I was inspired to write about aquaculture after I watched a program called Eco Trip, a show that investigates the environmental impact of everyday things in our lives. I was surprised to learn that salmon farming had so many negative consequences because I had been under the impression that environmentalists praised aquaculture for taking pressure off of wild populations. In reality, practices like salmon farming often put more pressure on wild stocks. As I did my research, I found that there are ways to make aquaculture more sustainable with operations like closed containment aquaculture. I stayed interested in this topic throughout the writing process because as a student of environmental analysis and policy, such a topic is highly intriguing to me.

The greatest challenge I faced when writing the paper was deciding where I stood on the issue. At first this was very difficult because environmentalists are so split on whether to support or criticize aquaculture. As I did my research, I finally was able to draw my own conclusions. I decided that aquaculture can be a part of society but only if more sustainable practices are adopted, and more thorough investigations of its impacts are completed. If I was asked to write another draft, I would probably develop it a little further where I begin to make conclusions about our relationship to nature. Overall though, I’m highly satisfied with the way my final paper turned out, and I believe it greatly improved my writing skills.

COURTNEY CARROLL is a student in the College of Arts and Sciences studying environmental analysis and policy. She hopes to build a career in public health or environmental education. This essay was written for Frederic Fitts’s course, WR 150: American Environmental History.