10 Reasons to Boycott Scottish ‘Quality’ Salmon This Christmas

You wouldn't know it from listening to the salmon farming lobby, but there are numerous reasons to boycott Scottish 'quality' salmon. As a partial antidote to the misinformation issued by Scottish Quality Salmon (namely "10 Reasons to be Cheerful" issued as a "morale booster for a besieged industry": http://www.scottishsalmon.co.uk/whatsnow/index.html) the Salmon Farm Protest Group presents some of the negative facets of an industry in crisis, of which Scotland should be ashamed.  Compare Scottish Quality Salmon’s “10 Reasons to be Cheerful” with our “10 Reasons to Boycott Scottish ‘Quality’ Salmon This Christmas”.  There are serious reasons to be fearful of cheap and nasty farmed salmon this Christmas – it is certainly not the season to be cheerful about Scottish ‘quality’ salmon

1) Scottish 'quality' salmon is a sham, a scam and a consumer con
2) The vast majority of fresh and smoked salmon sold in supermarkets is  farmed
3) Farmed salmon is so contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals that the Food Standards Agency advice is to eat only one portion of salmon per week
4) Farmed salmon contains more fat and is less healthy than wild salmon
5) Labelling of farmed salmon products is unclear
6) Artificial colourants are fed to farmed salmon to make their flesh pink
7) Illegal chemicals have been detected in farmed salmon on sale in UK supermarkets
8) Farmed salmon are cooped up like battery chickens spreading diseases, parasites and untreated wastes
9) Wild salmon and sea trout are being threatened with extinction by thousands of farmed salmon escapees
10) Farmed salmon depend upon a food supply that is both depleted and contaminated

See also: "Five reasons not to buy farmed salmon"

http://www.sierraclub.org/e-files/wild_salmon.asp

 

1) Scottish ‘quality’ salmon is a sham, a scam and a consumer con

Scottish Quality Salmon's 'Tartan Quality Mark' is little more than a sales gimmick to sell cheap farmed salmon.  All SQS production is farmed not wild, not even the 'Spey Valley Smoked Salmon' sold by Safeway (farmed in the Western Isles but transported across Scotland to be smoked “on the banks of the River Spey”).  Like the Emperor's new clothes, when you look more closely at the claims of SQS everything is laid bare.  80% of Scottish salmon production is controlled by Norwegian and Dutch multinationals; quality was sacrificed for quantity a long time ago (less than 1,000 tonnes of ‘Scottish’ farmed salmon was produced in 1980, rising to 30, 000 tonnes in 1990 and over 130,000 in 2001); and the factory farmed freak sold cheaply in supermarkets is a poor relation to wild salmon – a couch potato compared to the King of Fish.  Next time you see the Scottish Quality Salmon logo look beyond the Tartan Quality Mark and ask what it actually stands for.

For further information see: "Fish or foul?: tuck into this: salmon's flesh is flushed with chemicals, not health, and its farming as cruel as that of any battery hen" http://www.fobhb.org/SundayTimes6.htm

"How the King of fish is being farmed to death" http://www.observer.co.uk/focus/story/0,6903,418954,00.html

"Salmon safety scare spawns fear and paranoia among scientists"

http://www.sundayherald.com/12969

 

 

