Can This Fish Fillet Help Save Our Oceans?

Say goodbye to farm-raised salmon. There's a new fish in town that won't pollute the seas, for a change.

A good farmed fish is hard to find, but aquaculturists in western Massachusetts appear to have done the trick. Meet the barramundi, a South Pacific native, praised for its ability to thrive on a vegetarian diet, survive a low-oxygen environment, and churn out the holy grail of health-food compounds: omega-3 fatty acids.

Yesterday's article on The Atlantic's website christened barramundi as "the anti-salmon," a notoriously dirty fish when farm-raised. According to the article, Barramundi

are born in the sea and migrate to fresh waters as adults, the reverse of a salmon's lifecycle. The sluggish rivers they call home are subject to frequent droughts, forcing barramundi to form tight schools in tiny pools left in otherwise dry riverbeds. Huge gills enable them to live in oxygen-deficient water. And best of all, they have the rare ability to transform vegetarian feed into sought-after omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon require as much as three pounds of fish-based feed to put on a pound of meat. [...] [B]arramundi need only a half pound, the bulk of which is made from scraps from a herring processing plant.

Australis Aquaculture, a barramundi farm in western Massachusetts, switched to the eco-friendly fish after years raising striped bass and after considering 50 other candidates. The barramundi is supposedly similar in flavor to the dirtier fish it replaced.

Click here to check out the full article in The Atlantic.

Images from Australis Aquaculture

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