Eating Farmed or Wild Salmon: The Choice is Yours

Wild Chinook
Farmed Fish

Salmon  is a luxury food  all  over the world.  Since there are billions of people on this planet, the demand for fish is increasing.  One of the main  issues  with this is that the amount of wild  salmon  cannot sustain the growing population of humans.  The food industry is becoming more and more dependent on farmed salmon. Nearly three-fourths of  salmon harvested  is farmed, but  there is only one salmon farm that has an  approved purchase  rating. Although other farms are  monitored and tested, they  are recommended “void.”  While farming  salmon  is effective, there are many problems that  need to be recognized. Some problems pertaining to farming fish  include  pollution – mostly fecal matter that builds up around the farming areas;  escapees – fish that find their way out of the pens and into the open; contaminants – chemicals like ”  polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)” and “dioxins” found in farmed fish and  mercury and metals  found in wild salmon; and  parasites and disease –  sea lice, which  are actually  becoming resistant to “parasiticides.” While there are  problems in wild salmon  as well, the choice of consumption is dependent on the person.  Improvements in  salmon farming  are continually being made; however, “salmon farms will never have zero impact on the environment.”

Author: Diego Madrid



3 thoughts on “Eating Farmed or Wild Salmon: The Choice is Yours”

  1. Very nice article! Like we saw in class, there are many concerns with aquaculture, but you can see here that these are being addressed. There’s still a long way to go, but this article does a good job of showing the current realities of salmon aquaculture in the developed world.

    The success of aquaculture will be assessed on a case by case basis. Some operations are doing a great job, others are not. Just like wild capture fisheries.

  2. This article summarizes well the issues of salmon farming. Even in places as close to Alaska as the Mid-west of the US, the only option available in stores for buying salmon is farmed fish. The price difference between wild caught and farmed is so big that distributors don’t even bother buying wild caught salmon…just imagine shipping to other countries. Mandating aquaculture outfits to raise their standards and investment in improving their operation protocols seems only reasonable. Now its important to educate the public to buy only ACS certified fish, that is in the unfortunate places where only farmed salmon is available.

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