IYSC Forum


Welcome to the International Youth Scientific Congress Forum


« on: 27 August , 2019, 21:59:40 pm »
Hi everyone,

I think I will not surprise anyone when telling climate change and all its derived problems (global warming, desertification, massive extinctions, etc.) is (or rather "ought to be currently") centre stage of our news and policies. Apart from natural fluctuations in the Earth climate, the fact we insist on overexploiting our resources without caring about the amount of waste we produce or about their renewability is contributing greatly to this change. And, surprising as it may seem, one of the most important causes of pollution (which vegans and ecologists denounce unceasingly) is our diets.

There is an important law in Ecology is the "10% law", which derives from the loss of energy happening in thermodynamics. According to it, only 10 percent of energy passes from one trophic level to the following (herbivores get only 10% of the energy plants receive from the Sun, and so on). In other words, a carnivore needs to eat ten times more than an herbivorous for getting the same amount of eating, what makes diets based on meat much more costlier than on plants (eating cow meat is equivalent to eating all the grass the cow has eaten through its entire life, but it does not feel as being the same amount of food). This is why the UN have suggested recently we should change our diet to a more "vegetarian" one, which is of course causing lots of controversy due to social and cultural causes. Many believe argue farming could avoid hunting and compensating therefore its effects on environment, a topic which has been intensively discussed. But what about fishing? Did you know there is a way of "fish farming" called aquaculture/aquafarming?

Aquaculture, in short, consists of feeding some species of fish in a restrict area, so that using our knowledge of biology, genetics and technology we might be able to make their reproduction rates higher than their normals ones. This way, we ought to be able to produce enough fish to cover the actual demand while at the same time not requiring more than environment is able to produce. It is divided into mariculture (open ocean) and pisciculture (near to the seaside). To just provide an example, Gran Canaria's (Spain) fish farms produce almost 1000 tons of fish per year.

Of course, aquaculture has some inconvenients. Particularly, due to the high costs of mariculture, pisciculture is more used, but it spoils the seaside's landscape, apart from polluting coast water, more difficult to renew, with the waste of fish feed or the amount of exotic fish than escape the farm and are introduced in ecosystems they do not belong to.

This are some of the advantages and disadvantages of aquaculture, which is expected to continue growing. Have you ever heard about it? Do you think it might meet our fish demand? Do you think it is too polluting?

Here I provide you with some links in case you want to know more:

Best regards,
José Javier (Veteran)