Taking aquaculture out of the ocean is critical but raising them in freshwater tanks is likely the lesser of two evils instead of a solution. Part of the problem is that salmon farming by nature is not sustainable. If they have to feed these "Coho" more pounds of fish then we get back, then we're still screwed. Also, are Coho raised in fresh water tanks really Coho? There's going to be even more confusion on a mass level when "Freshwater Farmed Raised Coho" hits the market, potentially diluting the real value of wild fish and the true cost of losing them in the eyes of the uneducated masses. My feeling is that farming is for potatoes, not salmon.
I disagree whole heartedly. Farming is for any natural resource we humans decide to consume on a scale greater than can be sustained by wild production. Fish is just one of the last resources to reach the point where it is necessary because it was such an abundant resource to begin with - compared to wild potatoes, rice, wheat, pigs, cows, chickens, trees, you get the picture..
And, we are already far past the point of consuming more seafood than the wild can produce. Production from wild capture fisheries leveled off more than a decade ago and 'farmed' seafood, raised specifically for human consumption, under varying levels of control and regulation, is currently supplying nearly half of the global demand for seafood. As Americans we import more than 75% of our seafood. We either need to eat less seafood (probably a pretty good idea, unless we replace the protein with less healthy, less sustainable meats - i.e. any other meat), or we need to find a way to produce more of our own seafood as safely and sustainable as possible.
You say cultured fish anywhere is not the solution. What is the solution? Do you really think that wild stocks can support the future demand for seafood? Do you think it could support the current demand? Of course there are environmental impacts of fish farming. All agriculture has impacts. Best practices need to be determined, put into place, and supported by the consumer. We can't go back to the hunter gatherer approach for fish any more than we can for crops and other meats. It would be an environmental disaster.
Yes, fish eat fish, but their feed conversion ratio in captivity is better than fish in the wild, and miles better than any other meat we eat. There is a lot of research into fish meal replacements from wild fish processing byproducts, land based plants or, even better, cultured algae. I don't know anything specifically about the the technology in the article above, but it sounds like a company that is thinking ahead, trying to do the right thing, and hoping consumers will support them. My only issue with it is that it sounds like their model is not capable of producing nearly enough to make any real difference, but.. its a start. There are also US based trout, catfish, tilapia and hybrid striped bass farming industries that are fairly well regulated and producing cultured seafood with minimal environmental impacts. They should absolutely be supported, especially by people who care about what remains of the wild fisheries. The idea that wild seafood is "green" seafood is a fallacy. Their are a some wild stocks left that can support limited harvest. That stuff should be priced at a premium and all the other seafood for the masses, will have to be farmed. Again, a large portion of it already is - it just needs to be done better.