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mihto

Salmon Farming

We have discussed this topic earlier, but a new campaign sums up the problems nicely.


http://www.puresalmon.org/fact_sheets.html



I'll be interested to hear what other people think.
marigold

I think the practise of salmon farming is WRONG, full stop. I haven't eaten any salmon or trout at all since it penetrated my thick skull what nasty unnatural lives farmed fish live (20+ years I guess). The environmental consequences of human greed for cheap salmon aren't pretty either. I try (though probably don't always succeed) to only eat wild-caught fish.
Iggle Piggle

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

Salmon en croute anyone puke_r

I haven't touched the stuff for years and as for the damage it causes to wild fish Stocks it's despicable.
pricey

What a facinating film thanks for sharing that.
Hairyloon

marigold wrote:
I try (though probably don't always succeed) to only eat wild-caught fish.

Salmon is not the way, but without fish farming, we have not a hope in hell of feeding the worlds population.
mihto

Hairyloon wrote:
marigold wrote:
I try (though probably don't always succeed) to only eat wild-caught fish.

Salmon is not the way, but without fish farming, we have not a hope in hell of feeding the worlds population.


This is the kind of discussion I was hoping for. There must be a way to farm fish as well as taking care of the environment. The problems start when the profit in the fish producing companies is so enormous that the shareholders will not seriously discuss expensive environment changes.
Hairyloon

mihto wrote:
There must be a way to farm fish as well as taking care of the environment.

Hugh FW showed a near perfect system combining a trout farm with a watercress farm.
Water flowed through the watercress, picking up lots of wee critters that live among the roots.
The water flows into the trout tanks.
The trout would eat the critters and fertilise the water.
The water is pumped back to the top where it flows through the watercress picking up wee critters...

It is also easy and fairly sound to farm herbivorous fish, just they are not popular at market.
vegplot

Hairyloon wrote:
marigold wrote:
I try (though probably don't always succeed) to only eat wild-caught fish.

Salmon is not the way, but without fish farming, we have not a hope in hell of feeding the worlds population.


I wish it were so. Someone I know works in this area and his take is that it's not sustainable as we know capt'n.
Hairyloon

vegplot wrote:
I wish it were so. Someone I know works in this area and his take is that it's not sustainable as we know capt'n.

Salmon, trout and other piscivorous fish, he is probably right. Certainly doing it the modern way.
Tilapia, carp and other herbivores have much potential.

The main problem with the piscivores is feeding them: they want a nice meaty source of protein... have I ever discussed rat farms with you lot?
mihto

vegplot wrote:
Someone I know works in this area and his take is that it's not sustainable as we know capt'n.


I work in this area. I know that is not sustainable. Why do you think I bother putting it up for discussion?
Bebo

Isn't most trout 'farmed'? It doesn't have to be intensive to stock reservoirs with trout that can be caught and eaten.
sean

I think that's a different issue from the 'trout and salmon that you buy in supermarkets/at the fishmongers' one. Commercial sport fisheries are probably sustainable (if a bit odd IMHO).
mihto

The rainbow trout is used for farming. This is not an indigenous species in our waters. They have the same life cycle (Sweet water/salt water) as salmon. They are quick growing and slaughtered at 2,5-4 kg.

The brown trout is wild. Hard to farm and grows much slower.

My thoughts about this: unless we find a vegitarian substitute, like soya, we will push the salmonide farming to the point when the food sources run dry. By then the wild fish gentetic pool is destroyed and disease has taken out whatever wild salmon is left. Exit Atlantic salmon. Exit many food fish species as well.

We need to think carefully about where these thoughts take us. I certainly have no anwers.
sean

I don't think that they're different species. I do think that they're different levels of intensity.
mihto

sean wrote:
I don't think that they're different species. I do think that they're different levels of intensity.


Of course they are different species. Salmo trutta is our indigenous brown trout. The rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss is North American.

I fish the one and work with the other. Trust me to know the difference.

Both taste lovely, btw. We once had 20 000 rainbow trout escaping. They all went up my favourite river.

Those were the days.... Embarassed
sean

Sorry, I got that the wrong way round. Anyway, it's the intensity level that's important I think, maybe. Stocking trout in a pond so that people can fish for them is maybe sustainable, hoovering up sand eels to feed mass market fish isn't. I think.
Hairyloon

mihto wrote:
Of course they are different species. Salmo trutta is our indigenous brown trout. The rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss is North American.

Then that is more than just a different species, they're different genera.
mihto

sean wrote:
Sorry, I got that the wrong way round. Anyway, it's the intensity level that's important I think, maybe. Stocking trout in a pond so that people can fish for them is maybe sustainable, hoovering up sand eels to feed mass market fish isn't. I think.


Absolutely. We do not stock fish in ponds here; there are plenty of lakes and rivers to fish in at no or very little cost. These fish are not fed, they are just wild. We buy fishing cards only in salmon rivers. My favourite lake on my way home from work cost me nothing.

It is the mass market and the enormous profit which is the problem. The greed to make a fast buck is incredible. People here on the coast get stinking rich and there is nothing like ENOUGH in this business.

