Wild-Caught or Farmed Salmon?

Wildlife — By Stephanie on July 20, 2010 at 6:40 am
coho salmon1 Wild Caught or Farmed Salmon?

Fresh coho salmon is a wiser choice

A friend of mine cynically noted many years ago that salmon is the only endangered species you can buy at the store in a can.  While that may be half-true (depending on the species, etc.), there are definitely environmental considerations to be made when it comes to choosing wild-caught or farmed salmon.

Yes, you can have your fish and the earth, too.  But you need to be mindful when it comes to fisheries.

env sealice 01 Wild Caught or Farmed Salmon?

What does farmed salmon do to the environment and the species?

Many years ago, when I was more green in years and maybe less green in lifestyle, I was asked to work on a land use application for salmon farming in the Puget Sound.  This was over a decade past, and I was not fully aware of the impacts of the practice both on the environment and on the species itself.

Its really quite shocking, and when you know the facts, its easier to be a wise consumer.

Like factory farmed meat, farmed salmon are usually raised in small pen enclosures and fed antibiotics to reduce the spread of illness due to the living conditions.  Instead of feasting on their usual fare, farm-raised salmon are fed fish meal, which often contains PCBs and other carcinogens.  Not only that, but farmed salmon are less rich in omega3 fatty acids and may be tainted with pesticides.  Shockingly, a single sample of farmed salmon studied by the EPA found levels of PCB’s so high that it advised eating it no more than once every two months.  If that wasn’t bad enough, pests (lice, etc.) can also invade the lots infecting fish and the consumers that eat them.

Wild%20Salmon%20Leaping%20Upstream Wild Caught or Farmed Salmon?

Free and fresh is the way to go when it comes to Salmon

Major grocers and retailers are noting the significance between wild-caught and farmed salmon.  For example, Safeway has restricted the purchase of salmon raised in farms in Chile.  Target, too, announced that it will no longer sell farmed salmon at more than 1,700 stores.  With major retailers opting for sustainable salmon, more stores are bound to follow suit.

Obviously, the point of this post is to educate the public about some of the basic differences between wild-caught and farmed salmon.  Many people agree that the healthy Omega-3 fats in salmon are superior to other cuts of meat or fish filets.  Yet, when it comes to being an informed consumer, why not consider all the facts?

You don’t need to go vegan (unless you want to).  Enjoy some delicious wild-caught salmon this week and consider the benefits of a healthy, natural diet.

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8 Comments

  1. JASMIN TAN says:

    MY FAVORITE FOOD IS ALSO SALMON

  2. JASMIN TAN says:

    HA HA :}

  3. Encee says:

    Vitamin D is more in wild caught salmon than farm raised salmon.

  4. Meaghan L says:

    yummy yumm yumm!!! Salmonis tasty!!!! YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE SALMON RUN IT ROCKS!

  5. LAL says:

    salmonguy.wordpress.org A great site for more about salmon..
    I love BBQ’d salmon and rice!

  6. al12 says:

    Despite the potential health benefits, the salmon don’t want to die- they want to live just like all animals do. Fish DO suffer a severe amount of pain when they have their mouths pierced and are trapped in a net.

  7. Steven says:

    I think that we should eat fish less, and more burgers, chicken, and vegetables.The worlds amount of fish can’t keep of with our eating rate. i love salmon, but dont waste it all,(think of when you don’t eat all your food and the animal that you ate halfway that barely benefited you or you didn’t like) also, don’t waste water. All the waters gone-All us dead like flapping salmon out water.

  8. aij2 says:

    @al12: and who says that vegetables don’t feel pain when you rip their leaves apart? It’s just less apparent.

    Even microbes feel pain.

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