The history of salmon fishing is replete with tales of hearty fishermen braving the wild seas in pursuit of their catch, but many experts believe the future of salmon fishing is being shaped in calmer waters in the form of salmon farming, often called a more sustainable and profitable method of raising fish. Fortunately, with the efforts of organizations such as the Global Salmon Initiative, what started out as a research project has in the past 40 years proven that salmon farming can be effective at providing food as well as jobs.
What follows are reasons why the world needs more salmon farming.
9 Reasons Salmon Farming is On-demand
1. Salmon farming takes the pressure off of wild salmon stocks by bringing to market fresh salmon year-round. This approach makes it easier for governments to reduce the loss of wild salmon while still satisfying consumers with fresh salmon.
2. Salmon farming provides healthy, affordable food for an ever-growing population.
3. Salmon farms that are optimally located often cause an increase in the population of other marine species, especially shrimp, crab, rockfish, and clams.
4. Advances made in the study of salmon farming allow these benefits to be used in the conservation of wild salmon. For example, the tight controls necessary for the successful operation of salmon farms allow scientists to study the life cycles of salmon in the wild and provide more optimal methods of growing populations.
5. Owners and employees of salmon farms are natural repositories of knowledge about salmon and their habits, making them excellent sources of guidance to those who want to observe or fish for wild salmon. Outdoor enthusiasts such as fishermen and boaters can ask for and receive advice before they head out on the water in areas they may not be familiar with.
6. Salmon farming and related industries account for countless thousands of jobs in local communities as well as the resulting export sales. For example, the coastal communities in British Columbia accounts more than 6,000 jobs directly related to salmon fishing in addition to more than $800 million dollars in annual sales, making it a major agricultural crop.
7. Salmon farming offers huge income potential for Native Indian populations that can use it for employment as well as cash flow. The fortunes of several Native Indian tribes have been revitalized after they either started salmon fisheries themselves or partnered with a salmon farming company. Further, government funding of initiatives such as the Federal Aquaculture Act has provided for Indigenous farming projects.
8, Coastal communities that have suffered from decreased income and employment due to reductions in levels of forestry and commercial fishing can use salmon farming to make up for lost resources. Salmon farming can make up for lost incomes for families in these areas. Further, the benefits that have been proven to be successful have caused governments as well as their citizens to strongly support salmon farming efforts.
9. Salmon farming provides a source of food that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to be a major factor in reducing heart disease and other ailments. All species of salmon, as well as fish and shellfish in general, are better for your health than red meat. Salmon also tastes great. It doesn’t matter how it is prepared, salmon is a welcome addition to any meal.
Cover photo credit: Cermaq Canada / Youtube