Aquaculture and The Future of Food

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Photograph by Peter Hapak for TIME

Hunting wild animals for one's dinner is not an artifact of humanity's past. It's still done every day, only we call it fishing. But with the global population growing as well as the appetite for protein from the sea, the oceans are being emptied out. So we are doing with fish what we've done with other animals for millennia: we're raising them on farms. As Bryan Walsh's perceptive cover story makes clear, we now get about half our seafood from farms, and it's changing the nature of how and what we eat. Aquaculture may be the way to save the oceans and its stocks of wild fish and keep everyone fed (and healthy), but there are downsides too. "We'll need to farm the seas to survive in a crowded world," says Walsh. "But the challenge will be to do it right."

We have two stories about rather sensational legal cases in this issue, one by Adam Cohen about Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the other by James Poniewozik regarding the acquittal of Casey Anthony. The two cases have a couple of things in common: the first is relentless media attention, and the second is some public misconception that "not guilty" means innocent. It doesn't. I've always thought our legal nomenclature could be clearer. Scotland's legal system has three verdicts: one for conviction, "proven," and two for acquittal, "not proven" and "not guilty." "Not proven" indicates that while there was evidence against the accused, the prosecution could not prove its case. "Not guilty" suggests something closer to innocence. "Not proven" may well be the best verdict for both Anthony and Strauss-Kahn — if his case ever goes to trial.

Richard Stengel, MANAGING EDITOR