With most of the world’s fisheries becoming depleted, are the ever-increasing
fish farms along the Pacific Coast the answer? Proponents of salmon farms
boast that a single 100’x100′ foot pen can grow 40,000 to 90,000 fish.
Great! So what are the drawbacks? The L.A. Times recently released a thorough
article that explains why consumers are boycotting salmon factory farms.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Just like factory farms on land, these huge salmon feedlots generate
    intense pollution that contaminates the ocean.
  • This practice is actually hastening the depletion of fish stocks rather
    than helping, because it takes 2.4 pounds of fish meal to grow each
    pound of salmon.
  • Native populations of salmon are threatened by the faster-growing
    species of salmon favored by fish farmers, and a million have already
    escaped. New genetically engineered salmon escaping into the wild will
    only worsen the problem, if they are ever approved.
  • Health advocates are concerned about the safety of the drug used to
    create that lovely pink color in factory farmed salmon (wild fish get
    it from eating krill).
  • Studies show farm-raised salmon accumulate more carcinogenic PCB’s
    and dioxins than wild ones-they’re also higher in fat, though lower
    in the health-enhancing Omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Wild stocks have plummeted near the farms, and divers have found fatal
    loads of salmon lice on the few survivors. Fish farmers say their captive
    fish are unlikely hosts, though, because at the first sign of an outbreak
    they dose the fish with emamectin. Along with the vaccines and antibiotics
    they use to cope with the diseases that inevitably run rampant in every
    monoculture, be it cattle, chickens, or fish.

Read all about it: Los Angeles Times 12/9/2002 http://organicconsumers.org/Toxic/fish_farm_salmon.cfm