British company offers organic cod

April 15, 2006

A British company plans to begin supplying farmed organic cod to major supermarket chains next month.

Johnson Seafarms, with operations in the Shetland Islands, hopes to provide cod that is both tasty and produced in a manner that will not harm the environment, The Telegraph reports. That is more difficult than it sounds.

Karol Rzepkowski, the company's managing director, says Johnson plans to use only wild fish as brood stock, so all fish sold will only be a generation away from free swimmers. Sea pens have been designed with double nets to prevent the farmed fish from escaping and with small-mesh nets that will not trap birds.

Rzepkowski says he was horrified to see salmon pens with dead and dying birds that had caught their wings in the mesh.

The company even provides toys so the cod will have something to chew on.

But, like other livestock, the fish have to be fed. The small species used to feed farmed salmon are already over fished. For the moment, Rzepkowski said Johnson plans to use bits and pieces of fish left from processing.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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