2) The vast majority of fresh and smoked salmon sold in supermarkets is farmed

Think twice before buying fresh farmed salmon this Christmas.  Smoked farmed salmon, for example, has been found to be contaminated with listeria (http://209.58.136.120/recall/f/00/craigsal.htm).  The list of other ‘hidden extras’ such as artificial colourings (E161g) and chemical contaminants is an alarming one.  The customer may be getting more than they bargained for when falling for BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free) special offers on ‘fresh’ and smoked salmon this Christmas.  Consumer perception that most fresh and smoked salmon is wild is a myth ruthlessly exploited by supermarkets intent on profiting from public ignorance.  99% of fresh salmon and smoked salmon sold in supermarkets is factory farmed – for canned salmon the opposite is true: 99% of canned salmon is wild (although this is changing as more farmed salmon finds its way into cans).  Sainsbury’s and M&S occasionally sell fresh wild Alaskan salmon but even John West salmon, traditionally wild salmon sold in cans, is now sold fresh but this is farmed Scottish salmon not wild salmon.  Farmed salmon is also being off-loaded into cans with John West salmon fillets from Norway and Princes red salmon from Chile both of farmed origin.  Glenryck’s red salmon, for example, “from the crystal clear waters of the South Pacific Ocean” certainly implies it is wild but the only wild Atlantic salmon populations in Chile are farmed escapees.  The giveaway on the label is under nutritional information where there is 12.7% fat (see point 4).  Always read the label carefully (unfortunately the labelling of salmon products is often unclear – see point 5).

For further information see: "Farmed and Dangerous: think twice about eating farmed salmon"

http://www.farmedanddangerous.org

"Five reasons not to buy farmed salmon"

http://www.sierraclub.org/e-files/wild_salmon.asp

 

"What’s behind that farmed salmon steak?"

http://www.salmonnation.com/tour/intro.htm

 

"Warning issued regarding certain Highland Crest finest smoked Scottish salmon"

http://209.58.136.120/recall/f/00/highldsam.htm

 

"Contaminated Craigellachie smoked Scottish salmon recalled"

http://209.58.136.120/recall/f/00/craigsal.htm

 

3) Farmed salmon is so contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals that the Food Standards Agency advice is to eat only one portion of salmon per week

Cancer-causing chemicals called PCBs, dioxins and other organochlorine contaminants such as DDT, hexachlorobenzene, dieldrin and chlordane have all been detected in farmed salmon (these chemicals bio-accumulate via salmon feed which contains contaminated fish meal and fish oil).  These contaminants are present in most foods but for oily fish in general and farmed salmon in particular the problem is the most severe.  According to The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=104339) more than a third of the UK population are already exceeding food safety limits by consuming too much oily fish including farmed salmon and dioxins in babies are “at 85 times the safety limit” (http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=352954).  A recent survey by the Consumers’ Association, as published in Which?, revealed that few people are aware of the health problems of eating too much fish (http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=339006).  We have polluted our marine environment to such an extent that we are now reaping the consequences via contamination of our entire food chain – the problem of dioxin contamination is now so severe that a new Government report fears it will take at least 20 years and cost £10 billion (http://www.observer.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,837126,00.html).  In the meantime, the safest solution is to steer clear of those fatty foods most contaminated with toxic chemicals such as DDT, dioxins and PCBs – and that means avoiding farmed salmon (http://www.sundayherald.com/28565). 

Increasing scientific evidence points to farmed salmon being much more contaminated than wild salmon (whose natural diet in the wild is far less contaminated).  For example, a survey by the Irish Food Safety Authority in March 2002 showed the farmed salmon was four times more contaminated with PCBs than wild salmon (http://www.fsai.ie/industry/Dioxins3.htm). Another survey in North America showed farmed salmon were ten times more contaminated than wild salmon for PCBs (http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2002/05/17/Consumers/salmon_020517).  A survey of Scottish and Norwegian salmon also showed contamination of farmed salmon with PCBs and dioxins (http://www.sundayherald.com/26081).  The UK Government has also found higher levels of contaminants in farmed salmon as compared to wild. 97% of fresh (i.e. farmed) salmon tested by the Government’s Pesticides Residues Committee was contaminated with DDT compared to 24% for canned (i.e. wild) salmon. 44% of the fresh salmon tested positive for multiple residues of DDT, hexachlorobenzene and chlordane compared to only 1% of canned salmon.  Testing by the UK’s Veterinary Medicines Directorate (http://www.vmd.gov.uk) has also detected PCBs, dioxins and dieldrin in Scottish, Chilean and Norwegian farmed salmon and DDT in Danish farmed trout. 

