Delicious salmon: gently braised, crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside – a treat for every barbecue. Prepared correctly, fish is not only especially tasty, but also very healthy. No wonder it’s in such high demand.
The downside, however, is that fishing activity is booming, resulting in increased overexploitation of the oceans. More and more fish farming sites are being built onshore to counteract this. And guess what: their production facilities are made of plastic.
Fish contains minerals, iodine, vitamin D and is also a good source of protein. And fish like salmon or halibut also contain valuable omega-3 fatty acids. In short, the world’ s growing population needs fish. The oceans need them, too.
It’s a good thing that more than 50 percent of the world’s fish catch already comes from aquaculture, where organisms living in water – in particular fish, mussels, crabs and algae – are reared in controlled conditions in fish farms on land. Sensitive marine ecosystems appreciate this.
In recent decades, the use of what is known as a closed loop system – the recirculating aquaculture system – has become increasingly common in this type of aquaculture. Its main advantage is its low water consumption. These production facilities are operated exclusively on land using recycled seawater, leaving the sensitive marine ecosystem intact.
And it is precisely here that plastics ‘step into the breach’ once more, since it forms the basis for the complex piping systems, valves and tanks. Around twelve kilometres of pipe systems made of – really strong – polyethylene are installed in a single fish farm.
Using a different material here is simply inconceivable because plastics make it really easy to realise the bends and forks. In some cases, they are even made individually to order. And plastics also successfully defy salt water over the course of many years, which is a real challenge for a lot of other materials.
We can be thankful for the excellent properties of plastic, because it ensures that fish end up safely on our table – for sustainable and, from now on, responsible enjoyment at the next barbecue.
Photo credit: iStock.com/FatCamera, iStock.com/Yann-HUBERT