Science Questions

Should we eat farmed or wild salmon?

Sat, 21st Apr 2007

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Question

Jennifer, Cambridge asked:

Is it better ecologically, and regarding health, to eat farmed or wild salmon?

Answer

Obviously there are many problems with taking too many fish from the sea and not leaving enough behind to keep their populations going, but there are also problems associated with eating fish which has been farmed.

Fish can escape from farms and ‘genetically pollute’ wild populations and fish farms have been known to infect wild migrating salmon with parasites.  A Canadian study showed that young salmon passing fish farms can pick up sea lice.

As Salmon are piscivorous, they eat fish, farmed salmon need to be fed fish which is caught from the wild, so even when eating farmed Salmon, fish still need to be taken from the wild.

The Marine Stewardship Council has certified Alaskan Salmon as being sustainable.  For more information visit www.msc.org.

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