An award-winning BBC documentary (http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/programmes/tv/salmon/) broadcast in January 2001 featuring these alarming findings led to the UK’s Food Standards Agency emphasising that farmed salmon was safe to eat but couched in the caveat that it should only be eaten once a week (http://www.food.gov.uk/news/pressreleases/fishadvice) - the clear implication being that eating more than one portion of farmed salmon a week would exceed food safety limits.  That is why M&S’s ‘Gravadlax Scottish salmon’ and ‘Orkney Scottish smoked salmon’ now reads “nutrition experts recommend eating a portion of oily fish such as salmon each week as part of a balanced diet” (last year they were advising consumers to eat “2-3 portions of oily fish”).  M&S, just to be on the safe side, might as well add: ‘nutrition experts recommend that you do not eat more than one portion of oily fish such as salmon each week’.  Meanwhile, Tesco proudly advertise that their farmed salmon is “High in Omega-3s” but are less keen to stress it could also be high in PCBs, dioxins or DDT (or that wild salmon can contain more Omega-3s).

In view of dioxin and PCB contamination, the Food Standards Agency’s current advice is to eat only one portion of oily fish (including salmon) per week (http://www.food.gov.uk/news/pressreleases/36454/36501?version=1) - for small children there are particular concerns (http://www.food.gov.uk/news/pressreleases/36454/36504?version=1) - but the FSA’s claim that there is no difference between wild and farmed salmon (http://www.food.gov.uk/news/pressreleases/36454/36506?version=1) is not backed up by the latest scientific evidence.  According to The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,772857,00.html) there is an ongoing debate within the Government over how much fish is safe to eat due to contamination concerns.  For farmed salmon it is becoming increasingly clear that the problem could be four to ten times worse than wild salmon.  The safest option, purely from a food safety point of view, would surely be to switch consumption of fresh farmed salmon once a week to one portion of canned wild salmon once a week.  As a seasonal treat, go wild this Christmas! 

For further information please see: "Farm salmon is now the most contaminated food on shelf"

http://www.sundayherald.com/28565

"Study proves cancer-link chemicals in farm salmon - call for consumer boycott as groundbreaking study finds evidence of major pollutants in the food chain"

http://www.sundayherald.com/26081

"Farmed salmon high in PCBs, study says"

http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/RTGAMArticleHTMLTemplate/C/20020517/wxsalm?hub=homeBN&tf=tgam%252Frealtime%252Ffullstory.html&cf=tgam/realtime/config-neutral&vg=BigAdVariableGenerator&slug=wxsalm&date=20020517&archive=RTGAM&site=Front&ad_page_name=bre

"Two studies compare levels of contaminants in farmed versus wild salmon" http://www.cfe.cornell.edu/bcerf/Newsletter/General/v7i3/rc.salmon.cfm

"Salmon farmers braced for clampdown on toxins"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4113652,00.html

Further information is also presented in Question 6 of "The Key Questions": http://www.salmonfarmmonitor.org/documents/questions.html

 

4) Farmed salmon contains more fat and is less healthy than wild salmon

According to data gathered by the US Food and Drug Administration and presented on supermarket labels farmed salmon contain more fat (over 10 times more in some cases!) and are lower in the beneficial essential fatty acids such as omega-3 than wild salmon.  For further dietary information search for ‘salmon’ in the USDA database: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/cgi-bin/nut_search.pl

This data is also presented in "Farmed and dangerous: human health risks associated with salmon farming": http://www.ancientrainforest.org/reports.html

The stark contrast between lean wild salmon and fatty farmed salmon is evident if you take the time and trouble to read the nutritional information on salmon labels.  For example, M&S’s ‘Wild Pacific oak smoked salmon’ contains only 1.1% fat compared to 13.4% fat for their farmed ‘Scottish salmon fillet’ and 14.2% for their farmed ‘Scottish salmon steaks’.  The fat content of wild salmon compares more favourably with turkey and chicken (1-2%) whilst factory farmed salmon can have high fat levels on a par with bacon (10-21%).  You can even see the fat in the streaky white lines on farmed salmon steaks and fillets – this sorry salmon is so fatty it cannot be sliced thinly for smoked salmon.  Whilst wild salmon is clearly a healthier option, fatty farmed salmon is not.  Celebrity TV chef Nick Nairn shuns most farmed salmon because “the quality is no better than cat food” (http://forests.org/archive/general/seaffarm.htm).

