Fish often become great substitutes for meats due to their omega-3 and protein contents. In general, there are two types of fish, which are farm-raised fish and wild-caught fish. Many people think one has better quality than another, but this is not always the case.
Several things differentiate between farm-raised fish and fish that people catch in their habitats. We’ll start with the four points that differentiate between two fish. Then, we will wrap up with our verdicts on which one among those fish is the best.
#1. Their habitats and foods
These two things are the most evident things to differentiate between the two fish types. We refer to farm-raised fish as fish inside several large tanks. Since their habitats are inside the tanks, farm-raised fish are prone to eat pet foods, particularly fortified foods.
These foods are the reasons why farm-raised fish are richer in their omega-3 contents than wild-caught fish. Their habitats (or their environments) are also the things that make their market prices more affordable than wild-caught fish.
On the other hand, wild-caught fish are fish that people catch directly from the sea. Therefore, wild-caught fish eat foods that have lesser saturated fat amounts but contain more natural minerals, vitamins, and other ingredients than their farm-raised counterparts.
#2. Their nutritional contents
Farm-raised fish are less natural than wild-caught fish. Nonetheless, the habitats and the ways people feed them don’t instantly make them worse than wild-caught fish. Farm-raised fiss are the solutions for omega-3 and fat deficiencies.
Farm-raised fish have more omega-3 and fat contents than wild-caught fishedue to their food diets. When we process those fish correctly, we will be able to get rid of harmful substances in farm-raised fish. Plus, they can be equally delicious as their wild-caught counterparts.
Meanwhile, wild-caught fish have more variations in food diets. For instance, some wild-caught salmon has natural pink colors because they eat krills.
Some other fish that people caught straightly from the water body eat other organisms around them without additional chemical substances in their foods. Such things become the reasons why wild-caught fish are richer in their mineral contents than farm-raised fish. Additionally, these wild-caught fish are also free of antibiotics.
#3. The possibility of food products (and the marketing efforts) from each fish
Most farm-raised fish have grayish colors due to their food diets. Sometimes, food and beverage companies apply preservatives like sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) to farm-raised fish before they market the fish to their customers. However, some of these cheap-priced fish food products smell and taste like cat food rather than fresh fish.
Such things make most farm-raised fish less natural and fresh than wild-caught fish. Again, such characteristics don’t instantly make farm-raised fish worse than wild-caught fish. The possibilities for food products and marketing of these products are things that make farm-raised fish more advantageous than wild-caught fish.
For example, almost all canned fish are from farm-raised fish. From these canned fish, we can make delicious savory tuna crepes or tuna fried rice. We can also make mouthwatering fish and chips or fried or grilled gourami from farm-raised fish products in supermarkets that come in the form of iced fish.
At the same time, it doesn’t mean the possibilities for food products and the marketing efforts for wild-caught fish are impossible.
Their freshness makes them excellent ingredients for seafood dishes that need freshness, such as tuna or salmon sushi and sashimi. We also frequently see wild-caught fish in more premium supermarkets and restaurants due to their prices.
#4. Their environmental concerns
Farm-raised fish generally pose more environmental concerns than wild-caught fish due to the ways they live. On the other hand, wild-caught fish can pose different environmental concerns. The risks can be equally fatal, depending on how the repetitions are. The more repetitions of those risk exposures, the more risky the fish’s conditions are.
The most evident environmental concern in farm-raised fish lies in the tanks where they live. People and companies caring about environmental impacts and sustainability repeatedly associate fish tanks with polluted spaces that don’t permit the fish to breathe.
The fish unnatural meals raise such concerns even more. More so when the fish have been contaminated with mercury or other harmful substances that cause carcinogens to build.
Nonetheless, wild-caught fish can also get similar environmental risk exposures. Their risk exposures are even bigger, since the sea, river, and more is way more spacious than fish tanks. Their food diets and natural colors will get disrupted when people throw trash in the water bodies. As a result, wild-caught fish can contain harmful substances as well.
Even though wild-caught fish live in more natural and free-ranged habitats than farm-raised fish, their capturing methods can pose environmental risks. For example, fishnets and even explosives can cause injuries to the fish and damage the whole sea and river ecosystems.
So, which one is better between farm-raised fish and wild-caught fish?
Many people think wild-caught fish are better because their tastes are fresher, more natural, and they are more “fish-like” than farm-raised fish. Even though such things are correct, no fish are better than the others.
Farm-raised fish are rich in omega-3 and fat contents, which makes people with anemia and difficulty focusing need products that contain farm-raised fish. On the other hand, wild-caught fish are richer in mineral content, which makes them excellent supplements and sushi ingredients in premium restaurants.
Mercury is yet another thing that concerns us when we choose our fish. Nonetheless, it doesn’t matter where the fish live.
Both farm-raised fish and wild-caught fish are subject to mercury poisonings depending on how polluted their environments are and what substances the companies use to process them further into different food products. Even fish with low mercury contents like tuna and skipjacks can still contain mercury.
So, there are no better fish when we compare farm-raised fish and wild-caught fish. It depends on our dietary needs, their habitats, and what people are doing around their environments. Both of these fish can be healthy, and the choices are all up to us.