What Is The Difference Between Wild And Farmed Fish?

Marko Balašević Author: Marko Balašević Time for reading: ~4 minutes Last Updated: November 16, 2022
What Is The Difference Between Wild And Farmed Fish?

How often do you eat fish? Which one do you like and where do you usually buy it? These questions are relevant today because what we eat has a direct impact on our health.

How often do you eat fish ? Which one do you like and where do you usually buy it? These questions are relevant today because what we eat has a direct impact on our health.

To begin with, let's remind ourselves why fish is so healthy. The answer is simple: fish is a rich source of protein, essential omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins D and B2, calcium, phosphorus, as well as iron, zinc, iodine, potassium and magnesium. When choosing fish , you need to be guided by 2 important factors: the type of fish and the place where it was caught.



A type of fish

When thinking about which fish to give preference to, consider how rich it is in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Usually, those species that live in cold and dark waters have a higher percentage of omega-3 acids. The best in this category are wild salmon, rainbow trout, anchovies, sardines, perch, herring, tuna, sea bass and sea bream. Of course, the matter is not limited to these types, and with a little effort, you will be able to find your local delicacy. If possible, it is best to support local fishermen.


Catching place

According to the place of catch, all fish can be divided into 2 categories: farmed and so-called wild . Each has its pros and cons.

Farmed fish

If we talk about the first, then this is fish grown in special pens (gardens). Perhaps you have already been interested in this topic and know that such fish differs from wild fish in a bad way.

However, the advantages should be mentioned. Farmed fish is cheaper and much more accessible than wild fish . In addition, by choosing it, we do not increase the already overfishing of wild fish . Nevertheless, when choosing farmed fish , you need to remember the following factors that can affect your health.


Farm -raised fish contain more pollutants. This is due to the characteristics of the feed, which often consists of processed small fish caught in polluted water bodies. When it comes to farmed salmon, studies show more than 7 times higher levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins and pesticides compared to wild salmon. The harm from eating such fish can be reduced if you cook it on the grill at high temperatures and remove the skin before consumption. It is obvious that sushi and rolls made from such raw salmon are not the best choice from the point of view of health.

In addition, there are a couple of other factors that speak against farmed fish . First, antibiotics. Fish in cages are very vulnerable to various diseases, and to prevent their spread, antibiotics are often used, which then accumulate in the fish . And this contributes to the fact that such human diseases as tuberculosis and pneumonia become resistant to the action of antibiotics.

Second, the percentage of omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in farmed fish is dangerously unbalanced. Vegetable oils are usually added to the feed that the fish receives , designed to replace the less available fish oil. These oils contain omega-6 acids, which are beneficial in principle, but if the balance is disturbed and we consume too much of them, the risk of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson's disease, cardiovascular disease and even cancer increases.


Wild fish

Wild fish , on the contrary, live in natural conditions. It is caught in open waters. Due to its way of life, such fish develops differently, which affects the taste and density of the meat. 

Many people like the taste of wild fish . Another difference is the color. Wild salmon meat is naturally bright in color and contains less fat, while farmed salmon is duller in color and fattier. Different dyes are often even used to enhance attractiveness and make the color brighter.

In terms of nutritional value, wild fish is richer in omega-3 acids and less contaminated with pollutants. Despite all the advantages, it should be remembered that wild fish is much more expensive and not as available as farmed fish .

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