Dr Torbjorn Forseth leads the scientific committee that advises the government on regulating the salmon industry. In supermarkets, the packaging shows pristine Scottish waters and projects an image of a clean and natural product. Fish waste and feed are disposed into the ocean in dense concentrations. And there were concerns that the large amounts of pesticides, as well as faeces and food waste coming from the thousands of salmon in the fish farm nets, could be damaging the environment in some of Scotland's lochs. "But I accept and I am agreed that's a good thing for us. In the 1980s and 1990s, several studies seemed to show that accumulation of PCBs or other food chain toxins were real risks, but further studies have revealed that risk to actually be very low. Salmon farms have also been criticized for other questionable practices, including the content of the feed, which is often supplemented with chemicals to give the fish their pink color (wild salmon develop it … Reality Check: Aquaculture is just as healthy, if not healthier, … That means the contents of the closed pens are isolated from the outside waters. Salmon factory farms are smelly and dirty places. Restrictions on egg importation, testing of broodstock fish from which eggs are taken, and disinfection are intended to minimize disease. The disease issue is also related to how the fish are raised – high stocking densities can worsen a disease outbreak, or in some cases can be a contributing factor. Sepa's Terry A'Hearn said: "There's been 44 times in the last five years where we've directed companies to reduce the number of fish they have in their farms. "When the levels of the chemicals in the seabed exceed the allowable standards, nothing is done, a blind eye is turned to it and the industry is just allowed to continue. This harms and sometimes destroys other marine life. He has years of salmon farming experience around the globe, including in Scotland. In the past, more contaminants were found in farmed salmon than in wild fish, because the salmon feed was based on fish protein and fish oil, which added contaminants to the farmed fish diet. And it's really important, because that leads to a reduction in the waste that actually hits the seabed.". Read about our approach to external linking. See what experts say about this question. From just a couple of sites about 50 years ago, more than 200 fish farms now operate in Scotland, producing more than 150,000 tonnes of salmon a year. Norwegian companies own many of Scotland's salmon farms but they operate under tighter rules in their own country. When comparing wild vs. farmed salmon, the important thing is to ask questions. 'Banshee, shrew': An angry song wants women to be seen, .css-q4by3k-IconContainer{display:none;height:1em;width:1em;vertical-align:-0.125em;margin-right:0.25em;}playHundred-year-old whisky bottles found in house walls. Farmed seafood isn’t healthy to eat. The total number of staff in marine salmon production in 2017 was 1,431. In 2017, production of Atlantic salmon increased to 189,707 tonnes. He says: "Open-cage salmon farming is a hyper-intensive method of producing food. However, recent research exposes a little known possibility about farmed salmon — it might be one of the most toxic foods in the world. Most Americans Have Roundup in Their Bodies. The more fatty the fish, the more the pollutants are absorbed. A kg of tuna or salmon is much more toxic than a kg of small fish. Mr Torgnes says: "The authorities control us in a stronger way than they do in Scotland. The farmers control breeding, feed them, and provide medicineif needed. toxic chemicals in Norwegian fish, which were attrib-uted to the pesticides fed to farmed salmon to combat sea lice. At present, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate the contaminant levels in feed produced for farm-raised salmon, nor does FDA monitor and regulate contaminant levels in farmed salmon imported Atlantic Salmon. Remember, farmed fish have 3-5 times the fat level of wild fish. Dr Forseth says: "The winners in this industry will be those that are able to implement new technology that gets rid of the large environmental issues.". Ironically, salmon farms are polluting wild salmon populations. Quiz of the Year, part one: Can you even remember January? The wonder food salmon. And they would be appalled.". In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Disease, parasites and even chemicals designed to treat them can all prove fatal. "That's what happens with the sea lice, they are attached to the fish's gills and then they spread to the back of the fish's head and sort of down the fish's back.". A more healthful option is domestic, farm-raised catfish, which are very plentiful and farmed responsibly. The industry says it is proud of its environmental record and is performing well. Mr Hopper says: "Most of them were showing a lot of physical damage. Wild salmon is no longer fished commercially anywhere in the UK. Two weeks later, Corin Smith filmed above the same salmon farm. Sometimes, the