The global impact of farming
Land farming isn’t as environmentally sustainable as is used to be; the needs are too high, and space is limited. To keep up demand, production in the land farms would have to generate 80 kg of fish per cubic meter. This process uses up too much water and puts more pressure on freshwater sources.
- By 2025, 1.8 billion people will live in areas with water scarcity
- the amount of energy needed to meet growing demands could power a city of 1.2 million people
2 billion kg of land-based farms produce 526 billion kg of greenhouse gas emissions
Agriculture water usage will increase 20 percent by 2050
Wild stocks drastically diminished due to population growth in Puget Sound area
Overfilled land farms lower quality of life for fish
Question: Do farmed salmon compete with wild salmon for food and habitat?
Answer: No. Breeding and rearing cultured Atlantic salmon stocks in captivity for generations created a highly domesticated animal that quickly perishes in the wild. They don’t have the skills required to find food or avoid predators.
Question: Do farmed salmon feed on wild salmon smolts?
Answer: No. Farmed salmon eat nutrient-dense pellets made from animal, plant, and fish proteins. Two essential ingredients of this feed are fishmeal and fish oil, which ensure high levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Question: Do farmed salmon interbreed with wild Pacific salmon?
Answer: Atlantic salmon raised in net pens are sexually immature, and therefore are too young to spawn with any fish. In the process of mate selection, a Pacific salmon would tend to exclude the Atlantic salmon in favor of another Pacific breed.
Question: What happens if farmed salmon get sick?
Answer: On the occasion that some of the salmon get sick, veterinarians may prescribe an antibiotic treatment, followed by a lengthy withdrawal period for the fish to recover. However, farmed salmon require fewer treatments than other livestock and never receive any preventative antibiotics.
Question: Can farmed salmon colonize Pacific waters?
Answer: Farmed salmon in Washington fisheries for over 40 years caused them to become the most domesticated species of salmon in recent history. Their ability to survive and colonize outside of their pens significantly diminishes.
What’s good for the environment is good for us all
Farmed salmon is a low-barrier protein that people of any income level can enjoy. It’s full of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, B12, and D, as well as an excellent source of iron and zinc. It’s also low in fat and calories, making it one of the most well-rounded proteins out there.
To ensure a quality product, many farmers partner with local environmental research groups and science-driven organizations to evaluate and audit their farming practices.
- Atlantic salmon can be traced back to their original farms, with records of their eating habits
- Fish feed production generates three times fewer greenhouse gases than pig feed and six times less than cattle
- the US spent 2.5 billion dollars on imported salmon in 2015 – farming salmon locally would significantly reduce our carbon footprint
How aquaculture eases strain
Fish farming in the ocean consumes less freshwater and allows the salmon to grow without crowding. They only occupy four percent of their net pens, allowing for a higher quality product. Ocean farms also use certified, disease-free smolts, which are never genetically modified as part of a commitment the International Salmon Farmers’ Association made in 1996. The feeds are free of both growth hormones, which are prohibited by the FDA, and artificial dyes. The salmon get their color from the same antioxidants they would find in nature.
This system is better for the environment, and in turn, provides us with better tasting seafood.
- Farmed salmon requires a fraction of the freshwater needed to raise cattle, or grow rice
- Aquaculture provides the planet with fresh seafood year-round
- Releases pressure from wild stock and prevents overfishing
fish feed is three times fewer emissions than pigs and six times less than cattle
Fish only occupy 4 percent of their net pens
Our salmon are not genetically modified and we do not use growth hormones.
2.5 billion dollars spent on imports, local sources would significantly reduce this impact