Salmon Farming in Crisis

A recent article has been released by The Guardian, talking about the farmed salmon industry being on the brink of destruction due to sea lice and an unsustainable feeding methods. Its so important to read up on the destruction the farmed industry is causing the global market of wild fish. Its important to know and understand the pros and cons when you take your dollar to vote in the market place. Of course as a former commercial fisherman, I am a huge advocate for eating wild, I also believe every consumer has to make a choice that is right for them. I understand wild fish can get to be expensive, and according to the Guardian, the farmed industry has helped to supply salmon to the “poor” population. But at what cost? Environmentally speaking or even your personal health.

Take corn for example. Corn in America has been scientifically reduced to become a filling agent for millions of food products. Its cheaper to buy corn products than it is to grow corn itself thanks to government subsidies. But we have to ask ourselves the facts. Even though we feel full, it doesn’t mean you ARE full. And why is there corn in my yogurt? What I am saying is, are we willing to sacrifice everything for the bottom dollar? How do we solve a problem that lies much deeper than a choice between wild and farmed. It goes down to how do we feed millions of people a resource that has to be more responsibly managed. And it does come down to the consumer. Your dollar is a vote that you bring to the market place. So if your asking,”what can i do?” You can educate yourself. You can read up on articles like “The Guardian” and other business, and scientific journals that are out to expose the truth the corporate food industries DON’T want you to know. You can source as local as possible and as close to the source as possible. Either way, you as the consumer must make a choice that is right for you, but knowing the facts behind those choices is key. So with that here are some salmon facts, as quoted from The Guardian.

“Salmon: the facts

Salmon is the biggest-selling seafood in the UK. Most UK production is carried out by six Norwegian companies. There are about 250 salmon farms off the west coast of Scotland and its islands

60% of Scottish farmed salmon is sold to British consumers. Export markets are led by the US, which bought 30,000 tonnes in 2015. UK sales are more than £700m a year

Farmed salmon are fed on oil and smaller fish, ground-up feathers, GM yeast, soybeans and chicken fat

Wild salmon get their colour from eating krill and shrimp. The flesh of farmed salmon is grey, and is coloured by astaxanthin, a manufactured copy of the pigment that wild salmon eat in nature

Fish is an important part of a healthy diet, and salmon are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases

Farmed salmon is still good for the health. Buy from the smaller, sea-based farms that are not under pressure to overstock. There are a few good organic ones that claim to have addressed all the problems. People have to judge carefully the environmental and health issues. The good news is that both farmed and wild salmon have very low levels of mercury, PCBs and other contaminants.

  • This article was amended on 2 April 2017. In an earlier version, the last three instances of Don Staniford’s surname were rendered as Stanimore.”

Posted in Educational Articles.