Farm-raised vs Wild-caught


01 May 2020

No Comments

Living in coastal California, the options for fresh, sustainable seafood are vast. With so many options, Reel & Ranch sources the highest quality seafood while recognizing the importance of conservation and the maintenance of healthy fisheries and natural habitats.

The truth is, often wild-caught seafood is best. Provided the sourcing is sustainable wild-caught fish tend to be healthy and had a large variety in diet. This leads to great flavor. But in some cases farm-raised fish can actually be as good or even better that wild-caught. We’ll break it down and debunk some myths for you!

So, what does wild-caught and farm-raised actually mean?

Wild-caught seafood is caught by fishermen usually from the ocean, a river, or lake. Fish are harvested from their natural habitat using experience, effort know-how and a good bit of chance.  Farmed seafood is much like farming any other crop. Fish are raised in large tanks or controllable semi-wild areas. They can be bred, raised on specific diets and harvested at the peak of their growth.

Myth #1: Wild-caught seafood is good and farm-raised is bad.

Well, the facts are a bit more complicated. Over-fishing is a huge threat facing the ocean today. Sustainable seafood options are crucial to protecting the planet’s wild fish populations. While in the past a whole scale “farm-raised fish is bad” mentality may have been mostly correct, modern aqua-culturists have make huge strides in ensuring a better product for consumers while easing the burden on wild fisheries.


Take catfish for example. In the wild, catfish are scavenger fish eating whatever they find in the channel floor. When you fish for them you don’t know what you are going to catch, size, health etc. In a farm setting catfish can be selected for quality, fed an all-natural diet designed by biologist to promote their healthy growth, and be harvested when they are at the perfect age for both flavor and population health.

Myth #2: Wild-caught seafood tastes better & is healthier than farm-raised.

This is an interesting one! Wild-caught seafood is often leaner than the farm raised option. The amount of fat in a piece of meat is hugely instrumental to the cooking technique needed to produce the best meal for you.


The nutrition quality and flavor of your seafood depends on what the fish is eating. There is diversity in nature and fish go where the food is best. Specialists in aquaculture are making the taste of the farm raised seafood a priority. A healthy fish turns out to also be a tasty fish.


Farm-raised fish can be fed properly and are harvested when they are at the perfect age for flavor.

Our Final Thoughts:

If we want to eat a wide variety of health fish in the future (and we do) we need sustainable options. We need aquaculture as well as knowledgeable responsible fishing for the future. By educating people on both wild-caught and farm-raised sourcing options, we hope to prioritizing quality standards while also looking toward the future.