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Laura

I believe that you need a little clarification. Actually, the salmon flesh isn't "dyed". Salmon in their natural habitat eat crustaceans that contain a red pigment. That same natural pigment is added to the farmed salmon feed in order to add the same pleasant color wild fish have. If this pigment wasn't added the flesh would have a greyish color, which would be obviously not palatable to the public. This isn't a ploy to make buyers think that farmed fish are more fresh. In most cases, they are more fresh in the sense that they are taken directly from the water and put on display, whereas most wild salmon is previously frozen. If you don't believe me, please see http://www.salmonfarmers.org/.

Laura

One more thing I forgot to add - unfortunately it is true that merchants and restaurants feel they must lie to the public about the source of their salmon. This is because for reasons linked to ignorance, the general public believes that farmed fish are in some way "evil" and "killing the wild stocks" and thus feel obliged to eat the wild fish whose ecological health is uncertain (for this a strange irony I must admitt). Both of these claims are false, in fact, most of the claims of the media regarding farmed salmon are false. As a society that relies heavily on eating fish and shellfish, the only SUSTAINABLE way by which we can hope to continue maintaining this diet is by farming it. It wasn't the farmed fish that caused the dire states of our salmonid species, it was us that caused it. And now we must farm fish to satisfy our growing populus. This isn't an entirely bad thing, however, it is just very sad that the majority of people don't understand the reality of the situation, and that people such as David Suzuki and Alexandra Morton have planted fear into the minds of the public. All else being equal, the only way that restaurants and fish markets will be able to AFFORD to be honest is if people become educated on the facts regarding this whole farmed vs. wild salmon debate.

DVics

Yeah, should have used "psychological" there, not psychic. There is no such thing as a "psychic" benefit.

Also, any farm raised salmon I've ever seen is pinkish, not red, unless your talking about sockeye salmon.

Farm raised salmon are not killing the wild stock, but farm raised salmon are treated with antibiotics to control certain illnesses that can arrise in a farm-raised environment. Farm raised salmon are also more prone to contamination from PCBs thatn wild salmon.

I prefer wild caught, and this article does bring up one point for concern... are we getting what we're buying? I'd like to know that the wild-caught sock-eye salmon I ate was infact wild-caught and not farm raised. How do we know when we're being duped?

Paul White

Seems the best way to not get ripped off is either not buy or buy the stuff marked farm raised. I buy only farm raised for our table because it goes from the water to our table quicker. I have seen parasites in wild caught fish and never in farm raiser fish. Also I'd rather trust a farmer than a fisherman.

Thomas

I am not usually one to disagree. However i feel i should address the sustainability of farmed fish. I will base my discussion on the fish that is most commonly farmed, the Atlantic salmon. The first thing i would like to point out is that farmed fish must be fed. The feed is generally 45% fish meal and 25% fish oil. These products come from commercially harvested wild fish stocks (no not salmon but still wild fish stocks). Therefore we are still fishing to support fish farming. Secondly, the most productive and healthy stocks of farmed Atlantic salmon are raised in natural marine settings; in net pens or by other methods. Uneaten feed, fecal matter, and decomposing fish carcasses (some will die its inevitable)all dump a localized and concentrated amount of nutrients into the ecosystem. Essentially what happens in this situation is algae growth spikes and eventually as the algae begins to decompose the free oxygen in the water is used up making it an unsuitable place for most sea life. Granted there things that are more destructive and prone to causing wide spread eutrophication than farming atlantic salmon. but that does not negate the role that fish farms can play in the further degradation of our near-shore marine habitats. There has also been many studies on the harm that atlantic salmon farms can have on the health and mortality rate of out migrating pacific salmon smolts in the areas where the two are both found.
there is more that i could say but my last thought should for the sake of fairness be directed towards the positive potential that fish farming has. In a localized and isolated system fish farming can be a beneficial industry. The key is selecting the proper species so that farming can be done in a way that has minimal impact on any native plant or animal life. the example that comes to mind is tilapia. Tilapia can basically thrive in a mud pond fed on table scraps, veggies included. the best part is they make excellent table fair. Tilapia is a fish that can truly be raised sustainably, isolated in every way from any sort of wild stock.
Fortunately Tilapia is becoming more common in groceries. Unfortunately, salmon will probably always be preferred be the consumer. Salmon, farmed or wild, will probably be a hot topic so long as there is a consumer who wants a taste and someone willing to make a buck off of it.

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