Why it matters

Water environments that may be adequate for adult fish may not be sufficient for breeding, fish eggs and hatchlings. Any number of environmental factors can cause adults to become infertile. Fish eggs and baby fish are a favourite food for some predators like frogs, turtles and other fish. Some adult fish even eat smaller fish and eggs of their own species. Fish hatcheries resolve these problems.

A fish hatchery provides a safe haven until the fish are mature enough to be caught. Another reason that a certain fish may be raised in a fish hatchery is for environmental conservation. Every animal has its place in the ecosystem. A fish hatchery can reintroduce mature, healthy fish to a previously inhabited body of water where they will maintain the ecosystem by doing their part in the food chain.

Because of pollution, many wild fish are contaminated with dangerous pollutants such as mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Consuming these pollutants is hazardous to human heath. Farm raised fish contain lower levels of contaminants, which helps to reduce this risk.