Industrial fish farms: “All natural” smoked salmon is nothing but hot air

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fish-farms(NaturalHealth365) When it comes to advertising, it can be difficult to separate facts from fiction, particularly when it concerns the seafood industry. Packages of smoked Atlantic salmon that claim they are “all natural, premium, and super fresh” aren’t all natural or environmentally-friendly at all.  Today, we exposed the truth about many fish farms.

Smoked Atlantic salmon products are made from salmon raised on massive industrial fish farms, salmon that are fed with processed feed and treated with medicine and chemicals to combat disease, sea lice, and other infestations.  Claims that popular smoked Atlantic salmon brands like True North, Blue Hill Bay, and Ducktrap River of Maine are “all-natural” is nothing but smoke, mirrors, and hot air.

Don’t let food marketing fool you

The images on the packaging of smoked Atlantic salmon typically show clean and pristine waters, a backdrop of tall, red spruces, or some other back-to-the-land, Maine-like cliche designed to promote an all natural and sustainable approach to fishing and eating.

This isn’t just “exaggerated claims” – the common tactics of brand management.  It’s false advertising.  But, you may be wondering, why?

Commercial fishing of Atlantic salmon is prohibited in the U.S.  In Maine, Atlantic salmon are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Head farther north, into Canada’s Bay of Fundy, and Atlantic salmon are protected under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk. Commercial fishing of Atlantic salmon is no longer allowed in the UK, either, which means all the Scottish salmon that’s marketed as all natural –it’s one of the UK’s biggest food exports, hauling in over a billion pounds a year – is about as natural as a capercaille playing a bagpipe.

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The bottom line: all Atlantic salmon that’s sold to consumers, whether it’s fresh or frozen, or smoked and packaged as a healthy and all natural product, is sourced from an industrial salmon farm.

The truth about salmon sourced on industrial fish farms

There’s nothing all natural about salmon crammed into pens or seawater cages or giant land-based tanks, or the steady cocktail of chemicals they’re fed – antibiotics such as terramycin, florfenicol, and sulfamerazine – to ward off diseases and parasites.  Despite the medicine, roughly 9.5 million fish die every year in salmon farms, which is about 20% of the total.

There’s nothing natural about floating factory fish farms that discharge heavy metals, pesticides, and untreated fish waste into oceans and rivers, threatening habitats and marine life.

And there’s certainly nothing natural about the seabeds surrounding many industrial salmon farms, which have been described by marine biologists as dead zones of bacterial mat.

Consumer alert: Don’t fall for the hook, line, and sinker

Consumers need to be acutely aware of advertising’s penchant for false and misleading claims. It’s not enough any more just to read the fine print on packaging, or believe what a website markets.

Unfortunately, many major food brands love to blow (marketing) smoke.  If you don’t want to contribute to a sea of suffering, follow up with a little detective work.

And remember: when it comes to seafood, the U.S. Country of Origin Labeling only applies to fresh seafood.  Remember the old saying, “let the buyer beware.

Sources for this article include:

Organicconsumers.org
BBC.com