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Most of our tilapia supply is imported from Latin American and Asia, and in 2015, Americans ate 475 million pounds of tilapia.

Tilapia is a warm-water fish native to Africa, but in the last 60 years the governments of poor tropical countries saw the fish as a solution to control weeds and mosquitoes in lakes and rivers, breeding and releasing tilapia into these areas.

In 2009 Americans consumed 15.8 pounds of fish and shellfish per person, 4.833 billion pounds of seafood in total.

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In fact, around 50% of the seafood we consumes comes from aquaculture.

It is a $78 billion industry which has grown 9% a year since 1975.

Aquaculture is the practice of raising fish or ocean plants for food or resources.

Today, many species of fish are raised in contained fresh water or ocean water environments, including salmon, catfish, tilapia, cod and others.

(12, 13)Modern fish farming practices often raise fish near the top of the food chain (affecting populations of fish that eat or are eaten by these species) and contain thousands of fish in tiny pens (similar to commercial chicken or cow operations).

As you may imagine, these conditions leave something to be desired and affect both the quality of the fish and the health of the ocean.

This density of fish creates problems like disease and pollution.

The biggest source of pollution is the accumulation of fish waste and uneaten food beneath the sea pens which can degrade the quality of the surrounding water.

Another way aquaculture can have a negative impact is by introducing farmed species into the wild and therefore changing the biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems.

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