DON’T EAT THAT FISH!
I don’t like even thinking about fish farms and sex changed fish, much less writing on such a creepy subject. And it’s difficult because the information is so hidden. But then, anytime a government backed process surfaces that will please business but appall the public , it is generally kept as quiet as possible.
Why is the sex of fish being changed? For higher fish farm profits. A significant percentage of male salmon mature early and die in the pens before harvest. Blanket loss to fish farm producers. To avoid this loss, they want all females in their pens. You’ve probably heard this before.
But how to get all female fish in the pens? Well, fish scientists are all over this. They have devised ways. Either treat some females with male hormones that render the females male in all other respects but will only produce xx chromosomes in their sperm, or treat males with estrogen that will render them females. The sex-changed females won’t lay eggs, but their flesh will be firmer than the male salmon for the market and they will live longer. Voila! By splashing around some sex hormones, our fish farm fish become totally pleasing to the farm owners. But what does this sex changed fish flesh do to the consuming public?
In a publication entitled ORGANIC AQUACULTURE (June 23, 2010) we are told (page 4) that “Both artificially triploid (artificially sterilized) and monosex stocks (fish treated with opposite sex hormones) are consistently prohibited in international organic aquaculture standards”. Now why would these people take the attitude that anything is wrong with sex changed fish?
They quote the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements’ opinion that genetically modified organisms are bad news because of “Release of organisms which have never before existed in nature, and which cannot be recalled”, and “Unacceptable threats to human health.” There are lots more reasons but these two clawed at me. “Unacceptable threats to human health” and “Never before existed in nature and cannot be recalled?” Scary business. Okay, specifically, who or what is doing this to our fish? On the ground, so to speak. Somebody we can talk to about it?
Well, there’s Mr. Edward M. Donaldson. He works at West Vancouver Laboratory for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (unless he has recently moved on.) As far back as 1996 (Mr. Donaldson has been publishing papers on how to change the sex of fish since 1986) he co-wrote a paper called HORMONES AND SEX CONTROL IN FISH WITH PARTICULAR EMPHASIS ON SALMON and states that “The application of sex control in finfish aquaculture offers significant benefits for the optimization of production strategies…a review of methods…for the direct endocrine control of sex differentiation.”
“Optimization of production strategies”. “For the direct endocrine control of sex differentiation.” Don’t you just love this scientific language they use for screwing up nature anyway they possibly can for the benefit of industry? But this is not all Mr. Donaldson says. More later.