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mihto

Salmon: farmed or wild?

Pricey suggested I start a thread on the topic. Shocked

Our wild salmon is at the end of its tether. Too many farmed salmon have escaped and are dilluting the gene pool. Salmon is special because each fish returns to the river where it was spawned. The genetic makeup of the fish in each river is just different enough to breed the spesific fish suited to the environment. A farmed fish will go up the river that is closest and mix with the wild fish. The young will seldom survive, because they are not well suited to the spesific environment.

The farmed salmon will also spread disease. We have huge problems with salmon lice Lepeophtheirus salmonis and with anothe parasite gyrodactilus salaris. The amount of money involved in salmon farming is gigantic.

In another ten years there may be no wild fish left. One of the most impressive fish in the world may become extinct.


http://www.norwegian-salmon.com/salmon/extended-en.php?recID=219
Jonnyboy

I have to admit that I'm very partial to a wild salmon, and have been lucky enough to be given a few every year for the four or five years.

It would be a crying shame to see these wonderful fish with such fascinating life cycles disappear, and farmed salmon is now one of the cheapest fish you can buy.

I wonder of farmed salmon could be made infertile?
pricey

I wholeheartedly agree with you on this, and for what it is worth nothing is being done about it here or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

A lot of different fish is farmed in country's all over the world, and the same is happening to lots of different species of fish and no one seems to care about it.

Sea Bass is farmed in Greece, and is having devastating affects in parts of the Med.

As in Australia and Tasmania, the wild fish are getting Ill and not spawning. But the general approach to this all is, oh well at least we will still have the Farmed stuff, I just don't get it.

To me this is just as bad as battery hens or penned Pigs!
tahir

Jonnyboy wrote:
I wonder of farmed salmon could be made infertile?


GM could...
tahir

pricey wrote:
To me this is just as bad as battery hens or penned Pigs!


Yup
Chez

tahir wrote:
GM could...


... The worms! The can! They won't go back in!

It would be a good solution, though. So long as it worked 100% of the time and you didn't get the odd one that wasn't infertile getting out in to the wild population, spawning and then, for example, the next generation all being mules. (Is that the right term?).
mihto

Jonnyboy wrote:


I wonder of farmed salmon could be made infertile?


They are discussing it and there is certainly research on the topic.

Worse, though, and a problem seldom mentioned: all the farmed fish need to eat. They need protein and fish fat, and until now they have been given marine protein. Fish species not used for human consumption is fished on industrial scale, emptying our rich fields of the very gold that sustains species like cod and haddoc. The commercial fishing for these "non-edible" species is now depleting the North Sea to the extent that see birds suffer badly as well. Many bird species are down to less than 1/10 of their previous numbers. Cod is very hard to find. The demand for cod is great, so this species is now farmed in increasing numbers. Now the farmed cod need to eat as well..
tahir

mihto this is something I've always been hugely concerned about, I'm not an elitist in any way but salmon was and should still be a luxury, not a flipping commodity.
pricey

tahir wrote:
mihto this is something I've always been hugely concerned about, I'm not an elitist in any way but salmon was and should still be a luxury, not a flipping commodity.


What he said.
Chez

mihto wrote:
Worse, though, and a problem seldom mentioned: all the farmed fish need to eat ...


I hadn't even heard of that, it hadn't even occurred to me. Thank you for bringing it up, Mihto.
Jonnyboy

mihto wrote:


They are discussing it and there is certainly research on the topic.

Worse, though, and a problem seldom mentioned: all the farmed fish need to eat. They need protein and fish fat, and until now they have been given marine protein. Fish species not used for human consumption is fished on industrial scale, emptying our rich fields of the very gold that sustains species like cod and haddoc. The commercial fishing for these "non-edible" species is now depleting the North Sea to the extent that see birds suffer badly as well. Many bird species are down to less than 1/10 of their previous numbers. Cod is very hard to find. The demand for cod is great, so this species is now farmed in increasing numbers. Now the farmed cod need to eat as well..


