficult to protect the fish from predators.

We do farm a lot of fish and we are getting better at it but up until very recently it was lots easier to just scoop them out of the ocean in large nets but we are realizing how harmful that practice has been.

Land animals that we eat are cultivated and bred, fish usually are not. There are fish hatcheries and whatnot but it just doesn’t scale the same way since we don’t have as much control over the process.

You know we don’t hunt wild cows for steaks, right.

There aren’t any wild cows, to start with. Humans domesticated cows long ago and specialized the breeding of them to make an animal that’s ideally suited for being farmed to make steaks. Just like pigs and chickens, and even corn and other food plants. All these species are genetically engineered by humans to be our food.

Many fish are farmed, perhaps 50% of the fish eaten are farm raised. Some fish, particularly apex predators like tuna, are resistant to farming and we haven’t re-engineered them into farm-able fish because wild stocks have been sufficient.