Supermarkets, however, are resorting to desperate measures in claiming farmed salmon are “high in Omega-3s” whilst ignoring the fact that farmed salmon can contain over ten times more fat and ten times more PCBs (see point 3).  In some Tesco supermarkets, for example, there are “Did you know….Salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids – Omega-3 oils are needed for a healthy heart” labels on its fresh farmed salmon steaks (which contain only 2% Omega-3s in a fat total of 11%).  Wild salmon simply taste better and have better texture than farm-raised fish, which tend to be mushy and insipid.  This is not altogether surprising since the leaping wild salmon migrates thousands of miles and is a fighting fit ocean-going athlete compared to the flabby farmed salmon cooped up in cages like couch potatoes getting no exercise at all. 

For further information:

“Farmed salmon can’t beat wild”

http://www.ptialaska.net/~crayola/salmoncustomers.html

"Wild salmon send cousins back to the farm"

http://fyi.cnn.com/2000/NATURE/06/22/salmon.enn/

"Hidden dangers in salmon? Battle over farmed vs. wild fish rages"

http://www.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/diet.fitness/11/07/otsc.farmed.salmon/index.html

"Farm raised salmon"

http://www.cbc.ca/consumers/market/files/food/salmon/index.html

"Don't eat farmed salmon"

http://cbc.ca/storyview/CBC/2002/10/29/Consumers/farmedsalmon_021029

 

5) Labelling of farmed salmon products is unclear

Supermarkets are so worried customers will stop buying salmon once they find out it is farmed that the labelling of salmon is deliberately unclear. Some supermarkets are still flouting a European law on fish labelling which makes it compulsory to label fish products as farmed or wild (http://www.sundayherald.com/23050). The European Commission is taking the issue of food fraud so seriously that it has launched an investigation to catch retailers falsely labelling farmed salmon as wild (http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/growth/gcc/projects/food-fraud.html#05). Pictures of fishing boats, ‘catch of the day’ special offers and images of ‘crystal clear blue waters’ are used to mislead consumers into thinking salmon is wild not farmed. Safeway, for example, sell ‘Spey Valley Smoked Scottish Salmon’ which has nothing whatsoever to do with the famous wild salmon river, the Spey, but is instead farmed off the West coast of Scotland and then transported over to the East coast to try and cash in on the cachet of the Spey’s wild salmon. So-called ‘organic’ salmon is also farmed and whilst it does not contain the artificial colourant Canthaxanthin (E161g) organic salmon has been found to contain the contaminants DDT and hexachlorobenzene. Choosing organic salmon may be neither an environmentally friendly nor healthy option.

For further information see "Stores ignore EU laws on fish labelling: supermarkets 'mislead' public over seafood":

http://www.sundayherald.com/23050

"Food fraud: detecting food law cheats: salmon - wild or farmed?"

http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/growth/gcc/projects/food-fraud.html#05

"Supermarkets criticised over 'organic' fish - supermarkets have been accused of cashing in on the organic food boom by misleading consumers over Scottish salmon"

http://www.sundayherald.com/6189

"Shops in salmon boycott over virus"

http://www.sundayherald.com/5238

 

