Manufactured fish could harm the environment, avid fisherman Kavin Austin Blake warns.
Kavin Austin Blake is closely monitoring the news of the government's impending approval of genetically engineered fish. Federal regulators recently gave the go-ahead to a salmon that grows twice as fast as a regular salmon, stating the fish would not be likely to cause environmental harm.
According to Kavin Austin Blake, the fish in question is AquaAdvantage salmon, a fish that was created by a company called AquaBounty. It is injected with genes from Pacific Chinook salmon and ocean pout, encouraging it to grow at previously unheard-of rates, Kavin Austin Blake states. The fish is intended for human consumption, and will be the first engineered fish in the world, if approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
In the days leading up to final approval, the FDA is taking comments from the public on the issue, Kavin Austin Blake relates. For that reason, Kavin Austin Blake believes it is critically important for the public to fully understand the impact of genetically altered food on the ecosystem.
Opponents have labeled the salmon œfrankenfish, notes Kavin Austin Blake, stepping up to question what releasing genetically-produced wildlife into waterways could do. Kavin Austin Blake states that if allowed to breed, these fish could be detrimental to existing salmon populations, which could have a wide-ranging impact on other livestock.
On the flip side, Kavin Austin Blake states that proponents see manmade livestock as a replacement for the diminishing size and number of fish on the planet today. This is due, in part, to global warming, which is beginning to show significant impact in Antarctica. Over time, fishermen like Kavin Austin Blake fear that global warming could affect livestock, especially fish, drastically reducing the amount of seafood available for human consumption.
While some are excited about the possibility of creating super-sized salmon for human consumption, Kavin Austin Blake and other environmentalists are concerned about the growth hormones used in these fish. Many consumers are still unclear about the impact of consuming growth hormones on humans, Kavin Austin Blake states, and some choose to completely avoid eating food injected with growth hormones altogether for health reasons. In addition, opponents are concerned about allergic reactions, especially in children.
Additionally, Kavin Austin Blake points to a negative impact on the salmon industry. Harvesting and providing salmon to food distributors worldwide employs a large number of skilled laborers, according to Kavin Austin Blake, many of whom have spent their lives in the trade. Kavin Austin Blake believes it is important to watch the news on this closely over the coming days in order to contact the FDA when the time arrives that the agency seeks consumer input on the matter.