They will hang on untill the last sand eel is only a memory.
Hairyloon

Would not then the thing to do be to farm sand eels?
Lorrainelovesplants

We had the discussion about Salmon last night. My mother loves Salmon, but we dont eat it (OH's cousin is a marine biologist who warned us a few years back not to eat ANY salmon as the farmed stocks had had something wrong with them that had now passed to wild salmon, and now they all have it - some sort of chemical/hormonal thing.

Now I was already aware of the high levels of Oestrogen in all fish stocks, but....do we buy it for my 83 year old mum, who will probably die of something else, and not fish hormones?
mihto

Lorrainelovesplants wrote:
We had the discussion about Salmon last night. My mother loves Salmon, but we dont eat it (OH's cousin is a marine biologist who warned us a few years back not to eat ANY salmon as the farmed stocks had had something wrong with them that had now passed to wild salmon, and now they all have it - some sort of chemical/hormonal thing.

Now I was already aware of the high levels of Oestrogen in all fish stocks, but....do we buy it for my 83 year old mum, who will probably die of something else, and not fish hormones?


I have never heard about chemical/hormonal thing; there is however a parasite (Lepeophteirus salmonis) which has run amok and is certainly damaging the wild fish.

There is nothing wrong with the farmed fish as such and it is safe to eat. The problems are the ethics in fish farming. If there was a chemical problem I would certainly know.
Ronnie

Hairyloon wrote:
mihto wrote:
There must be a way to farm fish as well as taking care of the environment.

Hugh FW showed a near perfect system combining a trout farm with a watercress farm.
Water flowed through the watercress, picking up lots of wee critters that live among the roots.
The water flows into the trout tanks.
The trout would eat the critters and fertilise the water.
The water is pumped back to the top where it flows through the watercress picking up wee critters...

It is also easy and fairly sound to farm herbivorous fish, just they are not popular at market.


That was a good example of Aquaponics - it's a really neat solution. You can ultimately produce vegetables, protein, and enhance biodiversity all at the same time.
Hairyloon

Funnily enough, we were talking about salmon farming just yesterday... while eating salmon that claimed to be "responsibly farmed".
What does that mean, and can we believe it?
Treacodactyl

Hairyloon wrote:
marigold wrote:
I try (though probably don't always succeed) to only eat wild-caught fish.

Salmon is not the way, but without fish farming, we have not a hope in hell of feeding the worlds population.


But much of the western way of farming is turning something edible into something which is more of a luxury.

Isn't salmon farming a bit of a red herring? (Couldn't resist the pun, sorry). Isn't far more damage done producing farmed shrimps/prawns etc in the tropics?

Surely the sustainable method would be to stop treating rivers and the seas as dumping grounds, stop over fishing and manage them responsibly? Would there be a need for farming then? Of course, it'll not happen until it's far too late.
cab

Treacodactyl wrote:

Isn't salmon farming a bit of a red herring? (Couldn't resist the pun, sorry). Isn't far more damage done producing farmed shrimps/prawns etc in the tropics?


Different kinds of harm, in different kinds of ways.

Prawn farming, when in relatively low input, extensive farming systems, isn't that harmful. The problem with that is that you don't get enough output per unit area or per cash input so the tendency has been to move on to ever more intensive systems. At high stocking density you get problems with making groundwater salty, with eutrophication due to waste water being full of nutrients, and of course the prawns get diseases (viral conditions like, if memory serves, taura syndrome).

And of course with the trend towards 'value added' products from such systems, with processing on site, you've got great big piles of prawn heads and shells to dispose of too.

As far as I can see, there is no 'ethical' option when purchasing, say, tiger prawns. They're air freighted in from from nations that have been bulldozing mangrove forests to construct prawn farms, which continue to cause damage till the site is so badly polluted that they have to move elsewhere and do it all again.

But it doesn't have to be that way. It will be that way because 'we' want cheap imported luxury foods.

Anyway... The FAO have been saying for donkeys years that we're taking too much fish out of the sea. We can't feed everyone that way because we're overfishing. You'll also see reports that say we need more fish to feed everyone. The answer has to be aquaculture, but it has to be sustainable aquaculture, and that'll be expensive.
Hairyloon

cab wrote:
The answer has to be aquaculture, but it has to be sustainable aquaculture, and that'll be expensive.

Not necessarily expensive, it just won't be salmon or prawns.
cab

Hairyloon wrote:
cab wrote:
The answer has to be aquaculture, but it has to be sustainable aquaculture, and that'll be expensive.

Not necessarily expensive, it just won't be salmon or prawns.


