Local Production Company Shines a Spotlight on the Fish Farming Industry

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Pop quiz: Where did the "crab" in last night's California roll originate? Or the meaty middle of your fish filet? Or the hefty slab of salmon you picked up at the supermarket?

Sadly, most consumers are clueless about the answers -- and it's this ignorance that's killing our oceans.

Read also:
- Blue Runner: Quality Seafood From His Door to Yours
- Publix Seafood Practices Rank 19 of 20 Stores Analyzed, Greenpeace Says

A new documentary by a local production company hopes to change that by shining a spotlight on the fish farming industry -- and it's not a pretty picture.

Based out of Coconut Grove, Fish Navy Films takes an in-depth look at aquaculture with their documentary Fish Meat: Choose Your Farm Wisely. Released last year, the flick has been making waves on the environmental film festival circuit ever since.

The film's principals, producer-writer and ecological engineer Ted Caplow and University of Massachusetts Amherst fish ecologist Andy Danylchuk, traipsed around Turkey to take a in-depth look at the aquaculture landscape.

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Courtesy of Fish Navy Films
In the film, the team takes a sometimes graphic, sometimes sad look at the ins and outs of aquaculture (the bluefin tuna segment will make you think twice the next time you pick your fish filet). Turns out, not all fish are created equal, and viewers are likely to be surprised by much of the facts uncovered by the group's analysis.

One of the film's key messages is that the best fish farms are those that use minimal resources, create little pollution and produce fish that are as low on the food chain as possible.

But what do we really need to know when we're headed to the supermarket?

"I think it's really important for consumers to ask questions really when they're at restaurants and grocery stores. There's a lot of different labeling programs out there that try to help guide consumers on better fish to eat, but it can be pretty confusing and overwhelming," says Sarah Curry, associate producer with Fish Navy Films.

"Our oceans are kind of at the maximum capacity for fishing right now. We're going to have to farm fish in the future but to do that in a good way, buying domestically-raised farm fish is really important. Catfish and tilapia are some good examples."

Fish Navy's blog is also a source for additional information on how to make wise choices when it comes to seafood selection.

Interested eaters can catch the flick in early December at the Miami Science Museum's Underwater Festival.

Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.

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