I completely agree, the inputs and outputs surely do not add up. there are huge parallels between this and factoring farming of chickens. the drive to make it available to everyone has turned it into a pasty shadow of the original.

I don't know much about cod farming, but isn't that easier as cod are generally lazy trash eaters?
mihto

They are doing some very interesting research on feeding of farmed cod. The idea is to use vegetarian food, if it is at all possible. It flies into the face of common sense to empty the oceans of other species in order to feed cod.

At the center of the farmed fish problem is the huge profit made. Even at low shop prices in Europe the salmon is so cheap to farm that the owners make millions. Eventually the cycle will break: as the oceans are emptied of "non-edible" species, the cost of feed will skyrocket and the industry will flop. By then much damage has been done to other fish species, to birdlife, to sea mammals like seals and whales. We all use the ocean to sustain our lives, even to survive. By destroying our most valuable commodity because of greed, we may be facing a major ecological disaster.
mihto

Jonnyboy wrote:




I completely agree, the inputs and outputs surely do not add up. there are huge parallels between this and factoring farming of chickens. the drive to make it available to everyone has turned it into a pasty shadow of the original.




In many ways farming fish is worse than farming chicken. In chicken you have food meant for human consumption which is acceptable, but only just so. Growing chicken feed may use fields that could be better utilised, but they are hardly an environmental disaster.

Fish farming, however, produces food for people that is quite tasty as well as cheap. The price that people do not see is the emptying of our oceans. I enjoy eating salmon as much as anybody, whilst being sadly aware of the enormous side effects on our oceans. As the North Sea is emptied, our huge factory vessels go fishing all over the world and prevent developing countries from useing their own fish resources. Eventually these people will pay the ultimate price for the rich nations taste for salmon.
Bebo

If you want farmed fish, have trout. They can be 'farmed' in an artificial enclosed freshwater system without affecting anything else and if stocking densities are low they live a happy enough life.

Otherwise if you want fresh fish be more adventurous and have, in the right season, mackerel, coley, red mullet or any of the other plentiufl fish that are caught and chucked away because there is no demand for them.
mihto

Bebo wrote:
If you want farmed fish, have trout. They can be 'farmed' in an artificial enclosed freshwater system without affecting anything else and if stocking densities are low they live a happy enough life.

Otherwise if you want fresh fish be more adventurous and have, in the right season, mackerel, coley, red mullet or any of the other plentiufl fish that are caught and chucked away because there is no demand for them.


Bebo, I still have about 40 meals of brown trout left in the freezer and the new season starts in April/May Embarassed Very hard to stop fishing once they bite properly and on a good day I can bring home 10-15 nice fish. Mackerel is plentiful. We do not have boats coming in with their catch where I live, however, and the other species are out of my reach unless I fish for them myself. Our farmed trout are all imported rainbows and they are just as bad as the salmon when it comes to using food resourses, I'm afraid.
Bebo

I think my post was probably more applicable to the UK, mihto, where a lot of people think fish means battered cod from the fish and chip shop or salmon steaks from the supermarket. For an island nation we aren't very adventurous when if comes to trying different types of fish. And I include myself in that generalisation - I'm a much more confident cook with meat than I am with fish.
Stewy

Finding a decent fishmonger would help, was in Waitrose the other day and the choice was rubbish, they hardly had anything. If you are in Oxford go to the covered market, found a lovely fishmongers in there a few weeks ago, bought a bagful of big, fresh sardines and they only cost a couple of quid............
Iggle Piggle

Think this says it all....enjoy Shocked

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTYhQAN9BW0
mihto

Iggle Piggle wrote:
Think this says it all....enjoy Shocked

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTYhQAN9BW0


Thank you for posting the link. It shows the problem in its full magnitude. As a professional I totally agree with the conclusions. On our coast we have ever-growing problems with resistance to Slice, which is the main drug against lice.

This industy is bound to crash, the problem is to what extent wild salmon, as well as "food" species, are ruined before the crash happens. The farmed salmon is one of the largest ecological time bombs in the world today.
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