Necessarily expensive. Unless you're hurling nutrients in (in the form of other biomass or fertiliser to make plankton grow faster) and stocking at high density (which will have sustainability problems) then you have to be extensive rather than intensive. And that costs more money.
Hairyloon

Depressingly, I just cannot be bothered to argue.
Frankly, it does not matter how expensive it is. Money is all imaginary anyway.
Treacodactyl

I wonder how expensive it would be if we changed our attitudes and used what we already have? There's loads of fresh water places that could provide some edible fish rather than just sport. I bet you could produce more kg of fish that the total amount of salmon.
dpack

fried sand eels anyone ?
better toasted

the carp ponds of the middle ages worked on a basic feed of spent barley from the brewing and clean streams to give good water but fish was a premium product to make it economic

soyalent green anyone?
Hairyloon

Treacodactyl wrote:
I wonder how expensive it would be if we changed our attitudes and used what we already have? There's loads of fresh water places that could provide some edible fish rather than just sport. I bet you could produce more kg of fish that the total amount of salmon.

Just managing the canals and waterways properly would be a very good start.
mihto

Treacodactyl wrote:
I wonder how expensive it would be if we changed our attitudes and used what we already have? There's loads of fresh water places that could provide some edible fish rather than just sport. I bet you could produce more kg of fish that the total amount of salmon.


In January 2010 Norway exported salmon with approximate value of 130.000.000.

That is an enormous amount of fish.

We have rivers and lakes in a number you cannot believe. In my childhood all freshwater fish was very expensive. I had my first taste of fresh salmon at the tender age of 25. All fish were wild at the time.

Farming fish is a gigantic industry. There is no way fish can be farmed to this extent without substantial feeding. Until today no vegetarian source of protein has been found.

I'm sure edible fish can be provided from some lakes to support a few families. There is no way any "home industry" can cover the income our fish farmers earn these days.

This is big capital, second in our economy to oil only.
cab

Hairyloon wrote:
Depressingly, I just cannot be bothered to argue.
Frankly, it does not matter how expensive it is. Money is all imaginary anyway.


Thats easy to say, but harder to make work. When it comes down to it farming is an industry, aquaculture no less, and unless its profitable (or subsidised) it can't happen.
cab

Treacodactyl wrote:
I wonder how expensive it would be if we changed our attitudes and used what we already have? There's loads of fresh water places that could provide some edible fish rather than just sport. I bet you could produce more kg of fish that the total amount of salmon.


Properly managed you certainly produce fish that way, but you have to be careful when you start managing whats almost a wild space for harvest. Sounds feasibl though.
Treacodactyl

mihto wrote:
I'm sure edible fish can be provided from some lakes to support a few families. There is no way any "home industry" can cover the income our fish farmers earn these days.


Well I was talking about the UK and still think we could produce a reasonable amount of fresh water fish to eat from our reservoirs, lakes, river canals and our rather surprising number of recreational fishing ponds. Even if we couldn't, I bet we could provide a reasonable contribution to what we need rather than what we want.
Bodger

I would imagine that there very few of us on the forum who've eaten freshwater fish other than salmon and trout.
I've eaten pike and perch quite a few times and like them. I once read about the gudgeon fishing parties in the 1800s and for my pains, have tried eating this rather small fish. They're alright if you don't mind fish with your bones. Very Happy
cab

Treacodactyl wrote:

Well I was talking about the UK and still think we could produce a reasonable amount of fresh water fish to eat from our reservoirs, lakes, river canals and our rather surprising number of recreational fishing ponds. Even if we couldn't, I bet we could provide a reasonable contribution to what we need rather than what we want.


If you're enriching freshwater habitats to increase productivity and taking stuff out, you risk eutrophication, and you also risk doing harm to the biodiversity of those habitats. I'm not saying it can't be done, but you've got to be cautious.
dpack

i recon a mile of good river would support a small family for protien or half a mile of coast
any greater stocking density of peeps needs agri/aquaculture
Treacodactyl

cab wrote:
Treacodactyl wrote:

Well I was talking about the UK and still think we could produce a reasonable amount of fresh water fish to eat from our reservoirs, lakes, river canals and our rather surprising number of recreational fishing ponds. Even if we couldn't, I bet we could provide a reasonable contribution to what we need rather than what we want.


If you're enriching freshwater habitats to increase productivity and taking stuff out, you risk eutrophication, and you also risk doing harm to the biodiversity of those habitats. I'm not saying it can't be done, but you've got to be cautious.


Good job I didn't say that or anything like that then.
cab

Treacodactyl wrote:

Good job I didn't say that or anything like that then.


If you weren't saying anything like that then you're talking about just taking fish from those sources, which does mean changing the habitat and it does mean affecting biodiversity. Again, I'm not saying it can't or shouldn't be done, just that to do so requires great caution.

You can't have an unfed system where we increase how much we take out of it without having an impact, and you can't feed without having an impact. Either way you do it requires caution.
Hairyloon

So do it cautiously.
What's the problem?
cab

Hairyloon wrote:
So do it cautiously.
What's the problem?


You'd think it'd be that simple. Never is though. If it were, mankind wouldn't cause half of the environmental problems it does Laughing
Treacodactyl

Hairyloon wrote:
So do it cautiously.
What's the problem?


Exactly. And it's not as if things like reservoirs haven't had any impact on our landscape. Rolling Eyes Laughing

If people ate fish from our fresh waters it wouldn't surprise me if it was better for our wildlife with people taking more care. A bit like wildfowling or game shooting.
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