pens are very crowded and the salmon cannot swim very far. Many of these fish have been "farmed" in tightly packed net-pens that are often infested with parasites and other nasty diseases. Within days, Marine Scotland's inspectors returned. New rules will be published by the environmental regulator Sepa in the coming weeks. "We need to have a Big Brother watching you that we don't do anything that's not good for ourselves and also for the fish.". There has been overwhelming public consensus that battery chicken farms are essentially unacceptable. Salmon farmers shoot seals. Additionally, farmed salmon has been found to contain toxic chemicals methylmercury and dioxins, and farms have been accused of polluting the oceans, fostering disease, and spreading sea lice. Norwegian seafood in general is second only to oil and gas as the country’s major export product. Farmed salmon are fed on processed feed and treated with medicines to ward off disease and infestations such as sea lice, which can breed among the fish in the pens. Researchers Say One Week of Eating Organic Can Help. Corin Smith shared his footage with news website The Ferret. Mr Ainsley filmed footage under Loch Shuna just weeks ago. He says the current argument in Norway is very similar to the issue that created international headlines 10 years ago, when the American study claimed farmed salmon was contaminated with toxic chemicals and should be eaten no more than three times a year. The film mentioned above starts off in Norway, documenting the chemicals used in fish farms, Kurt Oddekalv, a respected Norwegian environmental activist, also believes that salmon farming is a disaster for human health as well as the environment. Salmon farming's never been through the process of public scrutiny yet.". "Only the few people who go diving can appreciate how bad the damage is.". - Metafact. In the summer of last year biologist Paul Hopper was alerted to concerns about wild salmon in the Blackwater River in Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides. Mr Torgnes says his nets have a tarpaulin system that goes all the way around, to a depth of 12 metres. Farmed salmon are fish stocks kept in netted pens. The flesh of farmed salmon is brittle, and tears and breaks easily. Does Biden's new team better reflect America? Graham Black, from Marine Scotland, said: "There's a lot of innovation in Scotland, probably £60m has been spent in innovation in the industry over the last year or so. To support our work, please send a tax-deductible donation to: OCA, 6771 South Silver Hill Dr., Finland, MN 55603, Petition for Scientists, Lawyers, and Policy Experts. Global WI-FI and 5G – What Is the Environmental Price Tag To the Earth and Life? On July 30th, a lawsuit was filed by the Organic Consumers Association against Mowi® ASA, the largest farmed Atlantic salmon company in the world. Not just lice. They are expected to draw upon the example of Norway and promise a tougher stance on companies that do not play by the rules. He says: "We found large areas of bacterial mat, we found lots of dead things on the seabed. This time they found high levels of the parasite and four salmon farms were sent warning letters for failing to control parasites. The import of Atlantic salmon eggs into the Pacific for farming has raised concern about possible transfer of disease to wild stocks. Organic Consumers Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Mowi owns brands Ducktrap River® Maine, Donegal Silver®, Admiral’s, Pieters, Laschinger, Kritsen, Harbour Salmon … Feeding farmed salmon fish meal from anchovies, herring, or mackerel theoretically increases PCB concentrations even further in salmon we use for our food. The biggest concern with farmed salmon is organic pollutants like PCBs. ", Marine Scotland's Graham Black said: "We would accept that the regulatory structure is not as good as it might be. Norway is the biggest producer of farmed salmon in the world, with more than one million tonnes produced each year. According to Skåre, farmed fish are as beneficial as wild … David Ainsley runs a tour company, taking tourists on his boat to experience the beauty of the Argyll coast. "The status quo is certainly not something that we're happy with so things have to change. Marine ecologist Dr Sally Campbell says: "I think most people who choose salmon off their supermarket shelves have no idea of the waste that's going into our marine environment as a result of that. Some were found to be harboring and incubating disease, turning a blind eye to infected escapees, and wiping out forage fish, up to 7 pounds of which once went into each pound of farmed Atlantic salmon. • Farmed salmon are fed on oil and smaller fish, ground-up feathers, GM yeast, soybeans and chicken fat • Wild salmon get their colour from eating krill and shrimp. Why, just weeks earlier, had the sites been given a clean bill of health? Every year about 9.5 million fish die in the salmon farms, about 20% of the total. 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