Have You Thanked a Fish-Farmer Lately?
Dr. James J. S. Johnson
Animals who benefit our lives should be appreciated, as well as the hard-working humans who employ those animals in ways that bless us. But, of course, our primary appreciation and gratitude should go to God Himself, Maker of animals and ourselves.
Recently I published an article about Scottish aquaculture — and what heroes the aquaculture folks are, nowadays, as first-line-of-defense workers for critical times. (See “Fish-Farming Feeds Scots, But It’s Not Getting Easier”, ICR News (posted April 21st, AD2020) at https://www.icr.org/article/fish-farming-feeds-scots-but-not-getting-easier — where I posed the question:
“When was the last time you thanked a fish farmer for tending to coast water net-pens, braving unpleasant weather and workplace hazards, to ‘farm’ aquatic ‘livestock’ such as salmon, trout, or shellfish for your dinner?”
Just like livestock husbandry, the aquaculture industry appreciates high-risk capital investment, labor-intensive maintenance costs, and (potential) profitability of its “farm” animals – see Proverbs 14:4. Yet, as the old saying goes: “If your input exceeds your output, your upkeep is your downfall.” So, whenever operated as a profitable operation, offshore aquaculture often yields large-scale harvests and handsome profits, all over the world.
Another example, from a few years ago, of such high-risk enterprise harks from Indonesia.
According to The Fish Site ( www.thefishsite.com , Indonesia decided to undertake a major offshore fish-farming operation, to expand its seabass production. Of course, Indonesia need not “reinvent the wheel”, so the Norwegian fish-farming netpen model is being used for this investment capital-intensive operation. Specifically, The Fish Site report says:
“The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry is to build three offshore aquaculture facilities in 2017 in a hope to produce an additional 1,500 tons of seabass annually. The ministry’s director general for aquaculture, Slamet Soebjakto, said the facilities would be built in Sabang, Aceh; Karimun Jawa, Central Java; and the southern coast of Java between Cilacap and Pangandaran, with a total investment of Rp 141 billion (US$10.5 million), reports the JAKARTA POST. ‘The figure will cover everything, including the automatic feeder machines, fish nets and the cost of establishing floating bases and docks,’ Slamet said. The construction of the offshore facilities, the model of which has been adopted from Norwegian models [which have been developed mostly in Norwegian salmon “farming”], is expected to be completed in eight months, Slamet added. The facilities will be jointly operated by state-owned fishery firm Perikanan Indonesia and local fisherfolk associations.”
[Quoting The Fish Site, January 3, 2017, posted at http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/28623/indonesia-to-expand-seabass-production-with-offshore-facilities/ .]
Previously this Indonesian fish-farming enterprise (using Norwegian netpen technology) was reported, in “Indonesia Intends to Build Offshore 3 Sea Bass Aquaculture Facilities”, posted at https://rockdoveblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/indonesia-intends-to-build-offshore-3-sea-bass-aquaculture-facilites / .
Fish-farming, like landlubber farming, is no easy business. Let’s be thankful for those who work long and hard, and incur risks we don’t think about, just so we can have godo food to eat.
And, above all, thank God for good food that He providentially provides to us, to both the just and the unjust of this world (Acts 14:17).