Why farmed salmon should be banned

Farmed Salmon Pen

by Catherine Haug, Nov, 2018 (Photo, right by  L. Renehan/Living Oceans Society (1))

Salmon is my favorite fish (after lutefisk), probably because when I was growing up in Bigfork in the 50 and 60s, we had an amazing land-locked salmon fishery here. When I moved to the west coast for college and career, I had abundant access to wild-caught ocean salmon. But we lost our salmon fishery here, and wild-caught salmon are in decline in the waters off the west coast of the USA and Canada.

You might think that switching to farmed salmon would help our wild salmon fisheries to recover, but sadly, this is not the case. In fact, the truth is just the opposite.

It’s estimated that within the next 10 years, farm-raised fish (of all species) will make up the majority of fish consumed by humans. Aquaculture (technical name for fish-farming) sounds like a sustainable alternative to catching wild fish, but that is not true. It poses many of the same problems plaguing industrial land-based livestock operations, or concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Here’s just a few examples:

  • This $160 billion dollar industry is depleting wild fisheries because wild fish are caught and turned into fishmeal to feed the farmed fish. 20 million tons of wild fish caught in the oceans are used to make fresh meal for farmed fish, depleting wild fish even more (and making them more expensive at the market).
  • Communities near the shore around the world lose a valuable source of income when wild fish are depleted. For example, the sardinella fisheries in West Africa, and the Alaskan and British Columbia salmon fisheries are prime examples.
  • Diseases that may be rampant in fish farms are passed to wild fish through biological waste. Concentrated fecal matter along with urine and mucus is released from each salmon farms by the ton daily. Nearby wild salmon are the victims. Fisheries and Ocean Canada virologist, Dr. Kyle Garver testified at the Cohen Commission into the decline of Fraser River sockeye salmon, that a salmon farm can shed  65 billion infectious particles per hour. This is a threat to wild salmon survival.

See Mercola’s articles (2a, 2b) for lots more information.


  1. Photo by  L. Renehan/Living Oceans Society, from farmedanddangerous.org/salmon-farming-problems/
  2. Mercola:
  3. alexandramorton.typepad.com/racing_a_virus/

Tags: ,

Comments are closed.