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Farm-Raised Vs Wild-Caught Seafood

For the last few years, there has been some debate in the fishing industry over which type of seafood is better — seafood that has been raised on a farm or that has been caught in the wild. Other questions arise as a by-product of this debate. Is either method safe (for the environment and to eat)? Is there a difference in taste between the two methods? Seafood Direct has a great range of Seafood online UK wide eady for you to order.

The term "wild-caught" means that the fish were caught in their natural habitats, such as freshwater rivers and oceans. On the other hand, farm-raised seafood is defined as specific fish caught in a controlled environment. Staying on top of the ethics, safety, and quality of either can be pretty challenging for the average seafood consumer in the UK. Below, we will dissect the farm-raised vs wild-caught debate and address some of its most contentious topics.

Pros and Cons of Wild-Caught Seafood

Seafood that is allowed to thrive in its natural environment is often healthier. We are talking about fish that can consume their natural diet and swim and spawn freely. These activities add to the flavour and muscle mass of the fish, regardless of whether it is lean (think hake, cod, haddock or sea bass) or inherently fatty (think salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel or trout). These factors are influenced by the environment and contribute to its unique flavour profile.

However, fishing for endangered, threatened and protected species, fishing for species out of season, or overfishing can have serious consequences for the marine ecology. There is also the possibility of a by-catch. By-catch refers to unwanted fish caught during commercial fishing. For example, nets used to catch tuna can also catch dolphins — and the vast majority of dolphins caught are killed.

Pros and Cons of Farm-Raised Seafood

Farm-raised seafood accounts for a considerable proportion of our store-bought options in the UK. Fish reproduce consistently in a regulated environment, providing consumers with a more consistent product. Farm-raised seafood also avoids by-catch, overfishing, and fishing out of season, giving wild species time to recuperate from the wild-caught season while still meeting market demand.

However, in some cases, a controlled setting (usually crammed tanks) can result in unhealthier fish. The fish can become sick if the water in the tank is not well circulated and clean. These illnesses can infect native fish species in farmed seafood kept in embanked pens and net enclosures in the open ocean. All of this can lead to significant losses. The flavour profile of farm-raised seafood may also be affected depending on the feed used. 

Buy Fresh Seafood Online

From sourcing to packaging, Seafood Direct pays close attention to every step of the process. We make sure that only the freshest seafood gets delivered to you. To browse our fine selection of mouth-watering fresh seafood, please stop by our collections page! And if you have any questions about our seafood delivery service, call us at 01472 566000 or write to us at One of our representatives will get back to you shortly!

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