Question Sheet: Cleaning Up Fish Farms


Before reading:

  1. What sorts of fish and shellfish could be raised on a farm? 
  2. What differences might you find between wild-caught fish and farm-raised fish of the same type?

During reading:

  1. Who is Paul Sandifer, and what does he do? See Fisheries Service). 
  2. What are two serious concerns about farm-raised fish? 
  3. How are cobia raised? 
  4. “Don’t put all your salmon eggs in the same basket.” Why does Thierry Chopin

    say this? What does he mean? 

  5. How may sea lice be affecting salmon populations? Why? 
  6. Explain how the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guide works. See (Monterey Bay Aquarium).

After reading:

  1. Come up with two reasons not mentioned in this article why there’s a need for fish farming. See

    (Virginia Cooperative Extension). 

  2. Why might certain fish be easier to farm than others? 
  3. Find out if there’s a fish farm in your area. If there is one, why is the farm located where it is? If you were setting up a fish farm in your area, where could you put it? What sort of fish or shellfish would you produce? See (University of Minnesota) or Cooperative Extension). 
  4. Describe the steps that bring seafood from the sea or farm to your kitchen at home. What sorts of problems could arise during seafood processing? See Fish Industry Authority, United Kingdom). 
  5. Find an adult, such as a grandparent, who is more than about 50 years old. Ask him or her about what sorts of fish he or she likes to eat. How have these preferences changed over the years? How has the type of fresh, frozen, and canned fish available in the grocery store changed over the years? 
  6. Some groups of people are opposed to fishing of any sort. According to such groups, how do the possible harmful effects of commercial fishing compare with

    those of farm fishing? See (Pisces).


  1. Aquaculture has a long history. Where and when did people start cultivating fish? When did modern fish farming start? See (World Aquaculture) and Center of the Florida Keys). 
  2. Which countries are the largest consumers of farmed salmon? Which countries

    are the largest producers of farmed salmon? Why might some countries be on one list but not the other? See (State University of New York at Albany).


  1. Write a letter to a fish farmer to learn about the process of fish farming. Include at least four questions that you would like to have answered. 
  2. Take a look at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guides. See (Monterey Bay Aquarium). How might you improve these guides to make them more effective and appealing? Write a persuasive paragraph advertising the availability of these guides.


In 2003, people in the United States ate a record 16.3 pounds of fish and shellfish per person, up from 15.6 pounds in 2002. See (NOAA Fisheries).

The following table provides data on the number of pounds of seafood per person consumed in the United States in the years 1998, 2002, and 2003.

Fresh and frozen

Plot the data on a graph, with the year along the horizontal axis and the number of pounds of seafood per person on the vertical axis, using a different color for each type of seafood (fresh and frozen, canned, and cured) and the total.

By what percentage did the total change from 1998 to 2003? What was the percentage of the total represented by cured fish in each year? Is this percentage going up or down, even though the amount stays the same?