Farmed Fish Production Surpasses Beef

As beef production slows, fish farming is on the rise amid questions of sustainability

Fish Farming

According to The Huffington Post, the Earth Policy Institute has released an article stating that the production of farmed fish has overtaken the production of beef. This shift takes place as we approach another potential upset in the world of food production. This year, the consumption of farm-raised fish could surpass that of wild-caught fish.   

Beef production has slowed since the 1980s, while amounts of farmed fish produced have skyrocketed over the last decade. The increased cost of soy and grains used to feed livestock may have contributed to the decline in cattle farming. In comparison, fish production appears to be more cost efficient. 

While rapid rates of consumption and depleted resources suggest that farmed fish may soon be our only option, there remain doubts as to the efficiency of aquaculture, as it is called. Farmed fish sold in grocery stores are fed on smaller fish, the quantities of which are such that the overall input of the industry exceeds the output.

Conservancy group Oceana claims that current farming practices culture unhealthy fish, while chain distributors like Whole Foods Market support continued production, claiming it can be done in a way that does not harm the environment.


This debate raises the recurrent issue of mankind’s relationship to our natural resources. Farmed fish or no, the global population is seriously taxing its environment. This imbalance has led the Earth Policy Institute to recommend slowing consumption of meats, dairy, fish, and eggs overall.