WORLD -- July 23, 2012 at 4:40 PM EDT
Scaling Up: Vietnamese Fish Farms Search for Eco-Friendly Formula
Until recently, only a tiny fraction of the world's food fish came from farms. Today roughly half of it does, and demand is expected to double by 2050. In a world hungry for protein, aquaculture is the ultimate growth industry.
That could be great news for the environment. Fish are much more efficient than other animals at converting feed into human food. But the history of large-scale aquaculture isn't pretty, with pollution, disease outbreaks, destruction of fragile ecosystems and a host of other problems.
Today on Marketplace, reporter Sam Eaton takes us to Vietnam, where conservation groups are working with fish farmers to meet health and environmental standards that big retailers increasingly demand. As Sam reports, some critics say those standards favor big industrial export operations raising single species of fish. Is there a place for small-scale, diverse, eco-friendly aquaculture?
Slide show produced by Rebecca Jacobson.