6) Artificial colourants are fed to farmed salmon to make their flesh pink

Unlike wild salmon that obtain their pink colour from their natural diet, farmed salmon have a dirty grey appearance. Market research has shown that consumers will pay more for darker coloured salmon (that is why can of wild pink salmon are cheaper than wild red salmon) so salmon farmers cheat by using pink and red dyes. Salmon farmers can even choose how red they want their fish to be coloured by using a ‘SalmoFan’ - rather like using a colour chart to pick the right shade for your bathroom. Farmed salmon are therefore fed an artificial diet containing the colourant Canthaxanthin – also known as E161g - and Astaxanthin. Canthaxanthin is manufactured by the Swiss pharmaceutical firm Hoffman La-Roche and is banned for direct use in food (a loophole means it can still be used in farmed salmon feed - and in chicken feed to make the yolks of eggs more ‘sunset yellow’). Following health fears linking Canthaxanthin to eye defects in children the European Commission in April 2002 proposed a four-fold reduction of Canthaxanthin in farmed salmon (the full EC Scientific Committee paper is available via the Food Standards Agency: http://www.food.gov.uk/foodindustry/Consultations/completed_consultations/completconsultscot/88722) who are currently investigating the issue (http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/webpage/askanexpertnew/95464/89079).

For further information including a picture of Roche’s "SalmoFan":

"The color salmon"

http://www.cbc.ca/consumers/market/files/food/salmon/colour.html

"Is something fishy going on? Before you dine on salmon again, here's some food for thought about what it takes to produce America's favorite fish"

http://www.worldandi.com/public/2000/may/fishy.html

You can also view the "SalmoFan" on The Salmon Farm Monitor:

http://www.salmonfarmmonitor.org/documents/questions.html#question7

 

7) Illegal chemicals have been detected in farmed salmon on sale in UK supermarkets

As well as containing contaminants and artificial colourings, farmed salmon on sale in UK supermarkets has been found to contain illegal residues of other chemicals. Government testing of farmed salmon by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (http://www.vmd.gov.uk) from August 2001 to July 2002 detected illegal residues of malachite green in five samples of salmon on sale in UK supermarkets.  In 1999 the Department of Health’s Committee on Mutagenicity expressed fears over malachite green’s carcinogenicity (http://www.doh.gov.uk/com/malachit.htm) with the Food Standards Agency later calling for a ban  (http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=62638).  In June 2002 the Scottish Executive banned malachite green following "European Commission concerns about the continued use of malachite green in salmon and trout farming in the UK": http://www.scotland.gov.uk/pages/news/2002/06/seen056.aspx

Ivermectin has also been detected in farmed Scottish salmon in testing by the Government's Veterinary Medicines Directorate. In January 2002 a member of the Shetland Salmon Farmers Association and a member of the Shetland Seafood Quality Control scheme was fined £6,000 for the illegal use of ivermectin (http://www.fishing-news.co.uk/headlines/feb02/setters01.htm). In July 2000 Scottish Quality Salmon ejected a member of their Tartan Quality Mark scheme after allegations of the illegal use of both ivermectin and cypermethrin (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/scotland/841811.stm).

In addition to the illegal chemicals used on salmon farms there is a cocktail of licensed chemicals used to treat diseases and kill parasites such as sea lice (http://www.scotlandonsunday.com/scotland.cfm?id=212062002). Unfortunately, these toxic chemicals do not merely kill sea lice - they also kill other marine life such as shellfish (http://www.sundayherald.com/12277) and have even been shown to affect wild salmon.  Cypermethrin, for example, is a suspected “gender bender” (a hormone-disrupting compound) and scientists have found it can negatively affect wild salmon’s sense of smell and reproduction (http://www-heb.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/congress/2002/Toxicol/Lower.pdf).  Certainly, the farmed salmon label does not advertise the less palatable down-side of ‘chemically challenged’ salmon farming (http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=5039), nor does it list the chemicals used during its production.

