This past week after an almost 20-year investigation, the FDA approved Aqua Bounty Technology’s application for genetically modified AquAdvantage salmon. Why it took twenty years is a product of the politics involved and had little or nothing to do with the safety or quality of the fish.
For some, the concept of GMO anything is what they disapprove of. For those, there is likely no explanation that makes any difference. For others, there is the question of safety of the product for consumption and questions about potential environmental impacts.
Like many other recreational fishermen, I thought that the advent of aqua cultured salmon would be the savior of Atlantic salmon, whose spawning stock numbers have been on the decline for many years. Little did we understand that at-sea pen raising of salmon would be one of the biggest detriments to the wild population. In the state of Maine, a population that is listed as endangered.
I became acquainted with and a supporter of Aqua Bounty from its inception. While I was interested in the biological aspects, I was most interested in the concept of inventory turn which could make the inland shore-based tank raising more profitable and therefore displace all the at-sea pen raising operations.
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