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How fishfarming may be destroying antibiotics

May 12th, 2010

Critical human antibiotics are used in fish aquaculture

Aquaculture is the farming of freshwater and saltwater organisms such as finfish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants.
World aquaculture doubled from 1994 – 2004. World aquaculture of food fish in 2004 was 45.5 million tons, of which about two thirds was in China. Unfortunately in some places there is a practice of using antibiotics in the process – sometimes this is given to SICK fish, and sometimes these antibiotics are just thrown in daily, to prevent illness.

In some countries ( eg USA, Europe) licensing and regulations means the use of these agents is guided by vets. In 2003 a study of Thai shrimp farmers showed 74% of them used antibiotics, … some of them gave antibiotics on a daily bases for prevention of disease. Antibiotics used in aquaculture include such things as amoxil, erythromycin,tetracyclines and even fluoroquinolones ( the family that includes noroxin used in the treatment of travellers diarrhoea) . This practice is likely to lead to drug resistant bacteria. Resistant genes from fish bacteria can transfer to other bacteria and eventually reach humans.

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