Aqua Bounty Technologies Genetically Engineered Salmon Pros
1. Grow Fast
AquAdvantage fish, are genetically engineered to grow twice as fast and reach maturity much earlier than natural Atlantic salmon. According to a post on Aqua Bounty’s web site, AquAdvantage® salmon’s accelerated growth comes from the addition of a growth hormone gene from the Chinook salmon. The Chinook growth hormone is the same as the Atlantic salmon growth hormone; it is simply regulated differently. Their ability to grow faster does not change the biological make-up of the fish – they are the same biologically and nutritionally as natural Atlantic salmon.
Although a Frankenfish salmon, this advancement provides compelling economic benefit to farmers (reduced growing cycle) as well as enhanced economic viability of inland fish farming operations, thus diminishing the need for ocean pens.
2. Replace dwindling population
The Aqua Bounty salmon will reduce stress on natural salmon populations. Further, they could positively impact the nation’s fish farming sector and reduce environmental damage.
3. Safe to Eat and Nutrient Rich
The FDA agrees that the Aqua Bounty Frankenfish salmon are “as safe to eat as natural Atlantic salmon.” The agency said it found “no biologically relevant differences” in vitamins, minerals or fatty acids.
4. Reproductively sterile
Salmon grown from AquAdvantage® eggs are all female and sterile, making it impossible for them to breed. In addition, in order to achieve approval, the FDA has required that physically contained systems be built, thus significantly reducing the possibility of accidental mixing of AquaAdvantage and natural populations.
5. Advances Science
It is clear that as a result of over fishing, natural fish resources are in rapid decline. For many fish species, the only hope for survival is for humans to stop fishing. Given the global demand for food this is unlikely to happen unless alternative food sources can be located or created. Short of reducing world human populations, it is incumbent upon governments, businesses, educational institutions and the general public to work together to do whatever possible to improve fish farming. Improvement of fish farming ultimately comes down to scientists who are able to create a healthier environment for fish in fish farms by eradicating disease, improving growing conditions, and improving fish health.
6. Multiple Containment Measures
The chances of Frankenfish salmon escaping from production or growing facilities and reproducing was “extremely small” thanks in part to multiple containment measures.
According to Aqua Bounty, contained, land based aqua farming systems are endorsed by most environmental groups because they are more environmentally sensible and are a responsible alternative to traditional sea-cage farming of salmon.”