For further information see:

"Salmon farm leaves quality scheme"

http://www.fishing-news.co.uk/headlines/feb02/setters01.htm

"Salmon producer kicked out"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/scotland/841811.stm

"Illegal poison used on salmon" http://www.observer.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,215802,00.html

"Fish farmers 'blocked' vital safety study - salmon producers and scientists furious as leaked secret report reveals catalogue of problems in £4m pesticide probe"

http://www.sundayherald.com/24181

"Salmon farms: ‘a licence to pollute’ - watchdog attacked for letting use of chemical use spiral"

http://www.scotlandonsunday.com/scotland.cfm?id=212062002

“Scottish salmon farming revolution that has left the seas awash with toxic chemicals”

http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=5039

 

8) Farmed salmon are cooped up like battery chickens spreading diseases, parasites and untreated wastes

Cramming up to 50,000 farmed salmon into a single cage is a recipe for disease and disaster for wild fish.  A report - "In Too Deep: The Welfare of Factory Farmed Fish" - by Compassion in World Farming in January 2002 showed that each salmon has the equivalent of a bath-tub of water in which to swim in: http://www.ciwf.co.uk/Pubs/ciwf_publications.htm

Farming a migratory species such as the wild salmon - the King of Fish - that is used to roaming thousands of miles across the open ocean is akin to cooping up golden eagles for the dinner table.  No wonder factory farms harbour infectious diseases and parasite infestations.  Millions of farmed salmon die every year on Scottish salmon farms with 4 million slaughtered in 1998-9 solely due to Infectious Salmon Anaemia leading to a supermarket boycott of ISA-infected farms (http://www.sundayherald.com/5238).  Currently over half of Scotland’s salmon farms are affected by Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis restrictions (http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/official_report/wa-02/wa0925.htm).  The factory farmed salmon is not only prone to disease and parasites but also to cataracts, deformed fins and tails, deformities such as hunchback and so-called ‘death crowns’ (where sea lice literally eat into the head of the salmon).  Photos of sea lice infestation and diseased salmon are available at:

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/aberdeenfoe/guest-documents/fisheries%20photos.htm

Sea lice breed in millions on salmon farms (http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/93519308/START).  New scientific research proves that salmon farms spread sea lice to both wild salmon and wild sea trout (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/10/1022_021022_seatroutfish.html). Wild salmon are already extinct in many rivers on the West coast of Scotland and many more are threatened by the expansion of salmon farms at the mouths of wild salmon rivers (http://www.txinfinet.com/ban-gef/00/6/6-3.HTML).  A report by the Association of West Coast Fisheries Trusts can also be downloaded via:

http://www.salmonfarmmonitor.org/documents/questions.html#question2

As well as spreading disease and parasites, salmon farms discharge untreated and contaminated wastes directly into the pristine coastal waters off Scotland.  The less savoury image of thousands of densely packed farmed salmon swimming in a toxic chemical soup and their own excrement is a world away from the picture of the solitary leaping salmon employed to sell many farmed salmon products.  Untreated sewage from salmon farms has been linked to the spread of toxic algal blooms and shellfish poisoning (http://www.sundayherald.com/6758) and has been calculated as being equivalent to a human population of over 9 million (http://www.sundayherald.com/10872) - in view of a Scottish population of 5 million this is hardly a drop in the ocean.  So polluting a presence are salmon farms on Scottish lochs that they have left indelible scars; be it in pink dyes staining the sea-bed (http://www.fobhb.org/SundayTimes6.htm) or PCB contamination of the sediment (http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/archive/21-11-19101-23-58-40.html). Given salmon farming’s capacity to foul its own nest it is not surprising it is labelled as a ‘dirty’ industry and more and more discerning shoppers are giving such a tainted product a wide berth.

For further information see: "Sea trout loss linked to salmon farm parasite"

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/10/1022_021022_seatroutfish.html

“Farmed salmon kill the rivers”

http://www.txinfinet.com/ban-gef/00/6/6-3.HTML

"Farmed salmon infect wild fish"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2294535.stm

"Last chance for Skye’s salmon"

http://www.sundayherald.com/27049

"Scotland’s secret: aquaculture, nutrient pollution, eutrophication and toxic blooms" http://www.salmonfarmmonitor.org/documentarchive.html

 

9) Wild salmon and sea trout are being threatened with extinction by thousands of farmed salmon escapees

