Blog Action Day: Salmon farming

Thanks to Mombian and Butterfly in Disguise for pointing out that today is Blog Action Day (poor choice in acronyms). This org picks a different topic every year and encourages bloggers to blog about their perspective on it.  This year’s theme is “The Environment”.

Admittedly, I tend to write much more about people or the political environment or how environment has an effect on people.  Rarely, do I talk about how we effect the environment and how we are, in many of our actions, causing irreperable damage.

The truth is, perhaps, that I simply do not know enough about many of the topics.  This is certainly true about the one I am going to talk about to: Chilean Salmon Industry.

I have mentioned in an earlier post that my friend Deborah is here working in the north. She is a marine biologist and has gotten me intersted in think about the ocean and its conservation.  Also, about salmon.

Frankly, I love salmon; all fish really, but particularly salmon.  In the states, I would often by Chilean salmon because 1) I believe in supporting Chile’s economy and 2) I didn’t know any better.  What I have been learning recently is about the devastating effects of Salmon farming on the aquaculture and how Chile has no natural salmon despite being among the top exporters of salmon in the world.  The south of the country is littered with salmon farms, and while it does help the economy, it has taken its toll on lakes and the ocean.  The ponds where the young salmon live (before being brought to sea) after several years die out.  The ocean farming causes great risk to other fish if disease should spread and also disrupts the natural food chain.

Luckily, this doesn’t mean that I must now steer clear of salmon, but rather, when given the choice I will choose US, Canadian, or Scandinavian salmon.



  1. I was just talking about my love of salmon like ten minutes ago. How weird is that? I do know a little about the state of the ocean and I wasn’t really aware of the dangers of buying salmon from Chile. I think my husband knows this because he told me on my last purchase, “At least it’s not from China.” I think he means Chile. You have cleared that up!

    Hubby leaves next Sunday for his annual fishing trip to New York, and he comes home with a loot of salmon to please me for some time. So when my supply has run out I will NOT buy Chilean salmon again!!!

  2. I don’t eat Salmon, or any time of fish, and most of the times I don’t eat meat either. So I guess I can’t really take a stand since it’s already something I do.

    Now Chilean Sea Bass I wonder about. That’s something that’s always on menus at restaurants in nice menus in the U.S. yet I don’t even know the translation of it down here. I wonder if that’s another destructive industry?

  3. I feel like I should clarify two things:

    1- Not all fish from Chile is bad… just salmon because its farmed.

    2- Not all non-Chilean fished is better. The problem is more with the farming techniques (used world wide) than that it is Chilean.

  4. Salmon farming is the source of a large proportion of the available salmon even in such areas as British Columbia which originally had salmon runs in virtually ever one of their many rivers and streams. Farmed salmon, for reasons which are not clear to me, have highly elevated levels of a range of carcinogins when compared to wild salmon. They require 10kg of so called trash fish to make one kg of salmon, the rest going into the ocean to pollute it. Salmon farms use a range of chemicals to keep the crowded fish from dying including fungicides pesticides and chemicals that kill sea lice (and crabs and lobsters). Bacteria exchange genetic material so antibiotic resistance from marine bacteria caused by the use of antibiotics spreads by pathways we can’t even begin to understand to other bacteria. If ever there was a fish designed to to be utilized effectively it is the salmon. After all they come right back to their home stream to be harvested. Instead we hunt them before they are mature and then have to farm them to keep up the supply. Why do we work so hard to wreck a perfectly simple system. Hugh Blog “mtkass” “salmon farming-what a waste”

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