Salmon, Atlantic and Farmed
Farmed salmon may contain levels of PCB contamination that pose a health risk to adults and children. It may also be contaminated with pesticides and antibiotics. Farmed salmon are usually raised in cages in open waters. These cages allow free-flow of anything from the farm into the wild, and promote transfer of diseases, especially sea lice, from caged to wild fish. Fish waste, uneaten food and chemicals like pesticides and antibiotics used to treat for diseases are released directly into the ocean. About three pounds of wild fish is used in feed to grow just one pound of farmed salmon. Further adding to these concerns, when farmed salmon escape, they may interbreed with local populations, reducing the genetic fitness of the wild stock, or, if they are non-native, they can out-compete the native fish for food and habitat.
Note: Farmed salmon is usually labeled “Atlantic salmon.” Fishing wild Atlantic salmon in the U.S. is prohibited due to low population levels.
Farmed salmon is one of Food & Water Watch’s Dirty Dozen. (Extremely low population levels of wild Atlantic salmon – currently nearing extinction – result in wild Atlantic salmon’s inclusion on this list.)
Recommended alternatives to Atlantic salmon:
* Salmon, U.S. wild-caught Alaska
* Barramundi, U.S. farmed
* Black cod, Pacific U.S. (also known as sablefish)
* Atlantic mackerel
* Cod, Pacific (not trawl-caught)
* Snapper, Mangrove or Gray
* Tuna, Atlantic skipjack
* Tuna, Pacific Albacore