Escapes from salmon farms are flooding Scottish waters and are threatening wild salmon with extinction on the West coast.  In 2000 over half a million farmed fish escaped in Scotland alone (compared to a wild salmon catch of ca. 60,000)!  Since 1997 over 1 million salmon have escaped from Scottish salmon farms (http://www.steelheadermag.com/letters24.html) including thousands in Orkney during April (http://www.inchcruin.freeserve.co.uk/main_conservation_salmon%20farming.htm). According to the Scottish Executive many of these escapes occurred from farms infected by Infectious Pancreatic Necrosis (http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/official_report/wa-02/wa0925.htm).  Now the salmon farming industry want to expand in the East with a salmon unit on the banks of the famous wild salmon river, the Tweed (http://www.scotlandonsunday.co.uk/index.cfm?id=1161072002).  New research to be published soon by Queen’s University Belfast and presented earlier this year at a conference in Edinburgh clearly shows that escaped farmed salmon, including hatchery-reared salmon, can drive wild salmon towards extinction.  

For further information see:

“Staggering extent of fish farm escapes - over a million salmon lost
from cages threaten Scotland's wild stocks with extinction” http://www.steelheadermag.com/letters24.html

"Great salmon escape infects wild fish stocks"

http://www.sundayherald.com/8855

"The great escape: the figures the government don’t want you to see"

http://www.foe-scotland.org.uk/press/pr20000604.html

"Stream of escaped farm fish raises fears for wild salmon"

http://www.pirg.org/ge/reports/naturemag_gefish.pdf

"Disease impacts on wild and farmed stocks" and "Escapes from fish farms and potential effects on wild populations"

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/cru/kd01/green/reia-00.asp

"Commercial fish farms ‘wiping out’ wild salmon"

http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=301081

 

10) Farmed salmon depend upon a food supply that is both depleted and contaminated

The final and fatal flaw of salmon farming is its dependence on wild fish as a food supply. Not only are wild fisheries becoming increasingly depleted but also they are contaminated. This is especially true in the Northern hemisphere where fish feed is eight times more contaminated than fish from the Southern hemisphere. Using a fast diminishing and contaminated wild fish resource as a fuel supply for farmed fish is highly irresponsible from both an environmental and food safety point of view. Considering the maxim ‘you are what you eat’ it is not surprising therefore that farmed salmon fed on contaminated feed are consequently contaminated with dioxins, PCBs and other chemicals. Contaminated fish feed ought to be labelled as hazardous goods and disposed of safely - certainly not fed to farmed salmon and then sold for human consumption. In the final analysis, salmon farming does make sense from a food safety, environmental or economic point of view. Common sense, however, is not a currency salmon farmers in Scotland are used to dealing in. Boycotting cheap farmed salmon is one way of saving both wild fisheries and sending out the signal to supermarkets that farmed fish are not always an acceptable alternative to wild fish.  

For further information see:

"Fish farming’s major side effects" and "Global appetite for farmed fish devouring world’s wild fish supplies" http://www.fisheries.ubc.ca/publications/news/

"Europe is told it may not be safe to eat fish, either"

http://www.rethinking.org/aids/NYTimes/DioxinInFish_12172000.html

"Intensive salmon farming - a false economy, says FoE"

http://www.georgiastrait.org/Articles2000/fish6.htm

"The five fundamental flaws of sea cage fish farming" http://www.salmonfarmmonitor.org/documentarchive.html

"A big fish in a small pond: the global environmental and public health threat of sea cage fish farming"

http://www.watershed-watch.org/ww/publications.html

 

If anyone has any further questions on the information presented here please do not hesitate to contact us at The Salmon Farm Monitor:

http://www.salmonfarmmonitor.org/contact.html

Further information is also presented in The Salmon Farm Monitor document archive at:

http://www.salmonfarmmonitor.org/documents/questions.html http://www.salmonfarmmonitor.org/problems.html http://www.salmonfarmmonitor.org/documentarchive.html

Scottish Quality Salmon’s “10 Reasons to be Cheerful” can also be found at:

http://www.scottishsalmon.co.uk/whatsnow/home.html