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The Blood Type Diet Archives Volume 18

Fish Farming salmon, part 2

Posted By: joachim, AB-
Date: Friday, 19 October 2001, at 2:11 a.m.

In Response To: Farmed vs. wild salmon (joachim, AB-)

from: The Salmon industry in British Columbia by David W. Ellis and Associates
Behind That Farmed Salmon Steak
It's tempting: salmon fillets in the supermarket for just $3.99 a pound. At a time when salmon catches are erratic from British Columbia southward, you might have expected scarcity to have driven up the price. The explanation is simple: a glut of farmed fish, amounting to half the world's consumption, has flooded the market. But the ingredients in a farmed salmon steak are quite different than what goes into free-ranging cousins captured by nets or hooks. Take a look:
The Straight Poop
The excreta from one large B.C. fish farm are estimated to equal the sewage of a city of ten thousand people - all of it flowing straight into the surrounding waters, fouling nearby clam beds and other sea habitat, at too high a concentration to be easily assimilated by natural forces. Salmon excreta are one reason that environmental activists are pushing for fish to be raised only in closed-containment systems, allowing the wastes to be treated before being discharged into the water.
My, How Pink Your Steaks Are
The better to fool you, my dear. Wild salmon flesh gets its color from the fish's prey, particularly krill, tiny shrimp-like crustaceans. But farmed fish eat pellets of fishmeal which would leave their flesh a pale gray instead. Fish farmers know that gray salmon won't sell well, so they add a dye called astaxanthin to their feed.
Salmon on Drugs
Farmed fish are so densely confined that a typical one-pound Atlantic salmon is within fifteen inches of its neighbors. Diseases can spread rapidly through such packed quarters, so the fish are fed antibiotics including oxytetracycline and sulfa drugs, just like most domestic chickens or cattle. About 30 percent of the medicated feed goes uneaten; from uncontained net pens it enters the sea's food chain, where it has been found to kill natural marine algae and bacteria as well as cause deformities in halibut larvae.
Nonetheless, the farmed fish still contract infections and parasites. Wild stocks pick up those diseases in two ways - either from escapees, or as they pass by the fish farms en route to or from their spawning streams. Norwegian authorities have opted to poison twenty-four rivers with rotenone - which kills all aquatic life - in an attempt to eradicate sea lice and a lesion-causing disease spread there by farmed salmon.
Additional materials adapted from Salmon Nation appear on the following pages:
A Natural History of the Pacific Salmon
The Problem with Hatcheries
Recalling Celilo
Farmed salmon has one advantage over wild salmon, which is that it is available fresh all year. The fish are simply scooped out of their pens and shipped to market as needed. Wild salmon are only caught at certain times of the year, so while they're available fresh during the spring, summer, and fall, they must be frozen for sale during the winter months. Now for the disadvantages:
Drugs: Due to the crowded contitions of the net pens,large quantities of vaccines and antibiotics are needed to keep these instinctively migratory fish alive. Disease outbreaks are quite common on fish farms.
Pollution: Excrement and excess food pellets sink to the ocean floor beneath the pens, creating a toxic sludge which robs the water of oxygen, fostering disease and killing the native sealife.
Lower health benefits: Farmed salmon lack the high levels of Omega-3 oils found in wild salmon. Omega-3 oils destroy cholesteral.
Artificial color: Red dye is put into the feed, and sometimes injected into the flesh itself, to mimic the wild salmon's red flesh color.
Threat to wild fish stocks: Large numbers of non-native salmon escape from pens each year. These fish compete with native species for food and habitat, feed on native salmon smolts, and threaten to spread disease among native stocks. Despite claims that it could never happen, Atlantic salmon were recently discovered spawning in streams on Vancouver Island.
As far as flavor goes... I urge you to compare for yourself! Above all, know what you're eating. Ask your chef or grocer if your salmon is farmed or wild, and what species. Keep in mind that there are virtually no wild Atlantic salmon on the market- they're all farmed. If you're told it's wild Atlantic, you're most likely being misled.
More about Farmed Salmon...Go to Articles and Links
Press Release
Friday 22 September 2000
Parliament must now launch inquiry, say FoE
The illegal use of toxic chemicals on Scotland's salmon farms has been uncovered following investigations by Government scientists. The latest study by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) has found traces of the banned toxic neuroinsecticide, Ivermectin, in samples of farmed salmon at levels up to 4 times above the 'Action Level'. Follow-up investigations by MAFF Legal Branch and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency are now underway. [1]
The news comes in the same week the Scottish Parliament's Rural Affairs Committee was meant to discuss calls for an independent inquiry to address the environmental effects of sea cage fish farming. The meeting has been rescheduled for next week. [2]
14 March 2001
MSPs asked to steer clear of slap-up salmon dinner
3] Secret ingredients (the impacts of salmon farming):
Farmed salmon are routinely doused with a variety of colourings, antibiotics and pesticides. While some are licenced for use on fish farms there is growing incidence of illegal use. There are around 30 different chemicals approved for use on fish farms. As of January 2001 SEPA had issued 474 licences for the use of one or all of the following at Scottish fish farms: azamethiphos, cypermethrin, emamectin and teflubenzuron.
That FoE 'secret ingredient' salmon menu in full:
Smoked salmon slices marinated in ivermectin
PCB salmon pate
Dioxin double-quarterpounders served with a side relish of cypermethrin coulis
Calicide lemon salmon coloured with canthaxanthin
Teflubenzuron sorbet
washed down with a nice glass of sparkling oxytetracycline
BBC News Online, 3rd January
Farmed salmon 'contaminated' - salmon farmers are trying to reduce toxic contamination
Recommended intake cut:
The World Health Organisation is sufficiently concerned about the potential consequences to have cut its guidelines on the recommended intake of salmon to just one tenth of the previous figure. The European Union has also reduced its limits by 90%. But flagship government watchdog the Food Standards Agency has not followed its lead. The agency's website points out the potential health benefits of eating oily fish - but makes no mention of the dangers. A spokesman for the Fishmeal & Oil Manufacturers Association said it is aware of chemical concentration in feed.

Wild Salmon

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